Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Contour and Highlight Technique


Brows, eyeliner application.

Those were just some of the complaints I get from make up students.  Why is it so hard?  

One makeup application technique that is actually more difficult as you can imagine--- Contouring and Highlighting.

I remembered having a hard time when I was starting out as a Bridal Make Up Artist!  With HD Camera and videos, I was stressed to make sure the contour and highlight I am doing for the brides are perfect.  Imagine having crooked nose or fatty face from misuse of highlight and contour products?  

I . Was. SCARED!  Scared enough to always ask my husband to always check for the final look (2nd set of eyes always work!)  Ayan, I openly shared what I was scared off, but that's normal.  And being scared meant you will strive to learn and master your own craft!

So fast forward to today, I still do contouring and highlighting a lot!  These days, people are into no-makeup makeup look!  But this step is actually very important since we are on a selfie-era!  Everything had to be on videos or photos!  Kaya better be Camera-ready!


Contour and Highlight Technique by Nikki Tiu of

A simple before and after photo to show how subtle contour and highlight can make a huge difference!

Contour and Highlight Technique by Nikki Tiu of

Some of you have your own weapon, if you plan to do this on a daily basis, I suggest to most subtle, natural and easiest method are powders!  They may not last as long but the disappearance of the product can actually work better ---- a more natural effect.

I like to use the Make Up For Ever's Contour/Highlight KIT.  You can head on to their store and pick the right shade for you - I believe they have different versions for different skin tone.

Contour and Highlight Technique by Nikki Tiu of

Here are some subtle contour/highlight tips I learn through the years ---

  • Do not follow fads or trends. Know your face shape and features.
  • Highlight areas you want to "pop" on photos or videos like nose bridge, chin, cheekbones, etc...
  • Contour areas of your face that you want to recede from light.  Ex. Double Chin, wide nose, round face, etc...
  • Start by applying lightly, build color instead of applying a a lot and worry about diffusing pigments.
  • A little does go a long way!  The more you see the contour or highlight product, the more unnatural it looks.
  • Always take a photo of yourself before you head out of the door - use flash and no flash.  
  • Work your makeup under good lighting.  You cannot apply makeup in the dark!  
  • Always use a separate clean face brush at the end as a "diffuser".  This will help remove demarcation lines without adding more product!

Contour and Highlight Technique by Nikki Tiu of

I did a super quick IG reel to show you how it's done!  Again, practice makes "almost perfection".  There's always room for improvement!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


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