Contour Like A Pro

Ever wonder how to minimize your forehead, sculpt your cheekbones or create a jawline—minus the surgery? Celebrity makeup artist Jai Williams shares his step-by-step guide to creating a close-up-worthy face.

Aretha M. Busby Mar, 07, 2014

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1 Prep the skin with a pore-minimizing primer for a lasting look.

2 Decide which formulation is best for you: Liquid or cream? Matte or glossy? For seamless blending, select products that are the same type.

3 Choose both a lighter shade and a darker shade of foundation, concealer or a foundation/concealer combo.

4 Apply the lighter hue to the areas to be highlighted, then follow with the darker hue for the areas to be contoured.

5 Combine with your fingers, a makeup brush or a sponge—whatever you feel most comfortable using.

6 Finish with a talc-free translucent setting powder or bronzer to avoid an ashy appearance.

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Contouring is strategically applying a combination of foundations and/or concealers—one that is slightly lighter and another that is slightly darker than your skin tone—to fool the eye. "Using a lowlight [the darker shade] and a highlight [the lighter shade], you can easily shrink a forehead, create fuller lips, refine a nose and bring out the cheekbones," explains Williams.

Lowlight: Shape the hairline and reduce the forehead.
Highlight: Define the forehead.
Lowlight: Reduce puffy eyelids.
Highlight: Mask puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.
Lowlight: Alter the width of the nose.
Highlight: Lengthen the bridge of the nose.
Lowlight: Enhance cheekbones.
Lowlight: Sculpt a jawline.
Hightlight: Create a chin.

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With the right makeup, sculpting a fabulous face can be a cinch. We love this classic highlighter pen, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch in Luminous Praline, ($40, It's great for lightening dark areas on the face.

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Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer ($59, select Bloomingdale's). A multiuse liquid illuminating veil, it brightens and defines.

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Lancôme Teint Visionnaire Skin Correcting Makeup Duo ($60,, this lightweight, full-coverage concealer and foundation combo is available in 20 shades.

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Get two shades in one with this compact ($25, Ulta).

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They're 100 percent natural. Use one to highlight and the other to conceal. ($18 and 20,

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It's complete with illustrated how-to-apply cards. ($39, Sephora)

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The powder's microfine shimmer and light-reflecting particles will help highlighted areas glow ($29, Sephora).


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