Professional makeup artists know how to use makeup to contour your face and create the illusion of perfection, even without any airbrush or photoshop tricks. For the rest of us, contouring is often seen as only existing successfully on the stage or at a professional photo shoot. This is certainly not the case! When done correctly, contouring is a simple and easy way to make your face look slimmer and your features more defined and radiant.

We’ve got three tricks that will help you learn how to use your makeup to contour your face that you can master quickly. You will need to have some good makeup brushes on hand to use these methods effectively. If you don’t already own some, check out the Sephora deluxe antibacterial brush set. They are excellent quality and a good value. You can also buy individual ones to fill in any gaps in your brush kit. My favorite are from Bobbi Brown. I’ve had them for years and they are still in excellent condition.

Now, grab your brushes and start sculpting!

1. How to Slim Your Face

A slimmer face is a goal that to some may only seem possible through weight loss, but with a little bit of contouring makeup, you can have a slimmer looking face in less than five minutes. You will need a non-shimmery, matte bronzer three shades darker than your skin tone and a small fluffy face or bronzer brush. If you are having difficulties finding a bronzer without shimmer, simply use a face powder a few shades darker than you would usually wear. Dip your brush lightly in the bronzer and create the “E” “3” shape on your face. To do this, start at your temple and curve the brush around and under your cheekbone, then back around and under your jaw. This creates a letter “E” on your left side and a number “3” on your right side. Then, use a clean brush or makeup sponge to blend any harsh lines.

2. How to Sculpt Your Nose

A simple trick to making your nose seem slimmer and straighter involves the same bronzer or dark face powder you used to contour your face and an eyeshadow brush. Dip your eyeshadow brush lightly in the bronzer and run it vertically down from the bridge of the nose to the tip on each side of your nose, leaving the center of your nose clean. To create a more defined tip of the nose, create a tiny “V” under the tip of the nose using the bronzer and eyeshadow brush. Use a clean fluffy brush to blend all harsh lines.

3. The Best Way to Use Highlighting

The last step to creating a perfectly defined and contoured face is to highlight your key features. You can use a liquid, cream, or powder highlighter in the color and shade of your choice. For this step, a shimmery product is preferred. If you are using a powder highlighter, clean your small fluffy brush from the face contouring step and use it to brush the highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones, down the center of your nose, in the middle of your forehead, and on your cupid’s bow. If you choose a liquid or cream highlighting product, repeat the same steps using your fingers and blend out lightly. For a long-lasting effect, layer your products by first using a cream or liquid highlighter, then going over it with a corresponding powder highlighter.

All done! Now, all you have to do is practice. It may take you a few times and a little experimenting to find the right colors, but you’ll be amazed at the difference a few contouring tricks can make.

Want to learn more about how to apply makeup like a professional? Check out the video tutorials from the University of Makeup. They will also recommend the right professional style brushes and makeup to use. I even learned how to apply makeup when I’m wearing my glasses so that my eyes look bigger!

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