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How to Contour Like a Celebrity – The EASY Way

Contouring is in.  Products are everywhere on the shelves claiming to be your contouring solution.   Recently a client showed me a contouring palette by Tom Ford.  Not only was it overpriced, it was difficult to use.  Over complicated for the non-celebrity is not the way to go, nor is the price tag.  In fact, a lot of these products probably wouldn’t be my first choice for my own makeup kit.

Stars like Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox both swear by contouring.  It’s becoming the new “must-do” and everyone wants to know how to contour like a celebrity.  Buying what says “contour” on the label isn’t going to reproduce the magic that’s hoped for.  Why?

contouring makeup

In my professional experience, full face contouring as you see in this photo (done by famous makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin) makes sense in certain settings.  If I’m working on set throughout the day and am able to see how the makeup presents on camera, I would definitely do some contouring.  I might also attempt some form of contouring for the red carpet if my client gave me a substantial amount of time to do her makeup.

But “enough” time is rarely a reality for most celebs.  On most occasions, they want me to work quickly.  Getting makeup done for another red carpet event isn’t a luxury – it’s more of a hassle.  Since you cannot accompany the celebrity to a red carpet function, it’s important to error on the side of caution when contouring.  I’ve never felt I was sacrificing a celebrity’s beauty.  Instead, I was able to provide them with balanced beauty in the time they provided me.  I contoured their face the easy, and safe way.  No one ended up on the bad makeup list because they were white faced like Angelina Jolie!

Very few people have the time for full face contouring, nor is it necessary.  Forget about the unnecessary palettes beauty brands are trying to sell you.  Instead, invest in these three contouring products:

  1. Matte Bronzer
  2. Matte Blush
  3. Highlighter




  • Apply bronzer with a flat powder or fan brush.  Start with the apples of your cheeks and dust underneath your cheekbones.  Blend up and out.  Less is more with bronzer and you can always layer.
  • You can contour your nose so it looks thinner by using a fluffy eyeshadow brush.  Draw lines down the side of your nose with the brush.  Then blend.
  • Apply bronzer underneath the jawline and down the neck area for added definition.
  • Bronzer applied to the forehead balances your makeup look.
  • Stila, Too Faced, Makeup Forever, MAC, and Physicians Formula all make great matte bronzers.


Matte Blush

  • Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks.
  • MAC matte blushes, Stila cream blushes, and Stila custom color blushes are great options because they have no shimmer.



  • Apply a highlighter along the the cheekbones.
  • Stila All Over Shimmer in Kitten is my favorite.  You can use the Stila’s “all over shimmer” liquids if you want a more natural look.  A light shimmer eyeshadow can also create this highlight.

stila number 24 brush

An easy way to help you contour is get the #24 brush by Stila.  You can apply bronzer with the larger side and the highlighter with the smaller side.

em jenna oscars

I used these contouring tips on Emmanuelle Chriqui and Jenna Dewan Tatum for the Oscars.  This photograph was on the homepage of InStyle.com the next day.  When I say you don’t need a contouring palette to enhance your face shape, it’s because you don’t!  xoxo

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