Highlighting and Contouring is Easier Than You Think

by ELYSIAN Magazine

Elysian’s Guide to Makeup’s Hottest Trend

Have you noticed that highlighting and contouring kits have become so complicated–with multiple shades and a variety of applicators–that it’s like you have to spend weeks watching YouTube tutorials in order to figure out how to use them. Which basically means that you’re NOT going to use them, right? But the Elysian staff has been tinkering with the newest highlighting and contouring products on the market and we’ve learned something. You don’t have to be a gifted Picasso (Pablo or Paloma) to paint and sculpt your features. Here’s our easy-peasy, thirty-seconds-and-you’re-done guide to highlighting and contouring:


Contouring is for areas on your face that you want to shade, like the hollows of your cheeks, around your jawline and the sides of your nose. After using a moisturizing primer (we recommend Unicorn Essence by Farsali), apply your foundation, you’re ready to contour. Use a medium-sized angled brush to sweep powder where you want it, and then blend to a seamless finish. Yep, it is really. That. Simple.

Recommendations: We particularly love the contouring brush in this Sephora kit and Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Palette is remarkably easy to use and perfect for beginners. When you use up all the shades becoming an expert, the palette is refillable, yay!

1. Farsáli Unicorn Essence Primer ($54, sephora.com)
2. Sephora Collection | Contour Brush Set | $48 NOW $25 | sephora.com
3. Kat Von D | Shade + Light Contour Palette | $49 | sephora.com


Highlighting is for areas where you want to impart a luminous glow or bring out dimension such as the bridge of your nose, the apples of your cheeks, the cupid’s bow above your lips, the corners of your eyes, and the base of your chin. Highlighting makeup might be a metallic, like Fenty Beauty’s Killawatt, or pearly like the Dior Backstage Contour Palette. Ultimately, the best way to figure out what works for you is to play around with different shades and see what gives you the look you’re looking for. And of course, about all, the keyword when it comes to contouring and highlighting is BLEND! We don’t want you walking around with visible seams.

1. Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter ($34, sephora.com)
2. Fenty Beauty Cheek-Hugging Highlight Brush ($32, sephora.com)
3. Dior Backstage Contour Palette ($45, sephora.com)


One of our favorite new discoveries is The Multiple stick by Nars. It’s a shimmery, multi-use stick (available in 11 shades) that adds subtle shine and color and can be used as a highlighter on the face, as well as on eyelids, lips and decollete.

Nars The Multiple ($39 | sephora.com)


The Touche Eclat Radiance Reflecting Pen by Yves Saint Laurent makes highlighting as breeze because the liquid formulation (available in 10 shades) blends like a dream.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Perfecting Pen ($38 | sephora.com)


For an all-in-one contouring/highlighting system, we recommend Kevyn Aucoin’s Contour Book, which includes six different shades of powder to contour your face.

Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book ($59 | sephora.com)

Ok, that’s enough to get you started in the world of contouring and highlighting. See, we told you it would be easy!

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