Adding Contour and Highlight Into Your Makeup Routine

Posted by Jessica Peninger on

Learn how to add contour and highlight into your daily routine from the SeneGence experts. This is a step by step guide, be sure to read through for all tips! Be sure to grab your products at SeneGence with Ashley P.



Rule of thumb – follow the natural lines of your facial features and bone structure. Add a darker shade in places you want to add depth, and a highlighter shade in areas you want to illuminate.

There is a little more to it than that. Here is the breakdown:

Step 1: Cleanse,moisturize, and applyMakeSense® Original Foundation.

Step 2: Apply dark contour to cheekbones and jawline.

Suck in your cheeks. Then, using the stem of your makeup brush, map out the line that begins from your ear to the hollow of your cheek. Draw a line using the deep contour shade where the brush stem is resting and underneath your jawline.

Step 3: Apply dark contour to forehead, nose, and chin.

Line the crown of your forehead in a downturned half-moon. Also, apply to your temples and blend inward towards your forehead. Next is an upward half-moon line along the bottom of your chin. Draw up along the side of your chin for more dimension.

The nose can be a bit tricky (we have some great hacks for this later 😉) but the basics are to draw lines along the sides of your nose. Like the chin technique, draw a small upward half-moon underneath the ball of your nose and bring the shade up to create an incomplete circle.

Step 4: Blend.

Using a contour brush (the contour brush from our Pro Brush Set is perfect!), blend by patting the deep shade and push inwards towards the center of your face.

Step 5: Apply highlight to under eye and forehead.

Apply a few dashes in the center of the forehead and draw a few diagonal lines from the inner corner of the eye towards the outer edge of your eye.

Step 6: Apply highlight to nose, cheekbones, and chin.

Draw a single line down the nose. Then, following the direction of the dark contour, draw smaller dashes on your cheekbones and one dash on your chin.

Step 7: Blend

Using a softer round brush, dab the highlight cream to press into the skin.

Step 8: Final touches

Finish with BlushSense® , Translucent Loose Powder or MakeSense Pearlizer for extra pop.


Pro Tips on How to Apply Contour for Your Face Shape

I have a…

Oval Face:Focus on your cheeks for a little more pop; your facial structure doesn’t need much else!

Heart-Shaped Face:Skip the contour on your jawline; it’s already the star feature.

Square Face:Less is more for you, beautiful. Focus on soft, subtle application techniques and blend well.

Diamond Face:Since you have a narrower hairline, highlight more space on your forehead and chin to make it pop.

Round Face:Accentuate your brows with highlight to work some angles into your gorgeous round features.


Contour HACKS for Beginners!

1. Tweezers: Not too Much, Not too Little

Struggling to get precise lines on your nose? Coat a pair of soft-edged tweezers with the dark contour shade. Start with the open end in between your eyebrows and the closed-end down to your nose. Press, then take a soft brush to blend and soften lines. Perfect!

2. Sticky Notes: Less Mess, Easy lines

For cheekbones, put a sticky note that starts at your ear and follows your cheekbone. Draw or dab the deep contour shade along the edge of the sticky note.

Pro Tip:

  • DON’T draw a half-moon under your eye.
  • DO leave negative space in the shape of an upside-down triangle underneath your eye and fill in with the highlight shade.

3. Sponges & Brushes: All About the Angles

Use a makeup sponge to blend the different angles. The SeneGence Cosmetics Blender Sponge is perfect for this. The pointed tip gets the corners and small spaces, while the round end is great for blending cheekbone and jaw areas.

Pro Tip:

  • Instead of circular or harsh techniques, lightly dab a soft brush on your cheekbones for a natural feel.

4. Color Tricks: Even Steven

Earlier, we stated that you should start with contour over your foundation. If you are not entirely confident in your sculpting skills yet, try starting before putting on foundation. It will hide any mistakes but still give your face that pop of color!

5. Lip Illusion: Two Steps to the Perfect Pout

First, draw a half-circle on top of your chin (under your bottom lip) and blend.

Then, run a thin brush along the highlight shade. Follow your cupids bow, blend, and voila!

This information comes straight from the "From Our Lips" blog by the SeneGence experts! 

You can find this and all SeneGence blog posts at: How to Contour & Highlight: A Step-By-Step Guide - From Our Lips (

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