There are about a million different ways to highlight and contour. Whether you’re a fan of creams, powders, or you’re completely new to the technique, makeup artist Angel Merino aka Mac_Daddyy has tips and tricks to make the process easier.
Step 1: Angel starts his highlighting and contouring with MAC’s "Prep + Prime" highlighter pen. You can use it directly on your face or pump out a bit and use a brush for a more precise application.
Step 2: Apply the highlighter to the area under your eye all the way to your cheekbone. Go heavier under your eyes and taper toward the sides of your face. Angel uses a synthetic brush by Morphe Brushes for this step. Since this product sets pretty quickly, it’s better to blend out this side before applying the primer to your other cheek.
Step 3: Buff out the primer with a sponge using a patting motion. Angel likes to spray his sponge with a little of MAC’s "Fix +" spray. The objective is to blend to the point where you can’t exactly tell where the primer starts and ends.
Step 4: Now you can move on to the other side. Remember when you’re applying the highlight, go heavier under the eyes and taper toward the side of your face.
Step 5: Spray a little "Fix +" on your sponge and blend again.
Step 6: For even more brightness, Angel likes to go back with the highlighter and add just a bit more under the eye area.
Step 7: Now it’s time to work on the nose. Angel recommends laying your brush on its side for this step. Grab a little primer and make a straight line down your nose.
Step 8: Use the rest of the product on your brush to take the line upward onto your forehead.
Step 9: Blend to diffuse the primer. Be careful when it comes to the nose, too much product can actually make your nose look larger than it is.
Step 10: Now it’s time to set the primer. Angel uses Anastasia’s Contour Kit for this step. He chose the yellow powder to balance the pinkness of the highlight (clever, right?) To apply the powder, Angel uses a fluffy brush from Morphe Brushes.
Step 11: Now comes the contour. Angel uses MAC’s "Mineralize" powder in a color that’s about two shades darker than his skin tone. Start with the outer corners of your forehead, and then all around your hairline. Use a fluffy brush in circular motions to add warmth. If you have a large forehead, this will make it appear smaller.
Step 12: Cheekbones are up next. Use a circular motion again to avoid a streaky look. Use the center of your ear as a guide to where your contour should be.
Step 13: More blending! Connect your forehead contouring to your cheekbone contouring for a natural look.
Step 14: Smile in the mirror and hug your cheekbones with a bit more of the mineral powder.
Step 15: This step is optional, but if you want a bit more drama, Angel recommends using just a bit of an even darker powder. Angel used the Java shade in his Anastasia palatte on the outer corners of his cheekbones only.
Step 16: Next, Angel contours the sides of his nose with a bit more of the MAC "Mineralize" powder and a fluffy brush.
Step 17: To minimalize the appearance of a long nose, add a little more contour to the tip.
Step 18: Spray a little more of MAC’s "Fix +" spray to keep all the powders from looking dry. "Fix +" contains glycerin, so it also works as a makeup sealer to keep everything in place.
Step 19: Use a fan brush to apply a pearlescent powder on the higher planes of your cheeks. Angel recommends MAC’s "Mineralize" skinfinish powder in Soft and Gentle.
Step 20: For a more golden look, Angel layers MAC’s Gold Deposit over the Soft and Gentle powder. Why both powders? Well, the first one captures the light, but the second adds warmth and glow.
Step 21: Add a little shimmer down the bridge of your nose.
Step 22: One last spritz of "Fix +" to seal the deal and you’re done!