The fun thing about makeup, is that while there are some guidelines to get it right, there are no real rules. You do what works for you and for your face shape. And the same applies when it comes to contouring and highlighting your face. Depending on your face shape—oval, heart-shaped, square, round, etc—the areas of your face that you contour and highlight will be different. Which is why, when looking for tutorials on how to contour and highlight your face, it makes sense to look for someone with a face shape and skin tone that’s similar to yours. We rounded up six YouTube tutorials ideal for Asian face shapes and skin tones to ensure your highlight and contour is always on point. Watch, and learn.
If you like the Kardashian look
What is Pony (aka Park Hye Min) known for? Her makeup skills that help her transform into famous people. What are the Kardashians and Jenners known for? Extreme contouring, among other things. In this video, Pony replicates the super-sculpted face makeup you see on the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Here, Pony uses a concealer as a highlighter on her forehead, cheekbones and chin areas, and eyeshadow and contouring palette on her nose, sides of the face and jawline. One tip we learned from the video: Use a loose powder to “mark off” the highlighted parts—before doing the contouring—as a guide, then dusting off extra powder afterwards. If you are not interested to transform into Kylie Jenner, start watching from the 3:10 mark to the 4:30 mark for just the contouring and highlighting parts. Otherwise, you can watch the weirdly mesmerising transformation in full—it’s just six minutes long. Pony also has a video collaboration with Etude House, where she uses the brand’s contouring sticks to teach us different ways of highlighting and contouring according to different face shapes.
If you like subtle contouring
Malaysian makeup enthusiast and YouTuber Aisha Liyana does a full glam makeup look here. Her tutorial is easy to follow, and the highlighting and contouring parts are from 5:10 to 7:05. We like that she uses affordable makeup products to do her makeup and manages to look glam without being OTT.
If your features are already sharp and you want to enhance them
YouTuber Jovita George gives a lot of tips on how to contour for different types of face shapes in this video tutorial. We like that she demonstrates each tip on her face so you can see exactly how it works. Plus, she uses only a touch of contour powder on the sides of her nose because she doesn’t have to “deepen” the areas as much due to her South-Asian features.
If you like K-Beauty
This may be by K-beauty brand Banila Co, but it shows you exactly how to get a 3-D dewy look that the Koreans covet with highlight and contour. We like how the makeup artist leaves the “streaks” from the contouring and highlighting sticks on so you can see exactly where to put it before he blends it out on one side and lets the model do it herself on the other, to show how easy the process is. Plus, one great tip we learned from the video is that you can use a brush and dab a little cushion foundation on it before blending out the lines to make the look super natural, as it doesn’t leave any harsh lines.
If you like cream-based products
Malaysia-born, Melbourne-based YouTuber Emily Quak gives really specific tips on how to contour and highlight Asian faces here. We like how she teaches the viewer how to find the crease under the eyebrow to connect to the contour at the nose bridge to make the look more natural.
If you're a beginner
We like Tina Yong’s cheat to help you figure where to draw your contour if you can’t really suck in your cheeks: just draw an imaginary line from the top of your ears to the corners of your lips and use that as a guide to place the contouring product. This makes it much easier for people who have chubby cheeks and can’t really see a dip when they try to suck in their cheeks.