Contour And Highlight Like A Pro With These Makeup Tutorials
What we love about makeup is the ability to accentuate features we love while concealing what we may think of as flaws. Contouring and highlighting is especially in line with this principle. The trend too, has withstood the test of time and has not seen its popularity wane since Kim Kardashian made it famous years ago.
However, the placement of the contour and highlight differs from face to face depending on whether you have an oval, heart, square or round shaped face. To help you refine your techniques and elevate your makeup, we rounded up nine YouTube tutorials created by and for Asian face shapes and skin tones.
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Text: Ho Guo Xiong, image: 123RF
To accentuate your nose
It is no secret that Asians tend to have a flatter nose bridge as compared to other races and Canadian-based Korean beauty YouTuber Sooj has tricks to achieve a sharper nose. She favours a pointed bullet-shaped eyeshadow brush for added precision, especially since flat noses don’t have the “guideline” that a sharper nose has. Using a neutral to cool tone brown like the Benefit Hoola bronzer, she starts from the eye socket, as deep-set eyes will create an illusion of a higher nose bridge, before blending down the nose to create a pinched, elevated look. We also like how Sooj also advises using a clean fluffy eyeshadow brush to blend the edges to eliminate any unnatural harsh lines.
If you like to use powder contour
This video might be seven years old, but the tips shared by Jen still hold true today. She starts off by teaching us how to pick the appropriate shade for contouring, and they have to be a matte, and not shimmery, blusher or bronzer. Start at the edge of your cheekbones by your ears and blend in a line towards the mouth. One of the takeaways is that the contour should stop just outside of your pupils to really create a lifting effect.
Layering for longevity
Singapore’s hot, humid weather is the enemy to a perfectly made-up face as sweat and sebum can break up the product. In her tutorial, Dasha Kim layers both cream and powder contour and highlighting products to get an extra chiselled effect that will last all day. She starts with a base of cream contour and highlight and sets it with powder. She goes on to bake the highlighted area (under the eyes, nose bridge and forehead) with a triangle wedge sponge. Lastly, she goes in with contouring powder and highlighter to finish the snatched look.
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.