How To: Contouring Cheeks Like a Pro

Contouring your cheeks is one of those things that just doesn’t cross your mind often. I mean, unless you have forgotten the 80’s, or are simply too young to remember the three shades of blush that came in every compact, the severe look is a little much for most of us. But did you know there are some easy ways to play up those gorgeous cheekbones without the harshness of the 80’s “contour” blushes?

The first step is making sure you are applying your regular blush to the right spot. Smile as big as possible while looking in the mirror, and begin your application with a small fluffy brush right on the apples of the cheeks. Move back just a bit, to the hairline if you wish, making sure to blend well. In most cases, complaints of blush looking “streaky” is just a lack of blending. Make sure to blend well!
Next, suck in your cheeks as if you’re making a fishy face. Remember that face? My kids love it. Suck those cheeks in and take note of the area that moves inward. That is where you will (lightly, please!) apply a color one shade darker than your normal blush. I personally use my light colored bronzer here - it is close enough to my natural shade to blend well, and is neutral enough to work with every color of blush. Use your blusher brush or a slightly stiffer kabuki brush, if you have it. Blend, blend, blend!

The final step is highlighting those cheekbones. No need to go overboard here - leave the glittery white highlighter for others, we have no need of it. A nice luminizer, such as Benefit’s High Beam, or any of the “shimmer” powders on the market will work well, just don’t use anything with visible glitter, for goodness sake. A pearlescent look is what we’re going for here - something to add glow. Apply a very thin line right above the area you applied your normal blusher to. This should be as close to the under eye as possible without leaving your cheek area. Blend well, then blend again.

If the look is too much, give it a once over with a neutral pressed powder or a bronzer. And blend! Always blend. After that, stand back and admire your cheek contouring abilities!

Beautiful photo by ya_ye5 on flickr


Unknown said...

This is a great tip! For other style tips and tricks and to take our style quiz, go to

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May 15, 2009 at 9:19 AM

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites and She is also known as @retrodiva on Twitter. She specializes in drinking large amounts of espresso, shopping, and enjoying social media. In all of her free time she writes for twice a week, and does various other freelance gigs involving writing, designing, and generally being awesome. While she believes that success is indeed a job in New York, she currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, two children, and two cats and has hung on to her day job.