Facial contouring and Kim Kardashian seem to be seen together on the pages of glossy magazines, the internet, beauty blogs and digital media videos as if the two go hand in hand.  Kim is a massive advocate for contouring, previously a technique favoured by professional makeup artists, and although she has bought this vital makeup step in to the spotlight, she by no means invented it, it has been around for decades.

Applying your makeup base is the most important step in any application routine.  However we spend so much time trying to hide those dark circles, breakouts, redness and dryness that by the time our foundation is applied quite frankly we have had enough, run out of time, so end up slapping on a bit of blush or bronzer, mascara, lip gloss then we are out of the door.  Am I right so far?

Applying concealor, corrective makeup and foundation allows us to create a blank canvas with our face.  It evens out skin tone and texture.  So we need to contour to put the definition back in to our faces, otherwise we would all look expressionless and cold.  Maybe a bit harsh but fair.  The main process of contouring is to create darkness and light on the skin, to highlight and accentuate areas we want to see, and to darken and ‘push in’ those that we don’t.  Done correctly, it can change the shape of your face, making your cheekbones more defined, and generally giving you a glow in the right places.

To try contouring for yourself you will need your usual concealor, corrector and foundation.  You will then need a bronzer at least one shade darker than your usual shade, and a highlighting powder or cream product.  I would also recommend the use of a stippling brush, but if you are unable to locate one, a blush or powder brush will do just fine.

To begin, apply your concealor and corrector to your skin.  Then apply your foundation, ideally with a foundation brush using sweeping movements from the centre of your face outwards, making sure that it is blended well and paying particular attention to the jaw line area, ears and hairline.

Taking your bronzer shade and your stippling brush, suck in your cheeks and apply the bronzer in a upwards motion under your cheekbones.  Imagine that you are drawing a virtual line from the corner of your mouth towards your ear and follow that.  Now blend this line down the face towards the jaw.  Repeat this action on the opposite side of your face, making sure that both sides look even.

Now apply a small amount of the bronzing powder down each side of your nose.  Apply some to the left and right of your chin drawing the brush towards the centre, and some to the left and right of your forehead at the top near your hairline.  Blend these areas in again using the stippling brush.

That finishes the dark definition of your features, and now we want to highlight those we want to enhance.  By taking your highlighting product, apply it down the centre of your nose in between the two darker lines and blend in.  Apply in a circular motion at the centre of your chin and in the same motion between your eyebrows on your lower forehead.  Once again, ensure that the product is blended well.

Now apply your highlighting product to your cheekbones, slightly above them in an upwards sweeping motion.  Ensure that there is a gap between the highlighter and the bronzer as the area in between is where your blush should sit.  Lastly, apply to your cupids bow, and blend.  This will, once lipstick or gloss is applied, help to give the illusion of a more defined lip outline and make them look fuller.

And that concludes the facial contouring technique.  If you are not convinced, I challenge you to take a picture beforehand and one afterwards and look at the difference in your face shape.  You will wonder why you ever skipped this key makeup step.  Now I’m not promising that you will leave the house looking like Kim Kardashian (that’s what I dream….), but you will at least be just that little bit closer.