The easy guide to contour and highlighting

highlight contour

I remember buying Sleek Makeup’s contour kit when I was a teenager, after laying eyes on the famous picture of Kim Kardashian’s crazy contour and highlight routine. I came home and excitedly sweeped on the shimmery highlight along the high points of my cheeks and brushed on the contour shade along my cheekbones and I’ve never looked back.

I‘m now a full-fledged(ish) adult and to this day, I still repurchase Sleek Makeup’s contour kit and use this every time I apply a full face of makeup to add some glow and definition to my face. I feel like Sleek Makeup is super underrated, especially with today’s surge of new cult brands that are stealing the spotlight.

Here’s a few things I like about Sleek Makeup: their products are super affordable and the highlight in the contour kit is not glittery but just a lovely, buttery sheen that provides a natural, candlelit glow. The contour shade is really easy to blend even if you go in with a heavy hand and their stunning highlighting palette contains two powder highlights and two cream highlights.

So if you’re someone who finds the idea of contouring and highlighting a bit daunting, this post is for you because you do not need four shades of foundations, concealers and powders. Check out my step-by-step guide below and take what you like from it. If you ask me what’s the one thing worth getting to create a glowy yet chiselled look, it’s hands down the contour kit.

1. Use a light reflecting concealer


Start with a cleansed and really moisturised face so makeup can layer onto your skin smoothly. Apply your foundation and concealer however you prefer to (I use a damp Real Techniques sponge), just ensuring that your base is even. Next you want to highlight the areas of your face that you want to bring light to. Draw a few strokes using a light reflecting concealer under your eyes, on the centre of your forehead, along the bridge of your nose and on the centre of your chin to lift those areas. Blend the strokes out by patting the concealer onto the skin gently with a damp sponge. Using a damp sponge will stop the concealer from looking cakey, so take your time blending this out well.


2. Set your base with powder


While we do want to add some glow, we do not want to become oily as this will make our base slip and slide off during the day. So set your foundation and concealer with a loose powder of your choice. I like to “bake” (adding a layer of powder to sit on top of the skin for a few minutes to set and dust off) using Huda Beauty’s Easy Bake Loose Powder, tapping this onto the lid and packing it onto the angled end of the bake and blend brush. I then place the powder under my eyes to prevent my concealer from creasing and also go over my the t-zone, where I tend to get shiny. After a few minutes, (I usually do my brows whilst the powder is setting), I gently sweep and pat away the excess powder with a powder brush all over my face. This will provide a smooth canvas to blend out your powder contour and highlight.


3. Use a cream highlight as a base

Cream highlight

Next, I take my Sleek Makeup highlighting palette in the shade Cleopatra’s kiss and with a clean hand, I layer my finger with the light gold cream highlight and dab this in C-shape from above my brow bone to the high points of my cheek. Then I lightly blend this out with my finger as I find body heat really melts the product out well. You can always go in again with a damp sponge so this is diffused out more naturally. Using a cream highlight is optional but it really makes for a great base for powder highlight to stick onto, last and pop.


4. Dust on powder highlight


Next, I grab my Sleek Makeup contour kit and lightly coat my Real Techniques Setting Brush in the highlight shade. This brush is the perfect size, tapered and light enough to dust highlight onto the skin softly. I prefer the highlight in the contour kit as it doesn’t have any chunks of glitter, so it looks more like a glow from within. Softly sweep this onto the high points of your cheekbones and go above your brow bone, following the same C-shape trace of your cream highlight.

I also like to just dab my finger in the powder highlight and pop this just on my Cupid’s bow to make my lips appear fuller. Highlighting the inner corner of your eyes and brow bone can also make your eyes look more doe-eyed and lifted, whilst highlighting the bridge of your nose can make it appear slimmer. I don’t usually highlight my nose as it tends to get shiny during the day, so just highlight areas that work with your skin type and enhance the features that you want to. Blend everything out with a clean powder brush if you get too carried away with the highlight!


5. Shade with a powder contour


Now that you’re looking radiant, it’s time to get your facial bone structure looking like Tyra Banks. Chisel your cheekbones by dabbing an angled brush into the contour kit’s darker shade and lightly sweep this just under your cheek bones. If this isn’t prominent for you, just pucker up like a fish and place the contour powder along the hollows, stopping in line to the edge of your eye as otherwise your cheeks could appear a bit too rounded.

Also sweep the contour powder along your jawline to sharpen, on the sides and bottom of your nose to cinch in and if you want to make your forehead appear smaller, along the temples of your forehead too. You can even use the contour powder as a crease colour – you can see why I love this contour kit so much! Then really gently blend out the contour with your powder brush in a circular motion, making sure to blend out that nose contour really well!


6. Finish off with bronzer, blush and a setting spray


Finally, just to add some natural shading and colour back into your face so the contour isn’t too stark, sweep on some bronzer in a three-shaped motion along the sides of your face. To add a youthful touch, smile and add a pop of blush onto the apples of your cheeks. If you feel you’ve overdone the contour and it’s looking a little muddy, apply some loose powder with a powder brush right under your cheek bones. Let that “bake” and then sweep away with a powder brush for a cleaner finish. Then to make all the products you’ve applied seamlessly blend together and look less powdery, add a mist of setting spray all over your face to lock everything in.


Final look

Then voilà! You should have a highlighted and contoured face that took you no more than a few minutes!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blogpost and learnt a few tips along the way.

Thanks for reading!




  1. Rhea
    April 22, 2019 / 12:40 am

    Love it! Great tutorial ?

    • Richa
      April 22, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      Aw, thanks Rhea! 🙂

  2. Andrew
    April 22, 2019 / 7:03 pm

    Richa this is brilliant! Keep it coming. 🙂

    • Richa
      April 22, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      Thankss Andrew! Go get your highlight and contouring on 😉

  3. Tabitha
    April 23, 2019 / 4:43 am

    Love this post girl! Such a nice read and you look gorgeous!! ?❤️❤️

    • Richa
      April 26, 2019 / 9:21 pm

      Aww, thanks so much Tabi! Love you!

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