Makeup Tutorial: The illusion of high cheekbones in 4 easy steps


by Jacquie Carter, beauty expert

Makeup Tutorial: The illusion of high cheekbones in 4 easy steps | Herbalife Beauty AdviceNeed a beauty tip that will enhance your appearance and add some drama to your look in seconds? Learn how to create gorgeous cheekbones with a few simple makeup techniques. Read on to learn how shading and highlighting in all of the right places gives your face the attractive angles you never knew you had!

What do some of the models that grace the covers of popular fashion magazines have in common? Amazing cheekbones! We all have cheekbones, of course, but some are more prominent than others and jut out in all of the right places. Since ancient times, prominent cheekbones have been portrayed as a physical beauty trait; something that has endured down the centuries to modern times.

The good news is that there are some easy and effective ways to create the look of perfect cheekbones with a little clever highlighting and shading. Makeup artists are experts at contouring the face, understanding how shadow makes features hollow and recede, while adding lightness with a highlighter draws out the area on which it’s applied. A little make up on your cheeks can accentuate your features or create an illusion to alter the shape of your face, make your eyes larger and possibly take attention away from your least favorite features. It’s makeup magic!

Basic blush

Blush is one of my favorite cosmetics! It can instantly make you look just a little more awake. If blush is applied incorrectly, it could turn into a makeup disaster! After applying moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation, the first step to applying blush is to pick your product. If you have dry skin, try a cream based blush. If you have normal or oily skin, you’ll want to choose powder or gel blushes. Try to pick a color closest to your natural flush. Need inspiration? Think about how your cheeks look when you’re naturally blushing, and try to find a color that closely matches.

Your face shape will dictate where blush would look best on your face. If you have an oval face, apply blush directly to the apples of your cheeks and blend with a blush brush. Round faces should apply blush onto the apples of the cheeks, and then blend outwards towards the temples. For those with a strong jawline or square shaped face, apply blush towards the upper part of cheeks starting a couple inches away from the nose and swipe your blush brush in a linear motion going towards the temples.

Blush is just one way to highlight cheekbones and is great for a daytime or office look. If you’re looking to go for something more dramatic, highlighting and contouring in the right places is a good option to take your look from daytime to nighttime.

Highlighting and contouring

Stage makeup is an exaggerated approach to cheekbone acquisition but you can learn a lot from theatrical techniques. Think about a ballerina with her clear lines and angles—most of that is makeup.

A foundation or a bronzer that is a couple of shades darker than your skin tone becomes your shadowing product. Shimmering bronzers are often used as shadow. Highlighters are light colors and come in powder, pressed powder, stick or liquid form. For highlighting and contouring, use a blush if you want, but you can also skip this step. You’ll want to have a good angled foundation brush and if possible, a large rounded brush as well. There are brushes with a double head available for this very purpose! 

How to create the illusion of high cheekbones with makeup

You can create the ‘high cheekbone’ look in 4 easy steps. Apply your primer and foundation and you’re ready to start adding or removing contours to create any look you like!

Use your bronzer or shade color to contour cheeks: You’ll want to shade right underneath your cheekbones in a diagonal motion going towards your ears. The best way to do this is to find the hollows of your cheeks and move along an imaginary line that goes from your upper ear to the corner of your mouth—but don’t carry the shade that far, keep the shading color right under your cheekbones. My personal trick for finding the right place to contour is to look in the mirror and make a ‘fish face’ by sucking in your cheeks. It instantly shows the hollows of cheeks, making it simpler to shade in the right area. The key to this step is to blend carefully.

Shade your temples: Reload your angled brush and apply your shadow color or bronzer to your temples, moving carefully from the edge of your brow upwards. Blend carefully.

Apply blush: Using a rounded brush, apply blush to your cheeks based on your face shape. Blend carefully.

Add highlights: Clean your rounded brush by wiping it well on a cloth or paper towel. Then load the highlighter and sweep it lightly across the top of your cheekbones. Reload and apply highlight to the upper temples and below the shading under your cheekbones.

After you’ve completed these facial highlighting and contouring steps, go back and blend any areas until you’ve created the look you want. Practice makes perfect with this technique—it took me a few tries to get this one down! Try it with a friend and give yourself the right type of lighting (indoor, outdoor, daytime, evening, etc.); that will help you get the shading and highlighting just right.

I want to know more about your favorite makeup techniques, no matter the difficulty level! Let me know how your attempt at highlighting and contouring goes in the comments section and share some of your personal makeup tricks.

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.

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