How to: Contour & Highlight Cheekbones

First, let's walk you through the tools you need and then, the application steps as well as a diagram to help you out.

The Tools

First, there’s 3 things you need:

  • Highlighter

  • Bronzer

  • Contoured angle brush

1. Highlighter

A highlighter is a makeup product in several formulas (powder, liquid, cream) that will bring some kind of light to your face. Whether it’s a liquid illuminator, a powder highlighter, or even a pearly nude eyeshadow; this is a must-have for bringing out your cheekbones. if you’re not into buying a whole, separate product; just grab a shimmery (or pearly) nude colored eyeshadow. Works just as well.

2. Bronzer

After getting a highlighter product, it’s time to get the “de-highlighter” product, in other words the exact opposite – while the highlighter is meant to highlight the skin, this product is meant to deepen and shade the skin. While there are many products – some made for contouring – I find the most natural looking are bronzers.

3. Contoured Angle Brush

Don’t let these contoured angle brushes scare you! They look kinda weird, no? But this is really needed for sculpting and shading your cheekbones. If you’re not into buying another brush, you can also just grab any old blush brush and stick your finger through one side of it so it has a “scoop” shape, although that can be a bit annoying after awhile.

The Steps

Now that you’ve got all your tools, here’s what to do.

1. Grab your angled contour brush and bronzer. Swirl the brush around in the bronzer powder, say 5 times, and then “tap” the brush on the back of your hand to let any excess powder fall off.

2. Look straight into the mirror, and suck your cheeks in, Zoolander style (as shown below). 

See those two shadowed lines that are forming? That’s where your bronzer is going. Point your brush on that shadow and gently sweep some color there, and then up in a crescent shape up towards the top of your ear.

3. Step back and check your work. Suck your cheeks in again; is that line that natural shadow-y area now filled with bronzer? Success! If it’s too light, go over a few more times. And if you’ve overdone it, take some tissue, scrunch it up in a ball, and gently, in circular motions, wipe off the extra bronzer.

4. Repeat on your other cheek.

5. Next, grab your highlighter. If it’s a liquid highlighter, squeeze a few drops onto the back of your hand and pat your index and middle finger into it. Make sure to wipe off any excess. If it’s a powder highlighter, grab another blush brush (any is fine) and pat in some product.

6. Look straight onto the mirror again and apply your highlighter above your bronzer “line”. If you’re using a liquid highlighter, dap a few drops of the product and blend into your skin, if you’re using powder, apply it as you normally would powder products. The point of the highlighter is to “bring out” the cheekbone; while the bronzer was to create some depth. If you don’t know which area I’m talking about, it’s the space that’s right under your eye area, right before your cheeks. Start from the center of your eye and blend until the end of it.

Here’s an amateur-drawing diagram to show you (brown = bronzer, and white = highlighter):

Extra tips

  • Make sure your application doesn’t look like two obvious lines – remember to blend, blend, blend.
  • You can add a touch of your usual blush (colors like peaches, pinks, etc) to the apple of your cheeks, but remember to keep it very light so it doesn’t look too much.
  • If you want your liquid highlighter to last all day, sweep some translucent loose powder on top of it.


We hope our tips have helped you to start contouring and highlighting your cheekbones. Please don’t forget to like the Pick N Dazzle Beauty Facebook page and subscribe to our emial updates (100% free!) for most makeup articles like this.

Pick your Beauty Box

The box of quality cosmetics personally curated for you. Over 500 000 delivered products, over 40 000 five-stars reviews.