Beauty, Makeup, Tutorials

Makeup Monday Tutorial: How To Carve Out Your Cheekbones

How To Carve Out Your Cheekbones contour tutorial resize

Top row: Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo (used dark shade only), tréstique blush stick in "Bora Bora Coral" Bottom row: Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Brush, Beautyblender, Benefit "High Beam"
Top row: Stila “Light” Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo (used dark shade only), Tréstique blush stick in “Bora Bora Coral”
Bottom row: Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Brush, Beautyblender, Benefit “High Beam”


Contouring and highlighting seems to be a part of everyday makeup routines, as of late — or at the very least, a part of many a Pinterest board. Though I don’t go crazy with either, I’ve always been into contouring and highlighting in certain ways: I often define my jawline to keep it from disappearing in photographs, contour and highlight my eyes when wearing shadow, dab some highlighter at my cupid’s bow. But mostly, I focus on my cheeks. I have a pretty full, round-ish face, but my high cheekbones give it more dimension. I like to play them up by essentially carving them out with shadow (contour), adding a flush of color to the apples (blush), and bringing the highest points forward with a hint of shimmer (highlight). Even if you don’t have high or pronounced cheekbones, this is a great way to fake it. It’s super easy and can be done with powder or cream products. Since I normally use powder, I figured I would switch it up and feature cream products! Want to learn how to carve out your cheekbones? Follow the steps, below:

  1. Dip your Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Brush in the contour cream from the Stila “Light” Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo, and blot excess on the back of your hand so you have minimal product. Starting at the top of your ear (near your hairline), drag the brush about halfway toward the corner of your lip. I swoop it up just a little at the end, almost like I’m scooping underneath the cheek.
  2. Without adding any product, wiggle the brush back and forth and up and down to blend it out.
  3. Dampen your Beautyblender and squeeze out the excess. Bounce the wider end over your contour cream to further blend it. This might seem excessive, but it really makes a difference.
  4. Apply Tréstique blush stick in “Bora Bora Coral” (or blush of your choice) on the apples of your cheeks. If you don’t know where that is, just smile! Make sure not to apply too close to your nose.
  5. This particular blush has a brush on the other end, but I prefer blending cream blush with my fingers. The heat from your skin helps melt it into your skin and gives it a really smooth finish.
  6. Dab highlighter (I used Benefit “High Beam”) in a C curve at the tops of your cheeks and above your brows.
  7. Use the small point of the Beautyblender to blend the highlighter out.
  8. Now, use the larger end of the Beautyblender to make sure the three blend together – but make sure you don’t drag or rub – just bounce it. That’s it!

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  1. Becky says:

    Yessss to contouring! I love the way it looks, even though I probably overdo it a bit 😛 I haven’t had any luck with cream products – they seem too messy for me, so I always stick to powder cause it’s what I’m used to using.

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      I usually prefer powder, too!

  2. Cheyanne says:

    I absolutely love this look, the whole dang thing! What colors do you have on your eyes?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      That will be in next week’s tutorial:) It’s a new product that I’m not supposed to talk about, yet!

  3. Emily Jenny says:

    GORGEOUS! Love your makeup looks Keiko. They are so fresh and natural, not caked on and overly done like most.

    Emily Jenny

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Trestique “Nantucket Nude”

  4. Jen says:

    I’m not big into contouring either, mostly because I never have the extra time. I’ve been looking for a good contouring brush, though. How do you like the Stila one?

    Also, please please please tell me the name of the font you’re using in the first picture! I’ve been searching for it everywhere!

  5. Nicole says:

    What are you wearing on your lips? I love it!

  6. Becky says:

    gorgeous look – what product do you have on your lips?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Thank you! It’s also by Trestique – it’s called “Nantucket Nude”

  7. Jen says:

    I’m not big on contouring either. That being said, I have been looking for a good contour brush. What do you like about this Stila one?

    Also, what is the name of the font you used in the very first picture? I love it and I’ve been searching for it everywhere!

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      It’s called “Brushy” font:) And the contouring brush is pretty basic – I really like the contouring palette (it also has a creamy highlight) but the brush is just your average brush. It’s a little thicker than I like, because I like having more control when contouring. I usually use a regular foundation brush, so I can control the width. But people love the big flat contour brushes, so maybe it’s just a personal preference. I will say that it’s nice and sturdy and I like that it’s double sided.

  8. Jen says:

    For some reason, I thought my first comment got eaten, but now I see it. Sorry for the double post!

  9. Jane says:

    What do you have on your lips? Love this look so much!

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Trestique “Nantucket Nude” 🙂

  10. Sarah Clark says:

    Hi Keiko! I love your blog! This makeup tutorial is just marvelous. I just recently started following your blog. I was wondering what you makeup you used for your brows. They look great and I have been struggling to find something that looks as good as yours. Thank you! Have a lovely day 🙂