How to: Sculpt your face

01:29, Nov 07 2012
contouring 1
Step-by-step contouring and highlighting - use this as a guide when applying your products.
contouring 2
Need to lift a saggy jawline? Apply contouring product as shown on the right to create the illusion of shadow.
contouring 3
Contouring products: Illume powder, $78; M.A.C Face & Body Sculpting Cream, $48; L'Oreal True Match Powder, $38.
contouring 4
Highlighting essentials: Nars Highlighting Blush Powder, $59; Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand, $54; M.A.C Cream Colour Blush in Pearl, $48.
contouring 5
Sculpting kits: Revlon PhotoReady Sculpting Blush Palette, $34; Elizabeth Arden Cheek Duo, $69; Smashbox Cheek Sculpting Kit, $62.

It's a trick the professionals use and it can completely change the shape of your face. It's called sculpting, and it can make your face narrower, make your nose smaller, hide a saggy chin and define cheekbones.

M.A.C's Amber D uses the technique to get models runway ready at  international fashion shows. She talks us through it.


"Sculpting, or contouring as it's also known, can help you bring the best out of your face," says Amber. "By playing with different tones of product you can create false shadows and light, giving structure to the face."



You need a cream or powder that is about a shade darker than your usual foundation. While Amber prefers using creams - "they melt into the face, look like skin and you won't be giving away your secrets" - you can use powder if you prefer.

Many women use bronzer to contour, but Amber doesn't recommend it. "Don't use a bronzer, it can make you look orange," she says. You'll also need a highlighter - in either cream or powder form - to act as the 'light'.


To contour your face, take your darker toned product and a brush, and apply a swipe at the 'V' above your ear - where your ear meets your hairline. Now draw a line that runs high under the cheekbone towards the mouth.

"Don't draw the line too low or you can look skeletal." says Amber. "And only go halfway across your face - not all the way to your mouth."

Now go in with a very soft brush or your fingers and blend the edges of the line to soften. "Always brush the product down and inwards to keep control of it and make it blend better," says Amber. "The finished look should be subtle and blended out."

Other areas you can contour are your forehead, chin and nose. To make your forehead appear smaller, sweep a touch of your dark contour product up towards the hairline and blend to soften the edges. "This tricks the eye to thinking there's a shadow there," says Amber.

To tighten up a saggy jawline, start with your brush in behind the ear and flick your product down the jaw and under the chin. Blend it right out so that it resembles a shadow.

Start with just a tiny bit of product - "you can always add more but too much can be hard to take off," Amber says.

Contouring products to try: Illume powder, $78; M.A.C Face and Body Sculpting Cream, $48; L'Oreal TrueMatch Powder $38.


Highlighting gives an artificial light to an area, allowing the light to bounce off it and make it appear larger or more obvious. You can use either cream or powder highlighter. Amber suggests using creams if you have more mature skin, as powder can look too heavy., .

Apply highlighter on the areas of your face that the light naturally hits. Amber recommends trying it along the top of the cheekbones to make the cheekbones strong and pronounced, and through the bridge of the nose (the bit between the eyes). Dab a touch on the cupid's bow for larger looking lips.

Highlighters to try: Nars Highlighting Blush Powder, $59; Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand $54; and M.A.C Cream Colour Blush in pearl, $48.

Sculpting kits to try: Revlon Photoready Sculpting Blush Palette $34; Elizabeth Arden cheek duo $69; and Smashbox Cheek Sculpting kit, $62.