How To Contour & What Is Contouring: Tutorial

Discover what contour is and how to contour with Charlotte Tilbury's top tips and video tutorial for contouring made easy.

Lately, there’s been so much talk of contouring, nontouring, strobing… you name it! So Team Tilbury asked Kelly, Charlotte’s National Artistry Development Manager, to shed some light on the subject and find out exactly what is contouring, and how to do it!


” Contouring has been a huge trend for the last several years in beauty, but as Charlotte says “it’s the secret silver-screen sirens have kept to themselves for years!”

Playing with light and shadow can really reshape, resize, enhance and define your facial framework.

In theory, anywhere you apply a lighter, brighter product will stand out and appear more prominent, and anywhere you apply a shadow or darker shade of contour will give you more depth and definition. With the craze of contouring over the last few years, there’s been a lot of ‘techniques’ appearing on Instagram and Youtube, with scary things like spoons and kitchen objects, that have really over complicated what can be a quick and easy beauty trick!

Having worked backstage on shoots and shows with Charlotte, you will see Charlotte observing and analysing a client’s facial framework “dreamy eyes, perfect lips, killer cheekbones” you can hear and see her looking at the woman’s beauty and deciding what she can dial up or dial down to enhance her natural beauty and bring out the most beautiful version of herself.

A lot of makeup artists and women will just do the same step-by-step, line-by-line ‘painted-on contouring’ etc., but contouring too severely, or in areas that don’t need it, can actually have the opposite effect of what you’re looking to achieve. For example: If you were to contour too heavily on someone with an oblong face shape and already high cheekbones, it could make the face look too sunken-in, aged or too gaunt.

Like Charlotte, I am huge of fan of beautiful, blended dreamy contouring that naturally enhances a woman’s beauty.”


  • Use after applying a light coating of Airbrush Flawless Finish Micro-Powder for perfect adherence
  • Apply the Sculpting shade using the Powder & Sculpt makeup brush to the hollows of your cheeks, the temples, the jaw line, sides and tip of your nose. Never forget to blend, blend, blend!
  • Apply the Highlighting shade on top of the cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, the lip’s cupid bow and your brow bone for candle-lit skin.