How To Make Your Face Look Thinner (How to Contour)

Contouring your face can sound like an intimidating task that should be left to the professionals. Whether you want to make your face look thinner, your nose longer, or make your cheekbones stand out, contouring is the quickest and easiest way to change the overall look of your face. Since your face is a combination of light and shadows, adding a darker contour shade creates false shadows which give the appearance of depth.

Below I am going to show you some quick and easy ways to contour your face. :-)

Contouring with Cream

  • Use a cream concealer that is two shades darker than your skin tone.
  • Use your finger to apply under the cheekbones.
  • Add a small amount under the chin.
  • To thin your nose, apply on each side beginning at the bridge of the nose.
  • Set with powder.

Contouring with Powder

  • Use an angled brush and a pressed powder 2 shades darker than your skin.
  • Use the same tricks as with the cream, only using your brush instead of your finger.
  • Use a clean brush to buff out any harsh lines.

Products Used

  • Coastal Scents Camo Quad
  • MAC Mineralized Skinfinish (or a bronzer of your choice)  – (Amazon) (eBay)
  • NARS Loose Powder – (Amazon) (eBay)
  • Makeup Geek Blush Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
  • Kabuki Brush – Any Kind

Ring worn in this video: Exquisitely Yours Boutique on eBay


  • Not everyone needs to contour- if you feel that your cheekbones are prominent or that your face is thin, it is best not to contour as you may appear too “chiseled”
  • ALWAYS choose a cream or powder that is just 2 shades darker than your skin- any darker, and it looks unnatural
  • If you use cream to contour, make sure to apply after your foundation and before your setting powder
  • It takes practice getting the contour technique down as each face is different, so don’t give up!
Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

Thank you so much for making this video. I have been attempting to contour my face for so long but didnt know how to do so. You’re the best!!

Is there any way you could post before and after photos of each method? It would be nice to see how much of a difference it makes. I don’t know sometimes when I try it I find myself applying too much or too dark b/c otherwise I can’t see it but then when I can it’s not exactly natural.

hi marlena

just wanted to say i think you are fab and always look forward to seeing your tutorials.Even my husband loves the pam anderson viva glam look that you do.

just a quick question i am after a dark cherry red lipstick like the looks of lady gaga and rhianna at the moment. Any suggestions?

p.s im from the uk

thanks mwah xx

Hey Marlena,

what would you recommend for a good cream contour…. I have medium light skin?

Love your videos Keep it up! :)

Thanks for the tutorial Marlena! I was always afraid to try contouring powder cause it seems so much darker than my skin tone and people will notice that shade on my face. I don’t have an angle brush, mine is rounder and I usually use it to apply blush, but I guess I really need a new one if I’m going to try to contour :). Thanks again for the tips.

hi marlena

thanks for this informative video malena i asked to u a qus about my my marrage plan that how can i prepair my self before marrage and look beautiful and fresh.i asked this que before many times but u didnt ans me plzzzzzzzzzz help me out.i will b very thank full to u.your biggest fan and learner.samia from pakistan

Hi Samia :)

The best thing you can do is get in a face routine- cleanse, tone, exfoliate, and moisturize. Once you find products that work for you, don’t change it as your skin needs that consistent routine.

Also, apply a good eye cream under the eyes at night before bed to help with any puffiness or dark circles.

hi Marlena,
thank you for all those gorgeous make-up tips for us out there. your tutorials could NOT be better !! I discovered your website just by chance…and now i´m looking forward to each new step you´ll teach at your tutorial. Can you please recommend something to remove the eye-make-up gently.
Thank you so much..
best wishes from Germany (what explaines my weird english..sorry)

You know what works well is a little bit of light olive oil with a cotton swab right before you wash your face- the oil breaks down the makeup easily

Thank you Marlena,

Could MAC Mineralized Skinfinish – medium dark replace MAC Emote Blush (fair skintone) ?

Hi Marlena
These videos and tips are soooo helpful and easy to follow.
Do you have any tips for defining a box nose and making it look smaller.


Wow, you are so gorgeous! I love the tips, I have some areas that I would like to contour so these tips will really help! Thank you so much for the tips! The problem is whenever I contour my cheeks is, the color always tends to be really obvious on my pale skin. What can I do to make it look more natural and subtle? Thank you!

Hi Marleigh,

I am also extremely pale, like glow in the dark pale. I have only recently started contouring, and what I have been using is MAC Blush in Prism. It’s described as Muted Pinkish Brown. If you’re having problems finding a colour that’s right for you, you should go to a MAC counter or store. Maybe a pressed powder would work for you, or a cream concealer like in the video. Make sure you get them to show you how to blend it out too, so that it looks natural.

Hey Marlena – I love your eye makeup in the beginning of this video – did you do a tutorial on it and I missed it???



Thank you so much for the vids Marlena.. I just recently started contouring my cheeks and have been using a medium tan cheek color by MK as this is what I had available, and it has been working great… I also just wanted to tell you I think you are beautiful. Thank you for offering so many great things in your store I have ordered many things and all have been great but could you tell me where I can get Jordan Aires pigment from MAC as you had it in your store but it is no longer there.. Wahhhh.. Thank you again

Hi Marlena,
I have a question when i put my face makeup on i always feel like it looks way dark. I am pasty white my face is almost exactly your color. but it just comes out lookin not good. i want to get the make up for ever concealer palette, is that one a good one??

HI, Marlena, My eyes are similar to yours. Are they small,big…?how can I choose the right color for my lips?
please, your answers are very good. ;)

Hey, nice one!!! That’s just a great update/reminder of how to contour! I do it nearly always as you showed in your vids, but, well, I don’t have a kabuchi yet… HAVE to buy it :-) because after putting on my make up, my mother’ll say: what have you done to your cheeks?? ;-) So, need to buff it out some… thanks for the tip!! Have a good one!

By the way, I just bought a crazy big silver bag! I know, it’s nothing about make-up. But you know, I was kind of very shy and didn’t have much self-confidence for a looong time, but your advices helped me a lot to get out of that vicious circle and to believe in me!! YAY! So, as I bought this bag, I thought: “Marlena’d say: SHOCKER!” :-) So, you’re in my heart! Thank you so much!

swiss girls don’t need to struggle with self-confidence! we live (do you?) in the most beautiful country on this planet :) we just have to show the world we’re not all like Heidi from the swiss alps :)

Hey Ann! Yippie another swissmiss :-) That’s great! Yep, living in Switzerland! Komme aus dem Thurgau. Where are you staying? sorry, I’m totally confused now on which language to use, hihi…
You’re completely right. We have this kind of klischee, which I even like somehow. But when you’re NOT at the alps, it doesn’t fit very well… so, I’m more and more into some makeup, thanks to Marlena! By the way, I discovered a MAC store in Zurich (Jelmoli) but it’s so expensive!! Well, that’s the price for living in the most beautiful country :-) Liebi Grüess

Hey Ann! Yippie another swissmiss :-) That’s great! Yep, living in Switzerland! Komme aus dem Thurgau. Where are you staying? sorry, I’m totally confused now on which language to use, hihi…
You’re completely right. We have this kind of klischee, which I even like somehow. But when you’re NOT at the alps, it doesn’t fit very well… so, I’m more and more into some makeup, thanks to Marlena! Liebi Grüess

Hey there,

My question is un-related to the video (though the video was a big help!) I was wondering if you have this set ( I love all the colors in it so I purchased it but I’m not sure what kind of look would look good with it (especially the green, that’s my favorite one). If you do happen to have this set could you do a video on it! PLEASE!


Hi Marlena

I look forward to all your tutorials, thank you.
Suggestion: can you do a tutorial of what type of eyeshadows (e.g. shimmer or non-shimmer) and possible colours for older eyes, please?

All the best

Hi Marlena

Your videos are amazing! I just cant seem to get the hang of putting blusher on!! When I do I look stupid :-( An advice for me?

Thanks xx

Marlena. Thanks for doing contour video. Really helpful. What is number of pencil brush u use? And what is alternative non expensive one than Mac. Can u do book of shadows ii. Please answer when u have time

thank you so much! i was always wondering how to do that correctly and when i tried it, it would never really work out the way i wanted it lol. but now i know!! :)

HEY MARLENA I WOULD WANT TO KNOW HOW LONG IT TOOK U FOR U TO RECIEVE THE SEPHORA CATALOG??? I order mine like 2 weeks ago but i have not gotten it yet! I will appiciate if u right backs :) THANKS!!! Take care!!!! (=

Wow nice video showing off the pro fish face are we? Haha, anyways, I loved your eyes in the last pic and I think they were done in the beginning to but maybe that was just the lighting. I don’t know it’s late haha! sooo get a tutorial out fer that eye look soon okay??? Thanks!!!

Hey Marlena…. great info as always, but i missed ur bubbly personality. This tutorial was a bit robotic. I didn’t like the plastic tone in ur voice over. Please stick to the tried and true. Love Ya!

Marlena was trying to give clear, concise information. She had to do the voice-over because its hard to talk and apply makeup to the cheeks and nose (and keep a straight face).

Great tutorial!
Could you please tell me what eyeshadows/liner did you use at the beggining of this tutorial?
They are gorgeous, suit you great and I’d love to try a look with something similar.
Thank you for your time, by the way you’re new studio rocks, beautiful, sleek, girlie, très chic, love it!

I noticed you did not apply any blush after the contour. Where would one apply blush,,or is it not needed Love your videos! Thanks!

hey marl u do nd this is a fab video to comtour and highlight luv the way u do .if possible pls do a neutral make up tutorial for every day look . irum from india

Hi Marlena,

I thought that it might be kinda cool for you to do a camoflouge video. There are many women that might have skin problems or they might of had an accident and it would be a blessing to have someone teach them how they can look better or just hide a little imperfection….or they just had a skin treatment and dont want to be bring too much attention to their face. I recently started an esthetics program and Jane Iredale is a wonderful line to introduce to women who might want to camoflouge! Let me know what you think :)

Angie Salazar
Dallas, Texas

Thanks Marlena for the tutorial. My skin tone is more like medium, though. Which color bronzer do you think I could use to do the contouring that is also inexpensive?

Thanks in advance,

hi malena,
thanks for yor reply i am very thank full to u.i love u alot u r really teaching us as a teacher i defently try to use all thing which u coded thanks.dear i have a another qus is that i have very dry and skin spciallly my body is very dry i have desire of beautiful body plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz recommended me any prodect that is suited for my dry body.i am waiting for ur reply plzzzzzz reply me.learner samia

sorry marlena i distrub u again plzz dear recomended me cheep prodoct that i can offort boz i am not belonging from rich family but i have a heart like rich people i hope u understand.i love u alot and u greatest fan samia

love this tutorial!!!…iam a huge fan of yours!…since iam pregnant i have a more rounder face!thank you sooooo much!i am dying to go to one of your seminars but i live in san jose california you should stop by here….

I just want to say I tried this contouring yesterday and immediately when I arrived, ppl said my face looked thinner so THANK YOU! :) I am a huge fan of yours and I think I’v purchased more makeup in the past few weeks than I have in a year based on your reviews so thank you for that also. I’ve never felt prettier.


Thanks for all your tips!!!
I love make up!!! And, it is good to know that, there is a person that, can show all tricks e different kinds of make up.
I discovered your website and, I just fall in love with it!

by the way, I’m from Brazil.

take care!!


I just found your videos on youtube and u loved it. I just used a couple of your tips tonite on an outing for my sis bday. And I also did her make up, even though i doubt it that i was going to a good job. But before doing a sisterly duties i saw a couple of your videos, and it turned out great.

thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

MARLENA- This is off the topic here but I was wondering if you could PLEEEEASE post a tutorial showing how to use MAC’s white eyeshadow Gesso. Or could you quickly tell me how and where I should use it?? Thank you, I cannot aplaude you enough for your techniques. You’ve have helped more than you know, people actually ask me to do their makeup now! Love this video btw!

your eyes look great at the end – just out of curiosity, is that michelle phan’s voiceover…
do you prefer the concealer or the powder?


Ive been a silent viewer until now. I just wondered if you could do a tutorial on the eyes (lilac/purples) that you are wearing in the pics at the end of this tutorial? Or what colours did you use?

I thought it looked very Digit/Pafiat Amourish??

Thank you

Emma over the pond x

Hey Marlena,

Thanks for another great tutorial. I just brought the contouring palette off ebay, and been really practicing and trying to understand this contouring thing. This explained everything so much better. =)

hi , i just want to request a miley cyrus “party in the USA ” look .. because i know that you can do that perfectly :) thanks in advance :) more power .. love all of your tutorial :) god bless :)

I am such a fan! I never to fail checking on ur new tips. Btw, what can u say about E.L.F make-up? have u tried them?

Aloha Marlena!

Thank you for making this video. You look great by the way. I’ve put on some weight and I’ve been trying to figure a way to make my face less “pudgy” while trying to lose the weight. I’ll continue to practice this method until I get the hang of it.

I recently purchased the Devil Me Dare eyeshadows from MAC’s Holiday collection. Would you be able to post ideas how to blend these colors? The rep that sold it to me helped me with one style and I finally got the hang of that but I’d like to use the other colors as well but am unsure how to apply them. I have brown eyes if that would make difference.

Keep up the good work and again, you look beautiful!


Hey Marlena!! I just want you to know that you def. rock!
And I have a special request…
Can you do more looks with the Coastal Scents 88 palette
I just got it and Im so exited about it
So I would really appreciate it!!!

Thanks Marlena good vid helped alot
One thing though is that I’m really fair skinned just about the same skin tone as you are. I’m kinda torn … the Camo Quads look like a really great price. But that brown looks pretty darn dark, then you put it on and it does not look too dark. I’m always a bit hesitant when it comes to darker colors.
help lol

hi marlena i love ur work it is really great its a really good n help full video but can u tell me some drug store product which is not real expensive cuz these r real expensive plz and can u tell me a suppliment for boBBY brown shimmer blush

Hey Marlena
Just wondering if you have any tips on how to deal with Blackheads?
I hate use the Biore strips they seem to make it worse
any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

hello marlena i have been watching ur videos for a while now i love the looks you have done! they are amazing! I was wondering about this website and there are MAC products that are really cheap and are “authentic” i was wondering if you have ever ordered from there before,or if itt seemed fake to you?

hey, i was hoping you could help me out on a foundation situation(lol) what do u think the best liquid and powder foundation there is to use that doesnt cost to much. oh and i also have very dry skin,

thanks! :)

Dear Marlena, I think u r GORGEOUS! Please don’t let the comments on utube get u down. For every loser that puts forth the effort of spewing their venom, their r ten of us that really enjoy ur tutorials and look forward to visiting ur site. Keep up the great work. U r LOVELY!!!!!

Love this video! I was wondering if you could do a video on how to cover up red undertone. I tried the green powder and green concealor and it washes my color out or looks cakey. I just ordered some yellow mica powder to add to my mineral foundation… hoping it will work. Not only do I have red undertone, but I also have some acne scarring that is very red as well. So how can I do this without having to apply too much product and without making my face white as a ghost?

This is a little different than you’ve done in the past. I am shopping for a contour powder now and was going to get MAC’s Emote blush (I’m not as fair as you, I wear NC30 and msf in medium). After seeing this I’m second guessing my choice. What do you think? Should I get msf in medium-deep/medium-dark, or stick with emote? Which do you use more often?
Thanks Marlena! Great to have you back!

I love this look, beautiful!!!!!

What’s a good brush for applying eyeshadow in the crease? For blending?


u r d best makeup artist i have ever seen, i wish 4 d time when u wil b d no 1 guru on u_tube, may God gve guidence to us all as its d main goal of human life 2 recognize his God,& may after giving us d guidence he decurate our innerself twice d time he has decurated our outerself, amin. best regards

gosh, u’re a soooo good
i’m so lame doing this, my face is like a baloon and my nose wide as an avenue :(

Hello, you are so good with make and giving tips, but i was wondering if you can make a tutorial in the Victoria’s secret make up that just happened this december 1st , the models looked gorgeous, please make a tutorial : ) thank and God bless you !!!!

Hei Marlena!!… I LOVE your advice and the way you break down into steps every look to make it easy for us.
REQUEST: could you do a tutorial or pass over some tips on how to do a night look withought looking too old or overdone… also what colors go with my type of skin, I’m brownish (not dark). another thing, I love girls with eyeliner but I think it makes my eyes look somewhat tired, what am I doing wrong?… I have big eyes but I don’t know how to cover the dark circles around my eyes, I’m very confused about what color I should use to cover them.. any help would be very usefull. THKS!!

hi! I love how you dressed up, it hurts that I have trouble understanding you because I speak Spanish, I like it so I could better understand traduscas

I have thin lips & not a big smile. I also have a prominant chin. How do I make my lips appear bigger & how do I make my chin appear smaller?

Hi! im a new makeup artist,and well i pretty much got more inspired from watching ur videos that i love watching everyday to keep up with my work, aswell as adding my own work in to it. Well i had a few questions about my own face. See my face is very round and i have big eyes,small nose, medium eyebrows and well huge cheeks which i hate! and i saw your video on contouring and i cant seem to get it right. Every time i try to do what u say my face looks even rounder, and well its driving me nuts i dont know what im doing wrong! is there any way u can help me. Also i think i keep applying my eyeliner wrong i try to make my eyes appear longer instead of round i look like a bug. so my husband tells me!! Help me please, i cant be a good makeup artist if i look like a bug with a round head and huge cheeks


What bronzer and blush combo would you suggest for me. I am dark skinned with yellow undertones. I usually use MAC NC45 or NC50 as a pressed powder. Thanks in advance for your assistance and keep up the great work.



hi marlena
i wanted to know how you can hide pimples with
concealer and please can you tell me where you
get your make up from and leave me your email address…x

i have a quite thin face…..but when i tried this it made it even thinner….but it looked good….is there anyway to make my face not look to thin….i tried applying make up lightly rather than sharp…but it didnt change much…………….

could you help me??
or am i stuck with a too thin face look :P

I have always high-lighted my face but never thought to contour it. The results are AMAZING! I get complemented daily!

You look so intense in this video, like you’re teaching us to assemble a rifle or something, lol!
But great job. I’ve been trying to figure out the proper way to contour with powder, and seeing you do so step-by-step makes it a whole lot less of a … mess.
Anyways, thank you and Happy New Year!

thankk youu
i have never thought to contour myy face before but since youu have told me i’ll give it a tryy
i’m sure iy will look great

Great tutorial! Thanks for the tips
but i have a doubt.. which do you consider to be better for a person, which does not use foundation, the powder or concealer, so that the result would be a natural look.

Not trying to be nosey but sometimes i cant help it! I noticed that u werent wearing a wedding ring! i thought that you where married?

hey marlena!
i was wondering in YOUR opinon which is the best foundation for a flawless mug!! loll thanks.


me encanta esta pagina web es lo mejor que ha existido, soy de Monterrey, N.L., Mex.
me encanto el video de la rutina de tu rostro, espero que algun dia puedas hacer un video
de como hacer que tus pestañas se vean boluminosas y largas, yo tengo unas pestañas pequeñas y rectas, asi que me gustaría aprender algunos trucos para hacer que se vean bonitas como las tuyas todos los dias! :)