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How to Contour Your Jawline: A Step-by-Step Guide

A photo of a woman with contouring makeup around her jawline

The art of contouring extends well beyond cheekbones. Noses, foreheads, lips, cleavage, and collarbones? They’ve all gotten the highlight and contour treatment. With some claiming that “snatched jawlines” are having a moment, this area is one of the latest to get some makeup contouring attention.

By no means is a contoured jawline a must. However, if this area’s been bothering you, or you simply want to play with your makeup, then grab your makeup brushes and follow our easy guide on how to contour your jawline.

Step 1: Skincare

Before you arm yourself with your go-to contouring brush, remember that a solid skincare routine before applying makeup can make a world of difference.

“Any makeup application is better when the skin you're applying makeup to is perfectly cleansed, treated, and hydrated,” notes Kirsten Peterson, Senior Regional Education Manager for IT Cosmetics. “This will ensure your makeup goes on smooth, even, and wears longer.”

After washing your face with a gentle cleanser (one of our favorites is Confidence in a Cleanser), apply a hydrating face serum to help plump your skin and create a soft, smooth surface. Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum is formulated with 1.5% hyaluronic acid to deliver lasting hydration.

After, layer your preferred moisturizer on top. We recommend Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer for dry to normal skin types, and Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer for oily skin types.

Don’t forget your neck, either. Confidence in a Neck Cream Moisturizer helps transform the appearance of your neck, décolleté, and chest by visibly firming and reducing the look of fine lines.

Step 2: Apply Makeup Primer & Foundation

Once your skincare’s complete, move on to your makeup primer. (And yes, you really ought to wear a makeup primer!). Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer+ Oil-Free provides a makeup gripping base that will extend your makeup while also minimizing the look of pores and imperfections.

Make sure to apply the primer all the way down to the middle of your neck since we’re going to add makeup to this area. At this time, you can also layer on your preferred foundation or CC+ Cream, as well as any eye makeup, brow makeup, and blush.

Step Three: Apply Contour

You’ve finally arrived at the part of the tutorial you’ve been waiting for: how to contour your jawline. For this, you'll need a contouring product, such as a contour stick or powder (or a matte bronzer or foundation) that is two to three shades deeper than your skin color.

You’ll also want to grab a medium-sized fluffy makeup brush. The Heavenly Luxe™ French Boutique Blush Brush #4 is a great addition to any beauty kit!

Create a Double Chin

While looking in the mirror, push your face back into your neck to create a (we know—it’s not super flattering!) “double chin.” Identify the area where you have excess skin. This is where you’ll want to focus your contour application.

Contouring here essentially creates a shadowed effect, which draws attention away from the thicker parts of your jaw so that it looks more defined.

Place the Color

Next, pick up a small amount of contour with your makeup brush and start gently sweeping the brush back and forth (front to back) in this identified area. You can also apply contour from just in front of your ear and straight down to your jaw to create a more chiseled look, as well.

Less is more, and you can always build more if needed. Use soft sweeps, a small amount of product, and blend really well so it’s not a concentrated area of color.

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re applying makeup in natural light to prevent over-application or harsh lines.

Step Four: Blend Some More

Go back in with a clean, dry makeup brush and start blending and diffusing around the contour you just applied. Remember, you want to create a natural shadow effect.

Step Five: Set Your Makeup

After blending, make sure to set your makeup so it stays put. We love Bye Bye Pores Pressed Setting Powder, which helps create a smooth, natural matte finish in addition to keeping your makeup in place.

Want to have radiant skin all year round? Read through these tips for maximizing glowy skin. And if you’re seeking makeup advice for beginners, check out our tutorials on How to Get Natural-Looking Makeup and How to Apply Concealer Like a Pro.

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