We blame Kim Kardashian. Since that infamous contouring snap she’s got us all at least toying with the idea of being contour-tionists. But heavy-duty sculpting feels a little, well, heavy for summer. Make-up artist extraordinaire Alex Box shows us how to get the cheekbones of a catwalk queen without all that powder.

“Up until now, consumer contouring has been matte, flat and usually cream or powder-based,” says Alex. “When people want to create sculpted cheekbones, they want them to look 'real' and yet most contour products either sit on the skin or reflect light which is the opposite of what a natural contour or hollow would do."
Her advice? Ditch the opaque, heavy textures.

"My favourite fool-proof complexion products at the moment are Illamasqua’s Gel Sculpt and Gel Colour (£22). Both are designed to give the most convincing, natural, fresh flush and contour to the cheek.” Her reasoning is that by using a transparent, gel-like texture you’re able to mimic how colour and shadow are perceived in the skin naturally (ie that you can still see the skin through it). “Unlike cream or matte formulas it’s this transparency that makes it feel fresh and real. You can wear it under or over your chosen base."

Alex also has a rather genius way of applying your contour colour to ensure your cheeks look as naturally chiseled as possible; “I always start by rubbing the product onto my palm at the bottom, fleshy part of the thumb. I then rub both palms together so that there’s an equal amount of product on both thumbs. Then simply use this part of your hand to feel for your cheekbone and press the product into them, blending as you go. For some reason the shape of this specific part of your hand matches the shape of your cheekbone perfectly and it produces even contours on either side of the face where they would naturally sit.”


And if you don't have your gel formulas to hand just yet, beauty editor Malena Harbers shows us how to do contouring the subtle way.

We love a summer beauty update – if you’re looking to overhaul your skincare routine too, head over to our sister site Powder to find skincare products that are perfectly suited to you.

Contouring not for you? Don't miss our our step-by-step guide to Strobing…