If you want to give your cheeks more definition, contouring (also called shading or shadowing) is a great technique to use before you apply blush. Contouring your cheeks emphasizes your cheekbones. It can also be used to make narrow faces look wider (by using a more horizontal motion) or wider faces look narrower (by using a more vertical motion).
The trick to determining where to contour your cheek is to place the tip of your index finger on a part of your ear called the tragus. Then rest your finger on your cheek and use it to locate your cheekbone (keeping the top of your finger on your tragus). When you find your cheekbone, place your finger just underneath your cheekbone (not on top of it).
If you’re having a hard time locating your cheekbone, make a fish face (suck in your cheeks) and try again. If you still can’t find it, just make a 45 degree angle like in the picture on the left.
Once you have found this position, keep the line in mind because this is the line you will follow when you apply the shadow.
Choose a taupe color with grey undertone to contour. You can use powder blush or even eye shadow. For this tutorial, I am using MAC Powder Blush in “Harmony”, though a brown color with more grey undertone would work best (like MAC Powder Blush in “Emote” which is unfortunately discontinued).
Take an angle powder brush, and lightly swipe it a couple times across your contour color.
Place the angle powder brush on the highest part of your cheek where your finger was positioned.
Following the line you made with your finger, move the brush downwards. Lessen the pressure of the brush on your cheek as you move downwards. Stop when your brush is below the end of your eye brow.
The reason for lessening the pressure as you move downwards is because you want the darkest part of the color near your ear. The color should then fade out.
The picture on the left shows how the color looks like after one downward motion of the brush.
If you find that the color is too dark, pick up some colorless or transluscent powder with your brush and go over it until it lightens up. When the color is too dark, this means you should loosen your grip on the brush handle.
It’s always easier to build up color than to remove it, so if you’re not sure about the pressure you’re using it’s better to go lighter and go over it again if you want it darker.
Now blend the color upwards.
If you’re a male, blend downwards!
Keep blending the color until it looks similar to the picture on the left.
Congratulations! You now have contoured cheeks!