How To Make Cheekbones Pop

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert


Hands up who doesn’t like a good cheekbone? Just as I thought… none of you!

Of course we all love it, Male or Female, on any face shape, if our cheekbones are defined it really does take the face to a whole new level.
It is one of the best things about makeup, to be able to re-define or re-structure the face with a couple of products – it puts the Red in Red Carpet, it puts the Glam in Glamour…
Let me show you how to make cheekbones pop!

I started playing and then working in makeup originally at a young age because it was fun, creative and I loved making people feel pretty.
Then as I got older and it became more of a career I realized just how much you can do with makeup in more of a re-shaping factor – it can actually assist at bringing out hidden or lost features – WIN!

I loved that I could bring someone’s eyes out, make their lips fuller, give shape and lift to a face without surgery, all with the right balance and tone of highlight and shade.

No matter if you face is round and of a fuller look, or if you actually have very defined cheekbones, there is always something makeup can do to enhance, or in some cases recede back some features.
Not everyone with cheekbones likes them or wants them – sometimes they can be too defined for some females, giving off a gaunt look – this needs rounding out to soften the harsher feature.

Using the combination of highlight and shade is how we get a lot of our features to pop, especially the cheekbones.
The world of contouring has been around for a long time in makeup, but recently has made a big mark in everyday lives.
Runway shows and Red Carpets around the world in the last year has seen some very natural makeup looks surface with minimal colour and dramatic effects, but what they all have is contouring – the perfect balance of highlight and shade.

Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian showing on her blog and social media how her makeup artist Scott Barnes contours her face the ‘old school’ way to get killer highlight sand shape to her face made big news in Beauty, which sparked a lot more purchases of highlighters and bronzers, perfect to create a killer pop of a cheekbone.


Kim K above sporting some serious shading – one that can be toned down for everyday life.
Adding shape to the face is as easy as using your bronzer, preferably a matte version.
Being matte, it creates more shade, which will recede an area away.
With making your cheekbones pop, you are wanting to create a hollow, by adding shade with the bronzer, just underneath the cheekbone –exactly as you can see above in the first picture.

An angle brush is perfect to use for this technique, as it allows applying and blending of the product at the same time.
The colour of the bronzer is determined by your skin tone. Go a flat/dull-toned bronzer if you have a fair/pink based skin and go brighter or deeper if you are olive.

MB PRO TIP – Most use blush/bronzer too high! To pop the cheekbone, use a deeper tone, like a bronzer underneath the cheekbone, not on top…This will flatten the bone and not make it pop.
Keep blush only on the apple of the cheek, as this is more to add colour and freshness – colour should not be used all the way to hairline as that is only meant to be for a contour/shade colour.

*A correct application of contour under the cheekbone is like a good bra – it should support, lift and show off the cheekbone to its fullest.

Now that we know where to place the shade colour – under cheekbone, sculpting/lifting the cheekbone, we can make it even stronger by adding a highlight.

A highlight product which is more a light tone of a product – cream, powder, liquid can all work, can be placed on top of the cheekbone to contrast from the darker bronzer shade and make the bone rise higher!
A liquid/cream style product for me works best as it also adds radiance and gives a very hydrated look.

The lighter or more shimmery the highlight, then the deeper the shade under the bone gives the most contrast for the biggest ‘POP’ of cheekbone.
Obviously balance is key and sometimes you do not need a shimmery/metallic highlight to make it work.
A simple light shade concealer dabbed on top of the cheekbone works a treat to brighten and contrast against the shade.

Not everyone gets it right though…


Poor Lindsay, a little blend and a not so grey tone for her pale skin would have been better.
She did though have the right idea for placement, just the wrong tone and to stripy!

Always take a photo first if you are worried of the colour and placement, a photo never lies as celebrities find out the hard way sometimes.

Blush should only really be used in my opinion on the actual apple of the cheek and not as a contour. A peach/pink tone is beautiful when applied in a circular movement on the apple, bit with a contour under the bone to lift.
Choose no blush for sleek, chic, structured look or soften the look for freshness with blush for other occasions.


My favorite all in one blush, highlight and contour palette is the Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette (RRP $39)

I love the all in one capability and love that even for a beginner it tells you what each shade is for.
With these tips above, we should all know now where each colour is applied, and the deal is to blend them together so we do not have a Lindsay moment.
These tones are even great on the eyes to really get value for money!

Enjoy your new cheekbones ladies!

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