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February 27, 2014
Contouring Cheeks with Arch Apothecary

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials

Hair and Makeup c/o Arch Apothecary

You know that saying, “work what your momma gave ya?” Well the older I get, the more I’m realizing how true it is and how important it is to embrace it. I spent a long time when I was younger wishing for different features whether it was longer, thicker eyelashes or a different face shape. It took a while but I finally just realized how I had my own unique cool things about me and to be glad about those and not waste my time always wanting something else. I have figured out that my favorite thing to play with when it comes to makeup is my cheeks. It’s funny because most makeup artists love to do things with my eyes, but for whatever reason I typically don’t like to get adventurous there. I’d walk out of the house without anything on my eyes before I left without concealer and blush/bronzer.. fact.

On a recent visit to Arch Apothecary in Old Town, I had a chance to get a little lesson in contouring my cheeks from one of the co-owners, Emma. While Emma was teaching me, my friend Lauri of 312 Beauty was getting primped for her Valentine’s dinner with her husband. I had a great time chatting with Emma and was so excited to learn about new products that I loved and a few tricks to contour on my own.

Step 1: Using a concealer brush (or you could use your fingers) place concealer under your eye and down the side of your nose on both sides of your face – it should form an upside down ‘L’ shape

She used: Peau Vierge Correcteur by Le Metier de Beaute


Step 2: Starting near your hairline using a flat ended blush brush right underneath the hollow of your cheek (make a fish face if you aren’t sure and the squishy middle is the hollow) blend in the blush in small circular motions (kind of in a massaging motion). Do this all the way down until right where the apple of your cheek starts

She used: Le Métier de Beauté Crème Fresh Tint *she used a creme blush on me which I used to be afraid of, but you only need a little and I loved it!

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

Step 3: Using a matte bronzer and a brush with a larger head to blend (it’s less concentrated) make larger sweeping circles right below where you just put blush from the top of your cheekbone (near your ear) down to your chin pushing into the bottom of the hollow of your cheek

Finish it off by sweeping up in a circle around the outside of your eye and up the side of your forehead, down and back through your cheek, and loop down again along the edge of your jaw. This “3” or “E” shape is the key!

She used: Joeur perfect tan bronzer

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

Step 4: (Optional) You can use mattifying loose powder right underneath your eyes to make them look brighter and finish with a little blush on the apples of your cheeks

She used: By Terry mattifying loose powder

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

The end result is a cheek that looks defined and professionally done! Even if you don’t have clearly defined cheekbones you can fake them easily using this technique. I learned that the “3”/”E” shape somehow highlights the right parts of your face and makes the contour really stand out. I also found out that the reason you put the concealer in an L (I never knew to line the sides of your nose) also adds to the pop. Think of it as art – it’s all about light and shadows. You can also brush a sweep of bronzer along the center line of your nose to finish.

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

contour cheeks, arch apothecary, makeup tutorials, blush

My biggest revelations in terms of products were the goodies she used from By Terry (carried online at Barney’s and in store at Nordstrom). I recently had picked up one of their nude lipsticks the last time I was at Nordstrom, but holy moly is the rest of the line amazing. I’m not a huge makeup person (I admittedly have some stuff that I should’ve probably thrown away by now) but I also do really love to play around with it and try new things. I was most impressed with the

I also finally learned how to use these angled/flat head brushes. I had previously bought one and returned it because I couldn’t figure it out, but I’m contemplating taking the plunge again. If you’re interested in more on contouring I’d check out The Beauty Department’s lesson here, it’s great and very similar to what Emma showed me.

You can also try on products to get an idea what they would look like on you here if you don’t have a chance to make it into a store and are looking for a quick way to know. I’ve also included links below to some of my favorite cheek and face products and tools! Good luck contouring – let those cheekbones shine! :)


Photos by Lauri Leopold

Love this post! I also never leave home without blush and contouring w bronzer. I have a round face shape, which I’ve hated my whole life and feel naked without contouring a little. Face shape is still the one thing I would change if I could abt myself!!

I’m glad I’m not the only one! :) I think your face shape is gorgeous.. looking forward to finally meeting in person soon!

This is great and so well executed! Emma is an amazing make-up artist and your model is outstanding! I have been shown this technique before, and now I get it.
I hope to see more of these demos in the future!

Thank you! Emma is so great :) I will definitely try to share more posts like this, so glad you enjoyed it!

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