All the cool beauty bloggers are talking about contouring lately, and there is an appeal to looking as chiseled as Kim Kardashian, or Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. But so many bronzers and contouring palettes and tutorials involve products and tips for medium-toned skin that can look artfully sculpted with just a touch of bronzer. Any super pale person knows that rubbing on bronzer like that will just make her look dirty at best, and covered in fake makeup at worst. And it’s tough to find a highlighter that works when everything in the store is darker than your actual skin tone.

But just because you’re pale doesn’t mean you can’t sculpt some sharper cheekbones. Here are 12 excellent contouring tips and products that will make even the palest people look like Maleficent.

1. Contouring & Highlighting


This lady has pretty fair skin, and yet she is able to pull of contouring without looking like she just rubbed bronzer all over her face willy-nilly. Following her lead seems like a good idea.

2. Oak Bark Contouring Powder

c6dad14e3272cad34a5b93d0652db997This contouring powder has a cool tone. Keep an easy hand, and maybe you won’t look like you’ve smeared clay all over your face.

3. Leg Contouring

626ce45334d31cbc5e43b697ff1abb33A bit of highlight powder along your shins will apparently help make your legs look longer. Worth a try!

4. Contouring Products for Pale Skin

bf5493e99b5abee9dac4b4263106b5e6Using bronzer just doesn’t work when you’re so pale all bronzer makes you look dirty.

5. Illamasqua in Hollow

8a9aff7f3290aa1873392b64ddb23f60This creamy pigment is great for contouring fair skin. (This is the one I use, when I am brave enough to try contouring for real.)

6. Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Palette

0940fbd80539ade6ce8495987161a323This is a palette a lot of either very well-off or well-sponsored beauty bloggers use, and they seem to love it. Were I rich like a Kardashian, I would totally own Tom Ford’s Shade & Illuminate palette in Intensity One, for lighter skin tones. Maybe if I get good enough with the other stuff I will allow myself to buy this one day.

7. Nars Contour Blush

1aa69d2a9588f6c5d8df3fa380a5152dIf you prefer a powder to a cream pigment, Nars has one in three color pairings.

8. Where does the makeup go?

80336f9e1b14eaecb1e82c67edabac39Here’s a convenient map to show you where the contouring, blush, and highlighter should go.

9. Highlight and Contour for Pale Skin


Thank God for pale beauty bloggers. I don’t know what I’d do without them to copy.

10. Highlight and Contour for Your Face


Not all faces are shaped the same, so not all faces should contour the same. This tutorial shows how to work with your own features, including your ultralight skin tone.

11. NYX Taupe Powder Blush

352d6466256990292d259d11c906cd83This is another pale lady contouring favorite, and it’s super inexpensive.

12. Contouring Pale Skin


Here’s an excellent tutorial for any other redheads out there.