Over the past few years, perfectly contoured faces have been popping up on the red carpet, and more and more A-list celebrities have admitted they swear by the face-sculpting make-up trick. But you don’t have to be a professional make-up artist to master the art of contouring.

While it may not be part of your everyday beauty routine, contouring is a valuable skill to have for those special nights out – especially when a Cannes red carpet is involved. Use these six easy tips and tricks to shade and sculpt your face into a camera-ready masterpiece.

1. Begin with a good base
Before you start contouring, you want to get your skin looking even and flawless. A good light-reflecting foundation, such as Max Factor Skin Luminizer, ensures you’re starting off with the perfect canvas.

2. Choose the right shades
You can contour using darker and lighter shades of foundation or powder, but choosing a good kit – such as Sleek MakeUp Face Contour Kit – removes any guesswork.

Contouring products from Boots
Red carpet ready: Max Factor Skin Luminizer, Sleek MakeUp Face Contour Kit, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and No7 Brush Cleanser

3. Go from dark to light
Start by applying the darker shade in the hollows of your cheeks, down the sides of your nose, around the edge of your forehead and under your jawline. Then use the highlighter on your cheekbones, down the middle of your nose, on your cupid’s bow, beneath your eyebrows and on the tip of your chin.

4. Blend like a champion
After you apply the contrasting colours, you’ll be left with an abstract work of art on your face. The key to looking sexy rather than silly is to blend it out until you achieve subtle shading. The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is a perfect choice for buffing and blending.

5. Start small
If you’re new to contouring, it can be tempting to overdo it. Just remember, it’s always easier to add more than to take some away. Go for a subtle look first and add extra shading and highlighter if you need it.

6. Keep it clean
For the best results (and to prevent spreading bacteria), it’s important to clean your brushes regularly. Once a month you should do a deep clean: soak them in warm water and thoroughly wash the bristles with baby shampoo or a mild facial cleanser. However, after each use you can do a quick clean with No7 Brush Cleanser  to keep you going between washes. Just pump a bit onto a kitchen towel and rub the bristles across it. Then set it out to dry before using it again.

Watch the video below to see a step-by-step guide to contouring.