One of the most essential parts of our morning routine—second to coffee, of course? That would be contouring. There’s nothing like razor-sharp cheekbones or a glistening Cupid’s bow to start your day on the right foot.

But when this beauty routine starts to interfere with your beauty sleep, that’s when a serious wakeup call is in order. And because most of us don’t have makeup artists to do the handy-work while we get some shut-eye, we pulled together eight of our own time-saving tips, so you can hit the snooze button just one more time.

Contouring Tricks

1. The “E + 3” Contouring & Highlighting Technique

Using your contouring stick or matte bronzer, draw an E shape on the outside of your face. Start along your temple, bringing the product down and across your cheekbone, finishing off with a line along your jawline. Then, use your highlighting product to draw a backwards 3, starting the top line above your inner brow area, working down towards your nose and just below your cheekbone, then right above your jawbone. The “E” and “3” should almost look like puzzle pieces coming together! Now you’re ready to blend for sculpted cheekbones in a matter of seconds.

Product Recommendation: Lancôme Le Duo Stick, Maybelline FaceStudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick, NYX Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo

2. Use A Contouring Kit

No need to waste hours choosing the right shades—these days, contouring kits have it all! With everything you need to emphasize your features in one place, you can cut out time spent rummaging through your makeup bag.

3. Try the Neapolitan Palette

Obviously, have as much ice cream as you want, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. The famous flavor is your newest inspiration for a three-step contouring routine. Go grab a scoop of the brown, pink, and white ice cream and paint those cheeks! The lighter shade for highlighting, darker for contouring and the pink for blush! How’s that for a makeup look that looks good enough to eat?

Product Recommendation: Urban Decay Naked Flushed, Maybelline FaceStudio Master Contour Face Contouring Kit

4. Do the “Figure 8” Trick

Ideally, we’d be talking about your most recent romantic date at the roller rink. In this case, we’re discussing our other favorite subject: contouring. After applying your foundation and contour, take your favorite highlighter and make this shape around your eyes for a subtle, illuminated look that brightens your whole face.

5. Use a Makeup Sponge

If you have the time to get fancy, it’s always fun to use a different brush for each section of your contouring routine. But if you want a little more shuteye, reach for every girl’s ultimate all-in-one: the blending sponge. We swear by it.

6. Use Your Fingers

Warm up your hands by rubbing them together, and use your fabulously painted fingers to blend, blend, blend. No brushes needed!

7. Contour with Tape

You can file this one under “contouring hacks.” Use tape to precisely contour your nose, forehead and cheekbones. Sticky, but effective.

8. Try Strobing Instead

If you don’t have time for a complete contouring session, strobing is your answer. With either a strobing stick or liquid highlighter, apply to the center of your nose, Cupid’s bow, brow bone and cheekbone for glowing skin that still gives off a sculpted appearance.

Contouring Tips

How-to Contour

We know how important beauty sleep is. How do you save time during your morning routine? 


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