The secret lies in knowing your face shape...
While there are general contouring techniques out there, doing this in-line with your face shape means that you will really be able to use your makeup to chisel your way to perfection.
Defining Your Face Shape
Do you already know what your face shape is?
If not, here are some guidelines to help you:
Round Face Shape – a circular shape that is usually quite symmetrical, with no significant angles visible
Square Face Shape – while the forehead, jaw and cheekbones are all similar widths, the jaw will usually have quite a sharp angle. Square faces are quite similar to round, but with a more prominent jawline
Diamond Face Shape – narrow forehead and small chin, with the cheekbones sitting quite high and usually being the widest part of the face
Heart Face Shape – similar to diamond and round, but with a wider forehead and a pointier chin
Oval Face Shape – longer rather than wide, with the forehead usually being the widest. The chin and jawline is usually quite rounded
How to Contour a Round-Shaped Face
photo courtesy of @nicholerayartistry
To get started, begin by contouring down the sides of your forehead, taking this along your temples. This will help to slim down the area a bit.
Contour your cheekbones too – begin by your ear and take this in to the middle of your cheeks, before bringing it down to your jawline. This will give your face some extra length, balancing out its roundness.
You could also try applying a highlighter to the center of your forehead, as well as your chin, to widen up these areas. Make sure that you blend this in well – you want the contour shadows to look soft and natural.
How to Contour a Square-Shaped Face
photo courtesy of @nicholerayartistry
Square-shaped faces are already quite chiselled, so your makeup looks should emphasize this.
Try contouring around the edges of your temples and forehead, as this will help to slim this area down and give it a rounder shape.
Add some contour underneath your cheekbones, starting by your ears and then stopping at the middle of your cheeks. Dab a bit of product underneath your jawbone too, as this will help to slim down the area and give it some softness.
Some highlighter in a triangular shape underneath your eyes, as well as dotted in the center of your forehead and chin, will help to give your face some extra shape.
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How to Contour a Diamond-Shaped Face
photo courtesy of @desiperkins
The pointed chin of a diamond-shaped face can look so charming, but can also sometimes be a little harsh. You can use your makeup to minimize this while highlighting your other features too.
Begin by applying your contouring product to your temples, and then blend this inwards, towards your cheekbones. Keep this going underneath your cheekbones, stopping when you reach the middle of your cheeks.
For an extra glow...
Try applying a highlighter, in an upside-down triangular shape, to the area underneath your eyes. Bring the bottom point of this triangle all the way down to meet the contoured area underneath your cheekbones.
You could also try dabbing some highlighter across the middle of your forehead, as well as the center of your chin. This will help to give these areas a wider appearance, balancing out the angles of your face shape.
Finish off with a makeup spray to lock your look in place. If you like to buy your makeup online, try the BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Makeup Setting Spray
, which also contains aloe extract and rosewater to soothe and calm your skin.
How to Contour a Heart-Shaped Face
photo courtesy of @monica_hsu
You need to apply your contouring product in curved movements for a heart-shaped face.
Try creating the number three (or the letter “E”, depending on which side of your face you are working on) with your contouring product in these areas:
- Below your cheekbones
- Across your forehead
- On the bottom of your chin
To get this technique right, you will need to use a large powder brush, such as the BH Cosmetics Brush V1
When it comes to applying your highlighter, follow the advice given above for diamond-shaped faces.
How to Contour an Oval-Shaped Face
photo courtesy of @rachellekathleen
Oval face shapes are often thought of as being the ideal face shape. In addition to using a contouring product to add some extra definition, you can also use it to focus on enhancing your favorite features.
For a general contour, you want your product to run down the sides of your forehead, following your hairline. This will bring your hairline down a bit, making your forehead look smaller.
You should also apply the product underneath your cheekbones. Make sure that you begin as far out as your ears, and then stop once you reach the middle of your cheeks.
Then, with a highlighter, draw an upside-down triangle underneath your eyes.
You can then focus on a few individual features. For example, if you want your nose to look a little smaller, try blending some contour down the sides of your nose. Or, if you would like your lips to appear fuller, a dot of contour just below your bottom lip, at the top of your chin, will help you to achieve this effect.
Contouring is a makeup trend that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, making this a technique well worth mastering! By learning how to contour to your individual face shape, you will be able to even out your proportions and give your face a flawless finish.