contour different face shapes

Have you ever looked at images of actresses with and without make-up and wondered why they look so different?

Of course a bit of lipstick and blush can transform your face and instantly make you look more alive. But contouring is what really changes the way you look. Contouring is this years beauty buzzword. It can give the illusion of a smaller or bigger nose, high cheek bones, sharp jaw line or change your face shape entirely (which I don’t recommend).

I believe contouring and highlighting should enhance your looks, the natural shape of your face and bring out features that you adore. Many people have learnt the basics of contouring and haven’t researched further to learn that there is a contouring technique specific to your face shape.


The common characteristics of a square shape face are:

Your jawline is square
Cheekbone and forehead width are the same
Jawline and forehead width are the same
The sides of your face are straight

You may not have all of these characteristics and may have a mix of two face shapes. Some people have long square faces as opposed to wide square faces.

Famous Square Faces: Miranda Kerr, Angelina Jolie and Olivia Wilde

Contouring a Square Face


You can keep contouring to a minimum for this face shape. Most people focus on near the outer corners of the hairline. You can also apply contour along the jaw to soften it. Contour the corners of your face to slim your face and give the illusion of a softer edge. Add highlight to your forehead and chin to give your face some more dimension.

Remember to always use a foundation/concealer for contouring that is one or two shades darker than your skin and one or two shades lighter for your highlighter.


Characteristics of an oval face:

Forehead is wider than the chin
Prominent cheekbones
Face gracefully tapers to a narrow oval chin

Famous Oval Faces: Megan Fox, Halle Berry and Rihanna

Contouring an Oval Face

oval contouring -

Minimum contouring is needed with this face shape. You can apply highlighter to the forehead, chin and cheeks for more dimension. Some like to apply contouring make-up to their cheekbones to create the illusion of high cheek bones or angles. You can contour areas the way you please, like your nose and cheekbones. To contour the nose draw along both sides of the nose and below the tip. You can also lightly sweep product along your jaw line to give the illusion of a longer, slimmer jaw.

Tip: Suck in your cheeks and apply product to the hollow of your cheek line.


Characteristics of a diamond face:

Cheekbones are the widest part of your face and are usually high and pointed
Your forehead may be wide but it tapers at the hairline
A longer face than it is wide

Famous Diamond Faces: Kourtney Kardashian, Linda Evangelista and Meg Ryan

Contouring a Diamond Face

Diamond Face - HumJK

The cheekbones are the highest part of you face. Contouring your cheekbones can make your face appear more even. By adding highlight to your chin and forehead, it will elongate these areas.


Characteristics of a heart face:

Your forehead and jawline are a similar width in appearance
Face is longer than it is wide and has a wide width
Your cheek line and the sides of your face taper into your jawline

Famous Heart Faces: Reese Witherspoon and Ashley Olsen

Contouring a Heart Face

heart contouring - HumJK

A heart shape face generally has a prominent chin and cheekbones. Try to keep contouring to a minimum so you don’t end up emphasizing these features when they don’t need to be. Your face will look pointy if you enhance these areas too much. Contour along the hair line and a bit beneath your cheekbone. Highlight a little on your chin and forehead. Dot on for minimum application.


Characteristics of an oblong face:

Chin is pointed
Your face is longer than it is wider
The forehead and jawline are a similar width in appearance
Sides of your face and cheek lines are straight
Your forehead is tall and wide

Famous Oblong Faces: Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Winslett

Contouring an Oblong Face

oblong - HumJK

Emphasize under the cheekbone area, forehead and below the jawline. Highlight cheek area where dimension is needed and spot on a little on top of the chin and forehead.

Tip: Always blend your highlighted and contoured areas so that it looks very natural. Avoid harsh lines.


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