How to Contour Your Face

How to
Contour Your Face
The Real Guide for Your Shape

If you’re tired of seeing contour guides on Youtube that you watch and think “that would never work on my face,” this is for you. Not every face is the same, when you factor in the different skin, eyes shapes, cheekbones, noses… It’s overwhelming.

While we can’t give you a personalized makeup artist to teach you exactly how to contour your specific face, this interactive guide is the next best thing.

Choose your face shape

Heart Shape Face Contoured
Square Shape Face Contoured
Oval Shape Face Contoured
Triangle Shape Face Contoured
Long Shape Face Contoured
Round Shape Face Contoured

Heart-Shaped Face

What it says about you: You are a deeply caring and expressive individual who sees the world differently. Known to give another the shirt off you back or lend a kind ear, you are empathetic to everyone. No surprise hear that the shape of your face mirrors what you lead with, your heart. Famous celebrities with heart-shaped faces are Jennifer Love Hewitt, Reese Witherspoon, and Carey Mulligan.

Jennifer Love Hewitt
Reese Witherspoon
Carey Mulligan

3 Tips for Contouring Your Face

Heart Contour

  • Heart-shaped faces have very prominent cheeks, don’t overly expose the angle of your cheeks or it will make your face appear to be pointy. Start your line for your cheeks so that it matches up with the center of your ear and create a point from there. Less is more when you are contouring the cheeks of a heart-shaped face.
  • Since the top of your face is larger than your small chin you can even out the look of your face by applying your darker contouring shade to the temples.
  • Elongate your nose by applying the darker contouring shade to the sides of your nose to create a thinner, more angular look that will even out the shape of your face. Adding a slight dark area just under the tip of your nose can give it a more uplifted shape as well, depending on how much you’re trying to change your initial nose shape.

3 Mistakes for Contouring
a Heart-Shaped Face

  • The biggest oops in shading a heart-shaped face is over contouring the cheekbones. Most tutorials will tell you to bring the angle into your cheeks but when you have a heart-shaped face the attention is already on that area of your head because of your face shape. By drawing creating a balance between your temples and your cheekbones you can achieve a more balanced look.
  • Avoid adding any dark contour lines to the jawline. Heart-shaped faces already have angular, pointed chins so any dark contour will only increase those angles and offset the balance of the face.
  • Highlighting the forehead is another mistake that many heart-shaped faces make in contouring. Since the more prominent wideness of your head is at the top, use dark contour at the temples and avoid the “shiny forehead” syndrome that comes with bad heart-shaped contouring.

Blush Hack

If you want to use blush on your face after its been contoured keep the circles oblong and tilted downward towards your chin. This will add symmetry while keeping in line with the natural curve of your face.

Square-Shaped Faces

What it says about you: You are the go-getter, you will stop at nothing to get the most out of life that you can. The hard lines of your face give you a fierce, piercing look but you may also be overly “girly” to make up for this. You’re the type of woman who wears red lipstick, bubblegum pink toes, and knocks back beer with the guys during a game. You’re one of a kind, complex woman who defines the many facets of femininity. Famous celebrities with square-shaped faced are Olivia Wilde, Angelina Jolie, and Demi Moore.

Olivia Wilde
Angelina Jolie
Demi Moore

3 Tips for Contouring Your Face

Square Contour

  • The prime goal of contouring the angular face is the soften the jawline. By adding your darker contour color to the hard lines of your face you will soften them by essentially fading them into the background while bringing out other aspects with your highlighting.
  • The darkest color you use should be on your temples crowding almost to the center of your forehead. This will soften the square shape of your face and give it a more rounded appearance with the focal point being the middle of your brow instead of the hard corners of your head.
  • Line your nose with your darker color as far as possible to elongate it. Square faces usually have shorter features and be using dark lines on the outside of your nose you can elongate the shape your already have to the best possible outcome.

3 Mistakes for Contouring
an Square-Shaped Faces

  • Contouring your chin is an absolute no for the squared-shaped face. Leaving the chin free of highlight or contour allows it to stand-alone and let the other contour lines speak for itself. If you try to contour your chin with this face shape you will end up looking alien and unnatural.
  • Over contouring your cheek bones will add an even harsher angle to your face. To avoid this make short, triangular lines for your cheeks starting from the center point of your ears.
  • Of all the shapes the square face uses the least amount of highlighter since the angles of their faces are already apparent. Over highlighting can make a person’s angular face look more ridged and unnatural.

Blush Hack

If you want to use blush on your face after its been contoured keep your circles very round and separate from the sides of your face. My making two perfect circles below the center point of your eyes it will add a new round line to your face to add to the symmetry.

Oval-Shaped Faces

What it says about you: As the most versatile face stylistically, you are a rarity. You pack spunk and serenity into an expressive face that tells people you are trustworthy. While your face tells everyone you are loyal you are also incredibly mischievous and love to pull pranks and have fun. You are the type that would run through a golf course at night or play hide-and-seek in a department store. You are young at heart and while you get ahead of yourself sometimes, you’re incredibly fun to be around and the life of the party. Famous celebrities with oval-shaped faces are Jessica Alba, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez.

Jessica Alba
Jennifer Lopez

3 Tips for Contouring Your Face

Oval Contour

  • Since your face is already one of the most balanced shapes an oval-shaped face’s contours should focus more on highlighting and minimizing individual features instead of overall shape. Oval faced people tend to have more prominent noses so darkening the sides of the nose more dramatically than the cheeks will offset these features. To make your nose shorter only contour half your nose bridge.
  • Applying a dash of highlighter above your lip and at your chin will widen your face more to make it a more symmetrical shape. Be sparing with the upper lip highlighter but let the chin area become a flat white shading to maximize the shape.
  • A half crescent above your brow will balance the highlighting at the chin and help with balancing out the face. Make sure to blend smoothly to avoid looking shiny or oily.

3 Mistakes for Contouring
an Oval-Shaped Faces

  • When you are using your darker contour shade on your cheekbones, making your line long will only elongate your face. To avoid giving yourself a “horsey” appearance stop the contour line where the corner of your eyebrow would match up.
  • Adding dark contour to your forehead will unbalance your face and work against you. Stick with the dab of highlighter in the center of the brows and avoid over contouring on an oval face.
  • Adding highlighter to your lids is a mistake when contouring an oval face. Try making a smudged, thick upward cat eye in dark contour lines that when blended will add a pleasing look to the eyes.

Blush Hack

If you want to use blush on your face after its been contoured keep your blush lines short and pointed. Use a sparing amount of blush and keep the lines pointed at your upper lip. This will keep the blush from over elongating your face and appearing natural with your shape.

Triangle-Shaped Faces

What it says about you: You are an incredibly intuitive person. You’re empathetic and quick to come up with solutions. You think outside of the box and refuse to apologize for the way your mind works. You’re used to having to explain to everyone how you arrived at a way of doing things and you don’t mind doing it. You’re a strong, independent person who refuses to apologize for uniqueness and people like you all the more for it. Famous celebrities with triangle-shaped faces are Ashley Greene, Leah Michelle, and Halle Berry.

Ashley Greene
Leah Michelle
Halle Berry

3 Tips for Contouring Your Face

Triangle Contour

  • Since the narrowest part of your face is your chin you should apply as much dark shading to the chin as possible to fade it into the background of your face. When you blend it out the chin should appear more balanced with your other features.
  • Add a dark frame of contour lines around the hairline to decrease the width of your forehead and make a more symmetrical line.
  • Avoid over highlighting your nose and add a generous dark smudge underneath the point of your nose. This will shape your nose without elongating it too much and offsetting the balance of your face.

3 Mistakes for Contouring
an Triangle-Shaped Faces

  • Never highlight the chin of someone with a triangular face as it will make the person appear overly elfish and unbalanced. Stick to using dark colors on the lower portion of the face.
  • Avoid making dark slashes of contour to create harsh cheekbones as triangular faces already exhibit these characteristics. The idea with this faces contouring is to soften the features instead of making them even more pointed.
  • Don’t over highlight the eyes as triangular faced people normally have large doe-like eyes and while dark contours will diminish the person’s face too much highlighting will overpower the other features.

Blush Hack

If you want to use blush on your face after its been contoured keep your lines as straight to your nose as possible since your face is already very angular. By using straighter blush lines than the other facial types you can add a sense of balance to your face.

Long-Shaped Faces

What it says about you: You are someone who loves to look at life lightly. You’re hilarious and your bubbly personality draws people to you. Nobody would ever describe you as a “wallflower.” You take life in stride and when the going gets rough, are more likely to be found with a margarita in hand next to the pool then pulling your hair out. You exemplify calm even when you don’t feel it but that’s just who you are, lively. Famous celebrities with long-shaped faces are Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock, and Kim Kardashian.

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sandra Bullock
Kim Kardashian

3 Tips for Contouring Your Face

Long Contour

  • The trick with this face shape is to shorten the look of the face. By adding an ample amount of dark contour shade to cover the chin it diminishes the length and creates a balanced look. It may look strange to almost completely coat your chin in dark shades but it will blend out to create a pleasing look.
  • Make dark contour framing connecting the temples almost touching the hairline around the forehead. This will made the face appear wider and more balanced.
  • Add highlighter to the lids of your eyes to make your eyes appear bigger and draw focus to your eyes instead of your chin or forehead. Be sure not to cake the highlighter too thick on the lids sense they come in contact with rubbing and will look too flaky.

3 Mistakes for Contouring
an Long-Shaped Faces

  • Adding the twin dark contour lines to elongate the nose is a big mistake for long-shaped faces. The trick is to shorten not elongate so by using a dab of highlighter in the center bridge but no dark contour lines, the nose is shortened not lengthened.
  • Making the signature contour dark slashes to the cheekbones to create the angle isn’t needed here. Highlight the cheeks but avoid making the extra angle with the dark line to create excess angles.
  • Excess use of highlighter is the death wound for elongated face contouring. The only areas with highlight should be the cheeks with a dab on the bridge of the nose and between the brows. Excess use will lengthen your face even more.

Blush Hack

If you want to use blush on your face after its been contoured keep your blush lines wide and pointed towards your nose. This face shape allows for the most blush as it complements the oblong face nicely.

Round-Shaped Faces

What it says about you: You have a certain air about you that makes people want to know what makes you tick. You are the girl-next-door beauty that turns a few heads sharply and no stranger to love. You aren’t the type to remain single for long and you make everyone around you feel valued and important. Famous celebrities with round-shaped faces are Kirsten Dunst, Diana Argon and Kate Upton.

Kirsten Dunst
Diana Argon
Kate Upton

3 Tips for Contouring Your Face

Round Contour

  • This facial shape uses the most highlighter since their faces are soft and the objective becomes bringing the facial structure forward. Apply a good amount of highlighter to the cheeks above the cheekbones in curled in teardrop shapes with the roundest part of the teardrop facing your nose.
  • Dab a line of highlighter down the bridge of your nose to bring the attention to the center of your face. Apply lines of darker contour to the bridges of the nose as well to create a contrasted look.
  • Allow the highlighted portion of your upper cheeks curl up and go just under your brow almost on your eyelid. This will elongate the rounded face and give a more piercing, balanced aesthetic.

3 Mistakes for Contouring
an Round-Shaped Faces

  • Using too much dark contour lines is the fatal flaw of round-faced contouring. While you can and should still use dark contour on the edges of your face and outside bridge of the nose, make sure to smudge it on light. With other faces you can dab it on thick but the round face should never use thick lines of contour when they can avoid it.
  • Focusing too much contour attention on the forehead and not enough on the cheeks is another big mistake. Remember your round face has ample cheeks and needs to be given angles not made even rounder.
  • Using blush or at least the normal amount on round faces takes away from the effect of a contoured face and makes the now highlighted cheeks look overly round again. Stay away from blush entirely or use it extremely sparingly.

Blush Hack

If you want to use blush on your face after its been contoured keep your blush lines minimal and angular. Blush on a round face usually is a problem since it makes the cheeks even more of a focal point than they already are on a softened face. That being said, if blush is something you can’t live without, keep the lines as triangular as possible to avoid overdoing it.

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