How to Contour/Highlight for Your Face Shape like a Pro
Posted on October 24 2019
The art of contouring in cosmetics can often be scary to attempt, but as the techniques popularity has continued to grow due to social media, many makeup users are actively wanting to implement a contour into his/her makeup routine. Before discussing the steps to mastering the perfect contour for your face shape, it is beneficial to know the difference between contouring and highlighting. Contouring is a deepening of the skin to create a shadow and bring out what is next to it (generally highlighted areas). Highlighting is a brightening of the skin in an effort to draw attention to in contrast to contoured areas of the face. The act of “blending” the contoured and highlighted areas yields a beautiful, more natural finish.
Choosing a Shade:
When choosing a cosmetic shade for contouring the face, try to use a bronzer, foundation or concealer that is one shade darker than your skin tone. *Pro tip: Additionally, try to choose a matte shade rather than a bronzer or foundation with shimmer because it will absorb more light, creating the shadow effect wanted when contouring the face.
The Best Contour Makeup from Mirabella:
How to Contour for Your Face Shape:
Characteristics: Full cheeks, equally wide and long, jaw and chin are rounded and lack angles.
Contouring/highlighting goal: Slenderize the sides of the face and jawline to create the illusion of length and add a more angular appearance to face while drawing eye inward to distract from a full face.
Sweep contouring shade onto temples and under cheekbones back toward the ears, down the sides of the face next to the ears, along jawline, and under chin. Contouring right at the hairline can also be used for balance if needed. Highlight the browbones, center of the nose and tops of cheekbones, avoiding highlighting the temples, which will help draw the eye to the center of the face taking emphasis off the width and fullness of the face.
Characteristics: Face is approximately 1.5 times long as it is wide, forehead, cheeks and jaw are all the same width, jawline can be rounded or angled.
Contouring/highlighting goal: Take emphasis away from a long chin or tall forehead, shortening the appearance of the face and softening angles of the jawline if needed while enhancing the width of the face when possible.
Apply contouring shade to hairline, around sides of forehead toward temples, to the point of and under chin, and onto jawline. Highlight cheekbones, bridge of nose, and temples to draw eye horizontally across the face creating the illusion of width and taking emphasis away from facial length.
Characteristics: Equally wide and long, sides of the face are straight, width of jawline and hairline are equal.
Contouring/highlighting goal: Diminish the appearance of corners/defined angles around the forehead and jawline, softening facial structure and guiding eye inward toward center of face.
Sweep contour shade onto the far right and far left parts of the hairline and jawline to soften the angles of the face, and under the cheekbones to help give the face lift. Highlight the center of the forehead, top of cheekbones, and center of chin for balance and to bring focus away from corners of face.
Characteristics: Rounded jawline, chin, and forehead, width is approximately 3/4 its length, often described as a soft, upside down egg shape
Contouring/highlighting goal: Create dimension on the face by gently accentuating features, altering overall facial structure may not be needed.
Apply contouring shade under the cheekbones to give the face a lift and add dimension. Can also contour forehead at hairline and under chin if desired. Highlighting options include browbones, cheekbones, and down center of nose.
HEART/INVERTED TRIANGLE FACE
Characteristics: Forehead and cheekbones may be the same width, jawline is soft and angled ending in pointed chin, can have a widow's peak or not
Contouring/highlighting goal: Minimize wide forehead and cheekbones to bring them more in line with the jaw, softening the point of the chin only if very prominent, creating balanced facial structure.
Use contouring color to shade around the top and sides of the forehead, sweeping down to temples and under cheekbones, as well as under and onto point of chin to soften if prominent. Apply highlighting color to the center of the forehead, down center on nose, and top of chin under lower lip to bring focus to center of face. Can also highlight jawline to help create balance with wide forehead.
Characteristics: Narrow forehead and wide jawline, jawline can be rounded or angled.
Contouring/highlighting goal: Balance a narrow forehead and wide jaw, lessening the width difference between the two features while emphasizing cheekbones to create a lifted look.
Concentrating contouring to the jawline, particularly the corners and below the ears will help balance the smaller forehead of this face shape. Applying contour color under cheekbones will help lift the cheeks and take focus off the wide jawline. Highlighting the temples and forehead will create the illusion of width, bringing it in balance with the jawline. Highlighting the chin and nose help draw the eye toward the center of the face.
Characteristics: Narrow and tapered forehead and jawline, widest part of face is at temples or cheekbones
Contouring/highlighting goal: Reduce high points of forehead and point of chin to create balance and minimize width through cheekbones, creating more curvature within the face and drawing eye inward toward center of face.
Sweep contouring shade along top of forehead at hairline, under cheekbones and back slightly onto temples, and under and onto the point of the chin to diminish angles of the face. Use highlighter to draw attention to the center of the face by applying to center of forehead, down center of nose, and inner cheeks.
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