Yes, contouring isn’t going anywhere and while you’ve probably seen tutorials on how to contour, it’s important to know how to contour for your own face shape. While there are a few basic tips that work for everybody, contouring is not a one-size-fits-all practice.
To get the most out of your makeup, you’ll want to specialize it to your individual features. Which parts do you want to accentuate and which parts do you want to minimize? Contouring allows you to enhance your bone structure but to do it right, the first step is to figure out what type of face shape you have.
Determining Your Face Shape
There are four main categories of face shapes: round, oval, heart, and square. If you’re not sure which one you have, take a straight-on selfie with your hair pulled back so you can get a clear view of the outlines of your face. Take a closer look at your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. The length and width of each will help you determine your face shape.
Contouring 101: The Basics
If you’re new to contouring, our blog post on how to contour is a good place to start. The key is to enhance the features you already have (or minimize the ones you want to diminish) and create a natural finish. You’ll want to follow your natural bone structure and blend well to avoid harsh edges, due to its edgeless design, the Beautyblender makeup sponge is the best tool to seamlessly blend and sculpt your contour.
Once you’ve figured out your face shape and the basics of how to contour, you’re ready to roll. Have your beautyblender makeup sponge within arms reach and you’re ready to start contouring. Here are the best tips on how to contour based on your face shape.
Contouring for Your Face Shape
Round faces are usually shorter in length and fairly symmetrical (think Chrissy Teigen or Ginnifer Goodwin), with your cheekbones being the widest part of your face. Since your features are often more soft and rounded, you can lose definition after putting on your base foundation. So the key to contouring a round face is to create shadows and bring those angles to life!
The Contour Queen
To accentuate your cheekbones, you’ll want to contour just below them. Suck in your cheeks or make the (iconic) duck face in the mirror to find the correct spot to start dabbing product with your Beautyblender makeup sponge. You’ll also want to contour along your forehead and pull it down the temple–think of it as the letter “C” on each side of your face. And don’t be shy with highlighter! Our Glass Glow Shinelighter™ is a great choice to show off a dewy glow. Micro.mini, a mini blender, works great for precision applications like highlighting, especially if you like a more subtle look.
Pro tip: Don’t forget about the eyebrows. An arched, angled brow brings more dimension to your face to help break up some of the curves. Have a little fun and experiment with a brow pencil to see what you like.
Although oval faces and round faces both have a round jawline, oval faces are more elongated (like Jessica Alba or Bella Hadid) with the forehead typically being the widest area.
You Are Making Me Blush
To give your face a more rounded appearance, reach for blush to add depth and dimension to your face. Bounce your favorite blush on the apples of your cheekbones and even below your chin (just trust us) to achieve a well-rounded look that brings your best attributes forward. Plus, since an oval face shape is already symmetrical, you can focus on contouring just under cheekbones to emphasize your features.
Heart-shaped faces (think Reese Witherspoon) are wider at the forehead, but get more angled and pointed toward the jawline. This lets you have some fun with highlighting and contouring. Take your highlighter and glide it along the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheeks, and your upper jawline. Then, sweep contour along the sides of your forehead to help minimize the width.
Since your jawline is already defined, you only need a bit of contour below your chin. Blend it all together and add an extra touch of bronzer or blush to your cheeks for some color and voila–you’re ready to hit the town. Finish the look with a few spritzes of our setting spray for coverage all night long.
If you have a square-shaped face (like Katie Holmes), your temples, cheekbones, and jawlines have defined angles that are practically equidistant from the center of the face. When contouring a square face, the goal is to soften defined edges and round out your angular features. You’ll want to contour around the perimeter of your face and blend well to get a natural look.
Only The Highlights
To elongate the face, highlight your forehead, chin, and the bridge of your nose. Don’t forget to add some highlighter under your eyes and just below the corners of your mouth, which will help add height to your face. Once you’ve highlighted to your liking, it’s time to contour your angled features.
Lightly brush all along your jawline, lower cheekbones, and forehead and blend to perfection. You don’t need to go crazy with contouring your hairline or temples—though you can if you want to. You do you!