The Contouring Guide For Your Face Shape

by Yolande D’Mello
Melbourne-based makeup artist Amy Djuric is accustomed to clients complaining about foreheads that are too broad, a jarring jawline, a stubby nose, and chubby cheeks. Nobody is perfect, yet everyone wants to look the part.

To sculpt a visionary visage, Djuric turns to contouring, a tried, tested, and proven technique that works wonders when done correctly. Djuric says, “Using makeup wisely can hide your supposed flaws while enhancing your most defining features." Before you go crazy with your makeup brush, you should understand the fundamentals of contouring.

Makeup artist Margina Dennis has a tip for beginners: lighter tones will bring a feature into focus, while darker tones will shade them out. Djuric and Dennis help us to utilize the perfect contouring technique for every face shape.

Square Face
Reference: Reese Witherspoon

Square faces are defined by a strong jawline. You may be tempted to cover your jaw with long locks, but that will make you guilty of hiding your beautiful face. Instead, Djuric suggests contouring to soften the edges and create a rounder illusion. This simply entails using a darker hue to take attention away from problem areas.

To contour a square face shape:
  • Remember to choose a contour that is not more than two shades darker than your complexion.
  • Start at the halfway mark above your eye and pull downwards till your ear.
  • At the ear, draw in towards your face at an angle pointing towards your lips.
  • To cut the jaw, you want to start contouring at the earlobe and continue under the chin. 
Now, most makeup artists will suggest you choose between your lips and eyes to highlight one and not both. For women with square faces, it’s advisable to plump up your lips and tone down the eye makeup.

Round Face
Reference: Emma Stone

In the case of a round face, our effort is to create the illusion of an elongated face. You want to make your face appear perfectly proportional.

To contour a round face shape:
  • Use a darker shade from forehead to chin with a slanting line across the cheek towards your lips. This will push back the puffy area you are trying to cover up. The dark hue will also make the forehead appear smaller.
  • Additionally, you can use the dark contour on the sides of your nose with a highlight on the bridge to make your nose seem slender and straight.  
  • If you don’t have a very imposing forehead, brighten it up by starting with a shimmery ‘V’ at the point where your eyebrows meet. Decide for yourself based on your features.
Avoid using very bright colors on your cheeks because that tends to add puffiness to your cheeks, which might work against this face shape.  

Long Face
Reference: Milla Jovovich

On its own, this face shape is easy to work with and usually appears slimmer than most. It is in photographs that you will realize your face looks longer next to others.

To contour a long face shape:
  • Use your taper brush to contour. Here, one should aim to cut the length of the face.
  • Mildly contour the jawline so your chin appears to be shorter and softer.
  • You can start contouring at the forehead but draw a straight line in from the ear, don’t angle it towards the lips. Instead, focus on drawing it towards your eye, and stop at the edge of your eye.
The aim is to make your face look wider than it is, just to even out the proportions.     

Heart-Shaped Face 
Reference: Jennifer Garner

Someone with a heart-shaped face must try to cut the jaw line and make their face appear narrower. Try to draw the attention to the upper part of your face. Demure lips, arched eyebrows, and bold lashes will help.

To contour a heart-shaped face shape:
  • Contour with a straight line from ear to nose and blend to bring your features inwards.
  • You can help eyes appear closer together, or farther apart and also flatter a face shape with proper brow shaping. 
  • You can also opt for rosier hues on the apples of your cheeks.

We also have a trick for women with smaller eyes:
  • To make them appear wider, use a shimmer (not glitter) white power on the inner corners of your lids, on the brow bone, and right below the outer corners of your eyes. This attracts light to your eyes and makes them stand out more.
  • Choose a color that will bring out your eyes: chocolate brown for blue eyes, plum for green eyes, black or blue for brown eyes, and pinkish-purple shades for hazel eyes.  
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