Facial Makeup Based on Face Shape

Our faces are commonly categorized into six main shapes: oval, square, round, heart-shaped, oblong and diamond-shaped. Use these tips below as a guide to determine what makeup techniques work best for your face shape. You'll find advice on eye shadow and eye liner, foundation, blush and more.


Your face shape should be a big factor in how you apply your makeup — and good makeup application strives to achieve the look of an oval face. You've already got it, so you don't need to do much more. Here's how to use makeup to emphasize your assets.

Contouring for oval faces

An oval face doesn't need much contouring, but there are couple of things you can do to add a little definition to your face.

1-Stick with your normal foundation

You don't need to buy a bunch of new products to bring out the best in your face.
"This is considered the perfect shape, so unless your face shape bothers you, stick to your normal foundation," says New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren. "If you want to make your face appear a little bit shorter and thinner, you can apply foundation [along your jaw] one shade darker than your natural skin color."

2-Bring out your best features

Use highlighter in the center of your forehead as well as on your chin to bring these areas of your face forward, making them a bit more prominent. You can also add a little highlighter at your temples, blending it downward underneath your eyes.
If you want your cheekbones to appear a little more prominent, add a darker shade of bronzes or blush in the hollow under your cheekbones and add a lighter shade on the apples of your cheeks.

3-Keep a naturally arched brow

To emphasize your pretty eyes, stick with the natural arch of your brows — you don't want anything too dramatic or too flat. Don't over pluck them, and follow these tips for the best eyebrow shapes for your face shape.

4-Emphasize your lips or eyes, but not both

When you are going out for the evening, play up the makeup on your lips or your eyes — but not both. For example, with a smoky eye look, keep your lip color neutral. With a glossy red lip, stick with brown eye shadow, one coat of mascara and a natural liner.


If you have a square-shaped face, your makeup should round out your jawline for a softer look. Jessica Simpson, Demi Moore and Sandra Bullock are celebrities with classic, square-shaped faces.

Contouring for square faces

The goal when contouring a square-shaped face is to soften the hard angles to create a more oval appearance.

1-Shade and soften the corners

If you have a square face, you need to contour the corners of your face. Use a shading product — such as bronzer or darker foundation — on the sides of your jaw (blending upward) as well as on the sides of your forehead (blending downward toward the temples).

2-Highlight and blend

Apply highlighter (or concealer) that is a shade lighter than your skin tone in the middle of your forehead and blend well. Next, apply it right under the tip of your chin, blending toward your ears and slightly upward toward your mouth to soften the line.
"To bring out the center and draw attention away from a chiseled jaw, use a highlighter on the center of the forehead, chin and cheekbones," says New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren. "Keeping brows rounded is best for this shape of face."

3-Add definition to your cheekbones

To draw attention to your cheekbones, use a tawny blush in the hollow of your cheeks but don't bring the blush too high. Then, brush a second, softer shade of blush over the apples of your cheeks and the cheekbones. Be sure to blend, blend blend so that you don't see a sharp line.

4-Create a plump, dramatic lip

Draw attention to your lips (and away from your jaw) with dramatic lip color and a plump pout. 


Celebrities such as Drew Barrymore and Kate Winslet have round faces. If you, too, have a round face, your cheeks are generous, your chin is rounded and your features aren't very well defined. Makeup for the round face aims to slim and lengthen it through contouring.

Contouring a round face

Contouring can help bring some definition and harder lines to a round face. This face shape generally needs heavier contouring than any other.

1-Use a darker foundation

Apply a contouring (shading) product on your temples, your cheekbones and the sides of your jaws. Use a product created specifically for contouring or just pick up some of your normal foundation, but in a shade or two darker than the one you typically use. Blend toward the center of your face — downward and inward from the temples and upward and inward from the jaw.
"The goal here is to make a round face appear more oval," says New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren. "Darker colors draw attention away from the sides of the face. Blend with a sponge, making sure you don't see a line."

2-Create angles with highlighter

You should also use highlighter (just two shades lighter than your natural skin tone) in the middle of your forehead and on your chin. This will help bring these areas forward to create a more angular look.

3-Lengthen your face with blush

"Apply blush to the area of cheeks that goes no lower than the imaginary line at the bottom of the nose," says Lauren.
Don't apply your blush to the apples of your cheeks in a circular motion — this will make your face look even rounder. Instead, use a brownish peach blush just under your cheekbones and then blend upward toward your temples.

4-Emphasize your features

Features can get lost in a round face, so emphasize your eyes and lips with the right cosmetics. Line your eyes with a softly smudged eyeliner rather than a thin, precise line. Use a darker shade of eye shadow toward the outer portion of your eyelid and a lighter shade toward the inner part to make your eyes stand out. Use a dark lip color and add a dab of lip gloss.


With a heart-shaped face, you have a wide forehead, prominent cheekbones and a narrow chin. Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ashley Judd are all celebrities with heart-shaped faces.

Contouring a heart-shaped face

Contouring makeup uses highlighting to bring certain features forward and uses shading to make other features appear to recede. If you have a heart-shaped face, your goal is to downplay your prominent cheekbones and pointy chin.

1-Shade and soften

For shading, use a stick foundation that's a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone. Apply it under your cheekbones and blend it from your ear downward at an angle. Also apply the product at your temples, along the sides of your nose and under its tip — again blending downward.
"Like oval faces, the heart-shaped face has high cheekbones, which I think is a beautiful feature to have," says New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren. "The only thing I would say is to avoid too much blush because that area of the face is already pronounced."

2-Round out your chin

For highlighting, use foundation that is a shade or two lighter than your normal foundation. Apply the product in the center of your forehead and above your cheekbones. Next, you can add depth and width to the chin area with contouring makeup. Apply the highlighter (or light concealer) lengthwise on the chin and along your jawline and blend with a sponge. This will broaden the appearance of your chin and make it appear a little rounder.

3-Go for a natural brow

With a heart-shaped face, eyebrows should be thick with a natural arch that is relatively straight. This will help the forehead appear a little bit thinner and balance out the face's shape.


An oblong or rectangular face shape is longer than it is wide, and is relatively the same width across the forehead, cheekbones and jawline. For an oblong face, use makeup to accentuate your cheekbones and bring out the middle third of the face.

Contouring an oblong face

With makeup, you can contour an oblong face to make it appear more equally proportioned. Start by applying foundation and powder all over the face. A well-powdered face is essential for contouring.

1-Shade and shorten

Your objective with makeup on an oblong face is to create the appearance of the ideal oval, making your face appear both shorter and broader. Use a darker pressed powder (or a matte bronzer) along the hairline at the top of the forehead, blending it downward. Also add the same bronzer to just the bottom of the chin. This will help the face appear slightly shorter.

2-Contour with bronzer
Next, you want to focus on the cheekbones to make the face appear broader. Apply bronzer, just under the cheekbones in the hollow, and then blend up and out toward the hairline.

"For an oblong face, contour the sides of the jaw, temples and hairline with bronzer to minimize the prominent forehead," says New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren. "Highlight the chin and cheekbones."

3-Highlight your cheeks

To really put the focus on the cheeks, you need to apply blush just to the apples, using a fluffy brush in a circular motion. Then, apply a light highlighter or illuminating powder to the very highest points of the cheek to finish widening the appearance of the face.

4-Play up your eyes

By putting the emphasis on your beautiful features, you can take away from an irregular, oblong face shape. Play up your eyes by experimenting with cat eye makeup, bold eyeshadow colors and dramatic lashes. "Extending the eyebrows outward toward your temples also will soften the angular features," says Lauren.


The diamond-shaped face is wide at the cheekbones and more narrow at the jawline and forehead. For a true, balanced diamond, you don't need many makeup tricks: Your face shape is fabulous as it is. If the diamond shape is too dramatic, though — with a pointy chin and/or very narrow forehead — you can do some contouring to balance out your face shape.

Contouring a diamond-shaped face

For diamond-shaped faces, the goal is to add fullness to both your jaw and your forehead, while minimizing the width of your cheeks.

1-Use two shades of foundation

By using both light and dark shades of foundation, you can highlight and contour your diamond-shaped face to create a more balanced look.

"With a diamond-shaped face, you may want to reduce the width around the cheekbone line," explains New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren. "To do so, two foundations should be used: one light and one darker. Apply darker, warmer foundation to areas you want to minimize (outside of the cheekbones). Apply the lighter foundation to the area you want to emphasize (chin and forehead)."

2-Soften your chin

Start by applying a dark shade of foundation (no more than two shades darker than your typical foundation) to just the tip of your chin to reduce its pointy appearance and create the illusion of a wider jaw. Then, apply a small amount of the dark foundation near the templates, blending toward your hairline. Finally, use a highlighting product (or lighter foundation) along your jawline. Be sure to blend thoroughly: You shouldn't be able to tell where one foundation color ends and the other begins.

3-Pick the right blush

Do not apply your blush in the hollows underneath your cheekbones, but on the apples of your cheeks instead. Use a tawny peach/brown blush rather than a light or bright pink shade. Avoid blushes that are shiny or illuminating. You don't want to make your cheeks look any fuller.

4-Set apart the brows

To widen the appearance of your forehead, your brows should be groomed slightly apart from center. Also, follow your natural brow line — do not create a dramatic arch. This will help your eyes (and your forehead) appear a little wider.

5-Stick to your natural lip line

When applying your lip liner, follow the natural line of your lips. You don't want your lips to appear too wide, as this may make your chin look even thinner. Use a matte lipstick in a neutral tone rather than a bright or glossy lip color.

6-Don't forget about your hair

If you have a diamond-shaped face, you should also consider your hairstyle. Short hairstyles aren't the best choice for you. Instead, consider a modified bob that falls just below your jawline.