The Ultimate Guide for Choosing Makeup Based on Your Face Shape

From YouTube to Pinterest, today’s modern woman is armed with resources for learning how to apply makeup and which beauty products she should try. There are thousands of videos and written tutorials on the web but surprisingly, few discuss the essential consideration when selecting makeup and that is, the shape of your face. Since your face is your canvas, it only makes sense that you know what shape it is and more importantly, how your face shape can actually impact your choice of makeup looks and techniques. Just as certain styles of clothing complement specific body shapes, makeup choices can also complement specific face shapes. This also means makeup that looks great on one woman, may not work as well on another. Before we consider what makeup techniques will be most flattering for your particular face shape, let’s briefly go over the five face shapes so that you know exactly what you are working with!

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Determining Your Face Shape

The aim of finding makeup to suit your face shape is to highlight and enhance features of your face that are most attractive. To determine your face shape, start with a clean and fresh face and place a headband around your head so that all the hair is pulled away from your face. Look in the mirror and determine the lines of your face following your hairline down to your chin. You may even want to use an eyeliner or lip pencil to draw the line on top of your reflection in the mirror.

There are five distinct face shapes and they are: oval, square, heart-shaped, round, and oblong. Every face is slightly different so look at yours and decide what shape it most closely resembles. Is your forehead wider than your chin? Does your chin taper at a point or is it more round? Do your cheekbones extend as wide as the top part of your face? Of your forehead, cheekbones, jawline, and face length, the largest will likely determine your face shape. 

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The Five Face Shapes and Best Makeup Looks

  1. Oval-Shaped Face The oval-shaped face is definitely the most common of all five shapes and is characterized by a slightly rounded shape where the width of the forehead is the widest part of the face and the length of the face is longer than the width. This shaped face should wear makeup that is balanced and that highlights one feature at a time. For instance, if you are wearing a bold lip color, keep the eyes more subdued so that the lips stand out. Conversely, if you are trying to draw focus to the eyes, keep the lips a soft, natural shade

  2. Square-Shaped Face A square-shaped face is the most angular of all face shapes and is usually characterized by a strong and defined jawline. Square-shaped faces have a wide forehead as well as a wide jaw so contouring can also help to soften the angles of your face. Play up the lips to accentuate this feature by wearing bright and bold colors. Using a highlighter (bright or subtle) to define your eyes can also give your face some extra definition.

  3. Heart-Shaped Face The heart-shaped face is easily recognized by the pointed chin and wide forehead. If you have this shaped face then your jawline is most likely angular so the types of makeup techniques you use should aim for a softer look. Heart shaped faces have a natural definition so with contouring it is best to blend well to maintain the balance of your makeup with your face. Try playing up your eyes with a deep, smoky look and give your eyes extra emphasis with a couple of coats of mascara!
  4. Round-Shaped Face Round-shaped faces are very similar to oval-shaped faces except for the fact that the cheeks are the widest part of the face. If you have a round face, your features will generally be a little more rounded too, especially at the jawline. Since the cheeks are the widest part of this face shape, you should definitely make use of contouring to give your face some depth. It is also a good idea to accent your cheeks with blush which will add a rosy and glowing hint of color. Eyebrows should also be well defined and arched to bring some contrast to the roundness of your face.
  5. Oblong-Shaped Face The oblong-shaped face is similar to a square face except that it is not quite as angular and the chin is slightly more rounded. To minimize the width of your face, contouring and highlighter can be used at the jaws and the temples. To accentuate your eyes you can get dramatic with eye makeup especially with eyeliner which can be used to create a winged cat eye look that draws out the eyes. Blush should be applied above the apples of your cheeks instead of on them to give a more rounded appearance.

Makeup that is applied with consideration to ones face shape will flatter and draw focus to features that bring out your natural beauty. Contouring for various face shapes is an especially useful makeup technique that will really give your face added definition or will minimize features that you may not want to stand out as much. Adding shadow and/ or highlighting powder is a technique that will be slightly different for every person but once you familiarize yourself with the characteristics of your particular face shape you will understand more about the basic foundation to look your absolute best. Once you’ve mastered the best makeup techniques for your face shape, you may even want to take it a step further by considering how different hairstyles either complement or detract from your best features as well.