How to Contour and Highlight Your Face Shape like a Pro?

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Pull focus to the best parts of your face by using bronzer and highlight in strategic ways.

We’ve all heard that the “ideal” face shape is oval - but something most people don’t know is that you can use makeup to change your face shape in a matter of minutes.

How to Contour and Highlight Your Face Shape like a Pro?

I remember the first time I saw an infographic about “face shapes.” I was reading Seventeen Magazine and flipped to a page with different faces on it and phrases like “heart” and “square” next to them. I immediately ran to the mirror and followed the instructions on the page to see what face shape I had. Some magazines told me I had an “oval” shape, and others said mine was “oblong.” For years I was upset that my face was too long and looked to celebrities like Liv Tyler and Sarah Jessica Parker to be my oblong face inspiration.

How to Contour and Highlight Your Face Shape like a Pro?

But then I discovered the unbelievable art of contouring and highlighting and realized I could take my oblong face shape to an oval one within just a few minutes.

To put contouring and highlighting into simple terms - it’s basically using bronzer to darken certain areas of your face and using a highlighter to brighten other areas. Applying dark and light areas to deliberate parts of your face can give the illusion of them being smaller or larger, and modify your face shape in small parts.

The first step to consider here is which parts of your face you want to darken (by contouring with bronzer) and which parts of your face you want to lighten and enhance (by highlighting with a highlighter).

Here are some tips to use when considering your specific face shape:

Face shape: Round

The round face generally appears chubby. Contouring makes the cheekbones look sharp and up and narrows the forehead.

Face shape round

Face shape: Oval

The face is much longer and narrow. We contour the upper hairline region to make the length look smaller. It is recommended to highlight areas of the face.

Face shape oval

Face shape: Square

Contouring the corners of the forehead and jawline to make a face appear narrow. And to soften their sharp jawline.

face shape square

Face shape: Diamond

In this face shape, your cheekbones are the widest point of the face compared to the forehead and chin. We contour only the cheekbone area to give a narrower face look.

Face shape diamond

Face shape: Heart

The widest area on the face is the forehead. We try to slim down the forehead and contour around the cheekbones for a sharper look.

Face shape Heart