How to Contour for your Face Shape

January 26, 2018
a picture of each face shape inside a shaped frame

Contouring was a word that most of us had no clue about not so long ago, but over the past few years it has grown in popularity, and now contouring is a part of most of our makeup routines. There are tons of tutorials and how-to’s out there, and I’ve noticed that they all show the exact same thing, the problem is, we don’t all have the exact same face. The purpose of contouring is actually to create the illusion of an oval shaped face, which is what is considered the “ideal” face shape. (I have no idea who decided this, probably the same person who decided the hourglass was the “ideal” figure) There are 7 different face shapes so we each need to contour different areas of our faces based on our personal face shape to help make them appear more oval. Not to worry, this guide will teach you how to figure out what your face shape is and how to contour for your specific face shape!

1 |ย Oval – it is widest across the cheekbones, narrow in the forehead, and narrowest at the jaw creating an oval like shape.

Where to contour – just the underneath cheekbones to create more definition.

a drawing showing where to contour on an oval face

2 |ย Square – your forehead, cheekbones, and jaw are all of equal width creating a square like shape (this tends to look pretty sexual on men. think Brad Pitt)

Where to contour – under the cheekbones for definition, the sides of the forehead and the sides of the jawline to round out the square like edges (this is the contour most tutorials show)

a drawing showing where to contour on a square face

3 |ย Oblong – similar dimensions to the square face, but longer, so it creates almost a rectangle like appearance.

Where to contour – again under the cheekbones for definition, the sides and middle of the forehead and right across the jawline including the chin to round out the appearance of the face as well as shorten it.

a drawing showing where to contour on an oblong face

4 |ย Round – pretty self explanatory, the face has an overall round appearance, there is not much definition separating the forehead, cheekbones, and jaw.

Where to contour – as always under the cheekbones, the sides of the forehead starting from the corners of the eyebrows, the sides of the jaw starting from the cheekbones.

a drawing showing where to contour on a circle face

5 |ย Heart – widest at the forehead and narrower in the cheekbones, and narrowest at the jawline, a true heart face shape will also be characterized with a widows peak hairline

Where to contour – guess what?! under the cheekbones, all around the forehead starting from the sides of the eyebrows into the widows peak, and the chin, do not contour the jawline it will only make it look narrower.

a drawing showing where to contour on a heart face

6 |ย Diamond – narrowest in the forehead and jawline, wider across the cheekbones.

Where to contour – under the cheekbones, obviously. Then the sides of the face to help narrow it out, and the chin to create a rounder appearance rather then a pointed one. Do not contour the forehead or the jawline

a drawing showing where to contour on a diamond face

7 |ย Pear – widest at the jawline with a narrow forehead and cheekbone

Where to contour – for the last time, under the cheekbones, and then all around the jawline including the chin. Don’t touch the forehead.

a drawing showing where to contour on an pear face

The trickiest part is that not all of us will fall into one specific face shape, some of us will have a half and half type of deal; for example you might have a heart shaped forehead with characteristics of a square jawline, in this case you would contour the top half of your face based on the heart shaped guide, and the bottom half based on the square shaped guide.

P.S. Contouring the sides of your nose really has no relation to the shape of your face, but if you have a particularly narrow or small nose you might want to skip it.

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