❓How to Contour to Flatter Your Face Shape

Aug. 24, 2020
Round, oval, square, or heart-shaped? When it comes to contouring your face, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to accomplish this. The beauty gurus at Cherie are sharing the best ways to flatter your face, based solely on your facial shape!
First Off, What Is the Purpose of Contouring?
Thanks to the many starlets who have made this trend mainstream over the years, (we’re looking at you Kim K.!) contouring actually originated in the drag community decades ago. Queens used this foolproof method to flawlessly shape their face using makeup to recede or enhance certain areas of their face. While the queens of past years may have used this technique to change their face shape, the contouring trends of 2020 are all about embracing your natural shape. This helps to give you depth and dimension while accentuating or minimizing certain features. 
Determining Your Facial Shape
Like we said, there is no one-size-fits-all facial shape. Someone who has a round face won’t be contouring the same areas as someone with a heart-shaped face. And you might find that your face is a combination of some of these shapes, and that’s okay! Facial shapes generally fall into four main categories—round, oval, square, and heart-shaped. If you’re not sure which one you have, one of the easiest ways to determine your shape is to take a straight-on selfie with your hair pulled away from your face. Look at your forehead, cheeks, and jawline. A wider forehead can be considered oval, especially if your jaw tapers inwards. If your face is widest at your cheekbones, chances are you have a round face. Take a look at your jaw, if this is the widest part of your face, you just might be square shaped. If you still can’t figure out your facial shape, we advise looking at your jaw. If round, square, or pointy, your facial shape is either round, square or heart-shaped, respectively. 

credit to QC Makeup Academy

Round faces are generally the same width and length. Hollywood mega babes Chrissy Teigen and Ginnifer Goodwin have round faces for reference. Contouring a round face can add major definition and for best results, you’ll want to stick to three main areas—the outer edges of your forehead, your temples, and under your cheekbones. You can also contour around your jawline but avoid your chin. Round faces are soft and less severe than other facial shapes so it’s a good rule of thumb to create subtle shadows to really make your angles pop! Don’t forget to pile on the highlight to beautifully compliment those structured cheekbones you just created. 
Oval faces are a combination of round and square shapes, so you’ll need to equally balance your contour and highlight to best suit each shape. Your jawline is typically rounder (think Jessica Alba or Bella Hadid) with your forehead being the widest part of your face. Generally, a great contour technique for oval shaped gals is shading along the hairline, hollows of the cheekbones and just below the chin. Our experts recommend going light on the chin contour as sometimes it can look muddy and appear beard-like. Pack on some blush on the apples of your cheekbones to make your face appear a bit plumper. This will help emphasize and bring all your best features forward.
Square faces are often more structured and angular (think Katie Holmes) and your forehead, jawline, and cheekbones are all usually the same width. When contouring a square-shaped face, the goal is to soften and round out those angular features and create a more oval shape. Focus on contouring around the perimeter of your face (like the outer corners of your forehead and jaw). It’s also a great idea to utilize highlighter to “bounce” light off your face. Focus your highlight on the high points of your face like your brow bones, cheekbones, forehead, and tip of your nose to help soften your features. If you really want to glow to the gods, stick some illuminator under your eyes and just below the corners of your mouth. 
If you're a heart-shaped babe, (Reese Witherspoon) the good news is you’ll need very minimal contour. Why? Because your face shape already has some great angles going on! Your facial shape is typically wider at your forehead but becomes more angled and pointed towards your jawline. If you want to create a more symmetrical, oval shape, the Cherie experts recommend contouring the outer edges of your forehead, along your temples and under your cheekbones. Since your jawline is already chiseled, add the contour to the bottom of your chin, which will make it appear less pointed. As for highlighting, have fun with it! Brush your highlight along the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheeks and your upper jawline for a fresh, glowy complexion. Add a touch of blush or bronzer (or both!) and your look is complete. 
While these are great places to start for each facial shape, makeup is all about having fun. Find what technique works best for your facial shape and then try experimenting with highlighter, blush, and bronzer to see what you can achieve! 
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