How to contour according to your face shape

Categories : Makeup

Is the perfect oval shape an illusion? We say nah. It’s challenging and takes a lot of practice, but the right trick in contouring can do the magic.

Contouring is a make-up technique that is done on the face (and other parts of the face) to make it appear thinner and balanced. Its objective is to also create an illusion of having an oval face shape which is believed to be the most visually appealing of all face shapes as it is considered to be perfect.

Here, we give you the ways on how to contour according to your face shape!

How to pick a contouring shade

Not everyone is born with an oval face, hence, the need to contour. Contouring products may be cream-based applied under Foundation, or powder-based applied over Foundation. There are heaps of proper contouring products out in the market which consists of light and dark powders for highlighting and shading, respectively. Or you can just purchase two extra pressed powder products (on top of your skin tone-correct pressed powder), one of which must be lighter, and the other darker, than your skin tone.

For example, if your everyday pressed powder is MAC NC 40, your highlighter would be MAC NC 35, and shader would be MAC NC 42 or 43. Makeup artists employ this technique, most especially on beauty projects that require symmetry of the faces of celebrities, models and other on-camera talents. However, this skill is not exclusive to beauty professionals, and regular folks can learn how to contour to suddenly transform their face shapes into the classic oval face without going under the knife.

Contouring and your Cheekbones
Contouring and your Cheekbones

Oval face

Characterized by the forehead being wider than the chin. Its cheekbones are prominent and the face tapers gracefully to a narrow oval chin. Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, and Marian Rivera are examples of people possessing an Oval face. You can determine your face shape by referring to any areas that fall inside or outside the guide.


face, on the other hand, has its forehead, cheeks, and jawline about the same width; it can tend to have a prominent chin and has an elongated appearance. Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Ai-Ai Delas Alas belong to this face shape. Create prominent cheekbones by shading just under the cheekbones, and then apply a dab of a shimmery powder product like Bobbi Brown’s Shimmery Brick Compact, or Victoria Jackson’s Shimmer Powder Brush on the highest point of the cheekbones. Make your chin appear shorter with a subtle application of dark powder (or matte bronzer) on it.


Similar to Oval except that its chin tapers to a point. “Widow’s Peak” on the hairline also characterizes this face. Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, and Angel Locsin belong to this shape. If your pointy chin bothers you, approximate the graceful chin of the oval face by applying dark powder on it.


Almost as wide as it is long, and the face is widest at the cheeks. Babies have round faces. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Vilma Santos, and a lot of Filipinas belong to this face shape. Lessen the chubby cheeks by shading just under the cheekbones; shade the sides of your forehead and jawline.


The forehead, cheekbones, and jawline about the same width and the squared jawline is its most obvious feature. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Toni Gonzaga, and Venus Raj belong to this face shape. The same shading techniques for Round shape can be applied here.


This shape has a narrow forehead and temple; wide cheeks and jaw – imagine the shape of the fruit. Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston belong to this face shape. Highlight your temples, and shade the sides of your jawline.

Inverted Triangle

The opposite of Pear shape – wide forehead and temple and narrow jaw. Victoria Beckham, Celine Dion, and Liz Hurley belong to this face shape. The contouring technique for this face shape is almost the same as that of the Heart shape, but do not mistake Inverted Triangle to face shape for a Heart shape. Inverted Triangle face shape almost has sunken cheeks.


Not a common face shape. Typically, the face is highly angular, the forehead and chin are somewhat short whilst the face is widest at the temples. Sophia Lauren, Linda Evangelista, and Anne Curtis belong to this rare face shape. There is no need to highlight the cheekbones even more. Highlight the periphery of the forehead and chin, and shade the angled jawline.

Now that you are aware of the different face shapes, you can easily determine how to highlight and shade accordingly, minimizing wide foreheads, bringing out the cheekbones, softening the jawlines and creating an illusion of graceful narrow chins. Contouring can be “magical” if done correctly, and the technique is not difficult to master. It’s all about learning the skill in bringing out your best facial features.

The best advice is to practice “feeling your bone structure” and then, practice highlighting and shading on areas that require it. Keep in mind that subtle and well-blended contouring is definitely a lot more desirable than seeing the obvious demarcation lines of highlighting and shading. “Barely there” contouring allows you to still look like yourself, only a little slimmer, symmetrical on the face, and with cheekbones to boot.