Face Shape 101: Best Tips To Applying Make Up For Your Face Shape


Our different face shapes and features are what contribute to our beauty, but they also mean that we can’t all wear the same make up trends. Most of us have had the experience of rushing to the local pharmacy to buy a tube of the latest lip color, only to feel disappointed.

Best Tips To Applying Make Up For Your Face Shape

Something that may look amazing on someone else just may not look the way you want it to on your own face. Here are some quick guidelines to help you choose the tools and techniques you should try:

1. Know Your Face Shape

Certain makeup techniques work better on some face shapes over others. There are six different face shapes and they all benefit from a unique touch.

  • Circular faces are characterized by round lines, a forehead and jawline that are fairly equal in width, and cheekbones set slightly wider than both. They benefit from blush or contouring that highlights the cheekbones.
  • Oblong faces are easy to spot for their long lines. They typically do not have any pronunciation in the cheekbones, and the length of the face is much longer than its width. Because of this, they may need an extra bit of makeup to create the illusion of cheekbones. This can be achieved with a highlighter dusted over the top of the cheekbone and some shading or blush added underneath.
  • Heart shaped faces feature broad cheek bones, a medium width forehead and a pointed chin. They benefit from highlighter to bring attention to the cheekbones, but should avoid shading underneath, which can sometimes make this face shape seem too severe.
  • Oval faces are characterized by a slightly longer face than its width, with subtly pronounced cheekbones. They can benefit from a light touch with blush, contouring and highlighter, in order to emphasize the attractiveness of the already present symmetry.
  • Square faces are easily recognized by the square jawline. They often need a little bit of highlighter on the cheeks and some contouring on the edges of the face to soften the angles.
  • Diamond faces are similar to heart-shaped faces with the exception that the forehead is narrower which creates a diamond between the points of the forehead, each cheekbone and the chin. They can benefit from the subtle use of a highlighter to emphasize the unique angles of the face. Similar to heart shaped faces, too much shading or blush can make these angles look too severe and should be avoided.

2. Choose Your Eyes Or Your Lips

While you can certainly wear makeup on both your eyes and your lips, it’s best to use a bold touch with just one. Your face shape can actually help you choose which to focus on. Face shapes with broad cheekbones, like the heart, diamond, or round face shape, tend to do well to highlight the eyes, which stand out over the cheekbones.

The other face shapes, with less pronounced cheekbones, like the circle, oval, or oblong face shape, often carry a bold lip better. However, the proportions of oval and oblong face shapes make them amenable to use of a heavier hand on both the lips and the eyes – just don’t overdo it!

3. Highlight What You Love

This is where you get to stick it to the rules a little bit. We all have a facial feature that we can appreciate or have a makeup product that makes us feel especially beautiful. If you have a diamond-shaped face and love lipstick, go for it! Even though your face shape dictates more emphasis on the eyes, you’ll feel prettier if you focus on what you love – and what’s make up about if it isn’t about making us feel beautiful?

4. Diminish Perceived ‘Flaws’

This is the flip side of the coin. While you should focus on highlighting what you love first, you can also use make up to minimize features that you don’t like. Our perception of beauty is mostly based on symmetry – and makeup can be used to create the illusion of a more symmetrical face for those of us who did not win the genetic lottery.

Pay attention to your underlying bone structure and how it creates shadows on you face. You can address any asymmetry by applying the darker contouring color below areas you want to appear more pronounced. This can be especially helpful around the cheekbones, jaw line, the spaces directly to the side of the eye sockets, and at the temples.

5. Develop A Signature Style

Developing a go-to daytime and night-time look can make you feel more confident about applying your make up every day. Stick with subtler colors and focus on evening skin tone during the day. Save your bolder colors and heavier contouring for night-time looks. Always remember that the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with the face you’re presenting to the world.


When it comes to applying makeup to your face shape it’s all about what you feel comfortable with and what makes you feel beautiful. These tips above can really help to guide you in your journey to finding what works and what doesn’t. So, are you ready to apply your makeup?

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Laurie is a writer, entrepreneur, Certified Public Accountant and financial planner. She utilizes her education as a CPA to assist many new businesses including web start-ups and minority-run businesses. With her extensive experience in web start-ups, she has founded and operated several websites including vaginalbleaching.org. She also volunteers her time to help non-profit websites build out their presence and increase exposure online. While working her day job pays the bills, her true passion is writing about such topics as fitness and health, fashion, yoga and other similar topics of interest to women. When not working, writing or spending time with her family, Laurie likes to do yoga, cycle, hike and watch Game of Thrones. Not necessarily in that order.