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How Can I Match My Makeup and Face Shape?

By Angela Johnson
Updated May 21, 2024
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When choosing the best way to apply makeup, it is important to match the makeup with the shape of a person's face. You can do this by first determining the shape of your face and then choosing the makeup that accentuates certain features. Emphasizing or deemphasizing the eyes, chin, or cheeks is possible by using different techniques with foundations and blush. Applying makeup that defines the features of different face shapes — different face shapes require different approaches — can help to bring out the beauty of any person.

The typical shapes pf a person's face are oval, round, or square. There are also heart-shaped and pear-shaped faces as well, which are not as common as the others. Specific methods work best when comparing makeup and face shape.

Matching makeup and face shape for people with round or oval faces can be easily achieved by first applying a base foundation and then applying a second, darker foundation to highlight the the temples, cheeks, and chin. The darker foundation acts as a contour for these features, which highlights and brings out these areas of the face. There are ways to create dramatic effects with an oval or round-shaped face, which include using shades such as black and grays to produce a smokey look. People with oval-shaped faces tend to have symmetry that the others do not, so they can choose nearly any type of makeup effect. Round faces look best when accentuating and lightening the forehead and chin as this acts to create an elongated effect.

Many people who have square-shaped faces tend to accentuate the wrong areas, thus enhancing the boxy shape. It is important to consider the makeup and face shape when highlighting certain areas. Square faces typically require highlights on the cheek areas to add dimension to the shape of the face. Adding blush to the cheeks can usually expand them and create an oval look.

There are certain makeup and face shape techniques for pear-shaped and heart-shaped faces that can produce appealing results. Applying makeup to pear-shaped faces works best when the cheeks are outlined. This draws the focus to the center of the face rather than the chin area. Those with heart-shaped faces tend to look best when the eyes are lightened by using a highlighter under the eye area. This helps to keep the attention on the center of the face as well.

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Discussion Comments
By pleonasm — On Oct 31, 2014

@MrsPramm - That makes me think of that one actress who had a nose-job and suddenly lost all her work because no one recognized her. I think it's important to embrace your attributes, even your face shape, but it's also important to feel comfortable. And if it makes you feel more comfortable to use contouring then go ahead and do that.

By MrsPramm — On Oct 30, 2014

@bythewell - Contouring is fairly advanced makeup though, so make sure you practice a few times to see if you've got the hang of it. Otherwise, don't worry too much about it. I think it's more important to even out your skin tone and match your colors well (different looks for different occasions) than to worry too much about your face shape.

If you look at actresses, they have a wide variety of different face shapes. Classic beauty is one thing, but personality depends on you spending time on your inner self, rather than stressing too much about your outer self.

By bythewell — On Oct 30, 2014

My sister is learning makeup techniques at the moment and she did a practice run on me recently for an exam. She told me that basically what you should be aiming for is to try and make your face-shape look as oval as possible, because that's the ideal. So if you've got a long face, you want to try and make it look wider and if you've got a wide face you've got to try and make it look longer. The easiest way to see what kind of face-shape you have is to look in a mirror and use a non-permanent felt-tip pen to draw around your face in it, then look at what shape you end up with.

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