How to Contour For Your Face Shape

Image via makeup artist Samer Khouzami
 Growing up I loved playing with make-up.  I had a rather extensive selection and was made up nearly every day in a creative new way that coordinated with my outfit.  Years ago I stopped making myself up so much and settled on one or two looks I usually wore, natural, red lips no eye makeup, or cat eye (eye liner only) with light lips  Then a few years ago I started learning about all the bad chemicals around us especially in our personal products ( lotion, shampoo, make-up, etc).  And I threw out nearly all my make-up and personal products and replaced them with all natural products. 
Now my makeup routine is very light and I only have a few products that I use.  I usually only use a lip/ cheek stain (once I run out of my MAC stain I plan to try to use a beet food dye instead), mineral foundation (it's all natural and works as a sun screen too), and tinted lip balm that I make. That's all, unless it's a special occasion, the I might actually wear some eye make-up too (white eye shadow to brighten my eyes and mascara and black eyeliner).  But lately I've been wanting to keep my natural look but step it up a notch but still keep my natural look.  I figured my first step in taking my makeup "up a notch" is to add some contouring and highlighting.  I haven't done that in over a decade, and I most admit some of my fav shots of myself are with highlighting and contouring. But it's been so long, alas I've forgotten how.  I also needed to buy new makeup so I thought I'd share what makeup I bought (and made) and what I learned.

Highlighting and contouring is the technique of using shading to enhance and define facial features, when done right make you look more model perfect.  I'm not talking 80's contouring, which was very exaggerated, (see photo below for example).
bad 80's contouring via ninacrys.blogspot.com
Rather I'm talking about modern subtle natural looking contouring and highlighting (see photos below for examples of good contouring and highlighting).

Good Contouring Natural  not over done via Allure
 Here is yet another great example of the natural contouring and highlighting we're looking for.  

TO SCULPT YOUR FACE YOU WILL NEED:

  • Your true foundation color that matches your skin exactly 
    • I use Maybeline Mineral Wear powder in 2 because it has no fragrance, preservatives, or talc, and uses natural minerals not bad for under $10, it unfortunately can now only be found now at Walmart or Ebay.  I use to buy it at Walgreens.  :(
  • Your contour color that should be 1-2 shades darker than your foundation and with the same undertone, DO NOT GO MORE THAN 2 SHADES DARKER
    • For this I'm using Physicians formulas Mineral wear foundation in creamy natural (also mineral based with no talc), it came in a set and was a bit too dark, this is a great way to use foundation that turned out to be a bit to dark, the same goes for highlighting.  If it's too light, it makes a great highlighter (as long as it's within two shades of your natural skin colour).  
    • As a second just slightly darker contour I'm using Physicians Formula's mineral wear light bronzer (also mineral based with no talc).
    • You  can also make a bronzer yourself from your pantry.  It's surprisingly easy and smells fantastic.  I made some myself and only bought a bronzer cause it came in a kit that was too good a deal to pass up.  Check out my tutorial on how I made it on my other blog Minneapolis Homestead.
  • Your highlighting color that should be 1 to 2 shades lighter than your foundation and with the same undertone, it can have a touch of shine but should not be sparkly, since we want a natural look and there are no sparkles in nature on the skin.
    • I bought Almay's
  • Make sure to use all powders or all liquids or creams, do not mix creams and powders (except for setting powder)
Contour/ Highlight Your Face Based On Your Face Shape

My understanding of contouring and highlighting is that it's to create an illusion of having closer to an oval face. So it's important to know what type of face shape you have and how to highlight and contour accordingly.  When in doubt just remember contour makes things look further away, recedes because it's darker.  Highlighting makes things appear closer, because it's lighter.

 Oval 
You have a oval face if your face is....
  • Your face is slightly longer than wide 
  • Your jaw-line is slightly rounded
  • The outline of your face is an inverted egg-shape -- your
    face is widest at the cheekbones. 
  • Your forehead is fairly broad
    (broader than you jaw)
  • Your face can be divided into 3 equal horizontal sections
    between the hairline, eyebrows, end of nose and chin
  • Your eyes are evenly spaced, with one eye width distance between them
 If you have an oval face your in luck.  There is not much to do, just some highlighting.  I'd suggest one with a little shine (just a little though, don't go crazy).  

Celebrity Example: Beyoncé Knowles, and Megan Fox 

Oblong

You have a oblong face if your...
  • face is longer then it is wide
  • Your jaw line is softly rounded
  • have a vertically straight cheek line (your forehead, cheekbones and jaw-line are the same width)
  • hairline is rounded
The oblong shape is an exaggerated form of the oval, because it is much longer and narrower.  I have an oblong face, so I just need to contour a little under my chin.  Even though the picture below shows no highlighting I plan to follow the Oval face picture above for highlighting, combined with the Oblong example below.  I also plan to use just a minor amount of contour under my cheekbones still just to bring them out.  Just a hint, nothing dramatic here.  I don't think it would hurt to try to widen my face (by contouring my cheekbones) in the middle to balance the length.

Celebrity Example: Liv Tyler , and Sarah Jessica Parker (I've seen her labelled as rectangle too it can be hard to tell!)

Rectangle
You have a rectangle face if your...

  • face is shaped like a square but elongated 
  • face is longer than it is wide
  • jaw is broad and your jaw-line is square If you have a strong jaw, then you could have a square face shape. Your chin may still come to a point, but the angle will be more gradual or flat. But keep in mind: diamond and triangle face shapes can also appear to have a square jaw.
  • sides of your face are straight -- your forehead, cheekbones and jaw are the same width 
  • hairline is straight
Traits of this shape include the same chiseled jawline and broad forehead, but the face is visually longer and leaner.   

 Celebrity Example: Jessica Simpson (I've seen her labelled as a square too).
 
 Heart
You have a heart face if your...
  • have a long and pointed jawline, with the chin being the smallest point of their face.  
  • hairline is wide, (The difference between diamond-shaped faces and heart-shaped faces is the hairline, those with diamond-shaped faces will be. narrow and heart shape is wider)
  • Imagine a triangle flipped upside down on one point. 
Celebrity Example: Reese Witherspoon
 
Diamond
You have a diamond face if your...
  •  chin is narrow and pointed
  •  high cheekbones are you prominent feature (lucky ladies!). 
  •  hairline is narrow. (The difference between diamond-shaped faces and heart-shaped faces is the hairline, those with diamond-shaped faces will be. narrow and heart shape is wider)
Celebrity Example: Zoe Saldana 

Triangle


You have a triangle face if your....
  • face is slightly longer than wide
  • jaw is broad and the widest part of your face and your forehead is narrow
Celebrity Example: Kelly Osbourne

Square

You have an square face if your....
  • face is almost as wide as it is long 
  • jaw is broad and your jaw-line is square If you have a strong jaw, then you could have a square face shape. Your chin may still come to a point, but the angle will be more gradual or flat. But keep in mind: diamond and triangle face shapes can also appear to have a square jaw.
  • sides of your face are straight -- your forehead,
    cheekbones and jaw are the same width 
  • hairline is straight
Celebrity Example: Angelina Jolie, and Demi Moore
 
Round
All face type contouring images were found via my virtual makeover
You have an round face if your....
  • face is almost as wide as it is long
  • jaw line is round and full
  • cheekbones are the widest part of your face
  • hairline is round
Celebrity Example: Ginnifer Goodwin
 
 Not sure what your face shape is still?  Check out this cool flow chart from the beauty department.
post/design: Kristin Ess via the beauty deartment


Now that you have the right products and know what face shape you are, it's time to learn how to apply it properly.  Since I'm a newbie to contouring and highlighting, I thought it would be a good ideal to share with you my favourite tutorials I found on the web.  

I love this picture because it shows a really natural looking contouring and highlighting.

I really like Carli Bybell's contouring video because it looks rather natural, however I watched her video on contouring she shot a year later.  Wow what a difference!  Let's just say not natural looking at all.  I will say the video quality is much better though.


Here is another video I thought was really good.  She used techniques she learned from Maybeline artist on the runway.   
 


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2 comments:

  1. im unsure of my face shape. id like to know bcuz as ive ppl in the past theyve compared me to a diamond, inverted triangle, or oval. i even got square lol idk why bcuz my jawline isnt that broad lol. plz and thank you

    http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/2108/5627/original.jpg

    http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/1321/9451/original.jpg

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