How to Apply Makeup for Your Face Shape: A Guide

Updated 03/04/19

Makeup is a very experimental and fluid concept. You should have fun with it, feel comfortable in it, and not feel like you need to follow any rules. But with that are expert tricks that actually help you look even better. Think the best bronzer for your skin tone or how to apply eyeliner like a professional and what we're about to teach you today: applying makeup for your face shape.

It's true: Strategically placing blush, bronzer, and highlight on certain areas of your face will showcase your best features. Do you have an oblong face? Blush and highlighter can make it look rounder. Looking to add more definition to a round face? Bronzer will take care of that. To learn how to optimally place these three products on oval, square, oblong, round, and heart-shaped faces, we spoke to several Sephora Pro makeup artists for their expertise. Keep scrolling to learn more!

Makeup for oval faces
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"An oval-shaped face is the most balanced," says Hector Espinal. So in this case, makeup application is quite standard.

What to do:

-Using the PRO brush #59 ($38), apply your favorite matte- or satin-finish bronzer beginning at the temples, working your way down to the center of the face.
-Using the same brush, apply a light touch of blush to the temples down to the apples of the cheeks for an airbrushed finish.
-To highlight, use the Sephora Collection PRO Brush #10 ($11) and apply to the high points of the face: temples, brow bone, bridge of the nose, Cupid's bow, and chin.

Makeup for oblong faces
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"Long-shaped faces have about twice as much height as they do width. To create more balance for long shaped faces, products should be placed to de-emphasize the height and enhance the width of the bone structure," says Chris Sams.

What to do:

-Blush should be applied on the apple of the cheeks, blending back and out to add width.
-Bronzer should be applied around the hairline at the top of the forehead, along the bottom of the cheekbones blended up toward the temple, under the chin blended up and back along the jawline, and across the bridge of the nose.
-Highlight the tops of the cheekbones, blending back toward the temples, on the brow bone, the tip of the nose, and Cupid's bow. Avoid highlighting the forehead and chin, which will add height.

Makeup for heart-shaped faces
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"A heart-shaped face is easy to balance by applying bronzer on the forehead, which makes you look sun-kissed," says Sephora Pro Hellen Phillips. "Most people with this face shape have prominent cheekbones, which is a lovely feature." 

What to do:

-Highlight on the bridge of the nose, high points of the cheeks, underneath the brow bone, onto the jawline, Cupid's bow, and on the chin.
-Apply bronzer or contour to the top of the forehead blending down toward the temples and underneath the cheekbones.
-Apply blush one to two fingers away from the nose, sweep across the top of the apples of the cheeks toward the ear, and blend down to prevent it from appearing striped. This type of application will play up the high cheekbones.  

-Highlight on the bridge of the nose, high points of the cheeks, underneath the brow bone, onto the jawline, Cupid's bow, and on the chin.
-Apply bronzer or contour to the top of the forehead blending down toward the temples and underneath the cheekbones.
-Apply blush one to two fingers away from the nose, sweep across the top of the apples of the cheeks toward the ear, and blend down to prevent it from appearing striped. This type of application will play up the high cheekbones.  

Makeup for round faces
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"A round-shaped face keeps you looking youthful—but you can also add a bit of edge," Phillips says.

What to do:

-Highlight on the bridge of the nose, center of the forehead, high points of the cheeks, underneath the brow bone, Cupid's bow, and on the chin.
-Bronze or contour the entire outer parameter of the face and under the cheekbones.
-Apply blush one to two fingers away from the nose, sweep it across the top of the apples of the cheeks toward the ear, and blend down to prevent it from appearing striped. This type of application will help to break up the roundness.

Makeup for square faces
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"With a square-shaped face, you'll want to apply contour to soften the look," says Julie Taing.

What to do:

-First, apply contour on the temples and jaw area. When applying contour to the jawline, use a fluffy brush and brush upward for a natural look.
-Then, apply blush to the cheeks and bronzer in the hollows of the cheeks.
-Finish by applying highlighter in a "C" shape around the high points of the cheeks and temples.

Want more makeup application tips? Here's how to apply primer, according to a celebrity makeup artist.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

 

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