Essential Contouring Tips For Round Faces

Contouring is a relatively easy, relatively fast way to define your best features, create stunning contrast, and transform your beauty look. Anyone can contour their cheeks, forehead, nose, and jawline by tracing natural shadows with bronzer. However, round faces and their lack of natural angles provide their own unique hurdles when it comes to this trend. With that in mind, we caught up with celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney to find out everything you need to know about contouring for round faces.

Meet the Expert

Tobi Henney is a makeup artist based in New York City. Her client roster includes the likes of Ashley Graham, Barbara Palvin, Charlotte Lawrence, and more. She previously served as L'Oréal Paris Makeup Director for Australia.

Step One: Pickup Product Using a Contour Brush

For a natural application, Henney dips her M.A.C. Cosmetics 159S Synthetic Fiber Brush into her contour of choice, picking up a light amount of product that she'll blend out later. "I love these brushes, they make contouring super easy when blending the product so [the result] is seamless." If this is your first time contouring, Henney recommends opting for a cream contour formula, rather than powder. For most people, cream is easier to apply, easier to blend, and dries to a more natural-looking finish.

tom ford shade and illumiante
Tom Ford Beauty Shade and Illuminate $88.00

Step Two: Draw Contour Lines on Your Cheeks

To begin contouring, Henney begins by outlining where she'd like her contour to pop. "The easiest way to start is at the top of the ear, and you just want to nestle that in underneath your cheekbone," she says. "If you have trouble, you can take your finger and feel out exactly where you want to contour. You want to stop just at the end of the eye there." Do your best to follow the natural shadows on your cheeks, drawing contour slightly below where you would normally apply highlight.

Step Three: Sculpt the Jawline

"Next I like to bring it under the jawline," Henney continues. "And what this does is make your face look super slim. You don't need a lot of product, be careful. If you put too much product onto your skin it makes the blending part a bit difficult." Just below your jawline, paint a steady line extending from your ear, ending just before your chin. This won't look natural at first, but it will really pop when we blend everything out in the final step.

Step Four: Lightly Dust Your Forehead, Following Your Hairline

When contouring a round face, your forehead is one of the areas where you want to deposit the least product. "And then what I like to do is just really softly put a little bit there on the forehead," says Henney. She goes is in with the same brush she used for her cheeks and jawline, depositing product along her hairline with a very light hand.

mac brush
M.A.C. Cosmetics 159 Synthetic Fiber Brush $35.00

Step Five: Draw Contour Lines on Your Nose

During this step, it's extremely important to be gentle and use minimal product (it's a good idea to tap excess product a few extra times before going in with your brush during this step). For a natural-looking contoured nose, just dust ever so lightly on both sides of the bridge in vertical, sweeping motions, as well as under the "button" of your nose (where highlight should go).

Step Six: Blend

Once all of your initial contour markings have been drawn on your cheeks, jawline, forehead, and nose, Henney recommends switching to a fluffier brush. "I'm going to pick up an It Cosmetics #7 brush, and this is super super soft. And what I'm going to do is blend that contour into my foundation." This brush features a dual-end, with one larger and one smaller brush head for blending out tighter areas, like the nose. To blend, move your rounded blending brush in circular motions along the lines of your contour, being careful not to stray too far out from the initial line you drew for yourself (the key to the contoured look is making sure the areas you drew for yourself are thoroughly blended, but still somewhat defined). If you're concerned about blending, Henney recommends using a cream contour, which she says is "super easy to blend, and looks very fresh on the skin." If you over-blend, you can trace over your cream shadow with powder bronzer to intensify color.

It Cosmetics
It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush $48.00

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