5 Makeup Tricks for Those With Narrow Faces

It's all about the "lift."

narrow face makeup


While we're all guilty of watching endless Youtube videos of our fav beauty gurus achieving contouring euphoria with elevated cheekbones and well-defined brows, chances are the results from these tutorials may not apply to everyone. If you have sparse brows, you'll need different products than someone with thick ones. What works for a viewer with naturally round features won't necessarily work for someone with naturally square features. Ditto for narrow, oval-shaped faces. In fact, while tutorials for people with round faces encourage the viewer to contour and achieve a more chiseled look, someone with a narrow face would actually benefit from side-stepping this tip. So what's the trick? The flip side if you have more narrow features is to add height to the face, thus lifting the eye of the observer and tricking it into thinking the face is wider.

To help you create the perfect look for an oval-shaped face, we've rounded up some of our favorite tips.

Create Shadows

Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer $30

One of the easiest ways to disguise a narrow face is with bronzing powder. Focus on areas like the tip of the forehead, the jawline, and the temples to create the illusion that your face is "shorter" than it actually is. Benefit Hoola Bronzer Matte Powder is perfect for this because the rectangular brush "chisels" into the face so precisely, and the color is a grayscale (not orange!) bronzer that distracts rather than deflects.

Fenty Match Stix in Amber
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick $25

Next, use cream contour (or stick with the matte bronzer, if you tend to have oily skin) and draw a line right under the cheekbones, halfway down toward the mouth. This will define the cheeks, giving the illusion that the face has width. When you're done, blend up and into the hairline. We love Fenty Match Stix to achieve this look.


YSL Touche Eclat
YSL Touche Eclat All-Over Brightening Pen $38

Highlighter is the real key player in widening a narrow face. With a great cream product like YSL Touche Eclat, apply highlighter on the center of the forehead, below the eyes, and on the tops of the cheeks. Hitting these high points of the face will draw attention upward and out. However, LA-based makeup artist Lana Krizki suggests staying away from the chin when highlighting a narrow face. "Apply additional highlighter or shimmer powder to your eyelids and the bridge of your nose, but skip your chin, since that will make your face look longer."

Focus on the Brows

Anastasia Brow Wiz $23

Drawing the eyebrows outward and extending them ever so slightly also helps widen the face. We're obsessed with Anastasia Brow Wiz and its waxy consistency, which helps it last all day long. Just be sure to use short strokes when drawing in your brows to mimic the look of brow hairs; otherwise, the look can come off more drawn-in than you intended.

Experiment With Blush

Applying blush can often be an intimidating beauty step no matter the shape of your face. From choosing the right color to applying with the right brush, there's often no right-size fits all. In this case, blush can be your best crutch if you're looking to accentuate using different hues. For a look that's still au naturel, focus on applying blush just below the apples of your cheeks similar to a bronzer or contour application. Blend and apply in an upward motion heading towards your earlobes to create the illusion you you're aiming for. Be mindful to build the color up so you avoid applying too much product!

Flush and Go Duo Blush
Flush and go blush
Kjaer Weis Flush And Go Duo $32

Build With Foundation

This beauty hack has been gaining momentum over the years and with good reason. Though it may sound contradicting (at least we thought so at first!) but applying a mattifying oil-free translucent (or setting) powder before you dip into your foundation has a myriad of benefits. If your skin is prone to oily spots throughout the day, even after several touchups, this tip is your latest skin-savor. Makeup artists have sworn by this technique to extend the longevity of make-up through out the day, and if you're looking to add definition and depth to your face, it's time to take note.

Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Loose Setting Powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder $39

Play Up Your Eyes

Bodyography Liquid Liner
Bodyography On Point Liquid Liner Pen $17

Lastly, playing up the eyes draws attention upward, taking away from the length of the face. A good cat-eye is perfect when you want to achieve this look, especially since the wing tips move outward, widening the face. To create a super long-lasting cat-eye, try Bodyography On Point Liquid Liner Pen. Celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern also suggests playing up the lashes for this very reason: “When applying mascara, really focus on the center of the eye arch. You can build up more coats there. I even love to throw a couple of individual lashes on the center of the eye, it adds a third dimension,” says Stern.

Related Stories