As amazing as the results from those brow and contouring tutorials on YouTube are, it's always important to remember that they don't apply to everyone. If you have sparse brows, you'll need different products than someone with thick ones. What works for someone with a round face won't necessarily work for someone with a square face. Ditto for narrow, oval-shaped faces. In fact, while tutorials for people with round faces encourage the viewer to carve into the face with contouring to help create a slimming effect, that's exactly the opposite of what someone with a narrow face should be doing. The trick is to remember to add height to the face, thus lifting the eye of the observer and tricking it into thinking the face is wider. So to help you create the perfect look for an oval-shaped face, we've rounded up some of our favorite tips.
One of the easiest ways to disguise a narrow face is with bronzing powder. New York makeup artist Jessica Lauren suggests focusing 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 ($28) 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.
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 ($25) to achieve this look.
Highlighter is the real key player in widening a narrow face. With a great cream product like YSL Touche Eclat ($35), 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."
Drawing the eyebrows outward and extending them ever so slightly also helps widen the face. We're obsessed with Anastasia Brow Wiz ($21) 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.
Lastly, playing up the eyes draws attention upward, taking away from the length of the face. A good cat-eye is a the perfect look for doing so, 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 ($18). 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.