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The Best Way to Contour, According to Your Face Shape

Customize those chiseled cheeks!
The Best Way to Contour, According to Your Face Shape
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/santiagoraymond
Customize those chiseled cheeks!

The idea of contouring is pretty straightforward. Makeup tutorials tell us to define our cheekbones, jawline, forehead, and our noses for a chiseled look. But the thing is, nothing in makeup is a one-size-fits-all, so a contouring technique that works on Kim Kardashian can look ridiculous on you. The solution? Tailor your sculpting methods to your own facial structure!

Below, makeup artist Xeng Zulueta teaches us the most flattering contouring techniques for every face shape. Read on and take notes!


Round faces are very circular. Since there are no harsh edges, the shape tend to look quite soft.

IMAGE Carl Alvior

According to Xeng, contouring a round face means shading where the face will look big under a spotlight. So to achieve a more defined look, it's best to contour the outer perimeters. "You basically want to darken the areas on the outside of the face," she says. "Start shading from the temples down to the apples of the cheeks, then underneath the jaw."


Square faces are characterized by a strong jaw and a flat forehead. They're usually wider than they are longer.

IMAGE Carl Alvior

"You first start shading the hairline in an inverted letter C," says the makeup artist. "Then to trim the jaw, contour under the earlobe until where the jaw and the earlobe meet." This technique will soften the edges of a square face and draw the eyes toward your central features.


Heart-shaped faces tend to be smaller, but one sure way to find out is with their signature pointed chin.

IMAGE Carl Alvior

"First, contour the very tip of the chin, then create a half diamond shape starting from above the ear down the hollows of the cheeks." Contouring your chin will also tone down its sharpness, while aligning the pointed tip of the diamond with the corners of the mouth will push your features toward the center of your face. 


Oval faces are long with rounded edges like an oblong. And to define its shape, the goal is to give the face more angles and make the forehead look narrower.

IMAGE Carl Alvior

Xeng gave us a unique contouring technique for this face shape. "From the hairline, create a triangle shape. The tip of the triangle should meet the [highest point] of your eyebrow arch. Then, divide the cheek area on the apples of the cheeks to lift where the hollows are."