Bobbie Thomas

DIY a new face! Contouring with makeup is easier than you think

May 2, 2014 at 11:16 AM ET

Video: TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas explains how the right combination of light and dark concealers, foundations and powders may help make your face look fuller and more attractive.


While it may seem like all celebrities are naturally blessed with high cheek bones and perfect noses, the truth is that many of them (or their makeup artists) have simply mastered the art of contouring. TODAY Style Editor and author Bobbie Thomas shares more on this makeup method.

It's all about balance
Regardless of face shape, studies have shown that symmetrical faces are perceived as more attractive in both men and women. And it's easier than you may think. When contouring, you will use the illusion of depth to your advantage, creating shadows to help visually "re-shape" your face.

Light fills, dark fades
Concealers, foundations, and powders in lighter shades make good highlighters and can elevate an area to make a feature appear fuller or more pronounced. Thus the opposite is true for darker shades of make-up, like bronzer, which helps a region recede. The combination of light and dark allows us to carve out desired curves and angles. 

Know your face shape

First, look in the mirror and make general mental notes. Is your face longer than it is wide? Or vice versa? Next, determine whether your jawline is more round, square or pointed. Identify areas you want to play up versus those you want to play down. Although the oval face shape is considered most proportional, every face is different. You can find more face shape downloads on Bobbie.com, but here are general guidelines:

For those with rounder faces: Use a bronzer or darker powder to shade the corners of your forehead and jawline, leaving an untouched oval in the middle. Next, starting between your eyebrows, brush highlighter down the center of your nose, and add a small triangle underneath your bottom lip at the top of your chin. This line will draw the focal point of your face inward, giving it a longer, leaner appearance. Use blush to add color to the apples of your cheeks.

Bobbie Thomas
Bobbie Thomas

For those with square or rectangular faces: Soften your stronger jawline by adding curve to the outer edges in order to appear more balanced. Use a dark powder or bronzer to shade the outside corners of your forehead and jawline, creating the illusion of a more rounded face. Swipe highlighter down the bridge of your nose, and add a small triangle underneath your bottom lip at the top of your chin. This line will draw the focal point of your face inward, giving it a softer appearance. Lastly, apply blush to the apples of your cheeks in a slightly vertical fashion, helping to further streamline your shape.

Bobbie Thomas
Bobbie Thomas

Style Editor and author of The Power of Style Bobbie Thomas shares the buzz about beauty, fashion, and more here on TODAY and at Bobbie.com. Consider her your go-to girlfriend, style MacGuyver, and wikipedia for women who you've seen in her underwear. Follow her on Twitter,  FacebookInstagram.

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