03 January 2014

Face Shapes | Highlights & Lowlights

Face shapes is a big factor in how you apply makeup as a makeup artist or an individual. Knowing and looking at the shape of a client's face will help you decide what makeup to use. If a client has a prominent cheekbones or eyes, you will need to do little to accent these features than you would for a client with a softer, rounder face or less dramatic eyes. You can determine the shape of a person's face by looking at the person with his or her hair pulled back, and envisioning which shape best fit neatly around the edges of the face.

You can change the way the face is perceived by using subtly different colors of foundation to create shadows and highlights. Correct use of highlighting and shadows can make a long face seem shorter, or a round face more drawn out.  

Oval is considered the ideal face. This face shape is about one and a half times longer than it is wide. An oval doesn't require any corrective highlights or low-lights. In fact, it's the shape the others are corrected to look like.

Round faces are just about as wide as they are long. They benefit from low-lights under the cheekbones and highlights above them applied in more vertical than horizontal strokes, with blush immediately along the bottom edge of the cheekbones. Use a dash of highlights on the chin, too.

Heart-shaped faces have a narrow jaw line, and become gradually wider up to the temples and on either side of the forehead, as well as on the chin. Use highlights just above the client's cheekbones, and blend the blush all the way from the cheekbones to the temples.

Square faces have a forehead, cheekbone and jaw line that look almost equal in width. They can be shaded at the corners (imagine the four corners of a square), which means the jaw and sides of the forehead. Blush goes on the cheekbones, and highlights go above them.

Long faces should be shaded at the top and bottom - the jaw line under the chin and the forehead near the hairline. Highlights go above the cheekbones, and blush goes immediately under the highlights.

Diamond faces are widest at the cheekbones, with a narrow forehead and jaw line. Highlights go on the jaw line, and shading goes on the tip of the chin, the cheeks and the temples. Blush should go right on the apples of the cheeks, in a fairly neutral color.

Triangle or "pear-shaped" faces have a narrow forehead and a wider jaw line. You will shadow or contour the sides of the jaw and neck, and highlight the center of the nose, cheeks and temples. 

As a makeup artist, it's a must you know how to pick out your client's best facial features and call attention to them with color and drama, and understand how to use makeup to downplay less desirable ones using contouring and shading.

Maybe a client has features that will benefit from highlights, such as beautiful eyes, high cheekbones, or shapely lips. You can accentuate these features with extra color, highlighting cream or light-colored foundation, or heavier makeup application.

Later on this blog, I'll talk on highlights and contouring.

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