Ultimate Guide: Makeup, Styles & Other Looks for Different Face Shapes
Everyone’s face shape is different.
And because what looks good on one may look terrible on another, it’s critical to choose the correct makeup, hairstyles, and jewelry to accent this most fashion-forward part of our body. Yet, too often people try to copy celebrity styles and makeup without paying attention to this simple detail.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to select the correct accessories and styles to highlight your face’s natural contours — playing up the high points and downplaying areas that are too wide, long, short, or narrow.
With these tips, you’ll be able to put your best face forward at work, play, and home.
The Seven Basic Face Shapes
While everyone has a distinct face shape, they tend to fall in one of seven groups:
- Inverted Triangle
To see which shape fits you best, take a photo of yourself with your hair pulled back and use a red marker to draw along the outside contours of your face.
Now, look at the shape you’ve drawn.
Which of the above seven shapes does it most closely resemble? That’s your shape!
Makeup, Hairstyles, and Jewelry for All Face Shapes
Now that you’ve determined your face’s basic shape, it’s time to choose the best haircuts, makeup application techniques, and jewelry to turn that shape into your best asset.
Remember, you don’t have to make changes. If you love your pointed chin, then by all means, accentuate it.
But if you’d like a more balanced face shape, read on for ways to accomplish this.
Heart-shaped faces have a wide forehead and a tapered jaw, usually with a pointed chin that flares quickly to high cheekbones.
The top part of a heart-shaped face is usually curved and soft, while the jawline and chin are angular.
Makeup for heart-shaped faces is concentrated on de-emphasizing the wide forehead to balance the upper and lower parts of the face.
People with this face shape should emphasize lips rather than eyes when applying makeup. To narrow a wide forehead, apply bronzer at the temples while sweeping some under the chin to soften the point.
Hairstyles for heart-shaped faces should, again, work to minimize the forehead and soften the sharp contours of the lower face.
Some great styles for this shape are long bangs that cover the forehead, face-framing layers that soften the chin, and the lob — a long bob that minimizes the strong jaw.
Heart-shapes should wear jewelry to minimize the long lines a sharp chin forms.
Earrings that dangle and fill the space between the ear and the chin are best. Opposites attract, so wear triangular pieces that fill in the inverted-triangle shape of your face.
Short, choker-type necklaces are ideal, as they break up the long lines formed by the sharp jawline of this face shape.
If you wear glasses, opt for cat’s eye frames or metal frames that have no rim on the bottom.
Square Face Shapes
With square face shapes, the face is equidistant from the top to the chin and cheek-to-cheek.
Even if your features are soft, the angular, block-like shape will dominate. People with this shape should work at narrowing the jawline to add length to the face.
You’ll need to soften the angular, wide planes of your face by applying bronzer at the temples and under the cheekbones to make them stand out.
Elongate your face by sweeping bronzer along the sides of the cheeks as well, adding a bit of color to the apples of the check for emphasis.
The square face, unlike the heart-shape, is balanced, so you can choose to emphasize eyes or lips. You should have carefully-groomed brows in a soft, round shape to encourage the impression of softness.
Using soft, blend-y colors is a subtle way to blur strong edges and lines.
Squares should stay away from hairstyles with thick, rounded layers that can widen the face. Instead, opt for long, soft layers with a side part, for extra slimming.
No blunt cuts for squares, please. Even if you want to try the all-one-length look, ask your stylist to thin the ends to add lightness to the cut.
Square face shapes need length and softness.
Princess and rope-length necklaces create length and pendants that hang in a U-shape draw the eyes downward for the appearance of length.
Buy jewelry with curves, swirls, and circles to oppose the angles of your strong jawline. Large hoops and long chandelier earring look stunning on this shape.
For glasses-wearers, choose curved frames and round or oval-shaped lenses to create softness.
Round Face Shapes
The round face, similar to the square, has an equal width and length. The difference is in the angles. Square faces are sharp and strong, but round faces are softness and curves.
In order to give a round face more stability and depth, you’ll want to give the impression of angles and edges.
Makeup for round faces should be focused on creating length and angles. Sweep bronzer at the temples and along the cheekbones for extra emphasis.
Create brows with a subtle, angular arch and use eyeliner to add “wings” to the outside corners of eyes.
Don’t forget the blusher — apply it in a tear-drop shape on the apples of your cheek to highlight the cheeks without adding fullness.
Since your face is balanced, feel free to emphasize your best feature — eyes or lips — with abandon.
To draw the eye horizontally, try a side-swept bob with piece-y layers that hit below the chin for maximum impact.
Other hairstyles that work include asymmetrical cuts that break up roundness with a linear vibe and long, layered shags that can give your face definition.
Like the square face, your jewelry should draw eyes downward to lengthen and define the face.
Any necklace or neckline that creates a V-shape can do the job, as well as contribute to a slimming profile.
No chokers or short necklaces for round face shapes, they’ll only add width to your face.
Earrings should be long — dangles, ear threads, and narrow chandeliers are perfect. And any dangles with angular shapes like squares and rectangles can help define a soft jaw.
For eyewear, think rectangular shapes that are equal to or wider than your face’s horizontal line.
A higher earpiece can help elongate your lower face and detailed or heavy frames at the brow line help lift the eye up for strong vertical emphasis.
Oval Face Shapes
The oval face is often considered the ideal face-shape, able to wear just about any style.
This shape is curved and longer than it is wide. The area from the eyebrow to the chin and hairline to eyebrow is the same distance, making this shape symmetrical.
Oval faces have it good — they don’t have to focus on “fixing” anything. But that means the focus should be on emphasizing the good bone structure and showing it off to its best advantage.
Contouring beneath cheekbones with bronzer and layering that with cheek color just above the bronzer line will give a long, lean look to an oval face.
To create more structure, highlight under the brow bone, the center of the forehead, nose, and chin and a touch at the hairline.
Choose your favorite feature and use dramatic makeup to make it stand out. Smoky eyes, deep berry lips, or beautifully tailored brows can be an ornament to an oval-shaped face.
Shoulder length waves, blunt bangs and boho waves? The oval face can wear them all! Because the oval is so symmetrical, it can easily carry off most hairstyles with aplomb.
Just be careful not to wear long, straight hair with no lift at the root — it can weigh your face down and age you, to boot.
What’s there to say? Oval faces can wear any jewelry that’s proportional to the person wearing it.
Delicate styles should be worn on petite individuals, while larger frames can handle more dramatic jewelry pieces.
Long necklaces will lengthen the body while short, chunky pieces add weight. Pieces with soft, curving elements are best to echo the oval face’s soft lines.
Because ovals can wear just about anything, choose earrings that minimize problem areas, like wearing short earrings to minimize a long nose.
For glasses, although you can choose any frame, a rounded square gives just enough linear interest to accentuate, but not overwhelm, the oval face.
Triangle Face Shapes
The triangle shape is the opposite of the heart-shape, with a wide jaw-line and narrow forehead.
A person with a triangle-shaped face will want to try and balance the top and bottom section using makeup, hairstyle, and jewelry.
The triangle will want to apply makeup in the opposite way as the heart-shaped face in order to restore balance.
You’ll need to highlight the outer corners of your forehead to widen them, while bronzing the center of the upper hairline and chin.
Your temples and jawline should also get a dusting of highlighter, while color for your cheekbones should appear on the apples of the cheeks or dusted along the cheekbone.
The eyes have it on a triangle-shaped face.
Accentuating your eyes in a way that suits your lifestyle and makeup style will help draw attention to them, elongating your face and widening the narrow part of the forehead.
You don’t have to ignore lips but if you use color, consider a dark shade that can minimize the wide look of lips and jaw.
Don’t forget to use bronzer on the lower sides of your face, to further narrow the lower face.
Triangle faces are made for bangs. A nice fringe will help widen and define a narrow forehead and draw the eye upward to balance the face.
Hairstyles for triangles should narrow the chin, as well.
You can do this by keeping bangs light and side-swept, and by avoiding styles that fall heavy at the jawline, which will make your face look wider and shorter.
Avoid full bangs or those that cover your face — they only accentuate the widest part of your jaw.
The strong jaw of a triangle needs shorter, curvy necklaces for softness. A matinee or princess-length necklace places a curve beneath the chin for a longer look.
Earrings should add width to the upper part of the face, so ear cuffs are a great accessory for a triangle.
Use headbands, fascinators, or other hair jewelry to draw attention to the upper forehead and rebalance the face.
If you wear glasses, find a pair with a brow-bar that really stands out to create width at the narrowest point of your face.
Diamond Face Shapes
The diamond-shaped face is like a dramatic oval, with angular cheekbones and a forehead and chin that are similarly narrow.
This face shape is balanced, so like the oval, it can handle almost any style you want to try. However, it is longer than it is wide, so the diamond face can benefit from a bit of contouring.
A diamond shape should use makeup to widen the area between the brows with careful highlighting. Don’t overplay lips with gloss or color, lest you end up making your chin look too thin.
Blush should be placed on the apples of the cheeks rather than hollows. The diamond already has stunning bone structure — there’s no need to accent the angularity further.
Hair for diamond faces should concentrate on filling in the edges along the jawline. Loose, flowing curls or choppy ends can give you the volume you need.
Short bobs with wispy ends rock on diamond faces, as they accentuate the dramatic bone structure while softening the jawline at the same time.
Diamond-shaped faces are suited for almost any kind of jewelry, as long as it fits the proportions of the wearer. Soft, curling shapes will blur harsh facial lines, while modern, linear pieces will accent dramatic bone structure.
Use hoop earrings to soften the jaw or angular shapes and hard materials to bring out the angles in the face.
For glasses, choose frames that either emphasize or contrast with the diamond’s sharp features.
Rounded frames make a nice counterpoint to an angular jaw while square frames can help those dramatic angles stand out.
Oblong Face Shapes
The oblong or rectangular face is a forehead, chin, and cheekbones that are the same in width and a length that’s longer than the overall width.
Oblong face shapes should strive to minimize facial length with hair and makeup.
An oblong face can use makeup to turn it into a perfect oval.
A swipe of bronzer along the jaw, the temples, and along the top of the hairline will minimize length, while highlighting cheeks with a pop of color on the apples.
Accentuate eyes and brows to draw attention to the center of the face and way from the silhouette.
Bangs are perfect for oblong face shapes, as they shorten the length of the face. Other hairstyles that work are layered cuts that are chin-to-shoulder length and side-parted bangs.
People with oblong faces should avoid middle parts and long, straight styles with height at the top.
You’ll want to add facial width or shorten length, so wear shorter necklaces with large pendants or beads.
Earrings can be bold, like striking chandeliers are large button-type posts. Anything that adds width can help expand the oblong face.
For glasses, choose frames with a strong brow-bar or other embellished horizontal element. Frames with crystals or metal detailing at the outer corners are a great way to add width.
This works especially well if you’ve chosen to highlight your eyes with dramatic makeup.
Getting in Shape — Making the Most of Your Beautiful Face
No matter what facial shape you were born with, you can learn to accent what you love, downplay what you don’t, and make the most of your assets.
Careful attention to simple makeup tips and tricks can provide subtle — or not so subtle — enhancements of your natural shape, while others can minimize flaws.
Hairstyles are a great way to add balance to facial features and to bring attention to your favorite assets — eyes, lips, cheeks, or brow.
And embellishing your look with dramatic jewelry can add sparkle and flair to any style.
So, embrace the face shape you were born with and use these tips to create the face you desire.