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The Definitive Beginner Guide To Matching Makeup To Your Face Shape

Makeup According to your face shape

Table of Contents 

The Definitive Beginner Guide To Matching Makeup To Your Face Shape

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through social media for the latest makeup trend, but after giving it a go, you’re disappointed with the results? No worries, we’ve all been there. Oftentimes, those iffy results don’t have anything to do with your makeup application skills; it's your face shape that really matters. In fact, using blush, bronzer, and highlighter strategically based on your face shape can help make your features pop while adding dimension. 

To learn more, we’ve created a beginner-friendly guide to matching makeup to your face shape. Here’s the scoop:

What’s Your Face Shape?

There are four common face shapes: oval, round, square, and heart. While there are others like oblong and diamond, they’re usually a mix of the main four. By figuring out your face shape, you’ll be able to determine which makeup looks will accentuate your features beautifully.

To find out which face shape you have, pull your hair away from your face (so you can get a full look) and grab a mirror. Next, compare your face shape’s characteristics to these:

How to know your face shape chart

Pictured: Face Shape Chart   |   Source: Shine Hair Design

Oval Face Shape

 Oval Face Shape

Pictured: Oval Face Shape   |   Source: Allure

Characteristics: The oval face shape is balanced and versatile

Features: Rounded hairline, slightly wider cheekbones, and a narrow chin

How to Apply Makeup to an Oval Face Shape

Cheeks: Smile and apply your favorite blush to the apples of your cheeks to emphasize your cheekbones. Next, blend out towards your hairline. If you need a travel-friendly blush that can be used 24/7, try the Subtl Beauty Blush in Pink In a Pinch for a sun-kissed look. 

Contour: Apply bronzer (or grab the Subtl Beauty Bronzer shade for your skin tone) around the edges of your forehead closest to your hairline and blend down. This’ll make your face appear smaller and/or shorter. Next, add bronzer under your cheekbones for a sculpted appearance. 

Highlighter: Check to see where the light naturally hits your cheekbones. Add some highlighter to these areas for a lit-from-within look. For extra shine, pat any excess highlighter onto the tip of your nose. We recommend the Subtl Beauty Highlighter for a beautiful shimmer all day long. 

Eyes: Try using neutral hues or ones that are sure to bring out your hair and eye color. If you notice in the photo of the celebs with oval face shapes, they’re mostly sporting soft eye looks with eyeliner. Try this tutorial for a beautiful look similar to theirs. 

Lips: Those with an oval face shape tend to have strong cheekbones. But, if you’re wanting to draw some attention to the other areas of your face like your lips, try red or soft pink lipstick. The Subtl Beauty Lip & Cheek in Perfectly Pink is a game-changer!

Round Face Shape

Round Face Shape

Pictured: Round Face Shape   |   Source: You Beauty

Characteristics: The round face shape has soft curves and a wider appearance

Features: Circular shape (with a similar width and length), full cheeks, and a less-defined jawline

How to Apply Makeup to a Round Face Shape

Cheeks: To start, smile and apply blush slightly above your cheeks to help visibly lift and define the shape of your face. If you’re in need of a good-for-you blush that can be used anywhere and everywhere, try the Subtl Beauty Blush in Daytrip At Dawn for a warm, travel-ready look.

Contour: Grab your Subtl Beauty Bronzer and apply it along your temples, underneath your cheekbones, and along your jawline. Contour in a “3” shape from your temples, down the side of your face, under your cheekbones, and then curving out and under your jaw.

Highlighter: Start by applying your concealer (or try the Subtl Beauty Cream Concealer that’s ultra-hydrating) in the shape of an upside-down triangle under your eyes. Next, add some highlighter to the center of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and along your cupid's bow. 

Eyes: Try stepping out of your comfort zone by sporting some bold eye looks. Smokey eyes, for example, are known to add a focal point to the face. Not sure how to go about a smokey eye? Give this tutorial a try!

Lips: For those with a round-shaped face, opt for berry and/or pink-colored lipsticks. These colors are known to draw attention to the lips. If you don’t jive with these hues, try anything that's darker in tone, like the Subtl Beauty Lip & Cheek in shade Plum

Square Face Shape

Face with square shape

Pictured: Square Face Shape   |   Source: You Beauty

Characteristics: The square face shape has strong angles and a defined jawline

Features: Wide hairline, a strong/square jaw, and the width and length of the face are roughly equal

How to Apply Makeup to a Square Face Shape

Cheeks: Smile and apply blush to the apples of your cheeks to emphasize your cheekbones. Apply in circular motions before lightly sweeping out towards your ears. In need of a travel-friendly blush? Try the Subtl Beauty Blush for a summer-ready look on your next vacay. 

Contour: The goal when contouring a square face is to soften any defined edges. To do this, add bronzer around the perimeter of your face and blend in. Don’t forget to snag our ultra-blendable Subtl Beauty Bronzer in the shade perfect for your skin tone. 

Highlighter: Try elongating your face by adding a dash of shimmer to your forehead, chin, and the bridge of your nose. You can also apply some highlighter under your eyes and below the corners of your mouth. We recommend the gorgeously jaw-dropping Subtl Beauty Highlighter.

Eyes: If you have a square-shaped face, try focusing on your lashes with a lengthening mascara. For eyeshadow, stick to light, neutral colors that bring out the beauty of your eyes. If you’re not a minimalist kind of gal, add some flare to a neutral look with this coral tutorial

Lips: Because your lower face is more prominent, you can draw attention to your lips by wearing rose-colored hues (like the Subtl Beauty Lip & Cheek in Dusty Rose). To further define your lips,

line them before adding a gloss or chapstick. Have you tried our decadent Subtl Beauty Lip Balm yet?

Heart (Inverted Triangle) Face Shape

Heart Shaped Face

Pictured: Heart Face Shape   |   Source: In Style

Characteristics: The heart face shape has a broad forehead and narrow chin

Features: Wide forehead, high cheekbones, and a pointed chin

How to Apply Makeup to a Heart Face Shape

Cheeks: After applying blush to the apples of your cheeks, blend in towards your hairline. You’re outlining the heart shape of your face to soften any prominent angles while making your cheekbones stand out. The Subtl Beauty Blush in Blossom Bound would be perfect for this.

Contour: Add some bronzer under your cheekbones for an ultra-sculped look. Next, apply some on the sides of your forehead and under your chin. I’m sure you know what I’m going to say next – blend! If you’re on the lookout for a new bronzer, try the super blendable Subtl Beauty Bronzer.

Highlighter: Grab your favorite highlighter and apply it along the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheeks, and your upper jawline. We recommend the Subtl Beauty Highlighter for a stunning shimmer all day long. 

Eyes: When you’re doing your eye makeup, try and draw attention to your eyes with pinks, peaches, reds, nudes, and champagnes. These colors will soften your face structure. If you’re a lash gal, you can apply voluminous falsies. Try this tutorial for a beautiful, peachy look. 

Lips: To make the lower half of your face appear wider, go for bright shades of lipsticks like the Subtl Beauty Lip & Cheek in Coral. If you apply a lipliner, go heavy on the bottom lip compared to the top one; this will create a full pout.

Tell us – have you ever tried matching makeup to your face shape?


  1. Byrdie   |   How to Apply Makeup for Your Face Shape: A Guide
  2. Ipsy   |   4 Easy Ways to Finally Figure Out Your Face Shape
  3. Health and Style Institute   |   Makeup and Face Shape
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