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Face Study and Face Shapes for Professional Makeup

Written by Wendy Hill - Wendy Hill Cosmetics on September 21st, 2016.      0 comments

A nice makeup look can soon be achieved by learning the basic techniques of application, and choosing complementary shades that suit the client’s skin tone and personal style.

Knowledge of basic face structure and face shapes leads to an understanding of the concept of makeup balance. Learning the makeup techniques involved to balance the face will take an artist’s professional skills to another level, and is an essential tool in achieving the best result in any photographic or film work.
We all begin with the same elements: two eyes, a nose, a mouth, cheekbones etc, yet there are no two faces exactly the same. Each face is unique and a makeup artist’s role is to enhance this aspect to express our client’s individuality.

It may be that a client is sensitive about a feature that she would like to have corrected - a large nose, small eyes, sharp jaw line, small mouth etc - and the artist can show her the corrective makeup techniques during a makeup lesson.

It is essential to use face shaping makeup techniques for photographic work, particularly in a studio environment with artificial lighting.

This will correct and contour any features, highlight the best features for the camera and create a 3D effect to add depth and emotion to the images. Without “sculpting” the face, the images can appear flat and lifeless.

First examine and divide the face into two halves to look at the overall balance - a top and a bottom - then the client’s individual face shape. Remember the importance of light and dark.
  • Lighter brings forward - Highlighter
  • Darker takes back - Contour (Shader)Highlights should only be a few shades lighter, and the contour a few shades darker than the client’s natural skin tone, for a more natural result on camera. If the highlighter is too light it will reflect as white in the photos, and if too dark it will look muddy. A maximum of two or three shades lighter or darker works best.
Face Shapes Visual-337
Basic Face Shapes
Wide forehead, high cheekbones and tapers down to a narrow or pointed chin. (An inverted triangle face shape is the same but has sharper angles.)

Apply contour to the temples, sides of cheeks and along jaw line under the chin to shorten. Highlight the chin to widen and the centre of the forehead to give shape.
Face width and length almost equal, widest at the cheeks. To slim a round face, contour down the sides of the temples and cheeks. Highlight the chin and forehead to bring them forward for an even more slimming appearance.
Forehead, cheekbones and jaw line almost the same width. The square face will have a square, angular jaw line as the dominant feature, while the rectangle face may be long and angular.

Soften the strong lines by contouring the sides of the temples and jaw, and highlight the forehead and chin to bring them forward.
The face is highly angular and the cheeks are quite wide, tapering both to the forehead and chin.

Contour the cheeks (and along the jaw line if necessary) to soften the sharp angles and create balance. Highlight the chin and the forehead to the upper hairline to show off the eyes.
The face has a broad jaw line, the cheeks can be wider than the eye area and tapering to a narrow forehead.

Contour the sides of the cheek area and add a little under the eyes if necessary to sculpt the cheekbones and bring them forward. Highlight the forehead to widen and bring forward, and add a little to the chin.
Elongated features and the face gradually tapers towards the chin, sometimes with a prominent chin.

Contour the tip of the chin if prominent, and if the forehead is much longer, contour along the upper hairline. Apply blusher after the foundation just to the apples of the cheeks to shorten and balance by bringing the focus to the centre of the face.
This is the ideal face shape - in proportion and well balanced. The forehead may be very slightly wider with more prominent cheekbones.

No contouring required. Highlight the forehead, chin and under eye area to accentuate these good features.

Extra face shaping techniques may also be necessary to correct individual features. The same principals are applied to correct the nose or lip shapes to create balance.
Recommended Products

It is important to use professional makeup for all professional makeup artistry. These are products that are designed to perform, last and photograph well. Mineral makeup is likely to reflect because of the micronized particles they contain, so it is recommended to always use photographic makeup with satin and matte finishes.

Most face shaping is applied under the foundation for the most natural result using lighter and darker shades of crème camouflage. A liquid foundation is then lightly and carefully stippled over the camouflage with a foundation brush and ‘moulded’ into the skin without shifting the face shaping underneath.
If a stronger look is required, an all-in-one crème compact foundation works well, using a lighter and darker shade for the face shaping and finishing with one to match the skin tone.

After applying the foundation, be sure to set it with loose oil controlling matte powder that is non-reflective and photographic. A dusting of HD (high definition) powder is perfect for all photographic and film work to prevent reflection and shine.

Bronzers and blushers all add to the topical effect, as will the choice of eyeshadow and lipstick shades. Applying all makeup using the same principals of light brings forward and maximises and dark takes back and minimises, will produce a beautiful result and stunning photographs.

By Wendy Hill
Wendy Hill Cosmetics

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