How to Highlight Your Best Features (and Downplay Your Worst)

Rachel Krause
Photo: ImaxTree

Photo: ImaxTree

No face is “perfect”—we all have features we’re fond of and want to play up and others we’d prefer faded into the background. Fortunately, the magic of makeup allows us to do just that. Want to make your eyes pop or make your nose look half its size? Here’s exactly how.

To Emphasize Your Eyes
Short of aiming for a super-dramatic eye makeup look, there a few ways to play up the size and shape of your eyes while keeping makeup low-key. No matter your eye shape, tight lining the upper lash line by working a black pencil or gel liner into the water line and between the lashes is a great way to create definition and make eyes pop. Dotting a shimmery highlighter or eyeshadow in the inner corners of eyes right by the tear ducts makes them look larger and brighter. For a wide, doe-eyed look, focus mascara on the outer lashes.

To Downplay Your Nose
Standard contouring techniques are the best way to make your nose appear smaller and thinner, but you don’t have to go all-out with the highlighting and shading. To visually slim the nose, draw a straight line down the bridge with a highlighter or concealer that’s a bit lighter than your skin tone and blend well. You can also use a slightly darker powder on the sides of the nose to shade.

To Emphasize Your Lips
The best way to highlight lips and make them appear fuller without adding color or dramatic shading is just by adding a touch of a shimmery highlighter to your cupid’s bow, the small ‘V’ shape in the center of your top lip.

To Downplay Your Forehead
If you have a high forehead that you want to draw attention away from, contouring your hairline is the way to go. Just use a shade or two darker than your foundation and trace the natural curve of your hairline, then blend well to create the look of a smaller forehead.

To Emphasize Your Cheekbones
To give cheekbones a sharp, defined look—or to create them where there are none—start with a matte contouring powder or cream. Suck in your cheeks to see where the shadow should be and lightly brush or blend the color into the hollows of your cheeks. Blend a cream or powder blush just atop the shadow, angling up toward your temple, and place a highlighter just above the blush. This three-step process adds dimension without appearing unnatural.

Read more: Get an Instant Face Lift with These Makeup Tips