Have a Long Face? Try These Contouring Tricks



The word “contouring” has successfully worked its way into the beauty world’s lexicon, with the technique becoming a daily go-to for women the world over. A sweep of matte powder can successfully create the illusion of cheekbones where there once were none. But that’s not all, if you were born with a long face, contour powder dusted in the right places can create the illusion that it’s shorter and rounder than it actually is. Personally, I would love a longer face and constantly describe my own as looking like Luna, the moon, in Bear in the Big Blue House (google it). But we all think the grass is greener and if a long face is your hang-up, then this guide could be the answer. Of course, the effect is subtle, but it can make a world of difference in photos, making it an especially valuable addition to your makeup routine come party season when you won’t be able to move for someone wielding a smartphone for a picture. We called on Lisa Potter Dixon, head makeup artist for Benefit Cosmetics, to share the rules of contouring if you have a long face—keep scrolling for her guide.

Start at the top

Start by contouring along the hairline, this will create the illusion that it is lower than it really is and the effect that you have a smaller forehead than you really do.

Balance your contour

When it comes to the cheekbones rather than working your contour powder into the hollow, bring your brush just 0.5cm lower than the sockets of your cheekbones. This will define and shorten the bottom half of your face.

Don't forget your chin

Just as you created the illusion of a smaller forehead by contouring the hairline, replicate a similar effect at the bottom of your face by contouring directly under your chin, this will make your face look rounder. Avoid blending up under the jawline as this will only accentuate a long chin.

Fake width

The act of contouring would not be complete without some highlighting action. Use a matte highlighter, like Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam Liquid Highlighter (£20), and apply it underneath the eyes in an inverted triangle, blend up and out towards the top of each ear to make the face look wider.


A little shimmer on the cheekbones, down the nose and under the brow bones will further create the illusion of a more rounded face.