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How to Contour a Square Face

A quick and easy guide for how to contour and highlight a square shaped face

Written by: 100% PURE®
Countouring Sqaure Face Example

We’re back with a new installment on our #howtocontour series, this time talking about popular and flattering ways to contour and highlight square face shapes. There’s so much to love about a square face – the sharp angles of the jaw, the width of the face making the eyes look more exotic, and how the natural square angles are in perfect balance with soft feminine features like rounded lips and almond eyes. But first, let’s go over some contouring basics – then we’ll follow with specialized tips for how highlighting and contouring can bring out the best features in this face shape.

Contouring Basics

Highlighting 101

While there are a few ways that the beauty community uses the term, ‘highlighting’ or ‘highlighter’, in this case means a lighter shade of complexion product that creates the illusion of balance. Most of us like to call in a little complexion assistance for the area under the eyes where we tend to get fine lines, dark circles and hollows. By using a concealer that is lighter, we can balance that darkness and shadow, and this creates the illusion of being more awake and youthful.

Contouring 101

Ding-ding-ding: you guessed it! If you didn’t know already, contouring is essentially the opposite of highlighting. In this case, we use darker complexion products to create shadows and depth instead of neutralizing them. This helps to sharpen the angles of the face to draw out our bone structure, but it’s also slimming and creates a more modelesque or mature look on fuller, rounder faces.

How to Contour a Square Face

Step 1: Face Shape

Step one in contouring a square face is first to determine your face shape. While you might have a square or angled hairline or a rather sharp jaw, these are both elements that are present in other face shapes as well. With square faces, the brow bone, the cheekbones and the jawline are all about the same width. You’ll also want to look at your chin. Is your chin about even with the rest of your jawline? Shorter chins are a hallmark of square faces.

Some celebrities with square face shapes include (queen) Rihanna, the stunning Olivia Wilde, and ageless beauty Salma Hayek. You can see with these ladies that the distance from their hairline to their brow bone, their brows to nostrils, and their top lip to jaw are all about equal in size, and this is a really reliable way to determine if you have a square face.

Countouring Makeup Set

Step 2: Highlighting

We should always start with highlighting during the contouring process. Lighter complexion products are easier to work with, easier to balance out, and it’s harder to go too extreme with these. With that said, you’ll want to be sure to use a concealer that is at maximum (2) shades lighter than your skin tone or foundation.

There are many areas to play around with shadow and light on square faces. Starting from the top, you’ll want to highlight the very center of the forehead, drawing this highlight line down the center of the nose. Keep this rather slim as square faces tend to have more broad foreheads. Next highlight under the eyes – this is consistent with all face shapes. Finally, apply highlight to the center of the chin.

Our 2nd Skin Concealer is ideal for highlighting because of the lightweight creamy texture and medium buildable coverage. This works for all skin types and comes in satin finish which most accurately mimics the appearance of real skin (hence the name). Boosted with balancing herbs, nutrient rich oils and antioxidant rich fruits, this concealer will leave your skin looking improved during and after wear.

For blending all of this in, we recommend a damp, non-latex makeup blender. Soft and dense, this sponge is intended to use damp and helps get into those teeny tiny corners, leaving softly blurred skin with your ideal amount of coverage.

Contouring Makeup Group Product Shot

Step 3: Contouring

Contouring is also a lot of fun with this face shape. Starting at the hairline, we’ll want to contour the outer flanks of the forehead creating a slimmer forehead and gradient effect. We’ll move to the cheekbones next, and you will want to go right into the hollow of the cheek (usually in alignment with your ear). Finally, we will want substantial contouring on the outer edges of the jawline where this face shape generally comes to a point. Doing this will soften the angles of the face and draw more attention to the lips.

To keep things light, natural and easy to blend, work with the fruit pigmented® Full Coverage Water Foundation to contour. Look for a shade about 1-1.5 deeper than your skin tone and use minimal product to start, building up when and where necessary by adding additional product to the brush – never the skin. Instead of our sponge, use our Cruelty-Free F30 Angled Contour Brush Brush for this, as the shape fits perfectly into angles and hollows, plus the fluffy side is fool-proof for achieving a pro blend and a perfectly contoured and highlighted face.

Want more tips for how to contour? Check out these handy guides:

You can find more contouring guides in our makeup feed!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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