How To Create Shadow And Dimension On A Narrow Face

Although it grew popular in the 2010's, contouring has long been a practice used to create shadow and dimension on the face. Whether you prefer 'nontouring', a low effort contour alternative, or you like to go all-in with the bronzing powder and sculpt extra-sharp cheekbones, there's no denying the magic of how one's face can be transformed with only a bit of makeup. While it takes a bit of practice, learning to play up your natural features is worth the effort.


Watching makeup tutorials is a great way to learn how to achieve a proper contour and highlight. The only problem with that, however, is that the person you're watching may not have the same face shape as you. If your face is shaped more like Taylor Swift and you're watching a contouring tutorial by someone whose face shape is similar to Rihanna's, attempting their methods won't give you the same results. Just like you would want to choose the best hairstyles for your face shape, learning to contour for your face shape is equally as important.

How to add dimension to a narrow face

Aside from enhancing your naturally beautiful features, contouring is all about the sculpting effect that it gives the face. The process uses darker shades to create shadows and hollows. As a result, your face may end up looking slimmer, which may not be what you want if you have an already narrow face. To make your face look a bit wider, focus on highlighting rather than contouring. Brightening up these specific areas draws the eyes to them, creating the appearance of a wider face.


To make the highlight look more natural, opt for a face gloss that won't add any shimmer to the face. Then, apply it in all the places that the sun would naturally hit your face – above the cheekbones, on top of the brow bone, and on the edges of the forehead. To avoid further lengthening the face vertically, don't highlight the nose bridge or chin, as this can make the face look longer.

When contouring, start out with a little bit of product and build your way up. Place the product under your natural cheekbone to make the cheek appear fuller. To accentuate your cheeks, smile and tap your blush onto the apples of your cheeks.

Shop the best products for contouring

Of course, the key to contouring a narrow face all comes down to having the right products. To get a more precise contour, forget applying with a brush and go for a product with the tool built in, like the Fenty Beauty Match Stix Contour Skinstick. The product is narrow enough to fit under the cheekbone, allowing you to place the pigment exactly where you need it to be. Since the tube isn't very large, it won't overwhelm narrow face shapes. Once applied, diffuse the product with a brush or your fingers for a natural finish. If you have oily skin, you can go in with a powder bronzer, such as the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer. Long-lasting and sans shimmer, this bronzer looks completely natural on the skin. Use a fluffy brush to apply under the cheekbones and blend it into the hairline.


Go in with the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush on the apples of the cheeks. A little goes a very long way, so start out with a tiny dot and build it up from there. Using your fingers, blend it outwards, ensuring that it meshes together with the bronzer. Finish off with a highlighter on the high points of your face, avoiding the chin and bridge of the nose.