If you’ve ever seen celebrities looking completely unrecognizable without a full face of makeup, then you know exactly how transformative certain techniques can be. Armed with these same makeup artist tricks and tips, these 8 easy makeup tricks can take 10 pounds off your look, instantly. It’s possible to slim your face, enhance your favorite features, and play with proportion—all with makeup. Optical illusions, indeed.
1. Just like in art (and life!), dark makeup shades recede, while lighter colors bring features forward. Use this concept to your advantage by investing in a contour color or matte bronzer one or two shades deeper than your skin tone and a luminous highlighter that’s a bit lighter than your complexion. Feel free to use either cream or powder textures as you wish, or even a combination of the two. Regardless of which formula you choose, be sure to use a makeup brush to blend—streaky contour makeup is a major don’t.
2. Create the illusion of slimmer cheeks by applying your contour shade in a diagonal line from the center of your cheek up toward the ear. Make a slight “fish face” (you know, the pucker) while you do this with your brush to figure out the perfect placement, and don’t forget to blend. The higher you place your contour shade, the sharper your cheekbones will look. Finish off by swiping highlighter across the tops of the cheekbones to really bring out the contour.
3. To fake a thinner nose, swipe a contour powder down the sides of the bridge, stopping before you get to the nostrils. Blend highlighter down the bridge of your nose in a vertical line to complete the effect.
4. Apply bronzer along your jawline to define the area, and blend the shade to create a seamless contour. You’ll never have a double chin in a photo again.
5. Full lips can emphasize roundness on the face, but eyes made to look large with makeup will make the rest of the face appear smaller in comparison, so try playing up your eyes with liner, shadow, and mascara while leaving lips natural with a tinted balm or gloss.
6. Choose the right eyebrow shape. A higher, more pronounced arch helps balance out a round face by vertically stretching its appearance, drawing the eye upward.
7. Playing with light to bring the center of your face forward will help downplay the width of your face for a slimmer look. Start by highlighting the center of your face, then b highlighter between your brows, on the bridge of the nose, on the Cupid’s bow above your upper lip, and in the center of your chin.
8. Don’t forget your forehead—blend your contour shade upward into your temples and around the hairline to emphasize the angular qualities of your bone structure.