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How to Contour a Thin Face (With Video Tutorial)

By Suzanne Blons January 13, 2021 Beauty

Sometimes I wish certain body parts aged like my face – becoming thinner as my years go higher, but then that’s just life. There are tricks, though, that can help your face appear plumper, both with skin care and makeup, and this may or may not include contour.

Contour on a thin face can be redundant, or it can help to add dimension and style depending on how it’s done. In my professional work, I make-up a lot of older women, so these are the techniques I use to help them look their very best in front of the camera.

Go North

If you watch makeup tutorials from younger women, you’ll find that their reasoning for using contour is different than that for older women. Our faces tend to thin out with age due to collagen depletion, and the tendency for everything on our bodies is to head SOUTH.

This isn’t usually a consideration for younger women; therefore, their placement and quantity of contour can be much heavier and more pronounced. My question when I make-up a thin faced older woman is, what’s the goal?

If the predominant goal is to add plumpness, then I reach for my Hyaluronic Mineral Hydrator, an excellent hydrating and plumping product that works immediately. Once the skin is hydrated, I work on using contour and blush in a way that best highlights her features and brightens her face.

It’s Not Dirt on My Face, It’s Misplaced Contour

As a rule of thumb, light brings out and dark recedes. If you have a very thin face, contour might not be of service to you. On the other hand, it can help to make cheekbones more prominent and add dimension.

My advice is to keep your chosen color minimal and well blended, and do not take it all the way to your nose. Keep it mostly under your cheekbone, chin (if you have anything a bit droopy there), and on the high points of your forehead.

Pick a color that is one to two shades darker and with matching undertones to your skin color. If you pick a too yellow-ish shade, you’ll look like you smeared dirt on your cheek, and too blue-ish of a shade can make you look like someone hit you. Neither option is optimal.

A simple trick is to look at your breastbone and match that color. Our breastbone tends to receive some sunlight and most times is the appropriate shade for contour.

Color, Color, Color… COLOR!

Never underestimate the power of well-placed blush. Blush, like attitude, has an immediate impact. Have a peachy blush for your warmer lip shades, and a rosy blush for your pinky-purple lipsticks. Try Jane Iredale Barely Rose or Mocha blush, and also matte lip-stains in Fascination or Craving.

For a thin face, place your blush right on your cheek (just do a closed lip smile and your cheek will pop out), and then blend it up around your eye area. Placing blush closer to your eyes draws attention NORTH, which, as we know, is the entire goal.

Also, run your blush on your brow bone and décolleté as well for added benefit. With our mask-wearing mandate, using matte lipsticks is easier and less messy, and will stay on longer under a mask.

Highlight Is Your Friend!

Highlight is not only your friend, it’s your best friend – but use it wisely. Because light brings out, adding highlight to the top of your cheekbone, brow bone, and even along your nose can be a huge plus. The tricky bit is in buying a highlight that doesn’t settle in fine lines.

For this reason, I use YSL Touche Eclat. It’s not cheap, but it works like no other I have found. They have many shades to choose from, so go about one shade lighter than your skin, and apply using your ring finger for easier absorption into your skin.

Doing these tricks will add dimension, pop, and bad-assness to your face and help you avoid the potential dirt and bruised look we want to avoid. Not to mention, everything will go NORTH in the best way possible!

What changes have you noticed happen with your face after 60? Do you have a thin face and wonder how to give it more dimension? What techniques have you tried? Please share your favorite product that has helped you in this regard.

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The Author

Suzanne Blons, The Beauty Shaman, has been in the beauty industry for nearly 40 years. A former Revlon Charlie Girl, she is now a professional makeup artist and has worked with such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and Arianna Huffington. Today, Suzanne shares her beauty secrets on her YouTube channel, The Beauty Shaman. Check out her store, blog, coaching, and beauty courses.

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