Makeup to shorten a face
Makeup to shorten a face

Fake It Until You Make It: Making a Long Face Appear Shorter

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Through all of our handy beauty products, we enhance and improve upon our features that we were born with, and play up the ones that we wish had a bit more prominence. So that saying “fake it until you make it” can really ring true in the beauty world – if you want fuller lips, make them; bolder brows, create them; and a contoured jawline, contour it! In this column we’ll teach you the tips and tricks to tweaking your features and “faking it” until you “make it.”

Having an oblong or oval face isn’t the end of the world—in fact, it’s actually the face shape that can tolerate the widest variety of hair styles and makeup looks. However, some looks just aren’t the greatest for oblong faces, and instead of flattering your defined jaw and cheekbones, they can actually make it look longer. To help stop this issue from happening, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks for making your face look shorter instead of lengthening it.

Contour in the right places: As with standard contouring, focusing on the top of the hairline, cheekbones, and jawline are key for shortening an oblong face. Contouring just under the cheekbones (in the hollows) will help to add width and draw the eye to the center of the face, while “shading” just under the jawbone helps create the illusion that the jaw is less prominent.

Get cheeky: Speaking of playing up your cheeks, adding a natural but pigmented color onto the apples of your cheeks will also “widen” the face. Applying a touch of highlighter just above the cheeks will draw attention to the center of the face, too.

Bring out your eyes: Play up your eyes with colorful shadows and eyeliner, and create some bold lashes with a lengthening mascara. Similar to the previous cheek trick, drawing attention upward towards your eyes helps take away from a long face.

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Bold brows: Grab a brow pencil like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil and draw your brows outward towards the temples using short strokes to mimic the look of brow hairs. This trick will also add width, and not to mention give you some Cara Delevingne-worthy brows (or at least we’d like to think so!).

Think bangs: Bangs are a great way to disguise an oblong face. For starters, they help conceal a larger forehead, and make it look as though the hairline starts lower. Whether you’re a blunt bang or side-swept kind of girl, either look will work for shortening your face.

Make waves: Stick-straight hair is the arch nemesis of a long face. Instead, create waves or curls by wrapping hair around a curling iron or try some of our heatless techniques for curls. The body that wavy or curly hair has helps add width to the sides of the face.

Long layers: Ask your stylist to create mid-length or long layers to add more body to your hair and widen the face instead of having long hair that’s all one length. Short layers, especially on shorter hair, aren’t the best and will unfortunately make the face appear longer.
Go shorter: Truly! If you have an oblong face, don’t be afraid to try out a shorter cut or a “lob.” Short cuts actually help create the illusion of a shorter and wider face.


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