How To Enhance Your Cheekbones With Make-Up
How To Enhance Your Cheekbones With Make-Up

How To Enhance Your Cheekbones With Make-Up

From sculpting sticks to glossy highlighters and tinted balms, there are plenty of ways to enhance your natural bone structure. We asked four make-up artists what we should be doing…
By Rebecca Hull

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Find Your Cheekbones

“Everyone’s cheekbones start and end in different places on their face. To find yours, smile. The apples of your cheeks are primarily where you apply most of the product, then you want to look for where the cheeks rise towards the temples – this is the line to follow for lifted and structured cheekbones.” – Hollie Ellis

Remember The Light & Shade Rule

“Enhancing your cheekbones with make-up is all about creating the right amount of light and shade. Remember: highlight what you want to bring forward; contour what you want to push back. You can also try the ‘Kate Moss’ hack. Take a cream product, like Charlotte Tilbury’s Contour Wand, make a dot beneath where your cheekbone ends (near the sides of your mouth) and softly blend in circular motions until it’s smoothed out. It’s the easiest way to create the illusion of hollow cheeks.” – Sophie Tilley

Take A ‘Lip To Ear’ Approach

“When it comes to contouring, use the outer corners of your mouth as starting points. Imagine vertical lines travelling up from there to the tops of your ears. Start by buffing the colour – be it a cream bronzer or powder – down the lines, stopping when you reach the points where the centre of your pupils would meet your cheeks. You want any colour to stay under the cheekbones, not above them. This will help to ‘lift’ the bone structure rather than flattening it.” – Jessica Kell

“Powders are great for contouring – I recommend using one like Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sculpting Powder. Start at the top of your cheekbone – next to your ear – then sweep towards the nose, below your cheekbone. This creates a shadow, and a slimmer face shape. You then want to add some light and bring the cheekbones forward. Use a highlighting stick like Westman Atelier’s. Sweep it along the upper side of your cheekbone and blend it in with your fingertips.” – Sophie

Find The Right Tone

“To create a natural-looking contour or shadow under your cheekbone, use products with a cooler undertone to them. Try to avoid anything yellow or too golden around your cheekbones, as this can end up looking muddy.” – Jennifer Oliver

Don’t Forget Highlighter

“One of the most fool-proof ways to enhance your cheekbones is to use a cream highlight with minimal shimmer. Just a small amount tapped onto the highest parts of your cheekbones can be enough – especially if you’re short on time. Look for ones with just a hint of shimmer so they catch the light.” – Jennifer

Get The Texture Right

“If your skin type is more normal to oily, I recommend using powder formulas for your bronzer, blusher or highlighter. If your skin type is normal to dry, cream works well and will seal in moisture throughout the day. Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge is ideal for this – it gives an amazing glow.” – Hollie

“Texture is key for defining your cheekbones. I recommend Stila’s Heaven’s Hue Highlighter which feels like putty. Bouncy and mousse-like, it’s a hybrid cream and powder, which means it lasts. It has light-diffusing particles that give skin a soft, luminous glow. These formulas are so easy to apply, which makes sculpting your skin a quick and easy task.” – Sophie

Use Everything In Harmony

“For a naturally sculpted look, it's all about blending thoroughly and using products that work together. For example, blending your contour with your blusher, bronzer and highlighter is a must. This doesn’t mean you need to use loads of product: just use a little touch of colour under the cheekbones, a pop of blush on the apples of the cheeks, adding a little warmth with your bronzer and a slick of subtle highlighter to finish. Whether you’re using powder, creams or liquids, let all the colours melt into each other so they don’t stand out on their own.” – Jennifer

Avoid Fake Tan

“TikTok is responsible for the trend where people apply tanning lotion like a bronzer, let it set overnight then wake up to a more chiselled set of cheekbones the next day. While this may work for some, it’s better to use make-up to enhance your bone structure. Fake tan grabs onto textured skin, so you’ll always get patchier results. If you’re after warmth, use your bronzer. Apply it where you would naturally catch the sun – along the top of your forehead, across the cheekbones to the nose and down your neck. Blusher should be bounced on top of the apples of your cheeks for extra volume and lift.” – Hollie

Try Skincare Tools

“It’s not just make-up that can give the illusion of more prominent cheekbones – the right skincare tools can make a big difference. NuFace is my favourite gadget for retraining and strengthening the facial muscles into a new, higher position. It gives a tauter appearance and helps to enhance the structure of your facial framework. Likewise, a good gua sha session can work wonders. It’s non-invasive, therapeutic and, though results are short-term, it can help to give your face a temporary glow.” – Sophie

Pay Attention To Your Brushes

“Once you’ve found the shades and textures that work for you, it’s just as important to find the right tools with which to apply them. The Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush is my go-to for contouring cheekbones – it applies foundation and cream blush really well. It’s a great all-rounder. The Real Techniques Sculpting Brush also has a really good, tapered shape with super soft bristles that hug the cheekbones – it makes it super easy to find your angles.” – Jennifer

Finally, Go Slow

“Less is more when it comes to enhancing your cheekbones. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is dipping a brush into a contour product and not thinking about where they’re applying it, or how much they’re using. Go slowly and tap off the excess onto your hands before you apply anything to your cheeks. You want to layer up gradually – remember, it’s easier to add more than it is to take it away. If you apply too much product and a tone that’s too strong, it will look very unnatural.” – Hollie


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