How To Apply Makeup for Round Faces — Simplified for Beginners

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Makeup is a powerful tool that enhances natural beauty and accentuates one’s best features.

For beauties with round faces, the goal is often to create an illusion of length, highlight the cheekbones, and balance the facial features. But how does one achieve this?

In this guide, we will walk you through a step-by-step process of doing makeup for round faces.

Portrait of successful professional pretty cute charming sweet woman in checkered shirt with round face big cheeks looking at camera isolated on grey background

Whether you’re a makeup novice or a seasoned beauty enthusiast, get ready to discover the secrets of makeup application for round faces!

Fast Facts

  • A round face is characterized by its equal width and length, shorter forehead, soft jawline, full cheeks, and a lack of distinct angles.
  • Enhance a round face with contouring, strategic highlighting, and brow shaping, along with eye and lip makeup techniques for balance.
  • Explore makeup styles like natural daytime, subtle smokey eye, bold cat-eye, soft glam, and monochromatic looks tailored for round faces.
  • Avoid harsh contour lines, excessive lower eyeliner, center-placed blush, round eyebrows, dark lower lash lines, and overly dark lip liner for a more flattering appearance.

How To Tell If You Have a Round Face

Before knowing how to apply makeup on round faces, you should be an expert at spotting this face shape!

Determining a round face shape involves observing specific facial proportions and features. Here are elaborate guidelines to identify a round face shape.

Face Width and Length Ratio

A round face is characterized by its nearly equal width and length. 

To determine this ratio, you would need to measure the widest point of your forehead first, which is typically around the hairline. Then compare it to the widest part of your cheekbones and your jawline.

If these measurements are quite close, then that’s your first clue. This uniformity in width and length gives the face its circular appearance.

Equal Width Across Forehead and Jaw

If you draw horizontal lines across your forehead and jawline, a round face’s width would be relatively consistent across both areas.

This equal width gives the face a rounded look.

Shorter Forehead

The forehead of a round face tends to be slightly shorter than other face shapes.

The hairline may be more rounded and less elongated. This characteristic adds to the balanced proportions of the face.

Soft Jawline and Cheekbones

Unlike other face shapes with more defined angles, a round face features a softer, curved jawline that blends seamlessly into the cheeks. 

Cheekbones also tend to be less prominent in round faces. The absence of strong angles contributes to the roundness of the overall facial structure.

Fullness in Cheeks

The most distinct characteristic of a round face is the fullness of the cheeks.

The cheeks are often the widest part of the face, creating a cherubic and youthful look. This fullness can make the face appear more symmetrical and balanced.

Limited Angles

In contrast to face shapes like square or diamond, where angles are more prominent, a round face lacks distinct corners.

The forehead, cheeks, and jawline all have gentle curves, contributing to the overall softer and circular appearance.

Tips on How To Apply Makeup to a Round Face

When applying makeup to a round face, the goal is to create the illusion of more defined angles and contours.

Here’s how you can approach each aspect of makeup application.

Contouring Tips for Round Faces

Applying contouring makeup for a round face can be tricky. However, the key is to create natural-looking shadows that slim down the appearance of your face.

  • Color choice. Opt for a matte contour shade two shades darker than your skin tone. This shade will create shadows and add dimension to your face.
  • Areas to contour. Apply the contour shade along the sides of your forehead, just above your temples

    Then apply it underneath your cheekbones, starting slightly higher than usual and curving it down below the apples of your cheeks. 

    Lastly, contour along your jawline, blending it toward your chin.
  • Blending technique. Use a contour brush or a damp sponge to blend the contour shade. 

    Make sure to blend in a diagonal motion from your temples toward your cheekbones and along your jawline. 
Two pictures of a woman with unblended contour and concealer makeup on her face.

Highlighting Tips for Round Faces

In learning how to apply makeup for round faces, you must remember not to highlight the cheeks. 

  • Highlight placement. Apply a light, shimmery highlighter to the center of your forehead, above your cheekbones (closer to your temples), and on the bridge of your nose. 

    Avoid applying it directly on the apples of your cheeks so you don’t make them look more protruding.
  • Blending technique. Using a clean brush or your fingertips, gently blend the highlighter. Focus on blending the edges to integrate the highlighter with your skin seamlessly.

Blush Tips for Round Faces

  • Blush placement. Pick a blush shade that complements your skin tone. Then apply it slightly above the apples of your cheeks.
  • Blending technique. Blend the blush diagonally. Keep the intensity higher as you go toward the temples. 

    Tone the blush down as you go toward the center of your cheeks, creating a fading effect. This technique lifts your face and creates a subtle contour effect, but through blushing!

Eye Makeup Tips for Round Faces

Certain eye makeup techniques can also help define and give a round face a more balanced appearance.

  • Eyeshadow placement. Apply a light eyeshadow shade on your eyelids as a base. Then apply a medium eyeshadow shade slightly above your crease to create the illusion of depth. 

    Apply a slightly darker shade to the outer corner of your eyes to elongate them. Doing so can counterbalance the roundness of the face.
  • Eyeliner. Opt for a winged eyeliner look where the wing extends slightly outward. This style elongates your eyes and gives them a more lifted appearance.
  • Mascara. Apply mascara to your upper lashes, then do the same for your lower lashes. Doing so opens up your eyes and makes them appear larger. 

    This technique draws attention away from the roundness of the face and toward the more angular eye area.

Brow Shaping Tips for Round Faces

You should pay attention to the brows if you want to use makeup for your round face to look slim.

  • Brow arch. Craft a slightly elevated arch by beginning it a bit closer to the center of the eye and guiding it upward. This subtle lift adds a vertical dimension to your face, counteracting its rounded shape.
  • Brow thickness. Opt for medium to full brow thickness to provide a harmonious balance to the softness of a round face.
  • Brow tail. Extend the tail of your brows slightly outward and parallel to your eyes. 

    This extended tail imparts a horizontal illusion at the top of the face, harmonizing with the roundness while adding a sense of length and balance.

Other Makeup Tips for Round Faces

  • Matte finish. Opt for matte products, such as matte foundation, powder, and blush. A matte finish helps reduce the appearance of shine that makes your face look rounder. 

    These products also create a smoother texture on your skin, minimizing the reflection of light that can emphasize curves.
  • Blend, blend, blend. Blending is the key to achieving a seamless makeup look. Use a soft touch and circular motions to blend your foundation, contour, and blush. 

    A well-blended makeup creates a gradual transformation between the different products and offers a more natural appearance that doesn’t emphasize the contours of your face.
  • Vertical lip lines. When applying lipstick, follow the natural shape of your lips. To counteract horizontal roundness, subtly extend your lip liner’s Cupid’s bow slightly upward. 

    This vertical emphasis helps divert attention from the roundness and adds a touch of lift.
  • Flared lashes. Flared lashes, where the outer corners are longer, can create a subtle cat-eye effect. This technique lifts the eyes outward, elongating them and diminishing the roundness of the face. 
A woman is smiling while applying face powder infront of bathroom mirror

Best Makeup Ideas for Round Faces + How To Do Each of Them

Want to explore various makeup styles for round faces?

Each of these makeup ideas utilizes techniques that work together to enhance specific features, add dimension, and achieve a balanced overall appearance for a round face shape.

Natural Daytime Look

This natural makeup for round faces focuses on enhancing the face’s features in a subtle and understated way. This look is fresh and effortless, making it perfect for everyday wear.

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Start with a lightweight, matte finish foundation and concealer to create an even base.
  1. Apply a soft, neutral eyeshadow shade all over the eyelid for a subtle contour.
  1. Line your upper lash line with brown eyeliner for definition.
  1. Curl your lashes. 
  1. Apply a coat of mascara to both upper and lower lashes.
  2. Use a natural blush shade and apply it slightly above the apples of your cheeks, blending it upward toward your temples.
  1. Finish with a nude or light lipstick for a fresh lip look.

Subtle Smokey Eye

The subtle smokey eye is an excellent choice because it focuses on adding angles to the eyes, which can balance out the roundness of the face.

Here’s how you can create this eye makeup for a round face:

  1. Apply an eyeshadow primer. This product preps the eyelids and ensures longevity.
  1. Sweep a light matte eyeshadow shade on the eyelid as a base.
  1. Apply a medium brown eyeshadow shade to the crease. Blend well.
  1. Use a deeper shade of brown on the outer corner of your eyes and blend to create depth.
  1. Line your upper lash line with dark brown or black eyeliner and smudge it slightly for a soft effect.
  1. Apply mascara to the upper lashes, then to the lower lashes.

Bold Cat-Eye

The bold cat-eye look draws attention to your eyes and creates a striking focal point. It’s a great eye makeup for a round face shape because it can create visual balance and elongation.

Here’s how you can do one:

  1. Apply a neutral eyeshadow shade on the eyelids to keep the focus on the liner.
  1. Create a winged eyeliner using a gel or liquid eyeliner. Start from the inner corner and gradually thicken the line toward the outer corner.
  1. Extend the wing slightly outward to elongate the eyes.
  1. Curl your lashes and apply mascara for added drama.

Soft Glam Look

The soft glam look combines elegance with a touch of glamour. 

Why is it a great round face makeup? By focusing on brightening and defining the eye area and adding depth through eyeshadows, it creates a lifted effect that counters the roundness.

Follow these steps to achieve this look:

  1. Apply a light shimmery eyeshadow shade on the eyelid to brighten the eyes.
  1. Use a warm brown shade in the crease to add depth.
  1. Apply a champagne or light gold shade to the inner corners of your eyes to make them appear more open.
  1. Line your upper lash line with brown eyeliner for subtle definition.
  1. Apply a soft pink or peach blush slightly above the apples of your cheeks and blend upward.
  1. Finish with a pink- or peach-toned lipstick to tie the look together.
A woman smiling with a smile on her face while looking sideways

Monochromatic Makeup

A monochrome makeup look complements a round face shape by creating a harmonious and unified appearance. 

This makeup style creates a cohesive look that draws attention away from the roundness of the face and toward the color continuity.

The result? A well-balanced and visually appealing look!

Here’s how you can recreate this simple makeup for round faces:

  1. Choose a neutral shade (e.g., taupe, mauve, or dusty rose) and use it for eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick.
  1. Apply the chosen shade to your eyelids, blending it into the crease.
  1. Use the same shade as blush. Apply it slightly above the apples of your cheeks and blend toward your temples.
  1. Line your upper lash line with dark brown eyeliner for definition.
  1. Apply mascara to the upper lashes and do the same for the lower lashes.
  1. Finish with lipstick in the same color family as your chosen shade for a cohesive monochromatic look.

Common Mistakes in Doing Makeup for Round Faces

Found your favorite among our list of the best makeup for round faces yet? If you did, avoid these makeup techniques that do not suit round face shapes.

Harsh Contour Lines

Ensure not to apply heavily contrasting contour shades in an obvious or harsh manner as it doesn’t blend well with the natural softness of the face’s shape. 

It can make the face look unnatural rather than enhance its natural features.

Quick Tip

By using a lighter hand with the contour and focusing on subtly defining the round face’s natural features, you can create an illusion of depth without compromising the face’s inherent softness. 

The goal is to create gentle shadows that softly define the face rather than harsh lines that can make the face look obviously contoured.

Excessive Lower Eyeliner

Thick and heavy eyeliner on the lower lash line can make the eyes appear smaller and draw attention downward, magnifying the roundness of the face.

This technique doesn’t provide the desired balance and might make the face look less proportionate.

Center-Placed Blush

When creating makeup looks for round faces, avoid putting blush directly in the center of the cheeks. Doing so creates the illusion of a rounder face.

Blush applied higher and blended diagonally toward the temples creates a lifted appearance and compensates for the roundness of the face.

Round Eyebrows

Shaping eyebrows with a rounded arch can mimic the roundness of the face, making it appear fuller and less defined. 

Opting for slightly angular or arched brows creates contrast and structure, counteracting the soft curves of a round face.

Dark, Smokey Lower Lash Line

Applying dark eyeshadow or eyeliner on the lower lash line can minimize the eyes’ size and draw attention downward. 

This move can accentuate the roundness of the face, undermining efforts to create a more elongated and balanced appearance.

Overly Dark Lip Liner

Using a lip liner that’s much darker than your lipstick can create a visible border that outlines the lips. 

This technique disrupts the balance of makeup because it tends to draw attention to the mouth area and make the face appear smaller or more compact, hence rounder.

Quick Tip

If you’re going for a smokey eye, opt for lip liner shades in nudes, soft pinks, or light browns. These subtle shades will complement rather than compete with your eye makeup. 

Remember, the goal is to achieve a harmonious look where your features enhance each other rather than overpower them.

A close-up portrait of a woman wearing a fur coat and red lipstick looking seriously at the camera

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Specific Makeup Tips for Those With Round Faces Who Wear Glasses?


  • Defined brows with a slightly angular shape provide structure, while neutral eyeshadow shades on the upper lid and deeper shades on the crease add dimension.
  • Applying bold mascara to both upper and lower lashes draws attention to the eyes behind the glasses.
  • Concealing shadows under the eyes with brightening concealer, using a flattering blush placement that lifts the face, and opting for a lip color that complements the glasses create a balanced and harmonious appearance.
  • Choosing an eyeglass-friendly matte foundation completes the look, ensuring it works seamlessly with the frames.

What Role Does the Choice of Blush Shade Play in Achieving a Balanced Look on a Round Face?

The right blush shade can enhance the features and create dimension, making it crucial to achieving a balanced look on a round face. Here’s how blush does that:

  • Opting for a blush shade that complements one’s skin tone while providing a natural flush is best. 
  • Avoiding overly bright- or cool-toned shades prevents the blush from drawing attention to the center of the cheeks. 
  • Applying slightly above the apples of the cheeks and blended toward the temples emphasizes the lifted effect.

Dare To Experiment With Our Makeup Tips To Enhance Your Unique Face Shape!

Mastering makeup for round faces is a delightful journey of discovery, illuminating your inherent beauty and amplifying your finest features.

Armed with the right tools, techniques, and a sprinkle of self-confidence, you can create a breathtaking look that complements your round face exquisitely.

Remember, makeup is all about enhancing your individuality, not hiding it.

So embrace your unique face shape, experiment with our makeup tips, and discover the look that makes you feel the most beautiful!

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  • Janille Gultiano

    Jan, a distinguished freelance makeup artist, also boasts a BA in Mass Communication, laying the foundation for her diverse talents. For over four years, she's carved a niche as a captivating content writer, with her articles resonating in various spheres. Beyond writing, her expertise extends to crafting robust Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategies. Each endeavor reflects Jan's unique blend of creativity and precision

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