If uneven facial features are bothering you, take comfort in the fact that our brains don't detect most asymmetries (studies prove it!), and you're probably only zeroing in on yours because you stare at yourself in the mirror every day.
But if it's nagging you, a hint of makeup can be a transformative way to achieve better balance.
“Nothing that’s natural is perfectly identical, including each side of your face,” says celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. For symmetry, “contouring is one of the best makeup skills you’ll ever learn. Contouring and highlighting can minimize asymmetries, enhance bone structure and actually make you look younger.”
Unlike the heavy contour and highlight techniques of yesteryear, simple tricks using today’s more realistic beige and taupe shade-in, blendable formulas can make a significant difference with minimal effort.
Another strategy is to focus on your favorite features instead. “Sometimes by just emphasizing the positives, you’ll distract from the asymmetries. No matter what method you take, make sure you check it in the sunlight and blend!” adds celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow.
Fix puffy eyes with contour. “Eyelids are naturally prone to puffiness and can appear heavier on one side than the other,” says Sotomayor. Use varying levels of contour to balance things out. Light skintones can select a matte beige shadow, while deeper tones should go for taupe or brown. Apply the shadow with a small, tapered brush to the crease of the eye in a windshield wiper motion to downgrade the look of puffiness.
Change lid shape with light and dark. If lids are uneven, you can choose to either maximize the smaller lid or minimize the larger lid. To make a lid appear larger, apply a shimmery cream color all over the lid, followed by a peachy nude tone pencil on the inner rim.
To downplay eye size, apply a matte taupe shadow to the lid to gently recede it, and finish with a dark brown pencil on both inner rims, advises Turnbow.
Color your cupid’s bow to be even. While painting the fuller bottom lip is easy enough for most, many struggle with the uneven peaks of the top lip. Sotomayor recommends this tip: “Dab the tip of your ring finger onto a lipstick bullet, and use it like a rubber stamp to create two perfectly rounded peaks. Finish by applying lipstick straight from the tube, all the way to the inner corners of the mouth.”
If you prefer gloss, you can gently reshape the cupid’s bow and fill in with a fleshy pink lip pencil, followed with a coating of your favorite lip shine.
Shave excess skin from the jaw and chin with shading. Areas under the jawline and chin can get bloated and loose with age, bringing asymmetrical imbalance to the shape of your face.
“Through highlight and shading, you can create the shape you desire. To make anything recede, use a matte taupe shading powder,” says Turnbow. Using an angled powder brush, blend a powder a couple shades deeper than your skintone under the jaw and chin to sculpt the look of a shadow. You can use the same technique along the hairline for asymmetries in the forehead area, too.
Streamline your nose with highlight and shadowing. Many are self-conscious about the shape of their nose, but it need not detract from your face. “Brian Williams has an asymmetrical nose, and is one of the most handsome men on television,” says Sotomayor.
To balance out an uneven nose, simply blend a matte taupe contour more heavily on the side of the nose that is fuller. You can also use add a pearly brightener down the center to create instant balance, adds Turnbow.
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