These Makeup Tips Will Help To Shrink A Big Forehead

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Those with higher foreheads are in luck! According to traditional Chinese face readings, those born with a more prominent forehead are blessed with good fortune, power, and wealth. Feng shui expert and aesthetic practitioner Dr. Karen Po shares, "The forehead signifies luck sent from heaven and is considered the 'first prosperity mountain' of the face." 


Over in the Western culture, supermodel and "America's Next Top Model" host Tyra Banks credits her prominent forehead for the launch of her career, as she shared with "Today." "When I turned into a supermodel, a lot of people were saying, 'She cute, but she got a big forehead.' But what I have to thank my forehead for is my modeling agent said if I didn't have a high forehead, I would've been too safe-looking and too commercial-looking, and I wouldn't have been able to have the high-fashion career that I started with," she said.  

However, as much positivity that surrounds being blessed with a larger forehead, there are those whose personal preference is to minimize and conceal this unique facial feature. Below, we'll be sharing some makeup tips and tricks that'll help you do just that.


Fill out your eyebrows

To assist in minimizing the appearance of your forehead, makeup and beauty guru Chloe Morello demonstrates how filling out your eyebrows can achieve this illusion. Using Benefit Foolproof Brow Powder, Chloe suggests starting by creating a lift to your eyebrow arch. Next, she uses Urban Decay Brow Finish Gel to push the eyebrow hairs upwards, to cover the drawn-in lift.


For further assistance in shaping your eyebrows to create a fuller look, makeup artist Mary Phillips shared her tips with Allure: "Use an angled brow brush. It has really fine, dense bristles, which help create the illusion of longer brows." As a spokesperson for Tweezerman, Phillips recommends using the brand's Angled Brow Brush to achieve a fuller-brow look. To finish out the look, she suggests a brow powder a shade lighter than your natural brow color. Finalize with your preferred brow gel to hold the hairs in place.

For those who need a little more practice on eyebrow shaping, makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes suggests starting with a brow pencil to outline your brows to your preferred look. Her recommended brow pencil is from Refy.


Lower your hairline

This simple trick is subtle and has become a favorite for those looking to minimize the appearance of their foreheads. While one can't physically lower their hairline without cosmetic procedures, with just a few makeup tricks, you may create the illusion of a smaller forehead by filling in your hairline.


"Filling in your hairline is not any different than filling in your brows. It acts like a frame to your face, making your features look more balanced," NYC hairstylist Kat Zemtsova told Marie Claire. In just a few steps, Zemtsova explains how to achieve this look with only a makeup brush and a matte powder that matches your natural hair color. "Stay within the frame of your hairline, staying away from any section where you don't have hair to blend into," she advises.

Sugar Cosmetics suggests using a root touch-up powder to fill in the hairline. Additionally, you can try using eyeshadow to cover the area with just a few brush strokes, softly filling out the gaps of any baby hairs with a blending brush.


Highlight certain points of your face

According to Chloe Morello, highlighting specific points of your face will draw attention to the highlighted features and away from the forehead. "You can highlight your chin to make it more prominent, and your cheekbones," she shares in her YouTube video. "If those areas are radiant and eye-catching, then it will draw more attention down there." She warns against highlighting your forehead if you're trying to draw attention away from it. Instead she suggests mattifying the area, "so it won't be catching the light."


Vogue provides an inside-scoop into which highlighters celebrity makeup artists tend to gravitate towards. "One of my favorite highlighters is the Chanel Poudre Lumiere because it's buildable and adds the perfect amount of glow on the skin," shares Carola Gonzalez, whose clientele includes Kerry Washington and Priyanka Chopra. 

Fellow artist Nam Vo tends to favor Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette. "This Dior palette can be layered to look more subtle or to give a blinding glow — it's very buildable, works on all skin tones, and I like to use the deepest copper shade as blush or contour," she shares, while Adrea Tiller gravitates to Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo, boasting, "It's universal and looks great on all skin tones and textures."


Wear a bright lipstick

Makeup artist Jennifer Trotter shared with StyleCaster that a bright lipstick is a great way to divert eyes from the forehead to the lower half of your face. She suggested trying a bright red or berry color to draw attention to your smile.


Actress and activist Angelina Jolie is a great example of how the right shade of lipstick can draw attention from a prominent forehead to the mouth. Makeup artist Matin Maulawizada told Vogue how he styled her famously plump pout for a film premiere. Starting off with Laura Mercier's Longwear Lip Liner, he traced her lips in a crimson ruby shade, then finished off with Code 8 Matte Velour Longwear Lipstick. "It's the easiest kind of red to wear because warmer reds can be tricky with different skin tones and make the teeth looks less white," he shared.

For application demonstration, Chloe Morello breaks down how to apply lipstick to create the intended look of a smaller forehead. "Another great tip if you want to draw attention from your forehead is to actually put a bright lip on," she explained in her YouTube video. "That will draw the eyes to this area and balance out the look of your face."


Use contour and bronzing techniques

Maybelline New York shares that contouring is one of the best methods to slim down any part of your face. To create a natural shadow around your hairline, Maybelline suggests contouring the outer edges of your forehead, then applying a darker shade around your hairline before blending the shades together.


Celebrity makeup artist Sir John shared tips on how to apply bronzer correctly with Refinery29. "Always start by getting color around the sides of the face and the hairline," he said. "Never start on the center of the face." Sir John also explained that the application tools you choose are important: "Anything which has bristles that are too short is not good for applying bronzer ... Make sure bristles are about an inch and a half long."

Sugar Cosmetics notes that playing with light and shadow will assist in generating the appearance of a smaller forehead. Swipe a solid line of contour on the circumference of your forehead, and blend outwards using a flat or dome-shaped brush. 

Apply some blush

Blush will assist in helping the forehead appear smaller, as it takes the attention from the forehead to the cheeks. Maybelline shares that applying a rosy-colored blush to the apples of the cheeks and brushing upwards will assist in minimizing the look of a prominent forehead. The lifting effect will draw more awareness to the cheeks instead of the upper face. It's also recommended to finish off with some highlighter at the top of the cheeks and a hint on the nose. 


New York makeup artist Elisa Flowers spoke with Allure about how to apply blush to get the perfect look. "Apply using small circular strokes, blending outward and upward," she explained, adding that you can forgo highlighter altogether with this swooping motion, resulting in a chiseled and defined cheekbone effect.

Be Beautiful also maintains that playing with bright blush can bring away the attention from your forehead. Try using a rosy or peach-colored blush and blend upwards. Additionally, using a bronzer two to three shades darker will help to create more of a chiseled effect.

Try dramatic eye makeup

Diverting attention from the forehead can be achieved by creating a dramatic eye look. Be Beautiful suggests creating an elongated wing to assist in a bold and outstanding eye look.

Makeup artist and Chanel brand ambassador Kate Montano shared with Vogue some of her tried-and-true methods to assist in getting the eyes to pop. Kate recommends Laura Mercier's Candleglow Concealer & Highlighter around the eyes: "Apply it minimally to brighten the under and inner eyes." For eyeliner, Montano suggests Chanel's Signature de Chanel Eyeliner. Its smooth application and fine tip will assist in creating a flawlessly-looking wing. For application, Montano advises, "Look down into a mirror so that you can clearly see the base of your lashes, then place your eyeliner pen midway along the eye at the root. Follow the line to the last outer lash."


For those who may be elementary in the process and looking for step-by-step demonstration, makeup channel TheMakeupChair on YouTube shares some simple eye application techniques.

Avoid foundation on the forehead

Sugar Cosmetics points out that using foundation, while great for covering blemishes and evening out skin tone, will only draw more attention to the forehead when applied. Instead, you might want to try dabbing whatever foundation is left on your fingertips after you've applied it to the rest of your face onto your forehead. This minimal amount of product will help to cast a shadow along the forehead to assist in the illusion of a smaller height.


However, you'll want to make sure that any leftover foundation doesn't come in contact with the hairline, as that will only create the look of an even more elongated forehead. "You're actually getting foundation in your hairline and covering your hairs with it," Chloe Morello warns in her YouTube video. In the case that it does occur, Chloe suggests using the Face Halo makeup remover to take off any unwanted foundation on the hairline.

But if you must use foundation, go darker

Be Beautiful suggests applying a slightly darker shade of foundation to assist in the illusion of a smaller forehead. Applying a foundation that's three to four shades darker than your natural skin tone to the hairline and temples will assist in creating a contoured look that will make the forehead line appear shorter than it actually is. Once the foundation is applied, you'll want to blend upwards to create a chiseled and more sculpted look. Finish off with a bronzer to complete the look.


Singer and businesswoman Rihanna (aka Robyn Rihanna Fenty) has had no issues publicly embracing her prominent forehead. Her makeup artist Mylah Morales told Byrdie that her client's favorite foundation is Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation. According to Morales, this helps the singer's face stay glowy instead of sweaty. Byrdie rates this foundation a 4.6 out of 5.

Shade and lay your edges

Sharon J. Yi of Total Beauty shares some insights and tricks she learned from taking makeup artist classes. Regarding a prominent forehead, Yi shares that you'll want to shade and contour your outer edges along your hairline in order to minimize the area. A bronzer will work as well to create the intended effect. (For bronzer recs, check out Byrdie's top picks of bronzer for all skin types.)


For further application details and product suggestions, YouTube beauty guru Mimo Karanja provides some great tips for your tips. She starts by brushing her natural edges forward, explaining that "when you're laying your edges, you're contouring your forehead and making it smaller ... this will tremendously reduce your forehead." She then suggests using an old mascara to apply to your baby hairs. "It reduces the amount of free space on your forehead," she explains, filling out her hairline and combing her baby hairs with mascara matching her natural hair color. The finished look yields a smaller frame for her forehead.