How to Disguise Jowls & Double Chins

by Michelle Powell-Smith

Whether the result of age, genetics or weight, a double chin or jowl can take attention away from your pretty face and hide your natural jawline. With smart makeup techniques, you can diminish or disguise your double chin, slim your face, and create a beautiful, contoured jawline.

Smart Skin Prep

If you're planning to use contouring techniques to disguise a jowl or double chin, you need to make sure your skin is in good condition. Contouring products are often powders and can emphasize dry skin in unflattering ways. Regularly use a good quality moisturizer, bringing it down onto the neck. This will keep your skin looking its best, and can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For most people, the same products you use on your face work well under the jawline and onto the neck. You can even use serums or other products to improve the quality of the skin below the jawline.

The Foundation or Base

Before you can contour to disguise a double chin or heavy jawline, you'll need to apply foundation to your skin. There are several key considerations when you choose a foundation, especially when you're planning to contour your face. First, select a foundation that closely matches your skin tone. Choose a formula compatible with the contouring products you prefer. You can opt for a liquid, cream or powder foundation; however, powder foundations don't work well with creamy contouring products. Apply your foundation with a sponge or brush, bringing it down, under the jawline and blending well along the neck.

The Contour Product

Choose a contour product one to three shades darker than your skin tone--approximately the color of your skin in shadow. Avoid products with a distinct orange tone. You're aiming for a color that is more along the lines of taupe, cocoa or chocolate than a suntan or very warm orange-brown. Products that are quite warm will only work well if your skin is very warm or golden in tone. The product you choose to contour your jawline should have a matte finish. Options include contour sticks and palettes, but also brown-toned powder or cream bronzers, matte eyeshadows, darker shades of concealer or darker shades of foundation.

Applying the Contour

With your fingers, trace your jaw bone. That's where you want to create the contour to disguise your double chin or jowls. Using a very light hand, begin applying your contouring product along the lower edge of your jawbone. You'll blend downward to disguise a double chin or jowls. If you're using a powder product, choose a rather stiff, medium sized brush. For a cream product, dab the product onto the jaw bone with a flat small foundation brush or a concealer brush, fingers or a sponge. Place most of the product along the sides of the jaw, tapering to a very small amount right under the chin. Blend, blend and blend, always moving down toward your neck from the jawline.

Adding Highlights

While contouring puts your double chin in shadow, highlighting can help to draw the eye up and bring your chin forward. Apply a small amount of a highlight color to the center of the chin, blending well. Avoid a highlight product with a great deal of shimmer. You're looking for one that is lighter than your skin tone, but not the sparkly highlight you might choose for the top of your cheekbones.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.