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Whether you’re a makeup pro or novice, practicing a makeup look before creating it is always a smart idea. That’s why so many makeup artists turn to the face chart. If you’re asking yourself, “What is a face chart,” you’re not alone. This age-old tool has had a recent resurgence in popularity courtesy of the latest Tik Tok makeup challenge. Ahead, we answer, “What is a makeup face chart,” and more.
The face chart has been used by makeup artists for decades, since at least the ‘80s. Essentially, it's a piece of paper that has a printed outline drawing of a face on it. Makeup artists can then use this outline to map out where they want to place different makeup products. For the Tik Tok trend, users expertly shade the face to take it from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional look using face powders, eyeshadows, and more.
Face chart makeup is much like shading in a coloring book. That said, there is a lot of shading involved to get that three-dimensional appearance and create the illusion of depth. This is needed to emphasize areas like the hollows of the cheeks and bridge of the nose. If you’re asking yourself, “How do you practice eye makeup on paper,” you’re not alone—it’s one of the most commonly asked face chart questions on Google. Since you won’t have a crease or actual eyelid to work with, you’ll need to embrace your artistic side to shade and mimic a similar illusion to the eye makeup you’d like to create. Remember, face charts aren’t meant to be perfect—they’re a guideline for the actual look a makeup artist will create.
Yes—and no. As you can imagine, face chart makeup is a bit limiting due to its two-dimensional appearance and its limited ability to capture different facial shapes and features. Today, there are so many more options to test drive a makeup look, like virtual makeup filters, that are more realistic and useful. Still, many makeup artists swear by this age-old tool. You’ll often see them floating around backstage at runway shows. It’s really based on the preference of the makeup artist. And, of course, they’re still used to partake in viral social media trends like the #facechart Tik Tok challenge.
Like we mentioned, face chart makeup isn’t the most accurate way to practice makeup, but it can still be used to enhance your makeup skills. You can use one to experiment with different colors and perfect your blending. It’s also a fun option for swatching makeup shades!
If you love the idea of a face chart but aren’t quite sure it’s the best option for planning out your makeup look, there are alternatives. Here are three to consider.
Sure, a face chart for makeup can be used to swatch makeup shades, but you can also swatch your products on the back of your hand or a spare piece of paper. This is ideal when playing with new eyeshadow and lipstick colors.
Having inspiration pictures of the look you’re going for is key, whether you’re doing your makeup yourself or getting it done. Make a board that’s dedicated to the look you’re aiming to create and add pictures that will help you envision what to do. This is useful if you know you want to wear gold eyeshadow, but aren’t sure what blush or lip color you should use.
You know what they say—practice makes perfect! If you know you have an event coming up that you want a flawless look for, the best way to ensure you’ve in love with the result is to practice it on yourself beforehand. Give yourself enough time to run through the look more than once so you can be confident in your routine the day of.
Next up: Your makeup look should be customized to your face shape and features, which is where face charts can lack. To help you get started on a personalized routine, here’s The Right Way To Contour For Every Face Shape.
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