How to Get More Defined Cheekbones

We went to the experts.

How to Get More Defined Cheekbones
Photo: Getty Images

Let's face it, not all of us have defined cheekbones like Cameron Diaz or Scarlett Johansson, but the great thing is, makeup can help us look like we do — if that's what you desire.

But makeup isn't the only way to achieve defined cheekbones. If the every day routine of highlighting, contouring, and adding extra blush is too much for you and you're looking for a more permanent solution, Dr. Smita Ramanadham, a double board-certified plastic surgeon, says there are a number of invasive methods that can instantly give you more defined cheekbones.

Read on for tips from our experts on how to define your cheekbones.

Highlighter and Blush

Applying a highlighter to your cheekbone defines the shape and can help them standout. To try out this method, start by prepping the skin with hydrating serum or moisturizer. "I like to use Alpyn Beauty PalntGenius Melt moisturizer," says Jamie Dorman. "This helps the products you use to blend better and not look cake-y throughout the day."

Next, the makeup artist recommends blending a cream bronzer or concealer, like Beauty Pie Quick Color Contour Super Gel, as a base for shading under the cheekbone and blending upwards towards the cheekbone, without blending over the highest point of the bone.

"Use a pointed brush like Rephr brush 18 to top the deep shade with bronzer or contour powder for a longer lasting effect," says Dorman. "Westmore Beauty 3-in-1 pore mattifying bronzer , is a good neutral shade that works on most skin tones and it has a matte finish that mimics shadows naturally. Matte shades absorb light rather than reflect it like satin and dewy finishes."

Next, apply blush to the apples of the cheek and on the cheekbones, keeping the blush from going too low on the apple. Follow this step by tapping a cream highlight on the tops of cheekbones. "Cream products look more dewy and like you are not wearing as much makeup," says Dorman. "I like to use LimeCrime sunkissed glimmer skin stick."

Cheek Fillers

Cheek fillers are a quick way to define your cheekbones and can last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the treatment. "Typically results are best if patients do not have significant cheek or skin laxity, or descent, which happens with aging," says Dr. Ramanadham.

Before the treatment, a consultation and examination are given to determine the best filler to use. "Some doctors use hyaluronic acid fillers, however, other fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse are also used," explains Dr. Ramanadham. "During the procedure, a needle is introduced through the skin and the filler material injected to create volume and definition."

This treatment is something you can fit in during your lunch break as it takes less than 30 minutes. The majority of fillers provide immediate results, apart from Sculptra, which takes several sessions to see full results.

After the treatment you may experience bruising and swelling, but this normally resolves in two to three days. As with any procedure, there can be side effects but these are rare when the procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist, facial plastic surgeon or an injector trained directly by them. "Side effects can include granulomas or nodules that form under the skin, infection, asymmetry, or skin necrosis due to vascular compromise," says Dr. Ramanadham.

You should avoid this treatment if you have an active infection or recent dental procedure. If you have any autoimmune disorders, you should discuss this with your medical professional.

Draw a Line and Blend

Another secret makeup artists use to define cheekbones is to literally draw a definition line. "I start by drawing a line from below the cheekbone at the ear and lightly follow the cheekbone to an inch before the mouth with a concealer two shades darker than the skin," says Dorman. "I like to use LYS Triple Fix Full Coverage Brightening Concealer and blend it out with a dense duo fiber brush like LYS beauty stippling blush brush." Finish off by setting the concealer with a sheer powder, like Kari Gran Mineral Setting Powder.

Midface Lift or Facelift

"This procedure is usually offered to mature patients who have noticed signs of aging such as cheek (midface) descent, loss of volume or loose or sagging skin on the face," says Dr. Ramanadham.

During the procedure, the cheek is repositioned and lifted to its original position. "This can be done endoscopically (through incisions in the scalp) or via your traditional facelift incisions that are located by the ear," explains the doctor.

If you're in well-trained hands, the procedure can take two to three hours, however, this is typically combined with other procedures including surgery to rejuvenate the eyes or eyebrows, a full facelift or neck lift, or buccal fat removal to create a more hollowed and defined cheek.

Results from a facelift typically last 10 years. "During the initial few days after surgery, it is common to have bruising and swelling," explains Dr. Ramanadham. "Pain is appropriately controlled with pain medications prescribed by your surgeon. There may be sutures that need to be removed, this is typically done in five to seven days. A drain may be left in place as well depending on the combination of procedures, but it is typically removed in the first few days after surgery."

Side effects are uncommon but can include asymmetry, poor scarring, facial nerve damage, damage to the nearby salivary glands, bleeding or fluid accumulation.

"You should avoid proceeding with this treatment if you are in poor general health or take medications that may increase your risk of bleeding," says the doctor. "In these cases, you should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to assess your risks and candidacy. Additionally, a patient should have realistic expectations about the results from these procedures."

VIDEO: See How to Contour Your Face in 5 Easy Steps

Cheek Implants

If you desire a permanently defined cheekbone, cheek implants are the answer. While this procedure has decreased in popularity primarily due to the ease and safety of fillers, it remains an option.

"During this procedure, an incision is made inside the mouth and a pocket is created in the soft tissues immediately overlying the cheek bone or zygoma," says Dr. Ramanadham. "The implant is then positioned and secured in this space. This is typically combined with other surgical procedures such as a facelift."

The implant itself can take less than one hour to insert and is done under anesthesia. Results are immediate and permanent so there's no turning back.

"As with any surgical treatment, there are associated risks," says the doctor. "These include malposition of the implant, infection, palpability and extrusion." If you have any infections, significant dental cavities or tooth decay, delay having this procedure.

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