Makeup Tips

This page lists tips we have received from beauty therapists and feedback from our community.

Contouring and Highlighting

  • Contouring is the use of a darker powder or cream to give the illusion of an area ‘receding’ or being less prominent.
  • Highlighting is achieved using a light (almost white) powder or cream. The highlighted areas appear more prominent.

On the cheeks contouring can be useful. Lots of light and shade over the cheekbones is good. Obviously you’d normally shade over the bone where it actually sits, but manipulating it on the affected side can bring symmetry again. It has to be really subtle otherwise it will be noticeable.

Highlighting higher on the affected side cheekbone & contouring below the cheekbone can be used to similar effect. These are applied over foundation. Blend the make-up to give a seamless finish.


There are several products available for defining eyebrows. Powders are often better for people with very light coloured eyebrows but obviously can be a problem if powder falls into a non-blinking eye. Experiment with defining the upper edge of the eyebrow more if it is lower than the other side and/or define the lower edge more for the eyebrow which sits higher.


If one eye is more open than the other, you can gain symmetry by sweeping white eyeliner into the inner lower eyelid of the unaffected side, giving it the appearance of being more open. If synkinesis is a problem and the affected eye looks smaller, you can use dark (black/brown) eyeliner instead on the unaffected side (on the inner lower eyelid) to make that look smaller. If the affected eye is smaller due to synkinesis, make the dark eyeliner on the outer rim of the lid thicker to make that eye seem bigger.

When applying eye shadow to the eye of the affected side, brush the darker shade (normally in the crease of the eyelid) slightly higher & the lighter colour even higher on the eyelid to balance the two eyes. Applying a lighter colour in the inner lower corner of the smaller eye will make it appear larger.

If using liquid and powder make-up, liquids are applied first and powders on top; the exception is eyeliner which can be applied on top of eye shadow. Again powders can be a problem if the eye doesn’t blink.

Eyelash curlers can also help depending on which eye you want to make look bigger.

There was a discussion on our Facebook page about Waterproof Mascara in January 2019. Find out what tips our community shared here: Link to Facebook post.

If your upper eyelashes droop downwards and you struggle with mascara, if an eyelash curler doesn’t work, try using mascara just on the lower lashes (if these are less of a problem).


It is easier to gain symmetry on the eye and cheeks rather than the mouth. However, you can improve things by avoiding dark or bright lip colours. Try a pale or nude colour on the lips. If the lips appear larger on one half of the face, use an outlining pencil in the same shade as the lips slightly outside the area of the smaller part of the lip and/or inside the larger part of the lip. Then apply lipstick within the pencil line.


High end products are not necessarily any better than own brands or budget products. You may find you get on better with products designed for people with allergies but it is best to try before you buy. A set of makeup brushes are very useful, ensure they are washable, but again own brands are often good value.

Last reviewed: 20-08-2019    ||    Next review due: 20-08-2023