We’ve all experienced it. We apply that finishing swipe of subtle highlighter and feel a quick flash of confidence before stepping out … just to be tagged in a photo later that feels like someone cruelly photoshopped in an extra chin. Captured our worst angle. Some ominous shadows. Some poor light. Hide from profile immediately.

While the camera may not always capture your true essence, there are ways to combat puffiness and tricks of the makeup trade to make your face look sculpted without undergoing the knife or needle.

Play with Bronzer

If going full contour on the daily isn’t your thing, we hear you. But a little strategic application of the right blush tones in the right place can make a big difference. Use a bronzer or a blush with more brown tones. Red blush, especially applied to the apples of your cheeks, can round out the face in a child- or doll-like way. Keep the color just under the cheekbone, and swipe out to the middle of the ear and blend. This creates a more chiseled appearance, as well as adds depth to your look. You can even apply a light layer of bronzer just under the jawline to create the illusion of a shadow, aka a little more chin definition if that’s your worry zone.

Go for More Angular Brows

A higher arch can give the shape of your face a slimmer, more elongated look. Natural brows are very in, but try playing around with the arches in how you pencil them in and brush them up. You don’t necessarily need to go for shock or surprise with the final finish, but the shape of your brows has the power to drastically change your look.

Use Liner Only on the Top Lash Line

Eyes that pop will slim down the rest of your face, so go for a liner applied only on the top lash line (on the bottom lash line will make your eyes appear smaller or closer together). Going for a feline eye and angling up for a more dramatic effect can also elongate the line of your cheekbones, especially if you pair this trick with our bronzer suggestion.

Always Highlight

You don’t need to blind anyone with an ultra-statement reflective highlight, but a soft, dewy look will go a long way when applied to your upper cheekbones and brow bones. It will deepen the use of bronzer or blush so that you can use less with a more architectural effect.

Try Facial Massage

Have you ever noticed that after a great facial, you look more chiseled and awake? Your eyelids are perky, your cheekbones poppin’. It’s not just the amazing treatments, potions, and balms, but more about how they are applied. Massage not only helps your quality products penetrate deeper so that you get true bang for your buck, but it brings blood to the surface and softens up tension in the face so that important muscles can do their thing and let your natural bone structure shine.

While it won’t be exactly the same, you can do a version of this at home. Make sure to “lube up” with your favorite serum, followed by an oil or emollient moisturizer. Use your fingers in an almost pinching position to glide up and down your jaw, your cheekbones, and your eye sockets. Don’t be afraid to be rigorous, but always be more gentle around your eye area. If 30 seconds is all you have, that’s fine. But a longer session while you’re watching your favorite show or even in bed after lights out will have you waking up looking rejuvenated.

Use Facial Tools

Stone instruments like jade rollers and gua sha have had some serious fame recently, but not without good reason. Firstly, they are not new—they’ve been used for ages in Eastern beauty and wellness practices. They are usually made with a beautiful and energetically charged stone such as rose quartz or jade, which retains a cooler temperature even after several passes on our warm skin, so they are fabulous for depuffing.

They are also great for increasing circulation similarly to facial massage, because they also massage and bring blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin. However, they are instrumental in assisting with depuffing because they help promote lymphatic drainage, so stagnant water retention doesn’t hang out along your jawline, cheeks, and under-eyes.

Reduce Your Sugar and Salt Intake

Excess sugar and salt will promote water retention and bloat, which isn’t just bad news for your waistline. While massage and tools can help combat the aftermath of said decisions, getting ahead of them when you can is a safe bet. Making sure you stay hydrated and supplement with minerals will bring a plumpness to your skin sans the bloat, so don’t slip on your hydration game—always be sipping.

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