On Beauty

Angelina’s Makeup Artist on How to Use the New Cheekbone-Contouring Products

In "Maleficent," Angelina Jolie sports some truly wicked cheekbone prosthetics, with makeup by her longtime makeup artist Toni G.
Credit...Frank Connor/Walt Disney Pictures

Last month, the British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury visited the States to introduce her beauty line, which arrives here later this year, and proudly present her Filmstar Bronze & Glow product to a small group of beauty editors. It’s a miracle-working compact designed to make the roundest of facest appear toned, and is filled with two kinds of powder: a darker one, which creates depth when brushed into the hollows of the cheeks, and a lighter, shimmery one, which makes the cheekbones rise and pop. These nature-defying contouring and highlighting products have cropped up on beauty counters everywhere in recent months, like the Nars Contour Blush palettes, introduced back in March, and the MAC Maleficent Sculpting Powder, unveiled earlier this month as part of the brand’s new collection inspired by the Disney blockbuster of the same name, which stars Angelina Jolie and hits theaters this Friday.


It’s fitting that the makeup artist Toni G created the MAC capsule of beauty products — she has been doing Jolie’s makeup for about nine years now, including on set for “Maleficent.” For her villainous character in the film, Jolie’s cheekbones were accentuated using tiny prosthetics applied by Rick Baker, but Toni G says that in real life, the actress doesn’t need any help enhancing them. “They actually kind of just define themselves, so we concentrate on just, you know, her eyes and her lips – what color she’s going to wear – and a nice base.” For the rest of us, Toni G explains how to achieve the look of architectural features with a few simple guidelines.

Break it down before you begin.
“I would start out with a base, and then I would add my highlights and then I would add the contour.”

Identify and highlight the under-the-eye triangle.
“If you took a pencil from your nose to your upper cheekbone, you would just take that ‘V’ from the corner of your eye to the nose and highlight that whole area under your eye. That would help enhance your cheekbones – and with a light contour. I like to work more with highlights than doing too much contour.”

Fill in the hollows.
“For the contour, you feel where your cheekbone is, and you kind of go right under that – and don’t take it too far to your mouth. I would keep it, you know, just halfway from your ear to the midpart of your cheekbone. Just don’t take it too far down; then it becomes obvious.”

Blend the contouring color up and away.
“If you’re using a cream, you blend it out with your sponge until there’s no hard lines — and then same with the powder, except you would use a brush. From where you put it, blend it up.”

Don’t forget the eyes.
“The thing with cheekbones is – I would say the more defined your eyes are, that the focus will be taken away.”

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