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Face Charts Part 1: Create a Winning Look

2027

Communication is key — Especially in makeup artistry, where you are literally up in someone’s face. One of the most trusted but often overlooked tools of communication as a makeup artist is the basic face chart that lets you plan out your look and propose it to clients before you get your hands on them.

Makeup face charts are a basic line drawing of a face printed on paper that absorbs color well, allowing you to make a mock up of your actual makeup application. They are perfect for a photo shoot or bridal trial, but also can be used as a guideline for color inspiration, application placement, or communication of a design or desired look to any client or team of makeup artists.

Face charts can also be a great archiving tool to help you keep track of all the products and color combinations that were used on an assignment. They are a wonderful, visual way to make notes for yourself on your application so you can make it amazing every time.

Some basic tips for developing your own face chart:

  • Don't worry about coloring in the complexion of a face on your chart. Make notes to keep track of your foundation and concealer product.
  • For the best results, use watercolor or resume paper. Standard printer paper may be too shiny and slick to allow the color to set properly.
  • Highly pigmented eye shadow or powder product work best for depositing color and allowing blendability.
  • Use your makeup brushes or art brushes to deposit color.
  • Small firm, dense brushes work best to apply and blend the color on the chart.
  • Pencils and gel liners are ideal for lining and defining
  • Liquid liner works well for creating eyelashes.
  • Set your face chart with hair spray for transfer-proof permanence


The face chart can become much more than just a client-based tool. It can become a canvas for expression and an outlet for creativity. It's such an important tool that this year, for the L.A. Makeup Show contest, we decided to focus on face charts as the theme. The contest was appropriately titled "Face chART" and focuses on the artistic expression and interpretation that comes with the creation of a good chart.

Face charts are a place for you to explore your own artistry. They allow you the freedom to create without limitation and give you the license to work through new ideas. They help you get your thoughts down on paper while finding your own voice to communicate. If you don't like one that you've created, you can always print another and start fresh. There are no rules, that's the beauty of it!  Download one and give it a try!

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As Director of Artistry for The Makeup Show, The Powder Group and On Makeup Magazine, makeup artist James Vincent has touched every facet of the industry with his talent. With specialties in film and theatre, television and celebrity work, editorial and runway work, James is foremast a passionate educator, training for brands such as MAC, Stila, CNN and Lancome. He continues to inspire the next wave of artists with his beauty expertise. Follow James on Twitter @JVincentmakeup.