Perhaps the obsession with highly defined and dramatized cheekbones started with black and white film. It’s when the chiseled features of classic beauties like Katharine Hepburn—a star whose bone structure created gorgeous lines on the silver screen—became the beauty ideal. Today, in full color, celebrities with fabulous bone structure continue to be envied.
Famous prominent, high cheekbones
We’ve rounded up celebrities of past and present that have raised the bar with prominent cheekbones so high, people across the world fumble with their blush brush in an effort to contour and copy. From thread lifts to contouring tricks, there are a handful of ways one can alter the appearance of their cheekbones, and we have some expert advice.
The Italian beauty Sophia Loren’s high cheekbones made waves in the ’60s, while she was one of the most popular actresses in the world. Even as she aged, she continued to have awe-inspiring high cheekbones—a feat many people find more challenging to achieve as they get older.
“The cheeks will tend to lose fat as we age. Recent evidence from CT scans seems to indicate the bones of the face change as well with the cheekbones receding somewhat over time. This results in the sunken look,” says Dallas facial plastic surgeon D.J. Verret, MD.
Celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter says it “has to be Kate Moss for best celebrity cheekbones.” Contour tends to go in and out of fashion, she notes, but it was very much in fashion in the 90s with high cheekbones like Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford to show for it. “If they didn’t have great cheekbones, the makeup artists created them,” says Linter.
If you’re after cheekbones as impressive as Michelle Pfeiffer’s, Dr. Verret says there is a more permanent solution than fillers. “Consider autologous fat transfer, i.e. taking fat from the belly or thighs, and transferring it to the face,” says Dr. Verret. “While it may take several treatments to get optimal results, the results are permanent.”
Jennifer Garner’s youthful, high cheekbones first appeared in the ’90s and have been inspiring people ever since as she keeps up her skincare routine. If you are trying to decide if you are a better candidate for fillers or cheek augmentation, Dr. Verret says to consider your facial symmetry and overall health.
“Patients with cheek asymmetries and concerns are often candidates for both procedures. The fillers can often mimic the results of a more permanent fat augmentation or cheek implant. This can allow patients to ‘try on’ their new look before having a permanent change,” says Dr. Verret. As with any surgery procedure, a patient’s health must be taken into account and consultation with a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon is necessary to determine who is a candidate for which procedure.”
Former actress, model and wife of musician Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger has gorgeous bone structure. There is a way for those who have lost important fat in the face to still emulate her high cheekbones appearance. “There are several options that have proven safe and effective to enhance cheekbones. For temporary correction, the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane and Juvéderm, Radiesse and Sculptra have proven very useful in the cheeks,” says Dr. Verret.
“What makes Angelina Jolie’s look so special is her beautiful uninterrupted contour flowing from the inner corner of the eye towards the temple. This kind of contour we view as aesthetically pleasing as she has a nice balance between the volume of upper cheek and low cheek,” says New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD. “In addition, there is a slight inward curve to the low part of the cheek, which highlights the flattering part of her upper cheeks even more so.” Dr. Vasyukevich says this look can be achieved using dermal fillers or cheek implants.
For a more glamorous look, and high cheekbones as memorable as Kerry Washington’s, apply a glow over blush. “Just apply a small amount to your cheeks with your fingers and you will get a fresh, radiant and youthful appearance,” says Schmidinger.
While Irina Shayk’s look is similar to that of Jolie’s features, Shayk has a stronger contrast in the mid-lower cheek area, says Dr. Vasyukevich. “This type of face structure typically photographs extremely well. We can achieve this look with buccal fat removal surgery to create a soft curve in the mid to lower cheeks, and volume can be added with filler or cheek implants.”
The original supermodels and silver screen stars set the bar for cheekbone goals, and stars today continue to hit the mark. “Now there is the fabulous Bella Hadid, who does everything to emphasize her high cheekbones,” says Linter. “Achieving this look is not difficult.” Take “strong makeup like MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush in Harmony ($29)” and brush it beneath the cheekbones by sucking your cheeks in, she explains. “Then, as a final step, just apply some light or translucent powder underneath the cheekbone shade.”
The Material Girl knows a thing or two about how important high cheekbones are. To get high cheekbones like Madonna’s, a cheek augmentation is an “excellent option for restoring some of the youthful appearance of the cheek,” says Dr. Verret.
If your face has a more triangular shape, like for example Olivia Wilde, or a square shape, like most models, use blush directly on the cheekbones. “Thus the face is accentuated creating a more harmonic, lifted look,” says Schmidinger.
“As with most surgery, one size does not fit all. There are several types and shapes of cheek implants to address different areas of the cheek, which change with age. The results are immediate and the nice part of the surgery is that it is easily reversed if the results are not optimal,” says Dr. Verret—something to keep in mind if you want cheeks as high, and tight as model Tyra Banks.
There are other ways to enhance your natural cheekbones to channel those of Cate Blanchett. You can use highlighter, blush and bronzer to give your cheeks a “lifted” appearance. “Start from the little bones in the middle of your ear, and then go along the cheekbone toward the tip of your nose with blush or bronzer,” says Babor makeup artist Peter Schmidinger. “Stop when you have reached the middle of your eye. It is all about where you put it and knowing when to stop. Also, always stroke the brush toward the ear for the most natural looking lift.”
If your face has a round or oval shape, and you want cheekbones like Keira Knightley, use blush under your cheekbone to provide a little lift. The cheekbone gets more prominent and is lifted when a darker color is applied to contour your face.
Let’s not forget the famous male cheekbones that inspire awe among all who see them. “Benedict Cumberbatch’s high cheekbones contribute to his chiseled and distinctive face structure. They give him a strong, unique look that has become one of his trademark features,” says Dr. Vasyukevich.
“Benedict has an attractive contour that is more angular. This gives a more masculine definition and stronger shadows around the cheekbones. There is a contrast between the upper and lower cheekbones with strong shadows and a deep line in the lower part of the cheek creating a well-defined appearance,” says Dr. Konstantin. He says this appearance can be achieved “with buccal fat removal surgery, liposuction around the low face, and cheek enhancement with dermal fillers or cheek implants.”