Localization of facial components is very important for many pattern recognition and computer vision applications such as face recognition, tracking of face expressions. This paper addresses the problem of precisely finding facial components, such as the eyes, the mouth, the nose etc. We present an illumination invariant three-stage approach for face alignment. This paper combines the concept of component-based approach and face alignment and develops component-based Active Appearance Model (AAM) method for fine face alignment. We propose a new image representation to improve AAM segmentation accuracy for illumination invariant face alignment.