How to: Assess your face shape

Make-up expert, Joy Terri gives us an easy step-by-step guide to determining your face shape.

An oval-shaped face is generally agreed by most artists, to be the ideal shape, having the most visually-pleasing balance between the facial features and the bone structure. The line between the cheek bones forms the widest horizontal distance, tapering toward the temples and jaw-line.

In the perfect oval face shape, the length from the hairline to the chin is approximately 60% greater than the width at the cheek bones. This is the proportion of the famous Golden Ratio found in great works of architecture and art – the Pyramids, the Parthenon in Athens and Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. It is the proportion in physical construction that has been proven to stimulate our greatest sense of visual harmony and pleasure. It is the proportion towards which the surgeon works in facial cosmetic plastic surgery.

Not all of us have been favoured with perfect facial balance and it should be of little concern. As Kevyn Aucoin, the most influential make-up artist in history, has said, "Perfection is boring. If a face doesn't have mistakes, it's nothing." Aucoin went on to say, "Today I see beauty everywhere I go, in every face I see, in every single soul."

How to assess your face shape: 1. Face the mirror. 2. Remove all hair away from your face. 3. Frame the face (with the help of a friend or partner) using four rulers and holding each against the widest and longest parts of the face frame. 4. Assess the shape of your frame – is it more square, or more rectangular?

If your face frame fits closer to a square frame, you may have one of the following face shapes:

  • Square

  • Round

  • Heart

    Decide which of the following shapes most resembles the curves of your face inside the square frame created by the rulers.


    If your face frame fits closer to a rectangle frame, you may have one of the following face shapes:

  • Rectangle

  • Oval

  • Heart

  • Diamond

  • Pear

    Decide which of the above shapes most resembles the curves of your face inside the rectangle frame created by the rulers.

    Remember your face shape and next week we'll cover how to apply make-up to your facial shape.

    Please note that the copyright of all images belongs to Joy Terri.

    Would you like to send a photograph of your face to Joy Terri for a Face Shape Assessment?
    Find out more details about this special offer for readers by sending a message to Joy through the PMU online store...

    - Women24

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