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The 6 Most Common Face Shapes
In general, there are six different face shapes:
- Oval: Oval faces are proportionally balanced on a vertical plane and are longer than they are wide. People with oval faces typically have a round jawline and chin. The forehead is usually the widest part of an oval face.
- Round: Round faces are short with soft features and a wide hairline. The cheekbones are the widest part of a round face, and the forehead and jawline are about the same width.
- Square: Square faces are defined by a wide hairline and a strong, angular jawline. The forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are about the same width for this face shape. This face shape is as long as it is wide.
- Rectangle: The rectangle face shape is a variation of the square face shape. This oblong face shape is longer than it is wide—the forehead, cheeks, and jawline are generally around the same width.
- Heart: Heart-shaped faces typically have a delicate, narrow chin, like the point of a heart (hence its name). People with this face shape will often have a pointed hairline. The cheekbones are the widest part of this face shape.
- Diamond: The diamond face shape is a variation of the heart shape. A pointy chin and high cheekbones define this face shape. Diamond-shaped faces also typically have a narrow forehead.
Why Is Understanding Your Face Shape Important?
Knowing your face shape can allow you to play with dimension:
- You know which part of your face to emphasize. Once you know your face shape, you’ll know what parts of your face can use a little more “pop” to help you shine. For instance, if you have a round face, you can apply blush slightly higher up on your cheekbones to emphasize your bone structure.
- You know which part of your face to deemphasize. Knowing your face shape can also show you which parts to deemphasize. If you have a square jaw, you can use contouring makeup to soften the edges and help create more roundness.
- You can choose the best haircut. Your hairstyle can play a big role in how you emphasize your face. If you’re having trouble picking a flattering haircut, consider figuring out your face shape. Knowing your face shape can help you find the best hairstyles for your features. A quick online search or consultation with a hairstylist can help you choose the right cut.
How to Determine Your Face Shape
Determining your face shape is an easy process. Before you start, pull your hair away from your face, so it’s free from obstruction.
- Find the widest part of your face. Look in the mirror and decide what part of your face is the widest (you can do this by sight or use a flexible tape measure). If you have a wide forehead, your face shape is oval; if your cheekbones are the widest point, your face is either round or heart-shaped (proceed to the next step to determine); if your face seems evenly proportioned in width, your face is likely square.
- Determine the shape of your jaw. Your jawline shape can further determine your face shape—if it’s short or rounder, your face is round. If your jawline is pointy and narrow, your face is heart-shaped. If you have a strong jawline with sharp angles, that’s further evidence your face is square.
- Compare the length and width of your face. If you’re still unsure about your facial shape, measure the length of your face against its width. Measure from the center of your hairline to the tip of your chin. Next, measure from the left side of your face to the right side. If your face is longer than it is wide, you may have an oval face shape. If your face is wider than it is long, you may have a round or heart face shape. If your face is twice as long as it is wide, you may have a rectangle face. If your face is as long as it is wide, you may have a diamond or square face shape.
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