How to Find Your Face Shape

When it comes to enhancing your natural beauty, one thing you will want to consider is your face shape. This element is not only essential to selecting the right hairstyles, glasses, and accessories, but it also plays a significant role in the overall harmony and appeal of your look.

What do face shapes have to do with color analysis, you might ask? While they may not be inherently connected, there's no denying that knowledge of both can be useful when it comes to enhancing your appearance even more. It's all about balance. 

Understanding how to apply makeup colors is vital, and knowing your face shape can make a world of difference in how you do this. In fact, it's such an important topic that I delve into it in depth in my makeup eBook, hence why I wanted to highlight it here on my website.

So How do you Find Your Face Shape Exactly?

The first step is to start studying proportions. Grab a mirror and a flexible measuring tape (optional, but helpful). Take a good look at your face and answer these key questions:

  1. Length vs. Width: Is your face longer than it is wide, roughly equal, or wider than it is long?
  2. Forehead Focus: Is your forehead wider than your jawline, narrower, or about the same width?
  3. Cheekbones: Are your cheekbones the widest part of your face, or do they recede or blend seamlessly into your jawline?
  4. Jawline Countour: What defines your jawline? Is it rounded, angular, or pointed?

Now, let's decipher the clues:

  • Round: If your face is roughly as long as it is wide, you have a rounder silhouette. Your jawline is likely curved, and your forehead and cheekbones may have similar widths. 
  • Square: This shape boasts strong, angular features. Like the round shape, our face is also roughly equal in length and width, but with a defined jawline. This face shape boasts strong, angular features.  
  • Rectangle: This shape shares most of the same characteristics to the square face,  like angular jawline and forehead. But it is noticeably longer than it is wide. 
  • Heart: Your forehead is likely the widest part of your face, tapering down to a pointed chin. Your cheekbones might be high and prominent. You can also think of this as an inverted triangle. 
  • Diamond: Cheekbones reign supreme here, forming the widest point, while your forehead narrows slightly and your chin tapers to a defined point. 
  • Oval:  This shape is slightly longer than it is wide and the forehead is also slightly wider than the jawline. The difference between the oval and the heart shape, is the heart shape face will have a noticeably wider forehead and narrower jawline and a somewhat pointed chin (see images below).  
  • Long Oval: This face shape is simply an oval shape whose length is considerably longer. 

It's important to note that many people, if not most, will have a combination of two or more elements going on. For example, examine this woman's face shape on the left, below.  

Women with a mixture of face shapes.A mixture of face shapes.

At first glance, this woman's face looks sort of square.  Its length is not noticeably longer than its width.

Her jawline seems strong but not angular like a lot of square face shapes. It has a soft rounded contour to it. 

Her cheekbones seem to be the widest point, wider than her forehead and jawline, but not dramatically. 

Seriously, she's got a lot of elements going on, wouldn't you agree? 

Face shape that is predominantly diamond shaped.Predominantly a Heart Shaped Face.

Compare this woman above. Her jawline is noticeably more narrow.

This face would I would likely label as Heart Shaped.

I would throw in a dash of Diamond as well as her cheekbones become even more prominent with the narrower jaw. 

Each shape will have its own tips for wearing hats, glasses, and other accessories (links for each one are below).

But honestly, I see more of these 'blended' faces than singular shapes. 

My advice is not to stress too much over choosing a definitive face shape.  Look at your face in the mirror and squint. Unless you can see something that is visually dominating the overall look - pointy chin, very wide forehead, etc., it's ok to just assume you have a general oval face and move forward. 

For others, you can see utilize some of the standard tips to help create balance to your face. 

The "Ideal" Face Shape

The general consensus seems to be that the oval face - similar to an egg flipped vertically - is considered the "ideal" face shape, though it's important to remember that only about one in 50 people is blessed with this naturally. 

Face Shape Egg Upside down

However, that doesn't mean those of us with other face shapes are out of luck. Quite the contrary. 

The beauty of understanding your face shape is that it empowers you to make decisions that can help balance your features, making your face appear more oval-like, if that's what you desire.

The right hairstyle and makeup – particularly contouring, highlighting, and blusher techniques – can create illusions and play up your best features to achieve this balance.

But the relevance of your face shape extends beyond makeup and hairstyles; it also can influence the types of necklines, jewelry, and accessories that flatter you most. So, understanding your face shape is a useful tool that helps lead you to make more informed choices in your quest for harmonious beauty.

In the following pages, you'll find images showing different face shapes. Click on the one that closely matches your own to be redirected to a page with tips, and insights designed specifically for your face shape. 

Select from the Face Shapes below that matches you best

Face Shape Oval
Face Shape Heart or inverted triangle
Face Shape round
Face Shape Square
Face Shape Rectangle
Face Shape Long Oval or Oblong
Face Shape Diamond
Face Shape Triangle
Pretty Your World Makeup Book cover

My new Makeup eBook goes into detail about face shapes (eye shapes, too!)

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I'm proud to partner with my Italian colleague  Angelica Pagnelli, the first image consultant specializing in eyewear.