How to Figure Out Your Face Shape
In this day and age, your specific face shape shouldn't hold much weight, especially since all it takes to expose new angles or, say, sculpt a stronger jawline is a drastic haircut or contoured makeup look. Even still, you might be wondering, "what face shape do I have?"
Now, you don't need to pull out a tape measure or download a "what is my face shape?" app to find out the answer. Figuring out your shape can be as quick and easy as looking into the mirror.
And if you've determined your face shape in the past, know that it may have changed. "Face shapes change as we age," says New York City-based plastic surgeon, Richard Westreich, M.D. "Younger people have rounder face shapes, and people in their 30s and 40s have sharper, more angular faces due to the loss of cheek fat. As we get [even] older, receding hairlines and loss of bony volume in the face makes us rounder again," he explains.
If you're curious, here are the common types of face shapes, plus the easiest way to determine which one you have right now. (Related: 4 Eyebrow Shapes That Look Good On Anyone)
What Are the Different Face Shapes?
Heart or Almond Shape
First up, the heart or almond shape face à la Reese Witherspoon. With this shape, the forehead and cheeks are equal or similar in width (the distance from side to side) while the chin and jaw are noticeably more slender, according to Dr. Westreich. What's more, the way in which the chin tapers down to a point mimics the bottom of a heart (thus, the shape's name). (Related: Can Jawzrsize Actually Slim Your Face and Strengthen Your Jaw Muscles?)
Similar to a heart or almond shape face, the forehead and cheeks of a square shape face are nearly the same in width. The striking difference here — which you can see on Olivia Wilde — is that the jawline and chin are also just as wide, says Dr. Westreich. "Chin projection can also affect the degree of squareness," he explains. Essentially, you won't find the chin pointing downward but rather protruding outward. Sharp angles at the sides of the jaw create a square or potentially more of a rectangle, depending on the vertical height of the forehead.
Round faces — like Selena Gomez's — are easily mistaken for heart or almond shapes but have more buccal fat (cheek fat) with stronger, more angular jawlines, explains Dr. Westreich. If you have a round face shape, the width of your jaw is similar to that of your forehead but less than the width of your cheekbones. Sounds familiar but still wondering, "how do I know my face shape is actually round?" The main indicator that you have a round face shape is the, well, the roundness of your cheeks, says Dr. Westreich. The outline of your cheeks will curve all the way to your jawline before transitioning into your chin because of the buccal fat, he explains. (Related: Can You Do Anything to Define Your Jawline?)
Made it this far and still wondering, "what is my face shape?" Then perhaps you have more of an oval face shape like Beyoncé, which is akin to a round one but has a few key differences. If you have this face shape, then odds are you have a bit more length and downward projection of the chin compared to that of a rounder shape, which tends to have cheekbones that project outward. (Think: a tall oval rather than a perfect circle.) The true difference between round and oval faces is an "increased (vertical) width of the forehead," which makes your face appear longer rather than wider, according to Dr. Westreich. Like a round or heart shape, however, the forehead and jaw of an oval face shape are similar in width, albeit it being narrower overall.
How Can You Determine Your Face Shape?
Again, you won't need a measuring tape or ruler to figure out the answer to the question, "how do I find out my face shape?" In reality, all you have to do is look in the mirror while keeping the above descriptions in mind. Ppro tip: Pull your hair back so you get a clear view.)
"It's really about looking at the relative proportions of the cheekbone, angle of the jaw, and [projection of the] chin," says Dr. Westreich, who recommends looking at your face from an "oblique angle," so that your face is ever-so-slightly turned to the side but you can still see your reflection in the mirror. "The side [of your face that's] away from the mirror will be round in an oval or round shape, or sink inwards in a square or heart shape," he says.
If you're so inclined, once you answer the question, "what is my face shape?" you can use the knowledge to inform your aesthetic decisions. For example, conventional wisdom calls for applying makeup to create the appearance of contours or wearing square or angular glasses if you have a round, square, or oval face, says Dr. Westreich. At the end of the day though, there's no need to stress too much about whether a hairstyle, makeup technique, or accessory you're drawn to suits your face shape. Do what feels right for you, regardless of how your cheeks, jaw, and forehead compare. (Up next: TikTokkers Say Doing This with Your Tongue Can Tighten Your Jawline)