Importance of Placement of Facial Features For Determining Face Shape


how to figure out your face shapeSal from Already Pretty said in her comment on the post on Finding Your Face Shape that she still has problems figuring out what her face shape is. There is one more point about your face that you need to consider – the placement of your features within your face.

I’ve done up some pictures to illustrate a little more about finding your face shape.

OK, so there is a proportional measurement I hadn’t yet mentioned.  Our face is supposed to be around 3 noses long.  So you can see on the pic of me that in this scarf (which is not sitting on my hairline, that my face is more than three noses long (I do have a very small nose).

So what this does is place my features in a smaller area in the centre of my face and make my face look longer.

Yet, by measuring the width x length (1:1.5) my face is actually proportioned when wearing this scarf, the blue oval is the 1:1.15 measurment.  But in fact, my face is oblong as my real hairline is where the purple line (oblong) goes which makes my face look much longer and slimmer.

So let’s have a look at Sal.

Left to right:

The green lines actually indicate that Sal’s face is 1:1.5 in length to width.

The orange lines show that Sal’s features are placed closer together in the centre of her face (the top and bottom horizontals mark a nose length), thus this gives the appearance of Sal having a longer face shape.

The blue oval shows that Sal’s forehead and jaw fall outside of the classic oval face and she has a rectangle face shape.

So Sal’s lovely curly hair works well with her face to slightly broaden it and the side part with hair falling across her forehead softens her face. Isn’t she gorgeous!


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  • This is so complicated! (even though I know you are trying to demystify…) I did think Sal had a rectangular shaped face, but only because I guessed it 🙂 And I have asked everyone over the past 3 days what my face shape is. I've had 6 diff answers. I think my face is oval, but what do I know. I guess I'll have to try these tricks.

  • K.Line – I'm guessing (from not a great photo) an Oblong (long oval).

    WendyB – very hard to tell from your photos (need one not smiling preferably!

  • I busted out a recent picture of myself in Photoshop after reading this, and your pictures/descriptions were so helpful! I always thought my face was oddly-shaped, but now I think I'm a pretty straight-up oval (1:1.44 ratio, and an oval marquee tool follows my jawline and hairline perfectly). Also, I am precisely three noses' worth of face, which is fun to say.

  • Yes, complicated. Yesterday I figured I had oval/rectangular face shape. Today I´m turning more to the oblong side. It would be easier to say what my head shape isn´t.

  • Having known for a while that I have an oblong shaped face, I was mystified as to why bangs and no height in my hairstyle looked so bad on me. Supposedly these would both reduce a too long face (compared to the oval ideal).

    The answer depends on where on your face the excess length occurs. In my case I am long between eyes and chin but normal length above. So, reducing the length of my forehead/upper portion of face just emphasized the longest (most out of proportion) part.

    This might help some others who also find that some of the standard corrections make things worse!

  • This is brilliant, Imogen! Thank you so much, although I spent far too long looking at that hairstyle site you recommended yesterday! And – sonya, you are so right! Now I know I am an oblong with a high forehead – that's where all my extra length is! LOL! I *need* a fringe! 🙂

  • I learn so much from you!! Thank you!! I'm going to figure mine out today… I've always thought I was round but now I'm not so sure!

  • You said, ” my face is less than three noses long “.
    Did you mean to say that your face is “more” than 3 noses long?

      • Thank you for your reply, Imogen! That helps me. I have a rectangle shaped face, but it’s gotten softer as I’ve gotten older and I didn’t know if it had changed to oblong. Interestingly, earring advice for oblong and rectangle shaped faces doesn’t work for me as well as earring advice for square shaped faces.

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