How to Find Your Face Shape

Why does knowing your face shape even matter?

If you found yourself randomly googling "how to find my face shape" or "what face shape do I have," then you've landed in the right place. Maybe you're just curious to know whether you've got a heart-shaped face or a square one. Or maybe you're keen on figuring out how your face shape can help inform some of your style decisions moving forward.

"Knowing and understanding your face shape can be important for a number of reasons—[like] when choosing a hairstyle, picking sunglasses, grooming your eyebrows, or applying makeup," says David Shafer, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Shafer Plastic Surgery in New York City. "It also allows you to play with dimension and know which parts of your face you want to emphasize or minimize."

Also interesting: Your face shape can help predict how your face will age. Simply knowing your face shape gives you one more tool for making decisions or understanding yourself better.

Illustrated face shape examples

Measuring Your Face to Determine Its Shape

Before diving into the different face shapes, first, break out the measuring tape and jot down the following numbers:

  • Face Length: Measure from the top of your hairline to the lowest part of your chin.
  • Forehead Width: The distance across the center of your forehead from hairline to hairline. Don't bend the measuring tape against the curve—keep it flat.
  • Cheekbone Width: Feel for the highest point of your cheekbone, then measure from one cheekbone across your face to the other. Again, keep the measuring tape flat vs. curving it against your skin.
  • Jawline Width: Hold the measuring tape just below your ear and bring it down to the center of your chin, then multiply by two. In this case, you can bend the tape so it sits against your skin.

It might be easier to have someone else do this for you, and the iPhone has a handy measuring tape app built into it if you don't have a flexible measuring tape. Also, even if you don't have a measuring tape, there are some strong visual cues to look for that'll help you find your face shape.

Triangle Face Shape

Triangle face shape

High cheekbones and a narrow jaw are the primary characteristics of a triangular face, says Robert Sigal, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery. In terms of measurements, the width of your forehead and cheekbone will be longer while your chin is narrow and comes to a point (either rounded or more rigid).

Round Face Shape

Round face shape

The telltale giveaways of a round face shape are having a rounded hairline and jawline, says Dr. Shafer. Round face shapes also have equal face width and length measurements.

Square Face Shape

Square face shape

You have a square face shape if your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are the same width. You also have a jawline and forehead that are wider and more pronounced, notes Dr. Shafer. While the measurements are similar to that of a round face, the total structure of your face feels more angular with minimal curves.

Oval Face Shape

Oval face shape

An oval face shape is a combination of square and round. Typically, the forehead width is smaller than the cheekbone width, and the face is longer than it is wide. Dr. Shafer adds that the jawline and chin are more rounded vs. the distinguished, angular lines of a square face.

Diamond Face Shape

Diamond face shape

The diamond face shape is a more angular version of an oval face shape. Typically, cheekbones are high and strong, and the distance between them is slightly wider than the forehead length. The chin is also more narrow and pointed, and the hairline tends to come to a more angular point.

Rectangle Face Shape

Rectangle face shape

Rectangular faces have a face length that is longer than the width of their face. Their forehead, cheekbones, and jaw also look to be the same width apart. Dr. Sigal says that a rectangular shape is most often seen in older people in cases where skin from their cheeks and jowls tends to settle into the lower half of their face. "On occasion, younger people have really prominent buccal fat pads," he adds. (The buccal fat pad is the natural mass of fat found in your cheek.)

Heart Face Shape

Heart face shape

One of the biggest giveaways of a heart-shaped face is a widow's peak hairline, says Dr. Shafer. Additionally, the forehead is wider than the jawline, the cheekbones are wider than the forehead, and the chin is narrow with a strong point.

Some Final Words on Face Shapes

If you're thinking to yourself: "Well, I don't 100 percent fit into any of these face shape categories," that's normal.

"Many people don't fit into just one face shape category. People can have a mix of different face shapes and, in fact, it's quite common," says Dr. Shafer. "For example, Jennifer Lopez has very distinguished facial features and her face shape can be described as both an oval and a diamond shape."

Face shapes also change as we get older. For instance, mature people tend to have more rectangular face shapes due to the way fat, muscle, and skin change over time, while younger people are more likely to have a triangular shape.

Finally, there are no hard and fast rules in terms of applying cosmetics or wearing accessories, but you may find that certain things flatter your face more than others because of the face shape you have. Better still, there are some things that complement virtually every face shape, like a lob haircut. Have fun, don't stress it too much, and keep being beautiful.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do braces, InVisalign, or wisdom teeth removal change your face shape?

    Braces and Invisalign mainly just straighten your teeth, but they could change your face shape a bit. For example, if your orthodontist corrected an overbite that caused your upper lip to protrude, it will no longer do that. Having wisdom teeth removed will not cause long-term changes to your face shape.

  • Does your sleeping position affect face shape?

    If you only sleep on one side of your face night after night for years, you might lose a bit of volume on one side of your face due to the depletion of collagen and elastin.

  • Does your face shape change as you age?

    Yes. Like elsewhere in our bodies, we have fat cells in our faces. When we're young, they are evenly distributed, plumping up our features. With age comes the loss of collagen and elastin, and the fat in our faces loses volume. As a result, some of your features may shift slightly downward.

  • What's the difference between a square and rectangle face shape?

    A person with a rectangular face has a long face with a strong, angular jawline. A person with a square face shape also has a strong, angular jawline, but their face is shorter, and their forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are the same width.

  • What's the difference between a round and oval face shape?

    People with an oval face shape have a long face with a round jawline and chin. People with a round face shape also have a round jawline and chin, but their faces are shorter.

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