Much like achieving the perfect messy bun or mastering liquid eyeliner, figuring out your face shape sounds a lot easier than it actually is. And purchasing so many products (like sunglasses) or figuring out the best hairstyle for you (we've been there) is based on this elusive shape that isn't entirely simple to understand. If you've ever tried the trick of tracing your face in the mirror, only to be left staring at a squiggly blob that resembles a puddle or fluffy cloud more than any sort of recognizable shape, we feel you.
To determine your face shape, you'll want to examine three criteria: the widest part of your face (forehead, cheeks, jaw), your jawline (round, square, pointy), and the length of your face (short or long). More on this in our gallery below.
To help you always pick the most flattering hairstyles for your face shape, we reached out to sought-after hair professional Nate Rosenkranz for his expert advice. Plus, we're sharing our tips on pinpointing exactly what your unique face shape even is, whether heart-shaped or oval. Rest assured knowing this key bit of information will help you wield your makeup brushes and style your locks with that much more confidence. Pin the handy guide on figuring out face shapes, and then keep scrolling to find out your own.
Meet the Expert
How to Measure Your Face Shape
The best way to measure your face shape is to compare the length of your face to its width. To do so, use a ruler to measure from the center of your hairline to the bottom of your chin. Then, measure the width, (i.e. the right to the left). You can also measure your jaw by noting the width of your face at its widest point and your cheekbones by measuring across each cheek. From here, you should have an idea of the shape. If it's longer than wide, it might be an oval; if all the measurements are similar, it's likely square. If the length of your face and your cheekbones have a similar measurement, it's likely round.
If you aren't keen on measuring your actual face, try using a selfie to trace your face shape using the steps outlined above.
If your chin is pointed and your forehead is the widest part of your face, you have a heart-shaped face. Some people may have a widow’s peak at their hairline, but you can still have a heart-shaped face without one—picture an upside-down triangle instead. This face shape looks great with bangs, as evidenced by Reese Witherspoon, and looks best with mid- to long hair (i.e. longer than shoulder-length).
Celebs with your face shape: Sarah Hyland, Reese Witherspoon, Chloë Grace Moretz
Your best hairstyles: When considering what works best with a heart-shaped face, Rosenkranz recommends "hairstyles that create width through the jawline with fullness and width through the nape to balance the shape of the face." This includes side-swept bangs, brow-grazing fringes, pixie cuts, long layers, and "wearing hair forward around the face." Also, try to "avoid styles that accentuate the width of the forehead or cheekbones," he adds.
If you have a square face, the sides of your face are straight, and your jawline is slightly angled with a very minimal curve. Your face is nearly as wide as it is long. In other words, if you were to measure from the edge of your temple to the top of where your jawline starts, you'd find that it would be approximately the same as the distance from your left jaw to right jaw. You also have sharp, angular features, including a sharp jawline.
Celebrities with your face shape: Rihanna, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock
Your best hairstyles: If your face shape falls into the square category, "Hairstyles that are fuller at the sides and that soften the corners are best," according to Rosenkranz. Think textured shags, long layers, and side-swept bangs. As to what styles to steer clear of, Rosenkranz advises to "Avoid enhancing the jawline further with blunt lines. Strong fringe is not recommended either."
Curls and texture will flatter a square face shape. Part hair on the side to add height to your overall look.
A round face is like a square-shaped face with softer angles—the sides of your face curve slightly outward instead of being straight. Your chin is rounded, and your cheekbones are the widest part of your face.
Celebs with your face shape: Chrissy Teigen, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Lawrence, Ginnifer Goodwin, Michelle Williams
Your best hairstyles: Chin-length and long bobs, soft, face-framing layers, and long bangs suit a round face. "A hairstyle with a strong angular front and adding height will help to elongate the face," says Rosenkranz. On the other hand, "Avoid over softening this already round shape and avoid creating more width on sides. This will accentuate the shape further." He adds, "It’s best to leave your hair down and avoid tucking it behind your ears."
If someone drew lines connecting the center of your hairline to your cheekbones and down to your chin, it would create a diamond shape—hence, the name. Diamond faces have pointed chins and high cheekbones. The main difference between a diamond-shaped face and a heart-shaped face is the hairline—if you have a diamond-shaped face, your hairline will be narrower.
Celebs with your face shape: Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Greene
Your best hairstyles: "A soft fringe and length will best help to soften the angles of the diamond shape, but avoid styles that draw the eye to or accentuate the jawline," says Rosenkranz. If you're looking to flatter your diamond-shaped face, try long layers, textured shags, and side-swept bangs.
People with oval faces have foreheads that are only a tiny bit wider than their curved chin—picture an egg placed upside down. If you have a tall forehead, your cheekbones are the widest part of your face, and your face is longer than it is wide, chances are you've got an oval face.
Celebs with your face shape: Kelly Rowland, Olivia Munn, Kerry Washington, Blake Lively
Your best hairstyles: The great thing about having an oval face is that this shape can work with almost any style, from an angular bob to long, beachy waves. Rosenkranz recommends to just "Choose styles that will enhance your key features, and stay away from adding too much height on top since that can make this shape feel oblong."
Rectangular faces are sometimes called oblong, and they're similar to a square-shaped face but longer than they are wide. Your forehead, cheeks, and jawline are approximately the same width and your chin has a very slight curve.
Celebs with your face shape: Joan Smalls, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung, Liv Tyler, Gisele Bündchen
Your best hairstyles: For those with rectangular faces, "Creating fullness through the sides and keeping volume from the ears up is key to balancing this shape," according to Rosenkranz. Soft waves, long, face-framing layers, and chin-length bobs are your best bets, whereas "flat straight hair with no movement and volume with no width should be avoided." He also notes that "shorter hairstyles can make this shape feel masculine."
Break up a rectangular face shape with a diagonal part, which lends itself to more voluminous hairstyles that add width (and overall balance) to oblong faces.
Those with triangle-shaped faces have a wider forehead compared to any other point on the face, and often look similar to heart-shaped faces (in the sense that the chin also comes down to a point).
Celebs with your face shape: Tyra Banks, Shailene Woodley, Victoria Beckham, Ashlee Simpson
Your best hairstyles: Added volume up top and low ponytails look great on those with a triangle-faced shape. Low updos in general are flattering, as they help soften the jawline. Bangs should be avoided, unless they are one-sided, as a full fringe can draw further attention to the forehead.