Customer Watch: Face Shapes Part 2 – Curved versus Angular

Last week, I wrote about the difficulty of evaluating face shapes and how there is a lack of consensus even among image consultants as to how many different face shapes exist. Today I’ll discuss one consideration that is useful in assessing what may look best on your customers – the dichotomy between curved and angular faces.

 

The generally held view is that a symmetrical oval face shape is ideal, the shape easiest to accessorize. An oval shape is completely curved and regular in its curve, with the wide point of the curve at the midpoint between the top and bottom. In fact, what is sometimes considered the ideal face shape actually has the widest point of the curve at the upper portion of the face (at the temples), so that the face is more of an egg shape, not a true oval in the geometrical sense.

 

An oblong face is a narrow version of the oval; a round face is a wide version. Where the widest point of the face is lower on the face, the resulting shape is what I term an inverted oval. Wherever the wide point of the face is and whatever you wish to call the shape, what is important to note for style purposes is the soft curve of the hairline and the jawline. All of these variations are curved face shapes.

 

In contrast, other faces contain straighter lines and sharper angles. These are angular face shapes. Not surprisingly, these face shapes take their name from geometry and include square, triangle, inverted triangle, and diamond. A narrow version of the square is a rectangle. The hexagon is a diamond shape with more width at the hairline and jawline. A symmetrical hexagon is the angular shape that is easiest to accessorize.

        

 

[Notice the rounded curves of Renee Zellweger’s face

 and the angles of Marcia Cross’s face.]

 

For a customer with a curved face shape, curved designs in jewelry with rounded corners and soft lines are generally going to be most flattering.

 

For a customer with an angular face shape, jewelry designs incorporating sharp angles and straight lines are generally going to be most flattering.

 

The analysis doesn’t end here, however. More on face shapes to follow in future postings!