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The attractiveness of eyebrow form as a function of face shape
This is a follow-up on a previous entry on eyebrow aesthetics. Baker et al.(1) morphed the faces of 5 women into oval, square, long and round faces; digitally removed the eyebrows, and for each morphed shape, came up with two images: one with an added eyebrow conforming to Westmore’s ideal and another with an eyebrow added by a make-up artist to suit the face shape.
Westmore’s ideal is shown below.
Fig 1. Ideal brow portrayed by Westmore (Westmore, M. G. Facial cosmetics in conjunction with surgery. Course presented at the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Society Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, May of 1975. Cited by: Gunter, J. P., and Antrobus, S. D. Aesthetic analysis of the eyebrows. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 99: 1808, 1997). The medial brow should begin on the same vertical plane as the lateral extent of the ala and the inner canthus (A to B). It ends laterally (C) at an oblique line drawn from the most lateral point of the ala (A) through the lateral canthus. The medial and lateral ends of the brow (B and C) lie at approximately the same horizontal level. The apex lies on a vertical line (D to E) directly above the lateral limbus.
An example of face shape morphing follows.
Fig 2. A model’s face morphed into oval, square, long and round shapes; other variables held constant.
The following four images show examples of different face shapes with an added eyebrow corresponding to the Westmore ideal (left) and the make-up artist’s addition.
Fig 3. Oval facial shape. Both the Westmore (left) and makeup artist (right) versions share similar proportions.
Fig 4. Square face. The makeup artist version (right) differs from the Westmore version by softening the curve of the brow, with the lateral aspect pointing slightly more inferior toward the center of the ear.
Fig 5. Long face. The makeup artist (right) keeps the brow low and straight. High arches are avoided, as they may augment the appearance of an already long face.
Fig 6. Round face. The makeup artist adds a slightly higher arch to the brow to add angularity to the face.
The authors had the paired images as shown in Figures 3-6 compared for attractiveness by 78 individuals. The judges did not prefer one brow shape to the other with respect to oval and round faces, but the make-up artist’s eyebrows were preferred by 58% of the judges for long faces and 62% of the judges for square faces.
The study shows that optimally pleasing eyebrows differ for different face shapes.
- Baker, S. B., Dayan, J. H., Crane, A., and Kim, S., The influence of brow shape on the perception of facial form and brow aesthetics, Plast Reconstr Surg, 119, 2240 (2007).