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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.

Westmore's ideal eyebrow.

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.

A model's face morphed into oval, square, long and round shapes.

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.

Westmore (left) and makeup artist (right) eyebrow versions share similar proportions for oval face.

Fig 3. Oval facial shape.  Both the Westmore (left) and makeup artist (right) versions share similar proportions.

Westmore and make-up artist versions of eyebrows for a square face.

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.

Westmore and make-up artist versions of eyebrows for a long face.

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.

Westmore and make-up artist versions of eyebrows for a round 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.


  1. 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).


As to ideal brow shape , I seem to preffer a slight arch reaching its greater height on the exterior of the irises that end on a slighter higher point than the beggining or "birth" of the eyebrow.

a horizontal " ( " shape tends to give a sad or worried look in my opinion.

I can't find where you say anything about eyebrow thickness...

Samara: I don’t think I have addressed eyebrow thickness. Eyebrows are thicker in men, on average. Even if a woman has eyebrows that are thicker than in most women, this by itself will not make her look non-feminine or less attractive.

But Erik,

Surely if women generally have thinner eyebrows it would follow that thinner eyebrows are more feminine and attractive than thicker ones? I pluck mine, not too thin, but I think less facial hair, that is, thinner eyebrows make me look younger and prettier.

I mean look at Brooke Shields - an attractive woman, yes, but those eyebrows!! I'm so glad she did something about that.

Actually they say that women with thick eyebrows intend to look younger and those with thinner look older. For me I think that women with thin eyebrows really do look older. What do you guys think about this?

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