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Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Quest for Symmetry

Bodies and faces are never symmetrical. Some people have features that have better symmetry than others, and these people are often found to be more attractive than those without. Psychologists tell us that this is because the brain is simple and finds symmetry easy to recognise without having to stress over the nuances. We are programmed to recognise symmetry as beautiful, perhaps because it is nearly impossible to attain in a complex system.

I am often asked about how to make faces appear more symmetrical. So here's a method that is easy and quick. Start with a photograph, I am using my passport photo.

(I used a graphics programme to digitally flip half my face to mirror.) However you can do this by using a mirror down the middle of your face. Now look at the image in the mirror and on the photograph. It should look like mine below. Turn the mirror over to see the other side.

You can see in the pictures below what I would look like if each side of my face were mirror images.

This is a great way to see where you can work to find symmetry. Work out the features you like or wish to diminish on each side of the face. I prefer aspects of each side of my face and I try to incorporate them in to my make up.

On my left hand side I prefer my slim nose and wider mouth.
On my right hand side I prefer my more round eyes and pointed jaw line.

So when you look at these aspects you can contour the opposite side of the face to match.

The middle photo is my natural face, I have not contoured anywhere.

But you can now see where I should concentrate to achieve more symmetry.

On my left hand side, contour the chin to shave off the squareness and bring it to a point and open up the eye with liner on the upper lashes.

On my right hand side, contour the nose to make it slimmer and outline the lips to widen them to match.

It feels really weird looking at the two faces either side my face, they are not me!

I wrote this article a week ago and then watched a programme last night which confirmed my thoughts about symmetry.

I am working on a tutorial about how to achieve greater symmetry using techniques that I use in my make up and on clients.


  1. This was a really interesting post! Thanks for the tips :)

  2. I love the idea of symmetry. However, when I do manipulate my face digitally it looks so foreign. I think it takes some mad photoshop skills. These folks are masters.

  3. This is one of the most interesting posts I ever read.

  4. Was the programme you watched Beauty and the Beast? I watched that, was horrified by that woman but the end bit which was talking about symmetry was very interesting.

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  6. This is a very interesting and somewhat valid point. I would of loved to watch that programme.

  7. great post, never really thought about how symmetrical my face is..i am now!

  8. I've heard this before and it's very interesting! The people I find attractive are generally not considered conventionally handsome and tend to look a lit... wonky :P But I guess I don't actually know how symmetrical they are!
    Your 'left' side is actually pretty similar to your regular face. I'm really tempted to try this with a photo of myself now!

  9. wow, loved this post, by the way i think you look the best as you :P the other two pics look a bit strange haha x


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