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Ninja Beauty Secrets, Part 11

| May 26, 2008
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Determining Your Face Shape

This month, we begin our glamour makeup sessions with a look at the different face shapes and hair styles that look good with each face shape.

Miss Kalina Isato As many of you have read in my books, creating a glamorous look is 66% hair, 33% makeup, and 1% oomph! where oomph! is that little extra something that takes your look over the top. How much you want to devote to each aspect of your look is up to you, but I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that hair is a major factor in any man or woman’s look and choosing the right hair style for you is easy once you determine your face shape.

For this exercise, get out a ruler and a mirror and take the following four measurements:

1. Measure your face across the top of your cheekbones.

2. Measure across your jaw line from the widest point to the widest point.

3. Measure across your forehead at the widest point. The widest point will usually be about halfway between your eyebrows and your hairline.

4, Measure from the tip of your hairline to the bottom of your chin.

If measurement 4 is one and a half times measurement 1, then you have an oval face.
If measurement 4 is about the same as measurement 1, then you have a round or square face depending on the shape of your jaw.
If measurement 2 and measurement 3 are within half an inch, then you have an oblong face.
If measurement 3 > measurement 1 > measurement 2, then you have a heart face.
If measurement 2 > measurement 1 > measurement 3, then you have a triangle face.
If measurement 2 is the same as measurement 3 and each of these measurements is less than measurement 1, then you have a diamond face.

It’s quite possible that your face shape falls in between two existing face shapes. In this case, you’ve doubled your hair styling possibilities!


An oval face is slightly narrower at the jaw line than at the temples, with a gently rounded hairline. Oval faces can wear a variety of styles. Most any hair shape looks good on you. Most models have oval faces and can wear many different hair styles.

Try wearing short, medium and long hair styles because your face shape is well balanced. You will look best when styling your hair off your face. Most oval face shapes can wear slicked-backed looks as well.
Avoid covering up your cheekbones or other perfect features with heavy bangs or forward directed styles. Longer, fuller hair styles will appear to add weight to your face.

Oblong (Rectangular)

An oblong face shape is longer than it is wide. The face is long and slender, about the same width at the forehead and just below the cheekbones. The face may have a very narrow chin or a very high forehead.

Try wearing short to medium lengths with extra fullness at the sides of your face and soft wispy bangs. Soft wispy bangs will shorten the appearance of the length of the face. Fullness at the sides of your face will add width to the look of your face shape. Layers can also add softness and roundness to the straight lines in your face.

Avoid too much hair length because it will make your face will look even longer! Too much height lengthens your face. When you part your hair, part it in the center. Hair length should be kept above the shoulders.


A round face is as wide as it is long. This may vary a little but generally the measurement is close. This face is a full-looking face with a round chin and hairline. The widest point is at the cheeks and ears.

Try wearing hair styles with fullness and height at the crown. Avoid parting your hair in the center. Wear hair styles shorter than chin length with a swept-back direction or hair styles that are longer than chin length. By layering the top to achieve fullness and keeping the rest of the cut relatively close to the face, your face shape will appear longer and narrower.

Avoid chin length hair with a rounded line that mirrors face’s circular shape. A rounded haircut ending at the chin will adds weight to your face shape. Because the widest part of your face is at the cheeks and ears, you must avoid having the fullness of the cut there as it will make your face appear wider.


A square face is about as wide as it is long. This face shape has a strong, square jaw line and usually an equally square hairline.

Try wearing short-to-medium length hair, especially with wave or roundness around the face. Experiment with wispy bangs. Part your hair off-center and add extra height at the crown. Soften the square look of your face with layers and wispy looks around the face. Height at the crown will elongate your symmetrical shape. If your hair is straight, consider a body wave as some curl or wave to the hair will achieve a nice balance to the straight features of your face shape.

Avoid long straight styles that accentuate your square jawbone. Avoid straight bangs or center parts. Avoid straight bobs ending at the jaw line. If you wear a layered bob, it should end above or below the jaw line.


A heart face shape is wide at the temples and hairline and narrows to a small delicate chin.

Try wearing chin-length or longer styles with forward-swept layers around the upper face and gently wispy bangs that accentuate the eyes and cheekbones. Part your hair on the sides. A chin length bob is great on this face shape because it creates a balanced look by giving fullness where you need it.

Avoid short, full styles that emphasize the upper part of your face. Avoid adding height at the crown because it will give the appearance of a longer and narrower chin. Avoid severe, slicked back looks. You have great cheekbones to emphasize so don’t go with a cut that is top heavy.


A triangular face shape is the reverse of the heart face shape with its dominant jaw line with narrowing at the cheek bone and temples.

Try wearing shorter hair styles that balance your prominent jaw line. Styles should be full at the temples and taper at the jaw. Part your hair off-center. Wedges and shags look great on you. You need lots of layers to achieve fullness through the upper part of your face. Try tucking hair behind your ears as this will draw attention to your eyes and add width in this area. Long hair should be kept tight at the nape.

Avoid wearing long, full hair styles that draw attention to jaw line. Avoid parting your hair in the center. Avoid too much height at the crown. Avoid putting most of the weight of a haircut at the jaw line and below.


A diamond face shape is a cross between a heart face and a dramatic oval. It is widest at the cheekbones and narrow equally at the forehead and jaw line.

Almost any hair style works with your face shape so long as you are a true diamond. Keep your hair away from your face to emphasize your facial features.

This concludes our study of the basic face shapes!

At the time of this writing, I’m preparing to do wedding makeup and hair the next morning. My day will begin at 5am in order to get to the client site at 7am. My partner and I have three hours to work our magic on the bride and three other genetic women. I have photos of all four women and have already predetermined their face shapes to be heart for the bride, heart for her mom, oblong for the matron of honor, and round for the bridesmaid. All of their complexions and hair color are different, but I will need to select or create similar colors for all of them for consistency.

Knowing what these women’s face shapes are ahead of time allows me to think about choices before the makeover rather than in the hurried atmosphere of wedding day. Brides are often the toughest clients to please because they need everything to be perfect for their special day.

A good working knowledge of face shapes and knowing which hair styles look good with your face shape and which do not will help your passability immensely. Find your face shape and experiment with the hair style suggestions. For those of you who are fortunate enough to have your own hair to work with, plenty of practice styling your hair in the mirror will pay great dividends in the future.

Next month, I’ll show you how I create one of my short hair styles (on myself) from start to finish. For those of you who wear your own hair, you’ll find this lesson very helpful.

For more ninja beauty secrets, purchase “Natural Makeup Techniques” or “Secrets to an Awesome Makeover” from my web site (will open in a new window). For free Kalina Isato desktop wallpaper, click here (will open in a new window).

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Category: All TGForum Posts, Style, Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

I've been active in the transgender community since 1991 and living as a full-time woman since 2010. My books are internationally recognized as some of the best makeup and transformation books for male-to-female crossdressers and transsexuals. Each book is chock full of good information and some have stories that will inspire you to be the best woman that you can be. More than just makeup and transformation books, they are sources of inspiration and portals into my life as a transgender woman. Over 3,000 women just like you have learned from these books, many of whom have gone on to become beautiful, passable, and successful in whatever they do!

Comments (1)

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  1. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    Ah, jeez… no-one told me there was going to be math! 😉

    Great stuff! Now I just need to find my tape measure!

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