Before you decide to make any changes to your appearance, it’s only prudent to gain some knowledge on the basics before you venture into a world of many choices. In the interest of making an educated and more informed decision we’ve compiled some facial structure basics for a better understanding of differences in the human face - as it is seen in the real world from a non-medical perspective.
1. Male vs. Female Faces
As is the case with the rest of the body, male and female faces vary from the extreme characteristics of their gender, to androgynous ambiguity. This section covers the former – the extremes of female and male features displayed in the face.
The very first difference between a male and a female face is how pronounced and square the male jaw is compared to the soft curve of a female jaw. Other lines of the face are equally harder in males: the brow pronounced while it's more rounded in females. The chin is also more pronounced.
Typically, a female cranium is overall smaller than a male’s, also the neck more slender. Eyebrows are thinner and neater while lips are generally fuller with a higher contrast in colour. The male eyebrows are lower over the eyes and thicker and males generally have a tendency of more hair on their body. Men's lips tend to be thinner, but the mouth is wider. The eyelashes of grown women are longer and more visible, even without makeup.
2. The Face Over Time
Facial features and proportions change quite a bit with age.
Before adolescence, there is little to no difference between male and female faces. Prior to sexual maturity children are quite androgynous in the face, and are only really identified, when we think of it, by the way they are dressed and their hair is cut.
As an adolescent (twelve to seventeen years of age) we are in every way between childhood and adulthood, every feature being close to its adult state but still retaining something childish (to different degrees depending if an individual is closer to twelve or to seventeen).
The most noticeable difference with adult faces at this age is the size of the eyes, which are still large. Our eyebrows however are now fuller, and lower on the eyes which in-turn adds to changes in our expressions. At this age our nose looks longer, even if it's still slightly upturned. Also, there is also a clear difference between male and female traits.
The Adult Face
Young adults (eighteen to thirties) are probably the most celebrated in Western culture. The features are at their peak appearance: chiselled nose, gazed toned down and matured by eyelid folds that are now visible, our facial contours show more bone and muscle structure than soft flesh. At this age a women's lips are at their most fleshy, and men's facial hair is it’s strongest.
Dark-haired men will often have a shadow around the jaw even when they’re shaved.
In late adulthood (our forties and fifties) there is not a dramatic change, but small ones start creep in - Eyelids are heavier, crow's feet begin to show as well as other lines. We may start to show a downward fold at the corners of the mouth, expression lines linking the latter to the wings of the nose, and possibly lines at the root of the nose.
The Older Face
In our sixties and onward, all these lines increase. Worry and frown lines, as well as smile lines, become permanent. Pockets may appear under the eyes. Around this age our skin begins to lose its elasticity and starts to “hang” at the jaws which results in a less firm jawline aesthetically.
From our sixties the female face starts to lose its youthful femininity, and by one's seventies, menopause having levelled the hormonal field, the only real difference between the two sexes is that a female's hairline recedes little while a male may be all lost by this stage. Also at this age veins, blemishes and age spots appear as the skin becomes thinner. The earlobes and tip of the nose give way to gravity and slightly droop. The colour of our iris loses intensity and our lips too lose colour. New lines appear above the lip and in the neck, while the cheeks become more hollowed out for various reason.
3. General Shape of the Face