Facial proportions refer to the relationship in size and placement between features, while symmetry pertains to how similar the left and right side of the face appear, says leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Just like artists who need to an in-depth knowledge of facial proportions to create their masterpiece, facial plastic surgeons must also possess such critical but nonetheless hard-to-grasp concept of beauty and balance.
But what constitute a face that is deemed attractive? And what are the features that distinguish it from plain and not-so-pleasant ones? Or does the axiom “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” have merit despite claims made by scientists and researchers suggesting that there are indeed mathematical ratios that can quantify objectively the level of attractiveness or lack thereof?
On top of these conundrums surrounding physical attractiveness, some research studies have pointed out that the perception of beauty is affected by variables that include culture, media, and socio-economic background.
Nonetheless, Dr. Smiley believes that beauty does possess certain hallmarks that transcend culture and milieu; these hallmarks, he suggests, can help plastic surgeons deliver natural and pleasant results from rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), facial implants, fat injection, chin reduction, etc.
Chin and Jawline
When the face is divided into three horizontal segments—from the forehead hairline to the outside corner of the eyes, from the eyes to the base of the nose, and from the base of the nose to the chin margin—and their distances are all equal, the face is considered more attractive.
The aforementioned ratio can help guide surgeons during chin reduction/augmentation and jawline enhancement.
Rhinoplasty, aka nose job
A nose deemed attractive has a breadth that is similar to the distance between the eyes; however, it does not strictly apply to ethnic noses, which can even tolerate a slight nostril flare that may even contribute to facial attractiveness.
Furthermore, the length of the nose is ideally equal to the chin’s vertical height in order to increase the attractiveness of the face. It should be noted that the chin and the nose play a critical role in facial proportion and harmony and thus it is not uncommon to combine rhinoplasty and chin augmentation.
Typically, the length of attractive faces is roughly one-and-a-half times longer than their width. This hallmark of beauty and youth may guide plastic surgeons during cheek augmentation (via implants or fat injection) and buccal fat reduction.
Furthermore, the lower two-thirds of a youthful face has an inverted triangle shape thanks to fullness of the upper cheek (or prominent cheekbone), which gently tapers toward the lower cheek and jaw.
Forehead and hairline
The ancient Greeks believed that the Golden Ratio, now more commonly referred as the Divine Proportion or phi (1.618), was the key to beauty and was seen in nature. When applied to facial proportions plastic surgery, it states that the ideal distance between the forehead hairline and the upper eyelid is 1.6 times the distance between the top of the upper eyebrow and the lower lid.
Hence, the concept of phi might be applied during brow and forehead lift surgeries.