Haircuts to Highlight Your Favorite Features

Think about your face. Do you have a favorite feature? Your brows? Mouth? Jawline? Nose? Forehead? Your neck? Your hair can help highlight that feature.

Fringe cut just above the brows is so visually powerful.
Vanessa Moreira
Model Vanessa Moreira. Accreditation unknown. Image via.

Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina
Audrey Hepburn in a publicity still for Sabrina. Image via.

A U-shaped or straight-across fringe can bring interest to down-turned or wide-set brows by creating an interplay of angles.
Louise Brooks
Louise Brooks

A center part, just like parted theater curtains, can also play up brows. Hiding the temples can make brows appear longer and wider.
Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz in Volver. Image via.

Eyes are never really hidden-- not least because most people need to see, but also because there's a large percentage of our brain activity dedicated just to looking in and around people's eyes, no matter what you hairstyle. But to make eyes particularly stand out:
Bangs cut above the eyelids-- at, just above, or just below the brows-- highlight the eyes.
Jameela Jamil
British TV host Jameela Jamil, 2009. Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe, photo via.
Angelica Houston
Angelica Houston, photographed by Richard Avedon for Vogue, 1973.

The center-parted "theater curtain" trick of playing up brows also plays up eyes. Covering your temples allows mid- and close-set eyes in particular to dominate that facial real estate.
Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried at the press conference for Les Miserables. Photo by Vera Anderson, Getty Images. Photo via.

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston. Image via.

If you have a large forehead you could of course lord it over the rest of us by wearing looks we struggle with, like baby bangs, curly fringe, and deliciously long hippie fringe.
Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic
Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic.
Curly fringe
Curly fringe, accreditation unknown. Photo via.

Or play up a large forehead and open up your face and even further by adding volume to the crown with a spiked pixie or teeny weenie afro. To add volume with longer hair, side-parted twists can work well.
Rihanna with a faux hawk
Rihanna with a faux hawk, 2010. Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America. Photo via

Janet Mock
Janet Mock, Getty images. Photo via.
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood. Accreditation unknown. Photo via.

Showcase an interesting hairline by wearing your hair back. Because people with low foreheads have hairlines so closer to their eyes-- the most noticeable part of the face-- they can showcase the curl patterns of their baby hairs or the shape of their hairline to great effect by wearing hair pushed back from their face. Low foreheads, just like short bangs, naturally bring attention to eyebrows and eyes.

kourtney kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian, image via.

audrey tatou
Audrey Tatou. Attribution unknown.
If you'd like your low forehead to visually take up more space and stand out, you can manipulate your color. Hair color that contrasts strongly with the forehead visually cuts it off, so to expand its visual space try getting the color near your hairline a shade similar to your skin tone. For light- and olive- skinned women that may be face-framing highlights, while dark-skinned women can try dark hair or an ombre.

Doutzen Kroes
Doutzen Kroes. Attribution unknown.
Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian. Photo via.

Victoria XOVain
Victoria, beauty editor for XOVain, image via.
Any shape of forehead can be flattered by pulling hair back and untucking all your baby hairs to make a little halo.
Linda Rodin
Linda Rodin. Photo by Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style, cropped, via.

Rather than obliterating cowlicks with a hairdryer or fringe, a side part (or natural part) shows it off nicely.
Norma Jean Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe)
Norma Jean Mortenson (aka Marilyn Monroe) had a natural cowlick and a very curly hairline. As artificial as her later style was, she always kept the side flip and played up her hairline rather than working against it. Photo by Richard C. Miller, via.

Long, lash-length fringe, especially tapered, will bring focus to the tip of your nose as it leads into the cupid's bow of your mouth.
Suki Waterhouse
Suki Waterhouse. Photo by Ivan Gavan / Getty images; photo via.
Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst. Photo via.

If you love the line of your profile from you nose to your brows and forehead, let your profile show by letting your forehead show, either by wearing your fringe center-parted or short, or by wearing longer hair back or center parted.
Cher, photographed by Richard Avedon, 1972.

Barbara Streisand
Barbara Streisand. Attribution unknown.
An aquiline profile can also be accentuated by continuing the line up and back with your hair, maybe in a pompadour or faux-hawk pixie.
Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola, by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia, Feb. 2014

Long, lash-length fringe, again, will bring attention to the structure of your mouth and chin.
Freja Beha Erichsen
Model Freja Beha Erichsen. Accreditation unknown; image via.

Jeanne Damas
Jeanne Damas, for GaranceDore.fr Photo via.

Jaw-length and longer cuts that cast a shadow over the jawline will highlight the shape of your lips.
Rei Kawakubo
Rei Kawakubo, photographed by Irving Penn for Vogue, 1993.

Long sideswept and side-parted hair will also bring attention to the lower half of the face.
Viola Davis
Viola Davis. Photo by Andrew Evans for PR Photos, image via.

For jawlines that aren't very angular, continuing the hairline from the upward thrust of the jawline in profile will highlight the linear curve of the jaw. For instance, a very short angled bob that's shorter in the back, or a pixie that's very short at the nape of the neck and gradually gets longer toward the crown.
Léa Seydoux
Léa Seydoux, photographed by Eric Guillemain for Numéro Tokyo. Image via.
Garance Doré
Garance Doré. Photo for garancedore.fr via.

Opening up the space around and behind the earlobes works with both long and short styles.
Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren. Photo by Jim Spellman for Getty Images. Image via.
Tavi Gevinson
Tavi Gevinson. Photographed by Nick Hudson for Russh Magazine. Photo via.
Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez on the red carpet 2013. Photo via.
For an angular jaw, continuing the jawline through the hairline will also play it up, but soft layers around the jaw also show off its angularity by creating an interplay of soft and sharp.

Francoise Hardy
Francoise Hardy. Photo credit unknown. Photo via.

Keira Knightly
Keira Knightly. Photo by Tony Shek, via.

Long, lash-length fringe with longer hair will also highlight an angular jaw, particularly the hollow above it, so long as there isn't so much long hair at the sides that it obscures the jaw completely.
Alexa Chung
Alexa Chung, photo credit: Chanel le 04 Juillet 2012. Photo via.

With a long style, wearing your hair up is an obvious way to showcase your neck.
Daphne Selfe
Model Daphne Selfe. Photo by Nick Ballon, via.

Pixies and shorter afros are also obvious choices for showing off your neck.
Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o, photographed by Lorna Simpson for W Magazine, Dec. 2013. Styled by Felicia Garcia-Rivera. Image via.

Some iteration of the bob seems to look good on everyone, but for people with a fantastic neck, the effect borders on magical.
Kiko Mizuhara
Kiko Mizuhara at the Venice Film Festival 2010. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe, image via.

Isabella Rossellini
Isabella Rossellini in Death Becomes Her.

Don't bother.
If you're getting a cut based on some insecurity instead of loving the cut itself, chances are good it'll have the opposite effect from what you want. When your style makes you look mousy and awkward, who cares if it hides the size of your nose from certain angles? Anyway, it's a moot point: it you move at all or make any facial expressions, people are still going to see whatever you're trying to hide. Except, admittedly, bangs. They can transform your forehead. If you're into that.



When Karl Lagerfeld and Shu Uemura released "Shupette," a fuzzy white eyeshadow palette dedicated to his kitty Choupette, I deeply wished it issued from Grace Coddington instead. Who better to design a cat-inspired palette? I gave the imaginary product some thought, and haven't stopped wishing for it since. Grace, are you out there? Please make this happen!

The outside of my imaginary Grace Coddington cat-inspired compact

The inside of my imaginary Grace Coddington cat-inspired compact. Left to right: 1. dark peacock blue-green shadow with olive and gold shimmer 2. midnight purple shadow with plum shimmer and gold glitter 3. matte smoky lavender shadow 4. rosy copper foil shadow 5. matte warm brown shadow 6. black cream liner 7. nude sheer lip tint 8. dark cherry opaque lip color 9. peach blush 10. solid perfume: notes of rose, bergamot and juniper.

1. dark peacock blue-green shadow with olive and gold shimmer. Photo attribution unknown, colors adjusted from originals.

2. midnight purple shadow with plum shimmer and gold glitter

3. matte smoky lavender shadow. Photo attribution unknown.

4. rosy copper foil shadow. Photo attribution unknown, colors adjusted from originals.

5. matte warm brown shadow and 6. black creme liner. Photo of Linda Hallberg, via.

8. dark cherry opaque lip color, as a stain (left) and full lip (right).

7. nude sheer lip tint and 9. peach blush
10. solid perfume: notes of rose, bergamot and juniper.


Grace Coddington and kitty, photographed by Arthur Elgort for WSJ Magazine. Photo via.