Fundamental Anatomy of the Face

 
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The Mathematics of Beauty

SYMMETRY is a fundamental concept that is intrinsic to the visual and cognitive appreciation of what we commonly call "beauty."  The face is divided along the midline by an imaginary line running down the middle of the face. 

 

The face is divided into THIRDS using imaginary lines that follow established anatomical landmarks.  The Upper Third of the face is defined by the browline and the level of the arch of the eyebrows.  The Middle Third of the face is between the eyebrows and the base of the Columella.  The Lower Third of the face is between the base of the columell and the bottom of the chin.

 

The Lower Third is then divided into Thrids as well, with the commissure (corner of the lips) and the and the interlabial line falling along the level at the bottom of the upper 1/3 of the lower face.

 

The Radix (R) is the base or root of the nose, and it should ideally sit at the level of the upper eyelid.

 

The Tip of the nose should be roughly at the level of the lobule of the ears.  The upper Ear (arch of the Helix) should be at the level of the radix and the lowest part of the ear (the earlobe) should sit at the level of the base of the columella.

 

The Smile Line (interlabial line) should sit at the same level as the junction of the Ramus and Body of the Mandible (jawbone).

 

The Menton is the lowermost projection of the mandible, and is not the same as the chin.  The "chin" is specifically the mandibular (mental) protuberance (prominence) in its most anterior projection.

 

The vertical face is divided into 5 imaginary zones, of which the nose sits up front and center. As the "center" of attention, the nose is subject to an enormous amount of conscious and unconscious scrutiny.  In fact, we automatically and subconsciously register inferences and assumptions about people based on the shape and size of their nose!  A long hooked nose is thought to insinuate something sinister about a persons character, whereas a small "button" nose is associate with cute and girly.  A well defined nose with a straight bridge epitomizes the refined aristocratic appeal.

 

The nose sits in the middle 5th of the face, as defined by the lateral border of the nasal vestibule (opening to the nose).  Sometimes if the nose is too large, it overpowers and dominates the face.  This may be accceptable and appealing in some males, but is not attractive on most women.

 

The lateral border of the nasal dorsum is defined by the Brow-Tip line.  This line progresses from the tip, ascending along the lateral border of the dorsum to gently arch outward in alignment with the aesthetic flow of the supraorbital rim.  If the nose were divided into vertical thirds, these lines would define those thirds.  The ala on each side would occupy the lateral thirds, while the central portion would have the tip and the bridge.