All the scientific beauty theories you need to know about!
We’ve all done it! Looked in the mirror and wondered how attractive we are…
Here are all the scientific beauty theories to help you assess your beauty, but remember -
these are just theories, so even though you might not align with all of these, it doesn’t mean
you’re Fiona (after turning into an ogre of course).
Keep these in mind next time you’re doing your makeup!
So, grab a mirror and let’s see just how stunning you are.
(Karen holds up a cracked mirror)*
Skin and Texture Theory
This is quite an easy theory to understand as we see it being manipulated in everyday
The theory states that the more even the texture and colour of the skin, the better your skin
This is because clear beautiful skin is a sign of good health - which in nature corresponds to
Just imagine; yellowing or brown leaves on a leaf are a sign of poor health. Your skin uses
similar signifiers to let you know how healthy you are.
We can manipulate this theory to our advantage! On a bad-skin-day, cover your spots or
rashes with concealer to make them less visible - don’t use the same concealer you used to
brighten under your eyes though! This should match your skin colour and tone.
Yet, there is a huge community of skin-positive people out there - owning their scars and
acne. You go girl!
Composite Face Theory
We have found that the closer you are to the average face, the more beautiful you are.
Meaning that nature favours commonness - sorry Karen.
This research was conducted by merging many faces together, and the more faces that were
added, the more highly they were judged.
As you add faces to the image, the skin tone and texture move towards the mean.
This is why you see so many people nowadays getting more tan - or lightening their skin. It’s
a way of being closer to the mean in terms of their skin tone. Brazilian skin is said to be the
most favourable - as it has just enough melanin.
But I urge you to own your skin tone! Your unique complexion is beautiful, and there is no
need to change a thing. We all know how bad it can look when someone suddenly becomes
a different ethnicity - yikes.
However, when compared to a singular beautiful face, the theory no longer stands. Why fit
in, when you were born to stand out?
Geometric facial features theory
This theory considers features which are geometrically symmetrical as beautiful, therefore -
the more symmetrical your face is, the better looking you are.
The chin, upper lip, and nose seemed to have a large amount of influence in this theory.
However, in reality, there is a certain threshold of how symmetrical your face should be.
A face that is too symmetrical may seem alien-like. Asymmetry is natural, and therefore some
level of asymmetry should be maintained.
Try your best to apply your makeup evenly on both sides of the face, to do this make sure
you’re doing your makeup in a well-lit room where the light is equally distributed across
your face. There is nothing worse than having an uneven base! I also like to walk around the
house to see how I look in different lighting situations because let’s face it - you’re not going
to be sat in the office 24/7 like Karen.
Golden Ratio Theory.
The golden ratio is also known as the divine proportion.
Phi (φ) is the golden number: 1.618
This is a much harder theory to understand, but what it suggests is that if a face exhibits the
golden ratio, your face is more aesthetically pleasing.
The divine proportion is used in many areas of beauty from architecture, painting, and of
course, plastic surgery.
This is based on how the human eye perceives distance and size.
You may have proportions which do not align with the golden ratio - and that’s totally fine!
But if you want to play with contour, shading and colour - then you may be able to get
results which exhibit the golden ratio. But don’t take it too far - there is nothing wrong with
your bone structure!
Facial Thirds Theory
This is another geometric based theory, which says that your face should be divided into
three equal thirds - horizontally across your face.
(From the hairline, to the brow bone. From the brow bone, to the tip of the nose. From the
tip of the nose to the chin.)
The distances of these three measurements should be equal in order to align with this
If you would like to fit this theory, you may consider contouring and bronzing areas of your
face which are larger than the suggested size. For example, I have a large forehead,
therefore I would contour and bronze there for it to appear less prominent to the eye. We
always say that our foreheads are too big, but in fact - they were considered beautiful
during the Renaissance period. Sometimes it’s hard to separate beauty from trends, so let’s
not give ourselves a hard time about it.
Facial Fifths Theory.
This is a geometric theory, which suggests that there is beauty in equal sized fifths vertical
to the face.
(The centre fifth should encompass the nose -
The ones adjacent should have the eyes, and the other the rest of the face - to the ear.)
If the outside fifths are larger than the middle fifth, consider adding a highlight in the inner
corner of the eye to bring balance to the middle of the face.
Makeup artists love this trick! But remember, what works for celebrities doesn’t mean it’ll
always work on you.
Juveniles Face Theory
This theory suggests that a younger looking individual looks better than one that may
This theory is heavily used in the anti-ageing sector of the beauty industry.
Of course, this theory only works to a certain extent, people who appear under the age of
20 may appear less attractive than those who appear to be in their 20s.
We’ve all seen the 15 year old girls that look 21!
The anti-aging industry is really taking advantage of this one huh?
I hope you’re taking notes Karen.
Wear sunscreen! EVERY DAY!
The best way of protecting your skin from premature signs of ageing is through sun
protection. You should apply one in the mornings before leaving the door every day, and
amp it up during the sunnier months. But don’t be fooled, UVA light is still present during
Frontal Versus Lateral View Theory.
This theory is rather simple - it suggests that if someone appears to be attractive from the
side profile, they are likely to be attractive from the front too - and visa-versa.
So many times we think we look stunning when we walk out the door, but please check
yourself before you wreck yourself! It’s so important to have mirrors from which you can
see your side profile - or take a photo of it and have a look - you don’t want to be walking
around with a slag line. Alternatively, invest in some honest friends.
There are also other aspects that are taken into consideration when determining someone’s
attractiveness or beauty.
A pleasant expression, such as a smile can make someone appear attractive.
Also, familiarity plays a part, we feel more at ease and comfortable with people we feel are
familiar, therefore familiar faces seem more beautiful to us.
Smile! Some wise person once said, there is no better accessory than a smile, and they were
Please remember that these are only beauty theories and are not the end-all-and-be-all.
You are beautiful!
It’s the combination of all these factors which could imply our beauty.
But how much control do we really have over how we perceive beauty?
Of course, everyone has different tastes, especially in people and their looks.
Why is it that some people like individuals with larger foreheads and a stronger jawline,
whereas others like small and more subtle features?
How does society and the media shape our preferences in beauty?
There is nothing more beautiful than being confident in your own skin.