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by Gail Kavanagh

An old axiom in hairdressing circles is that you should let your face shape be your guide when it comes to choosing a great hair do. Women have followed this advice for decades, and more recently, it has come into vogue for men as well.

Why is this so? For both genders, a great hairstyle is one you can forget about. It suits you, it moves easily with you, and you don’t have to keep glancing at yourself in any reflective surface to make sure it’s still OK. A great ‘do is like a great outfit: it defines you, it flatters you, it goes anywhere with you, and most importantly, it fits you perfectly. But with wider gender definitions and more freedom to choose how you want to look, some of the old rules are being overturned, while new attitudes take precedence. The face shape is still a good place to start, but no one is limited to a few “correct” styles any more.

Defining your face shape is easy, and you don’t need to mess with tape measures or doing calculations to do so. Just stand facing the bathroom mirror, and using a piece of soap, trace the shape of your face. If you have long hair, tie it back so your face shape is well defined.

There are many gradations suggested for different face shapes, but it is better to keep it simple:

  • If the resulting shape is nearly a circle, almost as wide as it is long, you have a round face;
  • If your round face has a pointy chin, and a is wider at the temples, you have a triangular face;
  • If your jaw is around the same width as your forehead and is blunt shaped, you have a square face;
  • If you have a long square jaw and high forehead, you have a long face.
  • A face that is shaped more like an egg is an oval face, which is regarded as the perfect shape for a women or anyone who identifies as feminine.

For men and those who identify as male, a square or long face is considered more masculine. But such divisions are old fashioned; your face shape is you and you are entitled to make the best of it.

Round face

Traditionally, the object was to make a round face look less round, avoiding big curls or a frizzy ‘do which would only make your face look rounder. That limits your choices, however. If you want big hair, whether you identify as a man or a woman, you can build up the crown to add height. The condition of your hair, and working with what nature gave you, are the most important factors. If you have full or curly hair and you like it that way, wear it with pride.

Triangular face

Having a wide forehead and pointy chin, giving a look that is often described as heart-shaped, was considered desirable in women, since it gave them a childlike look. The pert, gamin faces of movie stars like Audrey Hepburn were regarded as innocent and appealing. Today, this face shape is still considered highly photogenic, but isn’t confined to cute little pixie haircuts and whimsical curls. This face shape can get away with the edgiest looks on the market, for both men and women who don’t want to be children forever.

Square face

A blunt cut that ends at the jaw, paired with square-cut bangs, once the anathema of the square-faced woman, can look amazing and sophisticated, emphasizing a beautifully cut jawline and symmetrical features. It can be hard to carry off successfully, but is well worth it. Those who want a younger, softer look can try the more conventional layers, with ombre shading and other style tricks, For those who identify as masculine, this is considered the ideal face shape, so choose styles that show it off. It is best to keep it short, with height on the crown, making a bold statement.

Long face

If you have a long face and identify as feminine, it is usually best to avoid long straight hair. Layers are the look to go for if you want to soften your jaw and shorten your face. For maximum softness, you need a side-swept ‘do, with highlights and soft, bouncy layers. It’s high maintenance, but you will get the look you want. But if you like your long face, take the bold path, condition your hair to luxuriance, and wear it as you please. For men, it is highly desirable to exaggerate a long face with high hair and a matching beard.

Oval face

Someone with an oval-shaped face can wear just about any ‘do, but sexy short curls and floating layers look wonderful on you. You can be cutting edge too, trying out sharp cuts and geometric layers if curls are not your thing. Be bold and experiment with new looks as they come along, because with your face shape, you can wear anything.

Just remember that no one is confined to “correct” hair styles anymore, so don’t be afraid to experiment. If in doubt, talk to a good stylist about the many great options now available in shaping, coloring and making the most of your hair. If you have a look in mind that doesn’t fit in with conventional wisdom about your face shape, try it anyway and wear it with confidence. With a big smile (and a great hair stylist) you can rock any look and make it your own.

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8 Fashion Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Look

There is no getting around it. You will have to invest money and energy into your clothing, especially if you want to look your best. But are you setting yourself up for fashion failure? Are you guilty of one of these common fashion mistakes? Change your ways, and reclaim your sensational style.

The clothes don’t fit.

Are you wearing clothing in the wrong size? Come on, you can tell us.

The first step in looking great in your clothes is wearing something that fits you. It’s a mistake to get stuck on a size number because sizes can vary spectacularly depending on brands and even the style of clothing. You may need a larger size in a blouse to accommodate your chest but a smaller size in jeans or the other way around. Some styles may not fit you at all, simply because the cut doesn’t conform to your body type.

And remember, just because you can get into it doesn’t mean it fits. This is an easy fix – just be flexible when it comes to size.

The bra is all wrong.

Your bra is the most important article of clothing that no one is going to see. When undergarments go wrong, it can throw off your entire outfit. Bras that are too tight can cause rolls and hills where you don’t want them, and bras that are stretched out or too loose will not give you proper support.

If necessary, ask for a fitting each time you buy a new bra. Make sure your entire bosom fits neatly into each cup and that the bra hooks easily without you having to yank on it.

Once you have a great bra, take care of it. Your bra should never see the inside of a dryer, and hanging it from a door handle to dry is going to pull it into a non-symmetrical shape. Read this article to learn more.

Thinking it’s okay to skip the iron.

We all do it. Who irons jeans anyway, right? And some people don’t iron at all, and that’s okay… if you never leave the farm. Unless you have a closet full of travel-wear that doesn’t wrinkle then maybe you should consider the ol’ iron on occasion.

If you want to wear a piece of clothing that can wrinkle, you need to make a commitment to ironing it. When you walk into a room in wrinkled clothing, you might as well be wearing knit shorts and a t-shirt. It makes you look sloppy and unable to handle the world. And no one wants to make that kind of impression.

You don’t double-check your whites.

Crisp, white clothing can be classic and stylish, but you can easily give all those advantages away by neglecting to check yourself in white.

White is problematic for two reasons. One is that light travels right through it, and the other is that it doesn’t hide much. Before you wear white, check your undergarments. Stand in natural light and check to see if you, or someone else, can see right through that white fabric. And be sure that your underwear is smooth, understated and doesn’t call attention to itself!

Forgetting to check every angle.

You check your look in the mirror every day, but you might forget that all you’re seeing is the view from the front.

Before you leave the house, you should be sure you’ve covered all the angles. Twist and turn to see your whole body, get a mirror that shows multiple angles, or even take a picture. Just make sure you get a good look at what is behind you.

Gettin’ lazy with the laundry.

Think of your clothes as an investment, and treat them like valuables. Keep your clean laundry folded or hung in your closet instead of in a pile on the floor or bed. And when you are cleaning your clothes, follow the instructions! Not doing so is probably the biggest no-no we’re all guilty of. Almost all clothing has a tag that will tell you how to wash and dry it. Read that tag before you buy anything. If you never use a dry cleaning service, it doesn’t make sense to buy clothes that are dry clean only.

Wash clothing in cold water whenever possible and avoid the dryer when you can. Hanging clothes on a clothesline to dry is typically the best option for keeping them looking as new and fresh as possible.

Keep it balanced.

Wearing tight clothing all over isn’t a good look, and loose clothing from head to toe can swallow you. Make sure you are keeping a balance between your form-fitting clothes and your free-flowing pieces. If you are wearing a tight top, balance that out with a loose, full skirt. Alternatively, wear an oversized or boxy top with skinny jeans.

You don’t have clothing tailored.

We’re talking dressy or professional clothing here, which will probably be used less often, but is just as important. Dressy pants and suits should fit your body in a very specific way, and every body is different. Get on the sewing machine and make sure that all your tucks and hems are in the right places and if you don’t sew then find a good tailor, it is well worth it.

You choose your outfits carefully, so be sure to get the best from them. Start by cutting out any fashion mistakes you are making, and your efforts will certainly be reflected by the way you look.

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