If you’re considering a nose job, you’re likely wondering what level of control you have over the results. Movies and mass media may have led you to believe that you can have any nose shape you prefer. While this may be true to a certain extent, the actual results of your impending nose job depend on a myriad of factors, from face shape and surgical limitations to personal preferences.
If you’re approaching the point in talks with your doctor where it is now time to pick out your new nose, it is also time to understand what goes into picking out the right shape.
What’s in a Shape?
There are 7 different types of face shapes and 14 different types of nose shapes, which means there are 98 different face and nose shape combinations available. Unless you’re considering additional cosmetic procedures to alter your natural face, you’re going to need a clear idea of which nose forms will work with your face. But first of all, how do you determine your face type?
There are a few ways to find out what your face shape is. To start, one option is to trace your face in the mirror with a lipstick (don’t worry, it wipes off!). After pulling away from the mirror, you should be able to see a clear “shape” in your drawing. To be safe, close one eye to make sure your perception is from only one point. Here are the defining features of each of the 7 shapes:
Oval – Your forehead, jaw, and cheekbones are all usually the same width, with the length of your face being a little longer than the general width.
Round – The width of your forehead, jaw, and cheekbones are still all generally the same,equal in dimension with the length of the face.
Square – This is similar to the round shape, but your jaw and forehead edges are more squared than rounded.
Diamond – Unlike the square shape, the cheekbone width is the widest, with the forehead and jaw of shorter widths and the chin narrow and pointed.
Heart – Your lipstick trace likely shows the shape of a heart, with the widest part at the forehead and tapering down through the jaw.
Triangle – The reverse of the heart shape, this shape is widest in the jaw and the narrowest in the forehead.
Oblong – The oblong shape is a bit of an extended oval and can sometimes be reflected in other shapes, but is typically determined by the length of the face, which is significantly different from the width.
The Nose Knows
In addition to taking face shape into account, the nose itself plays a major role in the options available for your nose job. The width of the tip, bridge, and nostrils need to be considered as well, as symmetry and a balanced appearance are crucial to a good outcome.
Understanding what nose shape you have can help you determine what you like (and what you don’t like!) about your nose, also helping you find out which nose shapes you can choose to keep your looks as natural as possible. According to a recent study, there are 14 different types of nose shapes, with the vast majority spread between the “Greek”, “hawk”, “celestial”, “fleshy”, and “roman” nose shapes.
Not sure which shape you have? A simple Google search for “how to determine nose shape” can provide you with a plethora of images from which to compare yours to the various search results. Once you have determined your particular nose shape, it’s time to consider what options you have for nose remodeling. However, as with any medical procedure, your plastic surgeon should be the ultimate resource for determining your nose shape, both current and future.
Managing Your Expectations
While nose jobs and celebrities aren’t exactly news-making combinations, recently Khloe Kardashian made headlines when she told the world her mother Kris Jenner had suggested she needed a nose job. It wasn’t that her mother thought she needed a nose job, rather it was that Khloe was 9 years old at the time Kris expressed this sentiment. A nose job for a 9 year old is not only extreme and unlikely to be approved by the medical community (unless there were significant medical benefits to be gained), but it also discounts the consideration of a growing and changing face shape. While a child may grow into his or her face and nose shape or experience adjustments and changes through adulthood, adults may also experience significant changes in appearance.
Weight fluctuations, changes in exercise routines, plastic surgery, some makeup and hairstyle techniques, and even pregnancy can cause an adult face to look different through the years. When considering which nose may suit your face, you should try to be in a physical state that most closely resembles your typical appearance. In short, if you recently got blunt cut bangs and lost 30 pounds training for a marathon, but you know that next year you will have grown your hair out again and stopped running, you might want to wait until you look “more like yourself”.
The decision to get a nose job is rarely made lightly and, as with any major medical procedure, a board-certified plastic surgeon should be included in the process from the beginning. Your plastic surgeon can discuss all the options available to you, help you examine renderings of different outcomes to decide which shape is preferable to your face, and help you understand what the process entails. A plastic surgeon is well versed in all the physical attributes of the face and will likely be able to discuss your face and nose shape and what works best for your particular attributes. Depending upon whether your interests are minor modifications or more significant changes, your plastic surgeon will be able to help you make sure the resulting shapes work together and work for you.
About the Author
Justin Yovino, M.D., FACS of Ideal Face and Body is a Beverly Hills Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with a special interest in cosmetic surgery and extensive training in the most advanced surgical techniques. Dr. Yovino is very experienced in aesthetic, reconstructive, and hand surgery. Dr. Yovino is board certified by the American Board of Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and is well respected by his peers in the medical community.