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A Golden Ratio for the Face

By Renée Batchelor

The “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci was famously drawn according to the golden ratio.

Many of us know that the golden ratio exists in geometry, art and architecture. But today, people in the aesthetic fields — think doctors, surgeons and even makeup artists —are using the principles of the golden ratio and adopting it for the face. The ratio of the length of a person’s face to its width should be 1.618 (an approximation of the golden ratio). In other words, a person’s face is considered beautiful if it is is about 1.5 times longer than it is wide. But a pleasing-shaped face can be achieved other ways. 

While there are cultural differences in terms of what people find most desirable in a face — the South Koreans for example, prefer a smaller face and even have painful “bone-setting” facial massages that can reshape the face by working on the skin and muscles of the face — there are also underlying, desirable factors that transcend these variances. In general, more defined contours and a symmetrical visage are some of the factors that people aim for when they use either fillers or face paint to correct any facial imperfections. 

Here are some ways to achieve this. 

In-Clinic Treatments

There are many non-surgical alternatives for those who are looking to improve the symmetry and contours of their faces. Dr Kevin Chua, the founder of Dr Kevin Chua Medical & Aesthetics, recommends procedures like Ulthera (from S$500 a session), Botox (from S$300), fillers (from $650) and even bio-stimulants like Sculptra. “Ulthera uses focused ultrasound to precisely deliver energy to the deep layers of the skin to stimulate collagen growth and provide a lift. With a customised delivery plan, we can easily correct asymmetry by targeting more on specific areas on one side over the other. Botox can be used to soften frown lines and with proper dosing, balance on the face can also be achieved,” says Dr Chua. When it comes to asymmetry, fillers can also help. “Fillers, as their name suggests, corrects any volume defects in the face. Sculptra is injected into the deeper layers to stimulate collagen growth, improve skin laxity and return volume, especially over anchor points like the temples and cheeks,” says Dr Chua. 

If the issue is a square-ish jaw, injectables can also be used to soften these features. Dr Chua says he would use Botox to soften the jawline where suitable. Another imperfection, droopy eyes, can easily be corrected. “Droopy eyes can be easily corrected using Ulthera. Botox may also be used to correct the droopiness by giving a slight lift to the edge of eyebrows, giving a brighter appearance,” says Dr Chua. There are also other procedures that can help such as the Venus Freeze (from $200 per session), a multi-polar radio frequency machine that gives the face an overall lift. However these treatments do need to be maintained and can last anything from four to 18 months. In general, Botox results can last up to six to nine months, Ulthera can be done every six to 18 months — depending on each patient’s response — and Venus Freeze can be done weekly. 

Dr Chua’s clinic focuses on non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments, but beyond these recommended treatments he would also recommend fillers to raise the nasal bridge, plump up the hollow area under the eyes or the lips of his patients. He also believes in a more holistic approach. “Diet and exercise also stimulate hormones, which help to keep a youthful appearance. Avoiding too much caffeine in your diet and keeping yourself well-hydrated goes a long way. Alcohol should also be consumed sensibly and in moderation,” says Dr Chua. 

Futuristic Facials

As technology improves, so do facials, even those done at the hands of a facialist or a therapist. At Freia Aesthetics, clients who come in for Biologique Recherche facials first undergo the Skin Instant Lab, the brand’s comprehensive skin diagnostic system that helps the therapist navigate the 29 serums and 20 cremes in its line-up. From there, a customised treatment can be created, including using the Biologique Recherche Remodelling Face machine. Created specifically to help the numerous serums, boosters and masques penetrate into the skin, this machine helps “exercise” the muscles in your face — thus stimulating collagen and blood circulation.
Serene Seah, the director of Freia Aesthetics, explains to me that the machine uses three types of electric currents and one high frequency wave. “The therapists adjust those currents so clients are essentially having three or four treatments in one session. The therapists will then observe where you would want to sharpen or sculpt the face and do so accordingly,” says Seah. Some, like the galvanic current, uses continuous current to reduce the stratum corneum’s (the outermost layer of skin) resistance and thus allows active ingredients to penetrate, while the low and medium frequency currents have the ability to reshape the facial contours by lifting and toning the skin. 

After getting my skin analysed by the Skin Instant Lab system, my therapist recommended the Booster 1 (the Be O2 Radiant) to brighten and oxygenate my skin and then used the remodelling machine to work the active ingredients in my customised blend of serums deep into my skin. 

She chose Dermopores (to tighten dilated pores), Placenta (for skin recovery) and Amniotique (for hydration) as well as the Visolastin+ masque for extra hydration. The result was skin that is plump and dewy, thanks to the intense hydration, and a face that was lifted and firmer. Beyond a typical facial that uses just products and manual techniques, there was an obvious and quick improvement in both the radiance as well as the defining of contours.


With makeup, there are numerous products that are designed to help contour and shape the face without looking too artificial. One easy way to cosmetically contour your face is to use stick foundations in two shades — one that is two shades deeper and one that is two shades fairer than your natural skin tone. 

These contouring foundations can then be applied to areas where you want to minimise or bring out parts of your face. Use the deeper foundation underneath the hollows of the cheekbone, at the jawline, along the nose bridge, or on the temples (if you have a wide forehead) to create a more sculpted and defined face. Conversely, the lighter foundation can go on areas you want to highlight, like the chin and the area under the eyes. After you’ve applied these contouring foundations, be sure to blend all visible excess with a good sponge, like the beautyblender. Dampen it slightly and tap to blend away any hard lines. 

Eyebrow asymmetry is a fairly common problem. To balance out the brows, either get them shaped professionally or use a brow stencil to help create an even shape. Starting and ending your brows at the same point can visually balance the structure of your face — just use a brow pencil or powder to create this “frame”. Brows can also be used to subtly change your features. If you have a wider nose, you can bring your brows closer together, while a square jawline will benefit from a softly angled brow shape.