Beauty can be expressed in many words, but it may very well come down to a number. Identified by ancient Greeks and represented by the Greek letter Phi, the “golden ratio” (1.618) is an ideal proportion of two parts of an object, with one part roughly 1 ½ times longer than the other. Everything from conical seashells to hurricanes to flower petals to human faces are often considered more attractive when they exhibit this mystical ratio. Wanna figure out if a face fits within this convention? All you need are some measurements and a few simple calculations.

Things You'll Need

With a ruler or measuring tape held taut, measure the length of the face from the top of the head at the crown to the bottom of the chin. Measure the width of the face from the furthest points of the sides of the head at each cheekbone. Divide the length by the width. The closer that number is to 1.618, the more attractive the face, according to the golden ratio. That means the face is roughly 1 ½ times longer than it is wide.

Determine three other key facial measurements that adhere to the golden proportion. Find the distance from the hairline to the bridge of the nose between the eyes, from between the eyes to the bottom of the nose, and from the bottom of the nose to the chin. The closer these numbers are to being equal, the closer the face is to the “ideal beauty” that the golden ratio supposes.

By the same standards, the distance between the eyes would ideally be equal to the width of each eye, and the length of an ear would equal the length of the nose.


  • Use calipers for the most accurate results.
  • Analyze the face using the Marquardt mask, which was developed by retired plastic surgeon Stephen Marquardt and contains multiple lines indicating the placement and proportion of facial features based on the golden ratio. Several websites allow you to upload a photo of a face for analysis or print out the mask on clear acetate to overlay on top of a photo.