A two-month-long study using facial mapping technology has ascertained what the ideal image of male and female beauty looks like. And it might surprise you…

Ask most clients what image of beauty they aspire to, and you’re likely to hear ‘Angelina Jolie’, ‘Scarlett Johansson’, or ‘Halle Berry’. If they’re classically minded, they might even say ‘Marilyn Monroe’.

But interestingly, as it turns out, none of the above women resemble what the majority of British men consider to be the ideal female face, as revealed in a two-month-long UK study led by world expert in facial mapping, Dr Chris Solomon.

Using software typically used for creating e-fits of wanted criminals, the University of Kent doctor asked participants to put together a composite of their ideal face for both themselves and the opposite sex.

For the male face of beauty, women drew a more feminine face than men

Participants were able to manipulate details like nose and lip width and facial shape to create their perfect face. Their composite images were then judged by a hundred people who rated each face on its attractiveness, providing additional data from which researchers were then able to create hybrid facess representative of the ideal images of beauty for men and women.

The ideal female face as perceived by the men in the study, left, and the women, right. (Source: cambridge-news.co.uk)
Left: The ideal female face as perceived by British men. Right: …And as perceived by British women. (Source: cambridge-news.co.uk)

“There are some interesting results about what Brits consider to be the epitome of beauty,” Solomon told Cambridge News.

“It’s important to note these are the idealised faces according to those living in the UK, so a study in Asia or Africa for example would no doubt have different results.”

Women perceived fuller lips, a slimmer face, larger eyes and higher cheekbones as the most beautiful

Perhaps most poignantly, the study highlighted the disparity between what each sex considers beautiful.

Left: The ideal female face as perceived by British men. Right: The ideal face as perceived by British women. (Source: cambridge-news.co.uk)
Left: The ideal male face as perceived by British women. Right: …And as perceived by British men. (Source: cambridge-news.co.uk)

“For the male face of beauty, women drew a more feminine face than men – women rate a softer jaw-line, slimmer face, fuller lips and clean-shaven look as the most attractive, compared to the more masculine appearance that is considered the most attractive by men,” said Soloman.

“Interestingly, for the female face of beauty women rated a sexier appearance as the most beautiful than their male counterparts – women perceived fuller lips, a slimmer face, larger eyes and higher cheekbones as the most beautiful, more so than the male population.”

Have your say: Which of the above faces do you prefer? What do you think makes a beautiful face?