Low vs. High Cheekbones

It’s no secret that high cheekbones are a symbol of attractiveness, for both men and women, in mainstream western culture, particularly the entertainment industry.

Yet, the structure of your cheekbones says nothing in particular about you as a person. In fact, cultures around the world value these facial characteristics differently. Even in Hollywood, plenty of stars have low cheekbones and are still considered just as attractive as their high-cheeked compatriots.

But what about your own cheekbones? Below we show you exactly how to tell whether you have low or high cheekbones (as well as how to modify their appearance if you so wish).

What Do High Cheekbones Look Like? 

The term “high cheekbones” is somewhat self-explanatory. 

It simply means that your cheekbones are located high on your face. The closer your malar bones (also known as your zygomatic bones) are to your eyes, the higher your cheekbones.

There is no exact definition of what constitutes the difference between high cheekbones and low cheekbones. It’s all up to opinion.


Generally speaking, however, we consider high cheekbones those that are directly underneath the eyes, around where the bridge of the nose starts. 

Any cheekbones that start lower than that, such as around the lower part of the nose, are considered low cheekbones by most. 

Much of the time, high cheekbones are more prominent than low cheekbones, although this is not always the case. Sometimes low cheekbones are actually the most prominent. 

Differences Between Low and High Cheekbones

There are few, if any, differences between high and low cheekbones aside from looks. 

As mentioned above, high cheekbones are located higher on the face, just under the eyes, while low cheekbones are located slightly lower, around the lower part of the nose.

Of course, plenty of people have cheekbones somewhere in the middle. There are even extreme outliers with very high cheekbones or very low cheekbones.

The differences are based solely on aesthetics. Some cultures, including much of the United States, considers high cheekbones more attractive than low cheekbones.


According to an article by Bustle, prominent cheekbones are possibly seen as a sign of sexual maturity, especially in women. At the same time, an article by The Guardian, states that people might subconsciously connect high cheekbones with trustworthiness.

The same article by The Guardian, which references this study by Jonathan Freeman published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that certain facial features, including high cheekbones, large eyes, and a broad smile, signal trustworthiness while other facial features signal things such as approachability, dominance, or attractiveness. 

Whatever the case may be, high cheekbones are often considered more attractive in western culture. Luckily, if your cheekbones are lower than you like, it’s completely possible to alter their appearance to make them seem higher, more defined, or more prominent.

How to Modify Your Cheekbones 

You have two main options to modify your cheekbones. First, and most popular, you can use makeup to change their appearance. Second, you can undergo clinical treatment, such as cosmetic surgery.

Makeup for High Cheekbones

Using makeup is an easy way to change the appearance of your face. 

Products like bronzer, blush, and a contouring brush can help you achieve more prominent-looking cheekbones as well as a narrower-looking face. 

One of the best techniques is to create sections of light and shadow to bring certain features out and hide others. This video from Gina Shkeda shows you a very quick and simple makeup technique used by many models to achieve more prominent cheekbones.

Clinical Treatments for High Cheekbones

Not satisfied with the best makeup techniques for high cheekbones? 

Then a clinical treatment might be for you. Cheek implants are one such option. Also known as cheek lifts, this simple type of plastic surgery can lift your cheeks with the help of “silicone cheekbones” permanently installed under your skin.

Dermal fillers are another option for clinical treatment. A material, usually hyaluronic acid or collagen, is injected underneath your skin to create a higher, more prominent cheekbone. Do note that dermal fillers are not permanent like cheek implants. They require regular injections, usually once every few months. 

How to Tell If You Have High Cheekbones 

Still not sure whether you have high or low cheekbones? 

All you need to figure out where yours are located is good lighting, a mirror, and your fingers! 

Much of the time, looking in the mirror is all it takes to identify which type of cheekbones you have, low or high. If you’re still unsure, feel around with your fingers. 

Start feeling around near your nostrils. Slowly move outwards towards your ears. You’ll feel your cheekbone somewhere under your eye. Your eye rests on top of your cheekbone, and there is a “hollow” space below it. Your jaw is located below this hollow space. 

Feel along the entirety of your cheekbone to get a better idea of where they’re located. Look in the mirror to see where your cheekbone is located in relation to your nose. 

As stated above, cheekbones that are close to the bridge of your nose are considered high while those near the lower part of the nose are considered low. 

Final Thoughts 

There’s nothing wrong with low cheekbones or high cheekbones.

However, more value is placed on higher cheekbones by much of western culture. The same beauty standards are often applied to defining cheekbones and prominent cheekbones. 

Luckily, it’s easy to locate your cheekbones and apply makeup to alter their appearance. You can even seek a clinical treatment, such as cheek implants or dermal fillers, for a more permanent solution. 

Whatever you decide, always remember that the height and definition of your cheekbones do not define your attractiveness. You can be just as attractive with low cheekbones as with high ones.