Which Is the Most Ideal Face on Earth? A Square Face Or an Oval Face?

HSK 3 quiz
Key Learning Points (Preview)

颜值 (Yánzhí): the literal meaning is “the value of a person’s face” but in this instance, we use it to mean how we rate someone’s attractiveness.


Tā de nán péngyǒu yánzhí hěn gāo.
Her boyfriend is so handsome.

When They’re Very Charming Use This Chinese Word “颜值爆表 (YánZhí BàoBiǎo)”

“颜值 (Yánzhí)” is a common way to rate how attractive people look according to varying degrees. However, as we all know, domestic and European aesthetics are really quite different.
For example, most foreigners seem to prefer Chinese girls with long and narrow eyes, such as Lv Yan. Many Westerners think she is a very attractive woman while most Chinese find such a face a little strange.
For Westerners, there is no absolute “理想脸型 (líxiǎng liǎnxíng) ideal face.” While “鹅蛋脸 (é dàn liǎn) shape of ones face like egg” are usually popular, but surveys show that the most attractive faces are “方脸 (fāng liǎn) square faces!” They think high cheekbones and a wide chin can highlight your eyes and smile which show more beauty and charm. For the Chinese, on the other hand, the ideal face is the “瓜子脸 (guāzǐ liǎn) pretty face having oval shape.”
Most Chinese now regard “瓜子脸 (guāzǐ liǎn) pretty face having oval shape” as the most attractive. Do you know anything about how to describe appearance in your daily Chinese study? And what are the common spoken Chinese expressions to describe face shapes? Today we have a dialogue about face shapes.

HSK 3 quiz
Daily Spoken Chinese Expressions on Face Shape:

1、瓜子脸 (Guāzǐ liǎn) pretty face having oval shape

2、鹅蛋脸 (É dàn liǎn) shape of ones face like egg

3、国字脸 (Guó zì liǎn) / 方脸 (Fāng liǎn) square face

5、圆脸 (Yuán liǎn) /包子脸 (Bāozi liǎn) round face

6、长脸 (Cháng liǎn) long face

In Chinese, we have some expressive phrases to describe the appearance or face shape in a fun way. Applying these useful and funny Mandarin Chinese knowledge points with friends in conversation is essential to gain fluency.

Popular And Vivid Chinese Vocabulary on Face Shape
1. 明星脸 (Míngxīng liǎn) a dead ringer (for a certain movie star)

For example, some people are called to be a dead ringer for a certain star because they look and act exactly like a popular movie star or rockstar.


Tā tiānshēng yì zhāng míngxīng liǎn.
He was born as a dead ringer (for a movie star.)

2. 扑克脸 (Pūkè liǎn) poker face

In everyday life in China, this is used to describe the kind of person who has no facial expression and gets used to living like they are wearing a mask.


Shāngyè tánpàn shí, xià míng zǒngshì bǎi chū yífù pūkè liǎn de yàngzi.
In business negotiations, Xia Ming always has a poker face.

3. 巴掌脸 (Bāzhǎng liǎn) palm-sized face

It is used to describe someone whose face is very small. In China, having a small face is traditionally a sign of beauty.


Bāzhǎng liǎn de nǚ háizi dàduō hěn piàoliang.
Most girls with palm-sized faces are pretty.

A Hilarious Chinese Lesson About Your Body Parts

4. 蛇精脸 (Shé jīng liǎn) V-shaped face

“蛇精脸 (Shé jīng liǎn) V-shaped face” is derived from the image of the villain in the cartoon “葫芦娃 (hú lú wá) Calabash Brothers.” It refers to a sharp-jawed, pointy-chined face, with big eyes. Please note that it is a derogatory expression. So don’t use it with just anyone.


Duō cì zhěngróng hòu, tā biànchéng le shé jīng liǎn.
After a lot of plastic surgery, she turned out as having a snake face.

Today I introduced four popular and interesting Chinese phrases about face shape. Of course, you can also use these phrases to have fun and joke around while learning Chinese. However, they are not applicable on some formal occasions. I hope these terms come in handy. Enjoy!
And you’re welcome to mention in the comments if you want to know more expressions to describe appearance in Chinese.

HSK 3 quiz

1. Read the dialogue below and choose the best answer to fill in the blank.

Xiǎo Xīn: Dàjiā dōu shuō wǒ zhǎng de xiàng Bèi Kè Hàn Mǔ ne.

Xiǎo Jūn: Nǐ díquè yǒu zhe yì zhāng ____ .
小军:你的确有着一张 ____ 。

A. 蛇精脸 (Shé jīng liǎn)

B. 巴掌脸 (Bāzhǎng liǎn)

C. 扑克脸 (Pūkè liǎn)

D.明星脸 (Míngxīng liǎn)

Chinese Popular Words
General Chinese (Beginner Level) 
General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

— Written by Julia Liu —

Julia Liu teaches Chinese with eChineseLearning. She has been successfully teaching for 6 years and loves reading and practices her passion for drawing in her free time.

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