Expressive Facial Muscles

You can learn a lot about faces and what they project by watching actors and politicians on TV. In a profile shot, Tom Cruise will often tense up his jaw muscles when he wants to show stern determination. And when politicians want to show they’re really serious about something, they will often tense up their chin muscles.

They know what they’re doing. They may even practice in front of the bathroom mirror before they do their primetime thing in front of the cameras. Top flight actors and politicians instinctively understand how to grab our attention.

Last week I watched an online ad for a product that tones up the jawline. You bite down on this device until your jaw gets tired, and after a short rest you do another set. A month of this routine is supposed to make your jaw look more muscular, more impressive.

Men are attracted to this sort of attention-getting. But how about women? What tricks do they use to draw attention? Perhaps their facial cues are more subtle—a secret world. I watch them, but I don’t understand them.

A while back I watched The Lady Eve with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda on TMC. Barbara sent out so many contradictory facial cues that Henry was totally confused. That is, until their last kiss.

Of course, Barbara’s face was so mobile that she could confuse anyone. But are today’s women interested in producing such confusion? I hope not. However, facial mobility is still an asset. Nobody wants to sit across the table from a one-expression man or woman.

So how do you wake up an expressionless face? The six exercises I demonstrate and describe in my Shape Your Face video and booklet do a good job of enlivening the facial muscles. With practice, these exercises can keep the facial muscles and the skin over them young-looking.

Most of the exercises are relatively easy to do, but exercise five for the scalp muscles is not easy to do correctly. This important exercise for the mobility of the upper face requires concentration and effort to learn. But once learned, it is almost fun to do.

The exercises for the muscles around the eyes, the chin, and the front of the neck require some thought to do correctly but are not difficult to get right. The exercise to lighten-up the nasal-labial lines takes some time to produce results, but it’s not difficult either.

Why do men and women want attractive faces? The reasons are endless, but I suspect that the people reading this article have more grown-up reasons than people on dating sites. Inner health is reflected in the face and the spark of life in the eyes. And that strength of lifeforce is very attractive.

Riley Eusden beautifully demonstrates scalp exercises here:

Images from iStock/ (main), Erstudiostok (post). 

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