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15th Jan 2024

High visual weight vs low visual weight: the trend taking TikTok by storm

Anna Martin

visual weight

As if there weren’t enough TikTok trends to keep up with, now we’ve got visual weight

Let’s be honest for a second, there are already so many ‘types’ to identify with, from our bodies to general aesthetic, that it can feel like we’re always trying to put ourselves into categories.

This week, it’s all about high visual weight vs low visual weight, as influencers start dissecting the dos and don’ts depending on your facial features.

While it can get very overwhelming as we feel the pressure to categorise ourselves – something that is never compulsory – we’re here to explain exactly what the trend means.

What is high visual weight vs low visual weight?

@jamzlt Replying to @🇸 ✨ Miᥣᥣᥱᥒiᥲᥣ ¦ Pottᥱrhᥱᥲd ⚯͛ are you a high or low visual weight? ✨ #fyp ♬ original sound – Jam Zoleta – @jamzlt on IG 🤍

Put very simply it’s about understanding your face shape and the structure of your features to work out what makeup style would work best for you.

People with high visual weight are usually told to enhance their features with bold makeup looks while people with with the opposite are supposed to stick to softer, more natural styles.

Yet the question is what differentiates the two? High visual weight consists of more prominent features, think big eyes, high cheekbones and big lips – Angelina Jolie for example.

Low visual weight is about softer features, your eyes, nose and cheeks wouldn’t be that prominent when compared to the rest of your face, for example, look to none of than Hailey Bieber.

All-in-all, each category is determined by the distinctiveness of your bone structure, the prominence of your facial features and the overall volume of these features.

How to determine which category you fall into

visual weight
Credit: Getty

TikTok creators and influencers have come up with a formula for determining if you’re of high visual weight or low visual weight.

The easiest way to do it is to find out if you have a small face with large features or a larger face with smaller features.

You can try the photo contrast test where you invert the contrast setting on a snap of yourself.

If your features appear more prominent when the contrast is turned up to 100, then you have high visual weight, whereas if your features appear more prominent at -100 then you reportedly have a low visual weight.

Let me stress that there is no scientific evidence available to back this up.

Another way to test the trend is by looking at yourself when the bold glamour filter is on, apparently if it looks right you’ve high weight while if it looks a bit much, you’ve low weight.

This is great and all but what does it mean?

@kandykapelle #highvisualweight #lowvisualweight #2024glowup ♬ original sound – Kandy 🤍💕

Well, the general consensus from all these TikTok stars is that if your visual value is high, bold makeup should be what you opt for but if it’s low you may benefit from a more subtle look.

It does in part make sense because when you think of big eyes there is more lid space to work with for dramatic liner and cut-creases but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

Makeup is completely subjective so just do what you like and make you feel confident.

Be wary of it

We already have so many beauty standards to abide by; let’s just take a second a remember America Ferrera’s monologue in the Barbie movie.

I feel as if a lot of women like myself are constantly waiting for that “Ah-ha” moment when we find that one thing that makes our insecurities a thing of the past.

Here’s a bit of brutal honesty, it’s highly unlikely you’ll unlock the meaning of self-love from a TikTok filter or two.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work and often times you won’t be able to fully love yourself but rather accept how you are without dissecting every little part in the mirror.

I’ve used makeup techniques, tried the exercise and bought the jeans and here’s my honest opinion; things don’t make it easier but practice does.