Lilian Min
July 30, 2015 1:13 pm

When it comes to taking the perfect selfie, everybody has their various tips and tricks. Angle your head upward! Know what lighting and angles work best for your face! Filter, filter, filter! But if none of those things are upping your selfie game, have you tried squinching?

According to fashion photographer Peter Hurley, who coined the term back in 2013, to squinch is to “lift and tighten your lower eyelids, and let the top ones come down just a fraction.” Presumably a word mash-up of squinting and pinching, the squinch is a cousin of the ever classic smize aka smiling with your eyes.

What makes squinching different from smizing is the intent behind the squinch. Whereas the smize is about opening up your eyes and thus your face, the squinch is about defining your face and appearing confident — less try-hard than duck face, and easier than contouring. Instead of widening the eyes and risk appearing like a deer in headlights, the squincher relaxes the upper lid for an almost sultry effect, while pulling back the lower half of the face for more definition.

Need a little more help on understanding the term and its accompanying look? Marie Claire helpfully illustrates the look by comparing two pictures of supermodel Karlie Kloss, both not-squinching and squinching, but one celeb who’s definitely a pro at squinching: Actress and ex-model Cara Delevingne.

But of course, how does the look work on non-model peoples’ selfies? Let’s take a look:

While the last photo is a bit of a prank, it’s clear that squinching probably takes some practice. And, given that peoples’ eye shapes and makeup, bone structure, and available lighting differ wildly from person to person, it’s not a magical, one-squinch-fits-all selfie tool. Of course, you won’t know until you actually try it out yourself, so get out those smartphones and test it out!

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(Images via here and here.)

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