Face Facts

Kelly Atterton weighs in on the first challenge.

Talk about baptism by fire. The first episode of Shear Genius had the stylists cutting hair blindfolded in the shortcut challenge and interpreting the hairstyles of cartoon characters in the elimination round. Of course I felt badly when Oshun was eliminated for his take on Peanuts' Lucy, but I felt even worse for his model, whose long, gorgeous hair was hacked to the most unflattering length possible. It did nothing for her round face, and what did that hair have to do with Lucy? While that fateful chop was bad news for Oshun, it's a lesson for those with fuller faces who are thinking of going short. (And who isn't these days? The trend is reaching epidemic proportions, if you ask me.)

THE ALLURE ADVANTAGE I asked Allure expert Nunzio Saviano, a stylist from Oscar Blandi in New York City, how he chooses the right short cuts for his clients. "If you have a full face, don't go for a short, blunt cut that hits either at the cheek or the chin," he says. Any haircut that comes to a dead stop against a full face only emphasizes its roundness. Instead, Saviano cuts hair below the chin. "It draws the eye downward, elongating the face," he says. But if you have full cheeks or a wide chin and you still can't shake visions of a sassy little bob, Saviano begs you to consider wispy, layered ends. "Unlike blunt ends, which add heaviness to hair," layered ends "add softness and light to your overall look." And Nunzio would be remiss to neglect the issues of bangs, a subject he feels passionately about. What about bangs? "Unless you have a slim or angular face, don't go for heavy, straight across fringe," he says. That sharp, horizontal line across the forehead emphasizes wideness. "If you want bangs, think soft, angled, and side-swept." And now, you may chop.

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