Everyone wants to look like a movie star, right? Chiseled jawlines, handsome faces – Oscar winners are revered for looking effortlessly stylish.
We watch them fight bad guys, fall in love, and save the world. Naturally, we emulate our idols to make us feel strong, handsome, and unstoppable. Not everyone has movie-star quality bone structure – and fortunately for us, you don’t have to.
A beard is great for visually changing your face shape. The Hollywoodian, just like its namesake, inspires visions of muscled champions in sharp suits. It’s is a simple, beard style designed to define your jawline without detracting from your facial features, and is great for those not looking for full coverage. Usually short, with a clipped mustache and shaved neck, it eliminates sideburns, tapering forward and cutting low on your cheeks.
The stars have teams of stylists to ensure they look their best, but they also know that the key to any good performance is to make it look easy. Whilst it’s not difficult to maintain this seemingly effortless style, there are a few mistakes you need to avoid in order to achieve a square jaw deserving of an uppercut from Rocky Balboa.
1. Ignoring your face shape
Unless you actually are Leonardo DiCaprio, not every beard style will work on you. Examining your face shape before you start can help you avoid unsuitable styles and wasting weeks of growth.
Do you have a soft jawline? Longer growth along the bottom of your cheek gives the illusion of a square edge. You’re looking to fill out the space to create a boxed in profile.
Look at your cheeks. Can you see the bony ridge that runs from your ear towards your mouth? If you can, you’re gifted with prominent cheekbones. This makes the Hollywoodian an excellent beard choice for you. Go as low as you like with the sides – almost down to your jawbone if you like.
Do you have a fuller face? Or flatter cheeks? Raising the top edge of your Hollywoodian will accentuate your cheekbones, not your jowls. Create your contour below the apples of your cheeks – the chubbiest part. Smiling at your reflection may sound strange, but this line is much easier to find if you grin. Curve around below the apple of your cheek and boom – instant cheekbones.
2. Failing to understand your natural growth
The Hollywoodian beard works best for men with light to medium growth and doesn’t require you to be able to grow cheek coverage. It does, however, need hair in a cohesive link between your jaw angle and your chin.
The purpose of the Hollywoodian is to emphasize your jawline – and if you don’t have the coverage, I’m sorry, but you may be better off choosing a style with either no cheek and jaw coverage like a goatee, or a fuller beard with more cheek coverage to grow down and fill in the thin sections.
3. Going low
Focussing on your jawline doesn’t mean that it’s the only part with hair – in fact, depending on your bone structure, more can be better. If you don’t have Charlton Heston-esque chiseling, you need to examine your face.
The Hollywoodian has a shaved neck, all the way up to the crease, and forward under the chin. In its most classic form, it dips under the jawline and extends about 1” upwards. When you’re determining your Hollywood shape, start high and gradually work downwards. The width of the strip on your jawline can vary from 1-4” depending on your preference and what looks good on you.
In a perfect movie world scenario we’d all be lithe and muscled – but hey, some of us just aren’t and that’s okay. George Clooney, with his sharp cheekbones and trademark smirk, can rock an awesome Hollywoodian beard. Those of you with the babyface of Zach Galifianakis may need a wider shape. Use the Hollywoodian’s dipped contour to your advantage – experiment to see how high or low-cut your beard needs to be to emphasize your cheekbones and minimize the appearance of jowls. Lower isn’t necessarily better with this beard shape – start at your earlobe and aim for your lower lip fold where your chin dips in.
Of course, if you have those sharp cheekbones that would be at home in the 90210, you can go as low as you want, almost all the way down to your jaw.
4. Failing to fade
Beards should be a part of you – they shouldn’t look drawn or stuck on. With any lovingly contoured style, it’s easy for it to start looking too sharp. There’s a fine line between looking like an effortlessly devilish Oscar winner and the villain from a Lemony Snicket novel.
Once you’ve determined the right shape for your beard and cleanly shaven your neck, under your chin, and cheeks, you may think that you’re done. Nope – in order to achieve that ‘I’m the world’s sexiest man, and I just woke up like this’ look, you need to feather the edges. Pick up your clippers with a small sized guide comb and taper the sharp sides of your beard. You’re aiming for a blended look that will grow out with your five o’clock shadow and not have a harsh line.
5. Mishandling your mustache
When you’re flaunting a jaw-focussed style like the Hollywoodian, you need to balance it out. Keeping a simple, trimmed mustache will balance out the bottom-heavy look. It’s important to leave hair at the sides of your mouth to join your mustache to your beard to keep a cohesive look.
A traditional Hollywoodian features a clipped, short ‘stache. However, if you’re a mustache kinda guy, you can keep it about as bushy as the longest part of your beard. Any more than that and you’ll start looking top-heavy.
6. Being too attached to your sideburns
One of the distinctive attributes of a Hollywoodian beard is the separation of the beard from the hair. Sideburns are out – making it a perfect accompaniment to a high-side faded haircut this summer.
Your Hollywoodian beard should taper to a soft point at your earlobe, and won’t join up with your hair. Keep your sideburns confined to the top half of your ears to allow your beard to shine!
One of the key words here is ‘effortless’. Try and keep your products to a minimum – a soft, moisturizing beard balm or oil is all you need.
If you’ve chosen to keep your mustache a little longer, some soft wax is ok too – just enough to keep it out of your mouth, but not enough for a structured style.
By avoiding these simple mistakes, you’ll be enjoying your newfound status as The Most Handsome Man On The Block in no time.
While it doesn’t allow you to save damsels in distress or lead a band of dashing rebels, the Hollywoodian beard does show off your suavely handsome yet rugged side.
Do you have any other tips for men looking to rock the Hollywoodian? Leave us a comment!