“Facial feminization” is a phrase generally used to describe procedures — from adding volume to the cheeks to mandibular contouring to rhinoplasty — used to shape and resize masculine features to more typical female features. But it’s not limited to the treatment of transgender patients. One surgeon expert says he uses also uses feminization principles to treat female patients.
“A lot of women want to look more attractive, therefore more feminine,” says Vartan Mardirossian, M.D., F.A.C.S., owner of Mardirossian Facial Aesthetics in Jupiter, Fla., which has a patient base of about 50% transgender individuals.
Dr. Mardirossian tells The Aesthetic Channel that these procedures are works of art. “However, you also need to have a profound knowledge of anatomy and physiology and surgery,” he says. “But there is a moment when you have to visualize what looks good. There is no mathematical ratio to achieve great outcomes.”
A good starting point is to simply examine how light reflects off of the face. “A pleasant light reflection will show the roundness of the forehead and the attractiveness of the cheekbones, the tip of the nose and the lips,” Dr. Mardirossian explains.
Based on the premise that the eyes are the center of the female face, “You want to have nicely developed cheeks that look symmetrical and reflect the light in the eyes,” Dr. Mardirossian says. “You also want to eliminate bony overhangs or excess skin around the eyes, so that the eyes themselves are the center of attention.”
Facial feminization procedures are especially popular around Christmas because patients use their vacation time for recovery, according to the surgeon. For weddings or reunions, patients undergo procedures several months ahead. “People do not want to look like they have had recent surgery or injectables,” Dr. Mardirossian says.