Facial Expressions

facial expression

A big part of your writing is building your character. Part of that is not only where your character lives or what kind of work he does, but also his facial expressions in certain circumstances. Does he furrow his brow even when he’s not upset or does she always have that sparkle in her eyes? Below are examples of descriptions for facial expressions you can use in your writing.

Eyes

his eyes widened she glanced up to the ceiling
his eyes went round she winked
her eyelids drooped tears filled her eyes
her eyes narrowed his eyes welled up
his eyes lit up her eyes flooded with tears
his eyes darted her eyes were wet
he squinted his eyes glistened
she blinked tears shimmered in her eyes
her eyes twinkled tears shone in his eyes
his eyes gleamed her eyes were glossy
her eyes sparkled he was fighting back tears
his eyes flashed tears ran down her cheeks
his eyes glinted his eyes closed
his eyes burned with … she squeezed her eyes shut
her eyes blazed with … he shut his eyes
her eyes sparked with … his lashes fluttered
… glowed in his eyes she batted her lashes
the corner of his eyes crinkled his pupils (were) dilated
she rolled her eyes her pupils were huge
he looked heavenward his pupils flared

Brows

his brows knitted her brows snapped together
her forehead creased his eyebrows rose
his forehead furrowed she raised a brow
he forehead puckered he lifted an eyebrow
a line appeared between her brows his eyebrows waggled
his brows drew together

Manner of looking

she gave him a once-over he stared
she gave him a dirty look she scrutinized
he sized her up he studied
her eyes bored into him she gaped
she took in the sight of… he observed
he glared she surveyed
she peered he gawked
he gazed he leered
she glanced

Nose

her nose crinkled
his nose wrinkled
she sneered
his nostrils flared
she stuck her nose in the air
he sniffed
she sniffled

Mouth

she smiled her mouth set in a hard line
he smirked he pressed his lips together
she grinned she bit her lip
he simpered he drew his lower lip between his teeth
she beamed she nibbled on her bottom lip
her mouth curved into a smile he chewed on his bottom lip
the corners of her mouth turned up his jaw set
the corner of his mouth turned up her jaw clenched
a corner of his mouth lifted his jaw tightened
his mouth twitched a muscle in his jaw twitched
he gave a half-smile he ground his jaw
she gave a lopsided grin he snarled
his mouth twisted his lips drew back in a snarl
he plastered a smile on his face he mouth fell open
she forced a smile his jaw dropped
he faked a smile her jaw went slack
her smile faded he gritted his teeth
his smile slipped she gnashed her teeth
he pursed his lips her lower lip trembled
she pouted his lower lip quivered
his mouth snapped shut

Skin

she paled his face flushed
he blanched she blushed
she went white he turned red
the color drained out of his face she turned scarlet
his face reddened he turned crimson
her cheeks turned pink a flush crept up her face

Whole face

he screwed up his face her expression closed up
she scrunched up her face her expression dulled
he grimaced her expression hardened
she winced she went poker-faced
he frowned a vein popped out in his neck
she scowled awe transformed his face
her whole face lit up fear crossed her face
she brightened sadness clouded his features
his face went blank terror overtook his face
her face contorted recognition dawned on her face
his face twisted

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