Is "Squinching" the Celebrity Secret to Looking Perfect in Photos?

All signs point to yes.

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(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

Do candid photos even exist anymore? In an age when #flawless selfies are among the hottest of commodities, any technique that promises a photogenic upgrade—from classic posing hacks like the skinny arm or the Olsens-coined Prune face, to makeup tricks like blurring and extreme contouring—is going to garner interest.

The latest advancement in strategic, like-amassing picture taking is squinching, which is narrowing the eyes by tightening your lower eyelid and letting the top one drop down just a bit. This definition comes by way of portrait photographer and squinching pioneer Peter Hurley via Who What Wear, who recently decided to reexamine the trend, after its initial heyday in 2013, by having their editors test it out. Hurley believes that squinching is the easiest, most effective way to convey confidence and add definition to the face—almost like a more sultry alternative to smizing.

Hurley insists that it's a technique executed by supermodels and celebrities alike, and  after scrolling through our Instagram feeds, we can't help but agree. Take Karlie Kloss for example, who at Tuesday night's Paper Towns premiere, showed off her propensity for a professional squinch.

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(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

Now, let us preface this by stating the obvious: Kloss is very blessed in the bone structure department, thus by nature has very defined features. This said, her more candid, wide-eyed expression doesn't quite convey her natural, killer confidence.

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(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

Striking a more calculated pose, Kloss squinches her eyes, which aids in further carving out her high cheekbones and defining her jawline. Overall, her look is more striking and really screams, "All eyes on me!" (But in the most subtle of ways, of course.)

For those fearful that squinching could result in wrinkles, as "squinting" is known to lead to and/or exacerbate crow's feet, fear not. When we asked dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., at Schweiger Dermatology Group, she explained that it's essentially a non-issue.

"Since it's an alternative to classic 'squinting', squinching seems to create less overall muscle contraction, and actually might spare you the etched in-lines that come from repetitive muscle movements like squinting," she explains. "The trend calls for partial muscle relaxation. So, if anything, you'll only form half the lines you would normally."

We're going to look at this as glass half full.

Since squinching poses minimal threat to premature aging, and as seen above, clearly yields many benefits for nailing a frame-worthy picture, going forward we'll be squinching before we so much as say, "cheese!" 

For further proof that it's all about the squinch, let Hurley walk you through the ins and outs, below:

Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.