Writing Tools: Facial Expressions

by , Thursday August 3, 2017
Writing Tools: Facial Expressions

Writing Tools: Facial Expressions

We have a list with a whole lot of new phrases you could use


Are you one of those writers who tend to use the same words when describing a character's facial 



We get it! It can be hard to come up with new phrases all the time and that's why we here at Movellas have worked on a useful little list showing you which phrases you could use. 


The list is made up of different categories, all linked to an emotion. In each category we've written all the phrases we could think of, ordered by what part of the face they're connected to. Granted this list doesn't say directly which part of the face that is, but we know you are all clever enough to figure that out just by reading it. Included is a mix of overused but good phrases and their alternatives. 


The face can be described in millions of ways, so this list doesn't contain them all of course ;) Please leave your own phrases in the comments section below, we would love to hear them!







His eyes widened

His eyes lit up (with _____)

His eyes flickered

His pupils dilated


He furrowed his brow

His forehead furrowed

His eyebrows rose

A line appeared between his eyebrows

He lifted an eyebrow


His jaw dropped


His face turned pale

He turned white

The colour drained from his face


He wrinkled his nose





His eyes narrowed


He bit his lip

His lips trembled


The fear washed over his face in a few seconds, before he ____





His eyes sparkled

His eyes glowed (with ___)

She blinked

She glowed from within


He smiled

He smirked

She blushed

The corners of her mouth lifted up into a sweet smile


Her face turned red

Her cheeks were flushed


His face lit up

The feelings changed his expression





He rolled his eyes

He stared


His nostrils flared


He clenched his jaw


A vein appeared in his neck





He teared up

His eyes were wet

The teers ran from his cheeks


He whined


He smiled half heartedly
He forced a smile

His smile faded

He pressed his lips together


Sorrow darkened his expression





His eyes burned (with ____)

He stared

He casted a sidelong glance at ____

He observed


He pulled his lips together

The smile changed into an even line



This list is mainly made up, but we would like to give some credit to Bryan Donovan for giving us more ideas. If you want to look up more facial expressions, you should check out her list :)

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