emoji FACS!

emoji FACS !

An interpretation of Emoji facial expressions and their correspondence to Facial Action Coding System action units & facial muscles. Learn more about Emoji design here.

FACS name

muscle name

expression reference

AU1 – inner brow raiser

frontalis (the medial portion)

emojiFACS - AU1 - inner brow raiser - Facial Action Coding System

AU2 – outer brow raiser

frontalis (the lateral portion)

emoji FACS- AU2 outer brow raiser - Facial Action Coding System

AU4 – brow lowerer

corrugator supercilii, depressor supercilii, and/or procerus

emojiFACS - AU4 - brow lowerer Facial Action Coding System

AU5 – upper lid raiser

levator palpebrae superioris

emoji FACS - AU5 - upper lid raiser

AU6 – cheek raiser

orbicularis oculi (orbital portion)

emoji FACS - AU6 - cheek raiser - Facial Action Coding System

AU7 – lid tightener***

orbicularis oculi (palpebral portion)***

emojiFACS - AU6 - cheek raiser - Facial Action Coding System

***Due to the simplicity of Emoji design, the flat-bottom eyes shown here, in the AU7 – lid tightener, can also function as AU6 – cheek raiser depending on the context.  Learn more about cheek raiser vs. lid tightener.

AU9 – nose wrinkler***

levator labii superioris alaeque nasi***

absent nose wrinkler props

***There are currently no noses in the smiley set (EXCEPT for “lying face” and “disguised face”). Instead, Emoji representing facial expressions typically involving AU9 – nose wrinkler rely on prop imagery (e.g. facial tissue & vomit) to compensate for their lack of noses.  Learn more about nose wrinkler here.

AU10 – upper lip raiser***

levator labii superioris

emojiFACS - AU10 - upper lip raiser - Facial Action Coding System

***There are three main facial actions that drive upper teeth exposure via upper lip elevation: nose wrinkler, upper lip raiser, and nasolabial furrow deepener. The square-like shape in this Emoji expression most closely matches the features of upper lip raiser.

AU12 – lip corner puller

zygomaticus major

emojiFACS - AU12 - lip corner puller Facial Action Coding System