eyebrow combos cheat sheet

There are 3 main brow actions that mix and match to create 7 different combinations –  (1), (2), (1+2), (1+2+4), (1+4), (2+4), and (4). Isolated actions – 1, 2, and 4 – are listed in the main FACS Cheat Sheet. Here are the remaining combos:

inner brow raiser + outer brow raiser

frontalis, pars medialis + frontalis, pars lateralis
(full frontalis)

AU 1+2 full brow raise, frontalis

AU 1+2 full brow raise, frontalis - side view

(1+2)

  • One of the most common combinations
  • A signature marker for word emphasis, attentiveness, and punctuation in speech
  • Major component of surprise prototype, which also features AU5 and 25+26

NOTE:

  • Unintentional activation of AU5 is a common in posed brow raising. I had to concentrate to keep my AU5 neutral.

Observe how:

  • The skin between the eyes and nose stretches vertically.
  • The skin under the lower eyelid is pulled up.
  • The skin around the inner eye corners is also pulled up.
  • The shape of the upper eyelid changes, revealing more upper lid.

inner brow raiser + outer brow raiser + brow lowerer

frontalis, pars medialis + frontalis, pars lateralis + [corrugator  supercilii, depressor supercilii, and/or depressor glabellae (aka procerus)]

fear eyebrows - AU 1+2+4

fear eyebrows - AU 1+2+4

(1+2+4)

  • Prototypic brow combo for fear
  • Can be a difficult combo to see depending on intensity of each AU
    • e.g. strong AU4 can make a weak AU1 look less obvious and vice versa

NOTE:

  • I start with 1+2, then slowly add AU4.
  • I had to concentrate on this expression, so there is slight tension in my eyes (unrelated to 1+2+4).

Observe how:

  • The wrinkles change going from 1+2 to 1+2+4.
  • A slight dip forms in the first half of the brow once AU4 is added.
  • AU4 (especially corrugator) impacts the overall bunching and wrinkling of the forehead.(

 inner brow raiser + outer brow raiser + brow lowerer

frontalis, pars medialis + [corrugator  supercilii, depressor supercilii, and/or depressor glabellae (aka procerus)]

1+2+4: inner brow raiser + outer brow raiser + brow lowerer

AU1+4 inner brow raiser  GIF+ brow lowerer

(1+4)

  • Prototypic brow combo for sadness
  • Also shows worry and concern

NOTE:

  • I start with AU4, then add AU1.
  • My brows are asymmetric, and it’s especially obvious when I do AU1 or 1+4.

Observe how:

  • The skin between the brow and upper eyelid is pushed down by AU4 but pulled up (near the tear duct) by AU1. These counteracting movements create a tent-like shape in the upper eyelid.

outer brow raiser + brow lowerer

frontalis, pars lateralis + [corrugator  supercilii, depressor supercilii, and/or depressor glabellae (aka procerus)]

AU2+4 frontalis, pars lateralis + [corrugator supercilii, depressor supercilii, depressor glabellae (aka procerus)]

frontalis, pars lateralis + [corrugator supercilii, depressor supercilii, depressor glabellae (aka procerus)]

(2+4)

NOTE:

  • In front-facing GIF, I start with AU2 then add AU4.
  • In side-view, I start with AU4, then add AU2. (Personally, doing AU4 first was easier for me – as made evident by how much I struggle to do AU2 first in the front-facing GIF.)