Your face is a canvas, and your beard is the paint. Well, texturally, it’s more of a paintbrush, but that defeats the metaphor.

Basically, it’s up to you how to shape and style the beard, so don’t screw it up. There are numerous styles worthy of consideration, but before we get to that, here’s a beard-growing PSA: Not everything will look good on you.

Somewhere out there, an optimal beard style is looking for your face, and when you meet, your testosterone levels (or at least your confidence) will soar. Either way, it’s imperative to consider your face shape before settling on a beard style. Try to make it look as symmetrical as possible; better yet, make it look as oval as possible.

If you have a square or circular face—where it is as wide as it is long—then aim for a beard that lengthens your face without adding much width to the sides. If your face is rectangular or oblong, then keep it short on bottom, and let the sides grow out a bit, to soften the natural length of your face. If you’ve got a naturally oval face, then you can try a host of styles (lucky you). Geometry aside, don’t be afraid to experiment. 

Oh, also: Trim the damn thing. If you see errant strays, cut ‘em. If the mustache gets too bushy, take it down a few guards on the clippers. Keep the neckline trim—cut it below the jaw, in a U-shape that connects the two ears to a point one inch above the Adam’s apple.

Now, pop some biotin and pick a style…