Did you know there are over 3,000 different emojis? Maybe you want the PERFECT emoji to spark up your conversations.

Or maybe you want to avoid awkward texts like this:

Look no further. In this emoji guide, you will learn:

  • the essential list of emojis to copy & paste
  • 45 emojis and their meanings
  • how to use emojis to get your flirt on
  • bonus emojis you’ve (probably) never seen before

Let’s dive in!

Emojis to Copy and Paste

🙂 Smiling Emoji😃 Grinning Face Emoji
😁 Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes Emoji😂 Laughing Face Emoji
😞 Sad Emoji😕 Confused Emoji
🥺 Sad Eyes Emoji😳 Embarrassed Emoji
🙃 Upside-Down Face Emoji Meaning🤷 Shrug Emoji
😎 Smiling Face With Sunglasses Emoji🥶 Cold Face Emoji
🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing Emoji😑 Annoyed Emoji
😡 Angry Face Emoji😬 Grimacing Face Emoji
😲 Surprised Emoji😱 Shocked Emoji
😨 Scared Emoji❤️ Red Heart
🧡 Orange Heart💛 Yellow Heart
💚 Green Heart💙 Blue Heart
💜 Purple Heart💕 Two Hearts
💖 Sparkling Heart💔 Broken Heart
🖤 Black Heart😉 Winking Face Emoji
😈 Smiling Face with Horns Emoji👅 Tongue Emoji
🍑 Peach Emoji🍆 Eggplant Emoji

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The Short Science of Emojis

Emojis are AMAZING. They’re the easiest way to inject a spark of emotion into your everyday texts.

In a nutshell, people use emojis to:

  • express themselves
  • promote interaction
  • establish emotional tone

But do they actually work? Science proves that yes, emojis do work. And they’re powerful. Emojis influence our emotions, build better relationships, and even help with learning.

Here are 6 amazing facts and benefits of emojis:

Now let’s dive into the emojis!

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My Favorite Happy Emojis and Their Meanings

🙂 Smiling Emoji

“I’m happy for you! Sort of.”

This is the type of emoji you might get when you tell your jealous coworker about your new promotion.

Is she being genuine? Or does she secretly want to stab you in the back?

You may never know until it’s too late.

Best for: Light compliments or appearing interested but not.

Bad for: Sarcasm. It just doesn’t work: “I’m totally going to stab you in the back. 🙂 Haha. Hahaha.”

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😃 Grinning Face Emoji

“I’m happy for you! Really!”

Are you genuinely happy and want to show it? This is the emoji for you!

Featuring a toothy grin and big, excited eyes, the Grinning Face Emoji is the classic emoji to get anyone to feel good—I mean, just look at those big eyes! Who wouldn’t get happy looking at that?

Best for: Genuine compliments, congratulating friends, showing excitement.

Bad for: Admitting you’re cheating on your partner, reacting to celebrity death news, anything that requires you to be sad.

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😁 Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes Emoji

“I’m happy and I don’t care what anyone else thinks!”

This is the perfect emoji to use when sending out a text like, “Guess what I’m bringing to the office party tomorrow? Fruitcake! 😁

Especially if you’re required to bring something to the party… and you know you’re the only gal in the office who likes fruitcake.

Because when you use this emoji, nobody will blame you. You’ve literally put on a superhero outfit at this point.

You’re Grinning-and-Smiling-Eye gal, bringing happiness everywhere you go. Some adore you. Others fear you, for they lack the courage to bring down your innocent vibes.You go, Grinning-and-Smiling-Eye gal.

Keep staying awesome.

Best for: When you’re happy but don’t know if the other person feels the same. Not like you care, anyway.

Bad for: Corny pickup jokes.

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😂 Laughing Face Emoji

“This is slightly amusing so I’ll send this emoji. But I’m probably not laughing.”

Have you ever sent a bad joke or pic to a friend and got this single emoji as a response? It’s nice the first time you get it. But then it turns into sleepless nights. Sleepless nights spent wondering if your friend actually found your text funny.

But deep down inside, you have a gut feeling they didn’t actually laugh.

Because this emoji is all based on lies and deceit.

Dramatic? Yes.

True? Sadly so.

Best for: Text convos that aren’t really funny or are slightly amusing at best.

Bad for: Expressing genuine laughter.

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Sad Emojis and Their Meanings

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😞 Sad Emoji

“My head hangs down in sadness.”

You don’t need words to describe this emoji—the face says it all. The eyes are downturned and the mouth hangs in sadness. Whoever you send this emoji to really did it this time. Or maybe it was your fault.

This is the universal emoji of sadness.

Best for: Apologizing for your mistakes, showing your utmost disappointment.

Bad for: Nothing, you can use this anytime you’re sad.

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😕 Confused Emoji

“Uhh, did you seriously just say that?”

Have you ever received an offensive text?

Maybe they didn’t know you and Jamie were friends. Even if Jamie’s purple blouse clashed horribly with her red skirt… simply respond with “😕” and no more.

This simple emoji signals hundreds of thoughts without saying a word. Things like:

  • “I’m disappointed in what you said.”
  • “Your text makes me sad.”
  • “How could you say such a thing?”

And you won’t be surprised if, after a long period of silence, you receive back, “OMG I’m SoO SORRY! ForgiiiiIIIVE MeeeEEee!!! 😭😭😭

Best for: Sending a wrong-doer that “old man” look of disapproval. Even if you’re not old. Or a man.

Bad for: Friends and family, people you want to build rapport with.

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🥺 Sad Eyes Emoji

“Awww, pwetty pwease?”

While it might look cute, the Sad Eyes Emoji actually shows a bit of desperation and hopelessness. In fact, it’s commonly used among young women worldwide as a last-ditch effort to get their man to say yes.

Statistics show that this works most of the time.

Best for: Convincing your loving hubby to make a late-night stop at Target.

Bad for: Men asking girls out. Ew, please no.

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😳 Embarrassed Emoji

“Uh… I feel kinda uncomfortable.”

Awkward first dates, forgetting a friend’s birthday, accidentally sending your mom an inappropriate photo—we’ve all been there.

This is the perfect opportunity to whip out this emoji, featuring a big pair of deer-in-the-headlights eyes.

Oh, this is a statement piece, all right. Send out this emoji and the receiver may be flooded with intense emotions of embarrassment and guilt. Just don’t use it “Mannnn I just benched 800 pounds AND had time for leg day. Am I cool or what 😎hen you want to show you’re impressed.

Best for: Cringeworthy dad jokes and awkward romance.

Bad for: Showing genuine appreciation.

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Emojis For Specific Situations and Their Meanings

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🙃 Upside-Down Face Emoji

“WeeEEEeeeEE!”

This emoji conveys a tone of humor, childishness, sarcasm, and everything silly. Basically, anything you say before the Upside-Down Face Emoji can be taken as not being serious:

  • “I broke the lawnmower. 🙃
  • “Sure, I made out with your ex. But only once. 🙃
  • “If you stole my sandwich from the fridge, please return it. Or there will be consequences. 🙃

Best for: Close friends and those that get your dark, sarcastic humor. April Fools’ Day pranks.

Bad for: Anything related to work.

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🤷 Shrug Emoji

“Meh. I don’t know.”

Don’t know what to say? Don’t even care? This emoji indicates exactly how you feel: Meh. And it’s the only emoji with a body so far because, well… little yellow round faces can’t exactly shrug.

Best for: Showing off your nonchalant attitude.

Bad for: Responding to your wife when she asks, “What do you want to eat tonight?”

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😎 Smiling Face With Sunglasses Emoji

“Yeah, I’m cool.”

This emoji conveys badassery to the extreme. This is the Chad of all emojis, the mysterious man, cool kid, or wonder woman you always dreamed of becoming.

Your genuinely cool friends use this emoji sparingly, and often send you pics of their treks and other such adventures. Your “fake cool” friends will often use this emoji a tad too much (you know the feeling) and wear leather jackets and sunglasses, even during warm summer nights.

Alternatively, this can also be used during raunchy texts before ‘boom-chicka-wah-wah’ time with your lover.

Best for: Truly epic moments.

Bad for: Any other time you wouldn’t get a “Whoa!” response from your friend.

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🥶 Cold Face Emoji

“Baby, it’s cold outside!”

This is probably the only emoji Santa Claus and Eskimos use.

On a less literal note, this emoji can also mean someone is being very mean, rude, or generally displaying a Hitler-level attitude.

Best for: Replying to snarky comments, texting friends who live in Northern Europe.

Bad for: Complaining how it’s too cold where you are… to your friends who live in Northern Europe.

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🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing Emoji

“This is so funny I want to convey I’m laughing, but since you couldn’t see how much I laughed here’s a bunch of emojis instead.”

This is the emoji used by your friends who love to laugh. They’ll send not only one—because that wouldn’t convey the proper amount of laughs, which is many—but a barrage of 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 emojis.

Your friends who use this emoji are happy, and you love to hang around them. People who use this often will rarely be sad, and you can always find a smile on their face when you see them in person.

Best for: Anytime you actually want to ROFL, replacing “LOL.”

Bad for: Formal or polite relationships.

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😑 Annoyed Emoji

“All right, I’ve had enough.”

Have you ever watched The Office? This face is the Stanley Hudson of emojis.

Best for giving others a fair warning before they push your buttons even farther. And if you’re on the receiving end? Tread lightly, lest thou face the wrath of a frenemy.

Best for: When your overly-zealous friend sends you yet another political meme.

Bad for: Responding to your mother-in-law’s request to invite herself to your house. Again.

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😡 Angry Face Emoji

“I’m getting tired of your $#!*”

OK, you’ve gone and activated full-on Hulk Mode. This emoji spikes in usage during presidential election month, relationships on the brink of destruction, and NFL season. Often paired with all caps letters.

Best for: Play-fights with your spouse.

Bad for: Actual fights with your spouse.

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😬 Grimacing Face Emoji

“I’m tense and don’t know what to say.”

This emoji looks scared, a little tense, maybe even a bit nervous. This is the default emoji to send if you don’t know what to say in a situation, like when an acquaintance starts pouring out their life story to you about a recent breakup.

However, it can be used in many uncertain contexts. Most likely, there are emotions that are hidden when someone sends this emoji.

Best for: Tense situations with no clear exit.

Bad for: Responding to your crush about how you truly feel.

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😲 Surprised Emoji

“Ahhh!”

An open mouth and raised eyebrows make this emoji project an inaudible scream to your receiver through their phones.

Useful for surprising, shocking, distasteful, and happy texts.

Best for: A wide variety of situations. Great for responding to texts from friends who have newsworthy stories.

Bad for: Daily mundane topics. Like, “How’s the weather today? 😲just ain’t gonna cut it.

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😱 Shocked Emoji

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!”

Oh, heck no! That did NOT just happen. Girl, puh-lease. Shut the front door.

Perfect to use in any situation where you’d pose as The Scream, this emoji is the highest level of surprise you can express through texting.

Best for: Finding out your BFF ordered you delivery pizza, finding out that people judge you within 7 seconds.

Bad for: Showing appreciation for your crush after he sends a pic of his six—err… one-pack.

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😨 Scared Emoji

“I’m scared but not in immediate danger.”

OK, let’s be real: Nobody actually uses this emoji when they’re scared. If you’re REALLY scared, you’ll probably avoid wasting time using emojis. Or skip the texting and go straight to dialing 911.

Nope. This emoji is usually reserved for those drama queen times.

Best for: Surprising your friends with a 180-degree “Gotcha! I’m not really scared but JK-ing” text.

Bad for: Showing genuine fear, like if your reptile-loving friend wanted to bring over her 10-foot-long python to the party.

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Heart Emojis and Their Meanings

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What does the ❤️ Red Heart Emoji mean?

“I love you, basically.”

The Red Heart is used to show love and affection for romantic partners, family, friends, objects, group meetups, your dog, your cat… Wow, I can go on forever.

That’s because the Red Heart is the vanilla ice cream of heart emojis.

It’s basic, but gets the job done.

Best for: If you can’t think of anything else to send but you want to show affection.

Bad for: Eh, not much. It’s hard to go bad with vanilla.

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What does the 🧡 Orange Heart Emoji mean?

“I didn’t even know this emoji existed.”

Umm, when was the last time you received an orange heart?

Do people even use this?

If you’ve ever sent an orange heart before…

Congrats! You’re part of the 0.000001%. I guess this means something special?

Best for: Surprising friends with your vast emoji knowledge.

Bad for: Showing love. Because orange just isn’t quite red enough.

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What does the 💛 Yellow Heart Emoji mean?

“I’m happy for you.”

If Winnie the Pooh was a heart emoji, this would be him.

The Yellow Heart is a kind, caring heart that’s great to send to family and close friends. This heart shows them that hey, everything’s going well in life. I’m happy, and you’re happy.

It’s got that “Hey, I care about you” vibe that Mr. Rogers gives off.

Oh, but if a crush sends you this? Sorry, you’re 110% friend-zoned.

Best for: Family and friends. Repelling creepy lovers.

Bad for: Anything romantic.

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What does the 💚 Green Heart Emoji mean?

“I love kale!”

Is drinking a tall glass of Guinness while waving around an Irish flag a favorite pastime of yours? Or perhaps you identify as a vegan, nature lover, or organic fanatic?

Then the Green Heart speaks to your soul. Usually your hardcore friends who love to keep trendy or follow the latest fads will use this.

Best for: Supporting the murder of kale instead of pigs.

Bad for: Probably a good idea to avoid this if you’re not Irish or a plant lover.

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What does the 💙 Blue Heart Emoji mean?

“You’re an amazing friend.”

Want to show someone they’re freakin’ amazing and your BFF? The Blue Heart is the SpongeBob and Patrick of hearts.

Blue is a color that represents loyalty and stability, and it’s also my signature “Captivate Blue” color! And speaking of Captivate, I am now giving away the first chapter of my best-selling book for free! Learn all the secrets to master your social skills and nail down your body language. This is the modern version of How to Win Friends And Influence People.

That’s why it’s great to use with close friends. If someone sends you this heart, they may think you’re trustworthy, honest, and a good companion to have.

On rarer occasions, the Blue Heart can also represent icy “coolness,” used to show someone is being cold or emotionless.

Best for: Cementing your BFF status.

Bad for: Your soulmate or crush.

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What does the 💜 Purple Heart Emoji mean?

“I’m fabulous!”

Are you a glamour girl? Love to sprinkle it up, throw around confetti, and flaunt your fabulous fashion sense?

Then the Purple Heart is for you.

The Purple Heart brings out your inner diva, flaunting your style and playful attitude.

Purple is also the last color of the rainbow and can mean love and trust forever. This is where the popular phrase “I purple you” comes from, popularized by the Korean band BTS.

On a more serious note, you may recognize that the Purple Heart also honors United States veterans.

Best for: Showing off your inner diva.

Bad for: Serious office workers.

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What does the 💕 Two Hearts Emoji mean?

“My love for you is in the air, baby!”

This is the proper emoji to show love. Seriously, nothing beats this emoji when you’re sext—err, texting your lover and he/she sends you this.

It’s even scientifically proven to be 2x as effective as the Red Heart… since, you know, 2 hearts are better than one.

You can even use it with your BFF during those deep, heartwarming moments, like those late nights when she sends you a funny cat video.

Best for: Lovers. Soulmates. BFFs.

Bad for: Literally anything other than that.

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What does the 💖 Sparkling Heart Emoji mean?

“My heart is special and unique!”

The sparkling heart combines the affection of a normal heart with the sparkle of a diamond.

And the result?

One darn precious heart to show that special someone in your life some sparkling, sweet love.

But we can also use this heart for our friends, too. And it’s a safe bet to choose this one over red in pretty much all cases.

Best for: Showing you’re a little more than just basic. Weddings and fanciful events.

Bad for: Nope, nothing. You can use this heart basically anywhere. 💖

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What does the 💔 Broken Heart Emoji mean?

“That sucks. But I’ll get over it. Probably.”

Let’s be real. Broken Hearts are for jokes.

Like that time you couldn’t make it to your friend’s party and she responded, “That’s OK, I’ll just go cry in the closet now. 💔”

Looking for a more serious heart emoji? Try the next one.

Best for: Casual jokes and self-deprecating humor.

Bad for: Real broken hearts. If you’re feeling (really) hurt, get off the emoji train and talk face-to-face.

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What does the 🖤 Black Heart Emoji mean?

“You’re dead to me.”

OK, you’ve done it. Someone, somewhere, made a huge mistake. The black heart is like receiving coal on Christmas Day—whoever receives it has been a very, very naughty person.

This is one of those rare times you should reserve an emoji for only the most extreme scenarios.

Like if your neighbor ran over your dog. Or your annoying brother forgot to flush the toilet YET ANOTHER TIME OMFG THIS IS CRAZY I’M GOING TO KI—

Best for: *Ahem.* Letting people know you’d like them to slip on a banana peel.

Bad for: Uh, any other situation besides pure hate.

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Flirty Emojis and Their Meanings

Want to add a little sugar and spice to your conversations? Or want to be subtle and still hint at getting some boom-chicka-wah-wah? Here are 5 emojis to get your flirt on. Needless to say, we are crossing over into some NSFW territory.

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😉 Winking Face Emoji

This is the basic emoji to turn any innocent comment into something a little more naughty. It’s commonly used to test the waters to see if there’s any sexual attraction, as it’s a lot more subtle than some of the ones I’ll list down below.

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😈 Smiling Face with Horns Emoji

This is basically the Winking Emoji, but with the dial turned to 11 (did you appreciate that Spinal Tap reference?). Often used by naughty bedroom destroyers, this emoji shows that you’re down for some kinky action.

Something like, “I’d like to take you for a ride on my Nimbus 2000… and show you my Chamber of Secrets. 😈”

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👅 Tongue Emoji

If you’re 8, this is a playful tongue. If you’re 18, all of a sudden this playful tongue takes on new meaning. Send this to your lovemaker for a wild night that says, “I’m not afraid to get down and dirty.”

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🍑 Peach Emoji

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ ripe peach? The Peach Emoji is very obvious and symbolizes a (usually) woman’s ripe bum. If you’re a big food fan, you won’t be surprised to see the next one…

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🍆 Eggplant Emoji

Basically, every fruit and vegetable can have some sort of sexual connotation. Eggplants are an obvious, ahem… big example.

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Symbol Emojis and Their Meanings

Have you seen those fancy emoji symbols floating around? They’re less common in texts and more common in internet forums and YouTube comments nowadays. Here are the 3 most interesting ones and their meanings:

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What does the ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Lenny Face mean?

“There’s something sexual going on here.”

This devilish half-smiling face often implies something naughty or mischievous.

You can often find this face:

  • on various internet forums like Reddit
  • on spam post sites
  • during awkward text convos between high school students

Best for: Creating raunchy moments.

Bad for: Anything serious.

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What does ¯\_(ツ) _/¯ The Shrug mean?

“Meh. I still don’t know.”

This is the same as the 🤷 Shrug Emoji, but in symbol form. It’s also made of a nifty Japanese character “ツ.” Someone who uses this has a “meh” attitude, or they’re telling you to stress less about a situation.

Best for: Putting a picture of a rock above this emoji, responding to invites for ugly Christmas sweater parties.

Bad for: Any situation that you really care about.

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What does the ಠ_ಠ Look of Disapproval mean?

“How dare you say that.”

This one is used primarily on online forums as a way to disapprove, criticize, or generally disagree with what was just said. Just look at those beady little eyes staring deep into the depths of your soul.

Anyone who uses the Look of Disapproval isn’t trying to win any brownie points. They just want to be heard and prove you wrong.

Best for: Random little internet wars.

Bad for: Literally anyone who is an adult.

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Japanese Emoticons (and more Bonus Emojis!)

Are you feeling ultra kawaii? Dying to visit the land of the rising sun, Godzilla, and endless ramen and sushi conveyor belts?

Fear not! You can get your quick fix by using any one of these Japanese emojis called Kaomojis.

These emojis are just for fun. Here are some of my favorites:

  • (* ^ ω ^) Super Happy Bunny Face Kaomoji
  • (◕‿◕) Small Happy Kaomoji
  • (ノ´ з `)ノ Kiss Me Kaomoji
  • (´。• ᵕ •。`) ♡ My Heart Is For You Kaomoji
  • ♡\( ̄▽ ̄)/♡ Lots of Love to Give Kaomoji
  • (¬_¬;) Not This Again Kaomoji
  • ヽ(ー_ー )ノ I’m Outta Here Kaomoji
  • ( ̄o ̄) zzZZzzZZ Sleepy Time Kaomoji

And as a bonus, here are my favorite (unique) emojis you may have never seen before!

  • 🌟 Glowing Star
  • 🤩 Star-Struck
  • ✍️ Writing Hand
  • 🧬 DNA
  • 🧻 Roll of Paper
  • 👾 Alien Monster
  • 💸 Flying Money
  • 🧸 Teddy Bear
  • 🍫 Chocolate Bar
  • 💌 Love Letter
  • 🧚 Fairy
  • 🦄 Unicorn
  • 🌸 Cherry Blossom
  • 🌹 Rose
  • 🧃 Apple Juice
  • 🧼 Soap

That was a big list! Out of the thousands that did not make this list, which ones are your favorite?

Let me know in the comments below!

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a national best selling author & founder at Science of People. Her groundbreaking book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People has been translated into more than 16 languages. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma. She regularly leads innovative corporate workshops and helps thousands of individual professionals in her online program People School. Vanessa works with entrepreneurs, growing businesses, and trillion dollar companies; and has been featured on CNN, BBC, CBS, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, the Today Show and many more.

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