We examined the perceptual dependency of local facial information on the whole facial context. In Experiment 1 participants matched a predetermined facial feature that appeared in two sequentially presented faces judging whether it is identical or not, while ignoring an irrelevant dimension in the faces. This irrelevant dimension was either (a) compatible or incompatible with the target's response and (b) same or different in either featural characteristics or metric distance between facial features in the two faces. A compatibility effect was observed for upright but not inverted faces, regardless of the type of change that differentiated between the faces in the irrelevant dimension. Even when the target was presented upright in the inverted faces, to attenuate perceptual load, no compatibility effect was found (Experiment 2). Finally, no compatibility effects were found for either upright or inverted houses (Experiment 3). These findings suggest that holistic face perception is mandatory.