In this report we first review important publications in the field of face recognition; geometric features, templates, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), pseudo-2D Hidden Markov Models, Elastic Graph Matching, as well as other points are covered; important issues, such as the effects of an illumination direction change and the use of different face areas, are also covered. A new feature set (termed DCT-mod2) is then proposed; the feature set utilizes polynomial coefficients derived from 2D Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) coefficients obtained from horizontally & vertically neighbouring blocks. Face authentication results on the VidTIMIT database suggest that the proposed feature set is superior (in terms of robustness to illumination changes and discrimination ability) to features extracted using four popular methods: PCA, PCA with histogram equalization pre-processing, 2D DCT and 2D Gabor wavelets; the results also suggest that histogram equalization pre-processing increases the error rate and offers no help against illumination changes. Moreover, the proposed feature set is over 80 times faster to compute than features based on 2D Gabor wavelets. Further experiments on the Weizmann Database also show that the proposed approach is more robust than 2D Gabor wavelets and 2D DCT coefficients.