Face recognition is one of the most popular techniques to achieve the goal of figuring out the identity of a person. This study has been conducted to develop a new non-linear subspace learning method named “supervised kernel locality-based discriminant neighborhood embedding,” which performs data classification by learning an optimum embedded subspace from a principal high dimensional space. In this approach, not only nonlinear and complex variation of face images is effectively represented using nonlinear kernel mapping, but local structure information of data from the same class and discriminant information from distinct classes are also simultaneously preserved to further improve final classification performance. Moreover, in order to evaluate the robustness of the proposed method, it was compared with several well-known pattern recognition methods through comprehensive experiments with six publicly accessible datasets. Experiment results reveal that our method consistently outperforms its competitors, which demonstrates strong potential to be implemented in many real-world systems.