21 Feb Choose the best glasses for your face shape and skin tone
New Year/New You – How you can choose the best glasses for your face shape and skin tone
These days there are so many choices when it comes to stylish, attractive eyeglasses. The first rule of choosing frames is to pick something that you love and that makes you feel confident.
Have you ever looked at eyeglasses on a display and when you try them on they don´t look as great? Probably the frames are the wrong style for your face shape. You don´t need to be a fashion expert to find frames that will bring out the best in your already gorgeous face! Here´s are a few tips to help you choose the right glasses for you:
Step 1 – To choose the frame you must first know your face shape
To determine your face shape stand in front of a mirror, pull your hair away from your face and take a close look at the overall shape and contours of your face and head.
There are seven primary face shapes
1. Oval face shape – balanced proportions. “Universal” face shape – almost all styles look good on oval face shapes due to their symmetry and balance.
- As wide (or wider than) the broadest part of the face.
- A strong bridge and are geometric in shape.
- Walnut shaped – not too deep or narrow
- Frames to avoid – eyeglasses that are overlarge and cover up more than half of your face will throw off the natural balance and symmetry of the oval face.
2. Heart-shaped face/ Base up triangle shaped face – Wide top third and narrow bottom third
The phrase “heart-shaped face” can be a bit misleading; a heart-shaped face is really more like an upside down triangle, with a wide forehead that narrows to a pointed chin. A heart shaped face can be long and graceful or more rounded, but both tend to have high, angled cheekbones.
- Reduce apparent width of the top of the face by choosing frame shapes that are wider at the bottom. Also, thin, light-coloured frames and rimless framed with light, airy appearance
- Frames that balance the width of the forehead with the narrowness of the chin
- Low set temples and bottom heavy frame lines will add width to that narrower part of your face. Round eyeglasses or square eyeglasses with with curved edges will help draw attention away from a broad, high forehead.
- Traditional advice: Pick a frame with a deep base – like the D-shaped lens of a retro wingtip frame. Choose pairs wider than your brow, making Aviators and cat eye frame another good option.
- Frames to Avoid: Steer clear of any style or color of frames that draws attention to the forehead. This includes frames with decorative temples or embellished tops
3. Oblong face shape – Longer than it is wide and has a long, straight cheek line.
Oblong and oval faces are very similar as well; they are both rounded and proportional, but an oval face has a more pointed chin.
Eyeglasses – try to make face appear shorter and more balanced by choosing frames that have more depth than width. Decorative or contrasting temples also add width to the face.
4. Square face shape – strong jaw and broad forehead and width and length of face have roughly the same proportions.
Square faces have strong, wide foreheads and equally strong, wide chins. They are also proportionate in the length and width of the face. Rectangular faces are very similar to square, but with a longer length than width.
Eyeglasses – Make face look longer and soften angles with narrow frame styles, frames with more width than depth and narrow ovals.
Eyeglasses that soften the angularity and sit high on the bridge of the nose look best on square faces. Oval or round eyeglasses will balance and add a thinner appearance to the angles of a square face.
Traditional advice: Pick a frame that juxtaposes sharp angles –curved styles like oval glasses, browline, round and Aviator frames.
Frames to Avoid: Angular and boxy eyeglass frames will sharpen and draw attention to your angular features, making a square face appear bulky.
5. Diamond face shape – narrow at the forehead and jawline and have broad cheekbones that may be high and dramatic. Rarest face shape.
Eyeglasses – Highlight the eyes and soften the cheekbones with frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines. Rimless eyeglasses and frames with oval or cat-eye shapes also can be good choices.
Play up a narrow forehead and chin with eyeglass frames what sweep up or are wider than the cheekbones, such as cat eye glasses and oval frames. These frames will accentuate your cheekbones and delicate features.
Frames to Avoid: Boxy and narrow frames will accentuate the width of your cheeks, drawing attention to your narrow features rather than enhancing them.
6. Round face shape – Curved lines with length and width in same proportions and no angles.
Round faces tend to have full cheeks and rounded, full forehead and chin
Eyeglasses – Make face appear thinner and longer with angular narrow eyeglass frames to lengthen the face. Frame with a clear bridge and rectangular frames that are wider than they are deep can also be good choices.
Eyeglass frames that are square or rectangular tend to be wider than a round face. This quality can enhance your face by making it appear slimmer and longer, adding balance to your round features.
Traditional advice: find frames with bold, squared-off angles like rectangular, cat eye, and retro wingtip styles.
Frames to Avoid: Rimless frames, round frames and small frames will accentuate the roundness, making your round face look even rounder.
7. Base-down triangle – Narrow forehead and widens at the cheek and chin areas.
Triangular faces tend to have narrow foreheads and a wide, strong jaw (the jaw itself is often angular).
Eyeglasses – Add width and emphasize the narrow upper third of the face with frames that are heavily accented with colour and detailing on the top half (brow) of the frame. Cat-eye shapes are also good choices.
Traditional advice: pick a frame that´s widest and boldest on top, elongating a narrower forehead and balancing a wider jaw. Examples include browlines, Aviators and cat eye glasses.
The key to finding the right frames is to remember that opposites attract. Select eyeglasses that contrast from your facial contours and bring symmetry and balance to your prominent features.
In general, frames add the most visual interest and look the least cartoonish when they are a contrast from your natural features, which means that most rounded faces look best with more angled glasses, while more angled faces look best with more rounded glasses.
Soft, round faces look best with frames that have hard angles, like square or rectangular frames. These tend to make the face look longer and break up the softness of the face. If you have a very full face, you might consider horizontal rectangles, which make the face appear thinner.
Square and rectangle faces look nice with frames that balance the hard lines of the face, so look for round or oval frames. To minimize the appearance of a very heavy jawline, look for a frame that has a thin, delicate frame (made of wire and in a color similar to your skintone) so that you don’t add more bulk to your face. The glasses should be slightly wider than your cheekbones to fit the face properly.
Heart-shaped faces usually look nice with frames that are wider on the bottom or have some kind of detail on the lower half of the frames. Be sure that the frames are slightly wider than the forehead for a proper fit.
Triangular faces look great with glasses that emphasize the top half of the frame, like half-rimmed glasses or cat-eye glasses, or two-toned frames with darker tops and lighter bottoms. Since triangular faces tend to have strong jaws, be sure that the frames are slightly wider than your jaw to balance it out.
Oblong faces look better with round or curved frames, which take away from the length of the face and emphasize the width. Pick frames with the upper and lower rims of the frame equal in shape. This breaks up the length of the face. Also, choose frames that have a low bridge, which shortens the nose.
Oval faces look great in any type of frame, so choose something that fits your personality. You can play with colours and styles to fit your mood, and you can feel confident in trying out the latest fashion or go with a classic frame to ensure it will stay in style longer.
Glasses that are too big for your features and for your overall face size will overwhelm your appearance and look cartoonish. Glasses that are too small can look out of date or draw attention.
The top of the frames should follow underneath the curve of the eyebrows. For the most part, most people look best if you can see their eyebrows easily above the frames; otherwise your facial expressions will be obscured.
Step 2 – To choose the frame colour you need to consider the skin tones, eye colour and hair colour
Before deciding what frame colour will work best ask yourself whether you want to stand out, or blend in.
For a subdued, professional look, you´ll want frames that are a neutral colour, or that match your eye colour.
For fun occasions you might want a different look. Choose a colour that contrasting but complementary to your eye colour.
The best eyeglasses will complement the colour of your face, eyes and hair.
1. Skin Tones – Cool, warm, neutral
Just as the shape of your face helps determine which frames look best, so does your skin tone. More important than hair colour and more decisive than eye colour, skin tone sets the tone for high fashion frames. Select a shade closest to your skin tone:
Cool – Blue or pink undertones. Olive skin is considered cool because it´s a mixture of blue and yellow.
Noted for having a pink undertone, Cool skin types looks best with similarly cool-toned frames like blue, silver, gray, green, and clear. Black frames tend to be too harsh, while gold hues can clash with the naturally rosy complexion.
If your skin has pink or blue undertones, you have a cool complexion. Avoid colors that wash you out and instead reach for frames that are silver, black, dark tortoise, pink, purple, blue, mauve and gray.
Warm – Peaches and cream (or yellow cast)
If you have a yellow, bronze or golden cast to your skin, you have a warm complexion. Stay away from contrasting colors such as pastels. White and black frames are not flattering either. Instead, the best frame colors for you are light tortoise, browns shades, gold or honey, beige, and olive green.
Accented with a golden undertone, warm skin types look best with similarly warm frames — tortoise, brown, red, orange, gold, and yellow. They also look great with the boldness of black, but will want to avoid greenish hues that may give them a sallow cast.
Neutral – Neutral skin types — with a mix of pink and golden undertones — can wear just about anything. Go bold with stark black, keep it neutral with a tortoise pattern, or play with any number of fun shades.
2. Eye Colour
Many variations of the eye colour.
Blue eyes can range from a cool almost violet to a pale blue-grey, which is warm.
Brown eyes can vary from a light cider shade (warm) through a medium-brown to a cool almost-black.
For fun occasions you might want a different look. Choose a colour that contrasting but complementary to your eye colour.
Blue eyes – Orange – the complementary colour of blue – will really make your eyes pop. Tortoise-shell and brown glasses will also look good with blue eyes.
Brown/Amber eyes – Any color will look great with your eyes, from classic black to brighter tones. If you want to stand out, choose a very bold color like a bright green or a pool blue.
Grey eyes – Choose a colourful frame to avoid a monochromatic look. The good news is that almost any brighter colour will work with your eyes.
Green eyes – Red is the complementary color of green, but you probably want to save that look for the holidays. We recommend brown or other earthy tones. These subdued frame colors always look good with green eyes. If you want to be bold, consider gold or purple frames.
Hazel – Hazel eyes often seem to switch from brown to green. So choosing green or brown frames both provide contrast and will blend in. Amber frames are also a good choice.
3. Hair Colour
With hair colour there may be certain shades you want to all-out avoid, but for the most part you’re looking to enhance and play around with your ideal palette.
Also considered warm or cool.
Strawberry blonde, platinum, blue-black, white, auburn, salt-and-pepper and ash brown are cool.
Golden blonde, brownish black, brown-gold and “dirty grey” are warm.
Now that you have determined if you are “cool” or “warm” colouring you can find the frame that will suit you best.
Warm – Camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blonde tortoise.
Cool – Black, silver, rose-brown, blue-grey, plumb, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker)tortoise.
Black hair – choose darker frames like black or tortoise shell. You can experiment with brighter colors, but whether they work will depend on your undertone.
White/Grey hair – Go crazy! This is the ideal hair color for experimentation. Bright colours will look best with your hair.
Red hair – Red hair calls out for bold frames. You can experiment with color, or, for a more conventional look, go with darker frames. Just avoid red frames, as they may blend in too much.
Auburn hair – If you have brown hair with red undertones you’re the perfect match with tortoise shell frames. Or look for frames that also have the warm, earthy colours of tortoise shell.
Brown hair/ash blonde – If your brown hair lacks red undertones, dark frames—especially black ones—will look terrific. You can also experiment with pastel colors.
Blonde hair – If you have dark tones in your blonde hair, look for warm colors. Tortoise shell would also be a good choice for you. Ashy or platinum blondes—consider pastels and other bright colors for fascinating contrast with your light hair and skin.
Step 3 – Make sure the glasses fit properly
The better the frames fit the more flattering they´ll be. When you buy your clothes and shoes you know your size – you should also know your size when searching for the correct glasses. You want them to “fit like a glove”.
Frame sizes can be broken down into three main categories:
- Lens width – between 31-60 mm
- Bridge width – between 12-31 mm
- Glasses arm length: between 115-155 mm
The easiest way to figure out your size is to look at a pair of glasses that you already know fits you. You may have your own glasses or, perhaps, a friend´s glasses that you like fit of. Usually, the frame manufacturer prints the size numbers on the inside of the arm of the glasses. The numbers you read will correspond to lens/bridge/temple – in that order.
If you don´t see any measurement numbers on the frame you can measure them yourself! To determine the inside frame width, put the edge of a ruler over your frame and measure from the left hinge to the right hinge. To measure the temple (arm) length – place your ruler at the hinge and measure straight across the arm to the furthest end.
Once you have your measurements it will drastically narrow down your search to frames of a similar size.
Bridge width – The width of your frames is like the width of your shoes—this isn’t a fashion choice, it’s a matter of getting the correct fit. A couple of frame width fit rules to keep in mind:
- There should be a gap between the arm of the glasses and your temple, but it should be a very small gap.
- When you smile, the glasses should continue to rest on your nose, not get jostled by your cheeks.
Arm length – Most adult women want a frame arm between about 135-140, whereas most adult men should look for frame arms from 140-145. These figures vary depending on face shape and size.
Fit Frames to Your Personality?
Are you trying to make a fashion statement with your glasses, or do you want people to barely notice them?
Thick frames are bold and unmissable. People with strong facial features like prominent noses or chins should think about trying thick frames, which will help de-emphasize those features. Thick frames usually come in dark colors, but as they’ve grown in popularity other options have joined the mix—clear thick frames are a cool and trendy look.
Thin frames blend into your face. They emphasize your eyes and other facial features. If you want people to notice your face, not your frames—or if you don’t want to draw attention to your glasses—go for thin frames.
The frames you wear can say a lot about your personality. You can have a pair of glasses that showcase your fun loving side on the weekends and a pair that emphasizes your get down to business tone during the week. Adorn your face with your favorite colour (as long as it doesn’t clash with your skin tone) or detailed embellishments and flare. Choose either one style of frames to express your personality or have a small collection of frames on hand to easily alter your appearance to suit your mood.