Gorgeous in Glasses
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Gorgeous in Glasses

Got glasses? Master your makeup and find the most flattering frames with these expert tips.

Vision Quest

medium-size frame
Enlarge Image

A medium-size frame looks
best with naturally shaped brows.

First things first: Removing your glasses is necessary to put on makeup, but doing so has obvious disadvantages. Compensate for your lack of sharp focus by applying makeup under bright lighting and using a strong magnification mirror, between 5X and 10X, recommends makeup pro Sonia Kashuk.

Behind the Looking Glass
thick, bold frame
Enlarge Image

Brows with a classic-
shaped arch can handle
a thick, bold frame.

Glasses cast shadows that can make undereye circles look even darker. No matter what your skin tone, a creamy yellow-based concealer will best counteract any bluish discoloration, notes Kashuk. To prevent frames from rubbing foundation off the bridge of your nose and tops of your cheeks, always finish with a dusting of loose or pressed powder. Also, use blotting papers throughout the day to absorb the extra oil that can build up under the rim of your frames.

A Little Eye Magic
thin wire frame
Enlarge Image

High, dramatic brows
look most balanced
with thin wire frames.

"Eyeglass frames tend to create a hard edge around your eyes," says Kashuk. "Because of that, keep your eye makeup natural and soft." To counter lenses' natural distortion, adjust the application as follows:

  • Lenses for farsighted vision magnify, so wearers should avoid overemphasizing their eye shape. Skip the black liner and dark brown shadow and try smudging a softer shade, such as taupe or gray, along the lash line for subtle definition.
  • Conversely, lenses that correct nearsighted vision make eyes appear smaller. Kashuk advises avoiding color on the bottom lash line because it will close off the eyes even further. Instead, add depth to the eye with neutral shadow in the crease and a navy or chocolate liner along the top lash line.

Fringe Benefits

Lashes can lose some of their luster behind glasses, so an eyelash curler is a godsend. It gives lashes "an upward swing to help prevent them from hitting against your lenses," says Kashuk, and the curl immediately gives you an open-eye look. A final coat or two of waterproof mascara will ensure your lashes won't leave streaks on the lenses. Spectacular!

Quick Guide to Glasses

1. When choosing a frame, you should think about your brow shape, advises brow expert Ramy Gafni, adding that they shouldn't compete with each other. The pictures at left illustrate the three classic brow shapes and the best frames for each. Also, keep some space between the brows and the frames to keep them from looking like one big line, says Gafni.

2. Lloyd Boston, style expert for LensCrafters, suggests that you pick a frame color based on your skin tone. Pink or rose frames will warm up fair complexions. Metal frames, such as lightweight titanium or silver, complement cool skin tones. Bright colors, like red and orange, as well as bronze or gold, look great against warm and olive skin.

3. Classic tortoiseshell frames are universally flattering. The dappling of lighter and darker tones complements nearly everyone, says Boston.

4. Choose a frame that balances the shape of your face. "A round face will look best with a geometric or square frame, while a square face is best with a rounder, softer frame," says Boston. Oval shapes look great on nearly everyone.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, November 2006.