Choosing glasses to suit your face and colouring

FOR many of us, the most important aspect of choosing eyeglass frames is how they look on our face. You could try on every pair of eyeglasses in the store to find out how each one looks, but narrowing down your choices in advance can save you a lot of time and aggravation. To do so, you simply need to determine your face shape and coloring, and understand which eyeglass frame styles and colours would look best on you.

FOR many of us, the most important aspect of choosing eyeglass frames is how they look on our face. You could try on every pair of eyeglasses in the store to find out how each one looks, but narrowing down your choices in advance can save you a lot of time and aggravation. To do so, you simply need to determine your face shape and coloring, and understand which eyeglass frame styles and colours would look best on you.

Matching Eyeglass Frames to Face Shapes

You should consider three main points when choosing an eyeglass frame for your face shape, according to The Vision Council:

Eyewear should repeat your personal best feature (such as a blue frame to match blue eyes).

The frame shape should contrast with your face shape.

The frame size should be in scale with your face size.

Also, while most faces are a combination of shapes and angles, there are seven basic face shapes: round, oval, oblong, base-down triangle, base-up triangle, diamond and square.

Here is a further description of these face shapes and which types of frames work best for each, according to The Vision Council. A good optician can help you use these guidelines to choose your new eyeglasses.

Oblong An oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. To make an oblong face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have more depth than width, decorative or contrasting temples that add width to the face, or a low bridge to shorten the nose.

Base-Up Triangle This face has a very wide top third and small bottom third. To minimize the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom, very light colors and materials and rimless frame styles (which have a light, airy effect because the lenses are simply held in place by a few screws, with no surrounding frame material).

Square A square face has a strong jaw line and a broad forehead, plus the width and length are in the same proportions. To make a square face look longer and soften the angles, try narrow frame styles, frames that have more width than depth, and narrow ovals.

Colour Analysis

The Vision Council’s three keys to colour analysis are:

All people have either cool (blue-based) or warm (yellow-based) coloring.

Everyone looks best in his or her own color base.

Eyewear color should complement personal coloring.

The main factors that determine the best color palette are the colors of the skin, eyes and hair.

Skin Skin tone is the prime element in determining coloring. All complexions fall into one of two colour bases — blue (cool) or yellow (warm). A cool complexion has blue or pink undertones, and a warm complexion has a “peaches and cream” or yellow cast. Olive skin is considered cool because it is a mixture of blue and yellow. (In Ireland, cool, blue-based complexions are more common than the yellow-based warm complexions. About 60 percent of the population are “cools.”)

Eyes Eye colors usually are a secondary element in determining coloring because of the many variations of eye color. For example, blue eyes can range from a cool almost-violet to a pale blue-gray, which is warm. Brown eyes can vary from a light cider shade (warm) through a medium-brown to a cool almost-black.

Hair Hair colors also are considered warm or cool. Strawberry blond, platinum, blue-black, white, salt-and-pepper and “dishwater” brown are cool. Warm hair colors include golden blond, flat black, brown-gold, “carrot” and “dirty” gray.

Eyeglass Frame Colors

Once you have determined if you are “warm” or “cool,” then you can find the eyeglass frame colours that will suit you the best.

Some examples of frame colours best for warm colouring are: camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blond tortoise.

For cool coloring, the best eyeglass frame hues are black, rose-brown, blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker) tortoise.