Considering Your Face Shape When Choosing Eye Glass Frames

Considering Your Face Shape When Choosing Eye Glass Frames

Considering Your Face Shape When Choosing Eye Glass Frames

Considering Your Face Shape When Choosing Eye Glass Frames

Considering Your Face Shape When Choosing Eye Glass Frames

When it’s time to select a new pair of eyeglasses, it can be challenging to find an eyeglass frame that feels, fits and looks the best on you. But a frame that looks good may not always fit correctly and this impacts the person's ability to see well out of their glasses.  Many people have trouble with their online glasses purchases because they do not understand the importance of a customized fit and how a poorly fitting frame can make a patient's lenses not function properly.  But our trained opticians are here to help you because they understand how the FUNCTION of the glasses is just as important as the prescription of the lenses.  They will help you choose a frame that not only looks great on you, but that also fits properly for the specific lenses that are being prescribed for you.  They will also take customized measurements of your eyes and the frame on YOUR face, to assure that the glasses are custom fit to your specific measurements.  

How to Choose Eyewear:

Understanding more about your face shape and the types of frames that would look best on you can help to reduce the amount of time you spend trying on frames that don’t complement your face shape. Also using your assets like eye and hair color and skin tone can help you choose a frame in a color that makes your face glow! Here are a few useful tips to help you find glasses best suited for your face shape.

1) Face Shapes/Types:

While there are thousands of different frame shapes, face shapes fall into six general categories:

  • Round

This face shape has softer curves and angles and equal width in the forehead and jawline with fuller cheekbones and a rounded chin. Most people with this face type look for frames that will elongate their face, create balance and add definition in order to draw out their natural features.  Popular frame choices are frames that have clean lines, match the browline and are bold or angular such as:  rectangular, geometric, cat eye or other angular shapes.

  • Heart

If you can imagine the shape of a traditional heart, this face shape is easy to identify.  The heart-shaped face has high cheekbones, is widest at the brow and the rest of the face tapers to a narrow chin.  Individuals with this face shape can wear almost any shape, but will often seek frames that are just slightly wider than their forehead and sometimes with rounded bottoms to help balance and soften the lower facial angles such as aviators, cat eyesmodified wayfarer shapes, rectangle, oval and round.

  • Base Down Triangle

This face type has a wider jawline and cheekbones but is narrow at the forehead.  Most people with this face shape prefer glasses that add contrast and compliment their features by being wider on the top and narrower at on the bottom like: cat eyesaviators or browline frames, that enhance definition of the eyebrows

  • Diamond

This face type is the rarest. The diamond face is wider and fuller in the middle, but has a more narrow chin and forehead, thus appearing like a diamond.  Diamond-shaped faces usually look best in frames that soften their angular features and draw attention to their facial features, like their eyes: Oval, cat-eye, browline or round.

  • Oval

Oval faces are the most common face type. They are considered to have balanced proportions so that most frame types will work well. An oval face looks longer due to the narrow forehead and chin and full cheekbones. Frames that are as wide as the broadest part of the face (usually the eyes) emphasize the natural balance and add angles to oval face’s subtle curves: square, rectangle, geometric and browline shapes 

  • Square

These individuals have equally wide forehead, cheekbones and jawline so it gives the appearance of the face having equal and straight sides. These face types usually do well with thinner, rounded or oval-shaped frames which will help to soften their facial angles.

2) Eye Color:

Frame colors can enhance eye color so choosing frames that bring out your eye color helps in the color selection.

3) Hair Color:

Your hair color may play a role in the best frame color for you. Individuals often choose eyewear to match the shade of their hair or sometimes to contrast with it.

4) Skin Tone: 

When selecting eyewear, it helps to select colors that will enhance your skin tone.  Just like with clothes, the wrong colored eyewear can make your skin tone look gaunt or pale instead of vibrant.

Skin tone or complexion falls into three main undertones:

  • Warm: yellow, peachy, bronze and golden undertones
  • Cool: red and pink with bluish undertones
  • Neutral: olive or a balanced mix of the shades above

WARM SKIN TONES:  It is usually best to avoid frames in pastel or cool colors and look for warmer colors such as:

  • Light tortoise shells
  • Browns
  • Golds or honey
  • Beige
  • Olive greens
  • Warm reds

COOL SKIN TONES: It is usually best to look for cool, wintery colors, pinks and even black frames:

  • Silvers or grays
  • Blues
  • Pinks or mauves
  • Purples
  • Dark tortoise shells

NEUTRAL SKIN TONES: For neutral skin tones, just about any color frames work well. However for olive skin tones, avoid cool greens and consider true royal colors like:

  • Deep Reds
  • Warm Greens
  • Royal Blues
  • Purples
  • Chocolate Browns
  • Magentas
  • Golds or honey
  • Creamy Whites


These considerations can make or break the fit and visual function of your glasses and are VERY IMPORTANT:

5) Bridge of the Nose and Forehead:

The height of the bridge of the nose and forehead should be considered when selecting eyewear.  If a frame sits too close to the face, once the prescription lenses are put in, the glasses will touch the cheeks or eyebrows causing fogging and soiling of the lenses.  Universal plastic bridges or nosepads are best for flatter nose bridges to avoid these issues.

6) Pantoscopic Tilt:

Prescription lenses are cut to specifically accommodate frames with pantoscopic tilt (fitting farther from the forehead and closer to the cheeks) to create optimal optics and clarity.  Some frames naturally sit on a person's bridge in a retroscopic tilt (farther from the cheeks and closer to the forehead) and should be avoided.  If frame adjustments can be made to create enough pantoscopic tilt than the frame will be acceptable, but this needs to be done by a skilled optician before the frames are sent to the lab.

7) Prescription Strength and Type of Lenses:

Knowledge of the type and strength of the prescription and how that will affect the fit of a frame is crucial in choosing a frame.  For example, patients with high minus prescriptions need to consider how the glasses will look since the edges of the lenses will be thicker and will show.  Higher presriptions will have thinner edges and will be lighter in smaller frames.  Also our knowledgeable opticians know what special lens types and edge treatments will make the lens edges appear thinner.  In contrast, higher plus prescriptions will be thickest in the middle with thin edges, enlarging the eyes.  Again, smaller frames and special materials and lens designs work the best to reduce the center thickness of these types of prescription glasses.  Progressive lens wearers need frames with a specific fit and depth in order for the patient to see properly. There are many more considerations that need to be made and our trained opticians will help you select the best frames for your prescription.

Above all else, you should pick a frame that you LOVE best. There may be additional factors to consider when choosing the right frame for you, but the most important factor is your overall happiness and comfort!

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