5 Transformative Makeup Tips For Glasses Wearers

Among the carefully curated looks that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to appear in court during a civil trial in March of this year, her gold Caddis aviator glasses were possibly the most talked about–and coveted. The Goop founder is far from the only famous fan of statement frames: Jennifer Aniston is regularly snapped in her specs, while Jennifer Lopez stepped out this week in LA wearing geek-chic thick glasses. Given 64 percent of adults in the United States wear prescription glasses, it’s helpful to know how to adjust your makeup application when wearing frames. Read on for Vogue’s top tips.

Rethink your eyeshadow

Not just a sartorial statement, wearing glasses ensures your eyes become a focal point. “When your eyes are magnified, the main thing is that your makeup skills are very much more on show,” points out celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge. “So you have to be extra careful that everything is applied beautifully and looks really well blended.” Deft application aside, you might also need to think carefully about how the shape and size of your eyes will appear through your lenses. “If you’re far-sighted, your glasses are going to magnify your eyes and make them look bigger,” says Eldridge. And if you’re near-sighted? The opposite is true. “Your glasses will make your eyes appear smaller and you might want to apply eye makeup that makes your eyes appear bigger.” If that is the case, opt for a light, flesh-toned or white pencil along the waterline to open up the eyes and make them look bigger. “Avoid black lines along the waterline or anything that closes the eye, especially with the shadow that the lenses cast,” suggests Eldridge.

Less is more for lashes

It may sound like a nice problem to have, but too-long lashes that constantly hit your lenses can be annoying. Steer clear of any super lengthening formulas and instead choose one with a brush specifically designed for fanning the lashes out horizontally. Curling your lashes properly before you apply your mascara is also a good idea as the curve will help steer the hairs upwards, as opposed to straight out. The type of formulation you go for is also important. “When your eyes are magnified, you’ll want to opt for a mascara that really separates your lashes, as every clump will be on show,” adds Eldridge. If you want to skip the mascara altogether on your top lashes, dial up the smaller, finer hairs on your lower lash line instead. It’ll give you a pretty, wide-eyed effect, and paired with some black liner smudged into the upper lash line will give the illusion of layered lashes.

Opt for precision powdering

If you wear glasses all day or for long stretches, you’ll be familiar with the tell-tale patches that appear underneath your frames where your foundation has worn thin. “The main complaint I hear is that people experience ridges across their nose and dents in the foundation where it comes off,” agrees Eldridge. “The first thing I suggest is not to put too much foundation on your nose. If you’re wearing thick layers of foundation, where the glasses are resting on your nose it naturally will make indentation marks.” If you still need coverage, follow her lead and use pinpoint concealer coverage around the area where your glasses rest, then go in and dab only the residue from your brush onto where your glasses sit.

If you don’t want to forgo foundation, you need to make sure it has plenty of staying power. For that you’ll need to sandwich a good foundation, like Lisa Eldridge’s Seamless Skin Foundation, between a primer and a setting spray, allowing time between each step for each to settle on to the skin. L’Oréal Paris’s Up to 24hr Matte Primer is a good option, as it eliminates shine that tends to peep through in that area, while Milk’s Hydro Grip Makeup Setting Spray keeps things looking fresh while ensuring makeup remains firmly in place.

Make your lips a focal point

If exciting eye makeup feels too daunting, switch focus and add some drama to your lips instead. “You can’t go wrong with a beautiful velvety, bold lip,” agrees Eldridge. “To keep the look fresh and cool, keep the rest of your makeup pared back and team with a pearly wash of color on the eye.” Eldridge’s own lipstick collection is a great starting point for statement lips. To finish, ensure your brows are brushed up and filled in if needed: Groomed brows and bold lips act as bookends and will add subtle structure to your face with minimal effort needed around your eyes.

Careful blusher placement is key

Unless you want to go big on blush, what you apply to your cheeks is more of a supporting act, albeit an important one. Depending on where your frames sit on your face, your regular placement of bush may be hidden and therefore redundant, so pay attention to placement. If your frames are on the smaller side and rest on the orbital bone, you can be fairly traditional about your application and apply it to the apples of your cheeks for a soft flush. If your frames are more oversized and cut into this area, go for something more structural. “Brush it on in a big, soft ‘C’ shape, starting on your cheekbones and sweeping up to your temples,” adds Eldridge. Because movement can be an issue with glasses, powder formulas often work better. If you prefer a cream formula, mist it with a setting spray after application to ensure it doesn’t rub off too easily.

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