Glasses over the years have become a statement of personal style, and makeup is an ever more important part of achieving that. This post discusses what makeup to wear with glasses. Topics include glass frame color and makeup considerations, eye makeup, face makeup, and makeup looks for glasses.
I have also included 2 of my video tutorials at the end of this post on under eye concealer and tightlining application that may be a helpful adjunct to this.
What Makeup To Wear With Glasses
I have worn glasses since the 6th grade. Much to my chagrin, I was one of the first of my gaggle of friends to receive what I considered to be a four-eyed scarlet letter.
Back then I never would have imagined the cultural shift in perspective toward glasses. I also never would have imagined that most of my current over-50 gaggle would eventually join me as glasses wearers. At some unknown point in time, glasses emerged as the penultimate facial accessory. I call it “glasses couture”.
How and what makeup to wear with glasses is an important part of that.
Makeup for Glasses Wearers
My makeup with glasses philosophy is this: makeup is makeup. Lipstick still goes on the lips and eyeliner on the eyes.
What is different are the considerations we need to make on the effects glasses have on the face.
Glasses cast shadows, eyes appear different behind frames and lenses, the color of the frames changes skin tone, and many more things. The makeup we wear with glasses may need to compensate for these effects. The net result is potentially prioritizing our makeup a little differently than we would otherwise.
Additionally, successful makeup with glasses application contributes to our style and our public pronouncement of who we are to the world. Makeup serves as an accessory to help accomplish this.
To tackle this topic, I have highlighted 5 tips or things to consider when doing your own makeup with your own glasses. These tips are fully customizable and merely provide awareness of what can be changed and why.
To clearly illustrate, I used photos of myself with different glasses types, colors, and in various states of makeup undress. My hope is that you will be able to more clearly envision makeup cause and effect and its many possibilities. At the end of the day, it’s simply all about having fun with it!
5 Tips for What Makeup to Wear With Glasses
To begin, below are 3 photos with 3 different glasses styles and colors that serve as our makeup starting point. My face is a “tabula rasa” or blank slate. The only makeup I am wearing is a little tinted sunscreen.
#1 Glasses Frames Considerations
Frames are a very important consideration. I have written a bit about Luminance Contrast diminishing as we age. To sum up, it is the contrast of colors on our faces that universally fades for each of us over the passage of time. The color of the frames of our glasses can either contribute to that color diminishment or conversely contribute to adding color.
And, of course, makeup is also a key component to colorizing our faces. Here are some frames rules of the road to keep in mind:
- Warmer-toned frames lend themselves to warmer-toned foundation
- A bold eyeliner or lipstick will pair well with a bold larger or darker frame
- Metal or more delicate frames may be more suited to more delicate and finer makeup application
- Think about using complementary makeup colors relative to a glasses frame color
#2 Brows and Lips Transform A Face With Glasses
“Doing” eyebrows transform a face. And, doing lips in conjunction with brows adds balance to the face. This “rule” is very true as well for glasses wearers.
Take a look below at the transformation in the example below. The only changes in these photos compared to the “tabula rasa” photos above are makeup to the brows and lips. The added colors change my skin tone. It even looks like I have added makeup to my skin.
As a side note, I chose pink lipstick (the same pink color in all 3 photos) because pink is not just flattering on me or my glasses. It looks good on pretty much all skin tones and glasses colors.
#3 Under Eye Color Corrector and Glasses
Lenses and frames will naturally create shadows on the eyes. This shadowing can be even deeper for those who have glasses with blue light reflective coating (note the tortoiseshell glasses have the blue light coating on them). To solve for this, an undereye color corrector is key.
A color corrector neutralizes dark or red areas of the under eyes. Typically, green will be used to counteract red, and orange for blue or dark tones. Instead, consider using a yellow-toned corrector that dials up the brightness a notch to compensate for the glasses’ shadows.
See my post here that discusses undereye concealers and the best way to apply them. Also worth a watch is my short under eye concealer video at the end of this post.
Below are before and after shots. The only difference between the 2 photos is that my face in both right-sided photos has a yellow under eye color corrector and a warmer-toned very sheer tinted moisturizer applied.
Can you tell a difference in skin coloring and the look of the under eyes in the photos on the right? It’s a result of both the frame color and the makeup.
If you want to try this, here are a few good color correction products to consider:
The tinted moisturizer I used is a very unique product:
#4 Eye Makeup With Glasses
No matter the size, color, or shape of the glasses and frames, the eyes will end up behind lenses and surrounded by colored or metal frames. In most instances, the look of the eye will be skewed. The result is either a more difficult-to-see eye or an eye that is magnified.
The problem to solve is how to enhance our eyes so they don’t get lost or overplayed.
Unsurprisingly, the 3 makeup components to do this are eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara.
Eyeliner with Glasses
Emphasizing the eyes begins with defining them with eyeliner. Arguably, eyeliner may even be more important than eyeshadow.
For those of you who have hooded or mature eyes, read all about what they are and the best eyeliner including a technique called tightlining here. At the end of this post is a short video tutorial demonstrating the approach.
Hooded or not, tightlining will create a fuller look to the lashes and can make a big difference.
In addition to tightlining and for those of you who have more room on the eyelid, you can go thicker with the eyeliner on the top of the lid. As you consider how bold you want to go, a basic tenet is that heavier eye makeup will typically look less heavy once the glasses are on.
Take a look at this example below:
Eyeshadow with Glasses
Given the fact that lenses and frames will typically make the eyes a little more difficult to see, consider keeping the eyeshadow simple. A single eyeshadow color (as opposed to multiple colors) offers what the eye needs most: dimension.
A single eyeshadow can provide versatility as deepening or lightening the color instantly transforms the look from natural to more dramatic.
Eye Makeup Looks
In the pictures below, I first applied an eyeshadow primer for eyeliner and eyeshadow staying power. I then applied a single go-with-everything color over the entire lid. The color was then blended upward to the crease and beyond. I then placed a light eyeshadow in the inner corner of each eye to brighten the look.
The eyeliner is tightlined with an emphasis on the outer half of the upper and lower lids which provides definition. While hard to see, I used a charcoal color on the top lashes and a goldish brown on the bottom lashes. The lighter color on the bottom lashes serves to keep my eyes defined but light and open.
Both photos below depict a more dramatic makeup look. The difference simply is the intensity of that single eyeshadow color that I blended with a brush up to the crease. I also changed the lip to a deeper red color.
The color and the larger heavier shape of the frames on the right could potentially handle an even bolder eye.
Below is a link to the crème eyeshadow that I am wearing. It is made by a woman-owned UK brand called Trinny London. Creamy and easy to apply with either a finger or a brush, it’s available in a multitude of colors. Perfect for mature eyes, the very versatile color I am wearing is called Wisdom. It can be worn with warm or cool colors.
Mascara with Glasses
Last but not least it pays to curl your lashes and apply mascara. The curl to the lashes will give your eyes a very open look which again defines and accentuates the eyes. The holiest of grails of all eyelash curlers is this one:
#5 Eyeglass Slippage
This has less to do with a makeup technique and rather more to do with ensuring that all your hard-earned makeup techniques pay off.
Foundation with slip and poorly fitting frames can result in glasses that irritatingly move down our noses. My recommendations are to:
- Powder the area where the glasses sit on the nose to prevent movement
- Routinely adjust and tighten the glasses so they sit tighter on the face, as glasses loosen quickly
I am guilty of not always doing the latter but it makes a difference in how and if you are seen.
This post discussed what makeup to wear with glasses and 5 customizable tips to consider. Topics included glass frame considerations, face makeup and face makeup looks. Tutorials are below.
Please let me know if this has helped you with your makeup with glasses game.
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