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Choosing sunglasses for face shapes is the best way to go, as this ensures a complementary look and healthier eyes. Yes, the right sunglasses protect your eyes from more than just a glare! Better sunglasses protect your eyes from certain UV rays. Many of them will provide that, and sunglasses have year-round appeal and use.
However, as with all things aesthetically related, it is better to pick a style that will complement your natural features rather than something that just looks good alone. This is especially true when you want to make a run incognito with little or no makeup, but still want to make sure you look fabulous. Sunglasses are that mask that you can slip on in a pinch.
The first step in choosing the right sunglasses for face shapes is to figure out your face shape. There is a total of 7 different face shapes, though some people can have a blend of more than one.
Each face shape can be complemented by a certain style of sunglasses frames, and there are even a few that you can avoid. The ideal end result is to always be stylishly complemented by your accessories. Sunglasses have always created a cool and glamorous look, and the fashion tips presented below on how to choose the best sunglasses for face shapes will help you always slay with your shades!
Your Guide to Choosing the Best Sunglasses for Face Shapes: Contents
- Tips to Keep in Mind While Picking the Best Sunglasses Frames
- How to Figure out Your Face Shape
- Best Sunglasses for Round Faces
- Best Sunglasses for Heart Shaped Faces (Upside Down Triangle Faces)
- Best Sunglasses for Triangular Faces
- Best Sunglasses for Square Faces
- Best Sunglasses for Oblong Faces and Rectangular Faces
- Best Sunglasses for Oval Faces
- Best Sunglasses for Diamond Faces
- Types of Sunglasses Frames
- Choosing the Right Sunglasses Frame Size and Color
- Choosing the Right Lenses
Step 1: Learn Your Face Shape
You can do this by tracing the outline of your face or measuring your features. We’ll go further in depth on finding your face shape to pick the right sunglasses.
Step 2: Work With the Right Types of Contrast
Choose a frame shape that optimally contrasts the shape of your face. For angular faces, go with rounder frames, and vice versa.
Step 3: Keep Proportions in Mind
Keep your frames size proportionate to your face to avoid looking like a dragonfly. The oversized sunglasses trend can easily overwhelm some faces, so try, try and try on frames!
Step 4: Choose Complementary Colors
Be conscious of what looks best against your skin tone. Black works for everyone and is great for outlining eyes when the lenses are not opaque. Clear and invisible frames work equally well on different skin tones, but color can bring out or clash with your undertones if you are not careful. Be conscious of your colors.
The easiest way to find your face shape is to trace it. You will need two different colored markers. You can pull your hair back and take a picture, one relaxed and the other with a wide, bright smile.
Next take a marker and trace the shape of your face in both pictures. The combination of the two outlines will tell you what your face shape is, and if you have two, you will know that as well, and congratulations! You can rock more than one type of frames.
If you like you can also pull your hair back, take a dry erase marker and trace the shape of your face in the mirror. Remember to keep your face relaxed when you look in the mirror, and then outline your face (do not include your ears in the outline) with one of the marker colors. Smile very widely and trace your face over the first outline with the other color (not your ears) without dropping your smile.
• Round faces have features that include fuller cheeks, a full chin and forehead.
• Heart shaped faces (upside down triangle faces) have features that include a wider forehead, high, angled cheekbones and a pointed chin.
• Triangular faces typically have narrow foreheads, but a wide, angular jaw.
• Square faces are equally balanced with wide foreheads and strong wide chins.
• Rectangular faces have the same strong wide foreheads and chins, but have a longer face.
• Oblong faces are rounded and proportionate, but longer than they are wide. Typically Oblong faces have high cheekbones.
• Oval faces are rounded and proportional, similar to oblong faces, but with a more angular-shaped chin.
If you are more math minded, you can find the results you want by measuring the dimensions of your features. Make sure to write these down!
You’ll need a measuring tape (or a ruler and string) and a notepad and pen. If using a ruler and string, you’ll measure your dimensions with the string, then find the length of the string with your ruler. So, what and where on your face are you measuring, exactly?
• Measure the length of your face, from the center of your hairline straight down the center to the bottom of your chin.
• Measure the width of your forehead. Keep the measurements centered between your eyebrows and the top of your hairline, and measure from the left to the right starting at your hairline.
• Measure from one cheekbone to the other, right beneath your eyes.
• Measure your jaw line from one end to the other. You can find the end of your jawline beneath your ears. Do not measure under your chin, but go straight across.
Draw your dimensions out on a piece of paper and connect the ends to see your face shape!
Is Your Face Angular or Soft?
Take a look at the outline you have drawn. If your face is more angular, then it is square, rectangular, upside down triangular or triangular. However, some ovals also fall into that category thanks to their pointed jaws.
Softer faces are round, oblong and oval without angular chins. This information can make the difference in choosing your sunglass frames as well.
The shape of your face is usually complemented most by the opposite of your face. So, softer, curvier faces look best with angular sunglasses. Angular faces with harder edges look best with curvy styled sunglasses.
Best Frames by Face Shape
The best sunglass frames for your face shape will accentuate what features you like and help balance out your features in whatever way is most appealing to you. A stunning set of frames will set off any and every look, but knowing how to choose sunglasses for your face shape means that every set will be a stunning set.
If you are an adventurous sort, sunglasses are always a punchy accessory that you can ramp up or ramp down as necessary. The idea is to juxtapose features of the frames with the features of your face. They should complement but not overpower each other. It is, however, entirely up to your personal preferences on what you wear. If you would like to enhance the shape of your face, mirror that shape in your frames.
Additionally, pay attention to the size of the frames as well. So below are the best frame options for each type of face and why they will work. With all of these frames, make certain the shapes created by the frames land well on your face.
You can adjust the fit by the nose guard and with the placement of the arms over the ears. If you have a combination of face shapes, keep testing sunglasses to find what you like best.
The characterization of round faces being cherubic and sweet, in most cases the greatest complaint someone with a round face will have is the lack of angles. People with round faces often contour to create lines and faux cheekbones, but this can be done with the right sunglass frames.
Angular and squarer type frames can really make a huge difference. You want the frames to add definition to your face, not accentuate the softness.
Try frames that have an asymmetric shape if you’re feeling adventurous. Aviator sunglasses, rectangles, cat eyes, square, wrap or shield styled and wayfarer sunglasses will work well for round faces.
Stay away from small frames, round frames, oval frames, oversized shades and anything that will make a round face look rounder.
Celebrity examples of round faces are Mila Kunis, and Tatyana Ali.
Heart shaped faces should avoid frames that are just large, as they will add to the wideness at the top of the face. Instead you need sunglasses that will add width to the chin, balancing out the triangular form of your face.
Angular, interestingly shaped sunglasses are perfect for heart shaped faces. Try cat eye shaped frames or even rimless sunglasses for a great look. Sunglasses with intricate designs and embellishments also look great on heart shaped faces.
The interestingly shaped aviator style sunglasses work beautifully on heart shaped faces, as they emphasize the shape, without doing too much.
Celebrity examples of a heart face shape include Scarlett Johansson.
Triangular faces can be easily rebalanced with frames that give the top of the face a heavier appearance. This will rebalance the dimensions and proportions of the face.
Oversized sunglasses, aviator shades and cat eye shaped sunglasses can look fantastic on this face shape.
Avoid smaller frames for this face shape.
Celebrity examples of this face shape include Tyra Banks, and Victoria Beckham.
The definitive angles of a square face can be balanced out beautifully with a rounded set of frames, and more horizontal styles. Really obvious curves to the edges of the frames will balance out the shape of the face beautifully.
Make certain that the small sunglasses are also a bad idea for square faces. Make sure that the tops of the sunglasses frames rest higher than the bridge of your nose. The goal is to lengthen the face and add a bit of shape.
Round, oval, cat eye and retro styled frames will look great for square faces.
Avoid anything that looks boxy; you want curves, not sharp angles, so no square or rectangle style sunglasses.
Celebrity examples are Jessica Simpson, and Rosario Dawson.
Oblong faces can pull off sunglasses that add volume to the face very similarly to how those with rectangle shaped faces can. The round-rim sunglasses are popular for this face shape for that reason, as the fullness adds to their face shape.
Rounder and larger frames tend to shorten the face, which is why they look so good on both rectangular and oblong face shapes. Embellishments on the upper part of the frames look great on both of these face shapes as well.
Avoid wearing super small frames, as they will make your face look longer.
Celebrity examples are Rihanna, and Liv Tyler.
Oval faces usually have their pick of any shape of sunglasses, but there is a difference in opinion for wearing oversized sunglasses. They can look amazing or terrible, but most people feel that oversized sunglasses look amazing with swooped bridges and good shapes.
The goal is to wear balanced sunglasses that mimic the balance on your face. Oval faces are actually best matched with frames that accentuate your eyes.
Oval face shapes should consider avoiding oversized sunglasses, aviators and other shades that feature a top that shows off a straight line, instead giving preference to round, square, rectangle and wayfarer sunglasses.
A celebrity example of this face shape is Eva Mendes.
Many people with diamond shaped faces do have a combination with other face shapes so it is key to try on sunglasses whenever you can.
Soft curved frames that are wider at the top help to balance out the features on a diamond shaped face. Wraparounds and larger square-shaped aviators are also good options.
Cat eye sunglasses with embellishments on the brow work beautifully on diamond shaped faces. Oval frames will also work well.
Celebrity examples with a diamond face shape are Shakira, and Reese Witherspoon.
Choosing the shape of your sunglasses is one thing, but the shape is often dictated by the frames. Choosing the right frames can mean taking into account the thickness, shape, color and any embellishments on the frames.
Your face shape should be complemented by the shape of your sunglasses. The sunglasses you purchase can be a great way to make the shape of your face look different.
There are three different main types of sunglasses frames you can choose from to complement your natural features.
Full Rim Sunglasses
Sunglasses with full rims can accentuate or enhance your facial features best. Full rim sunglasses pull the attention to the shape of the sunglasses on your face. You can readjust how your face appears without bothering with contouring.
Full rims also offer the most stable embellishments. Embellishments can also help pull attention to one portion or another of your face.
The tops of the frames, temples or even the entirety of the frames on full rim sunglasses can draw the eye and help balance out the shape of a more angular face like triangles and diamond shaped faces.
Semi-rimless sunglasses have frames that draw the attention to the upper portions of the face. If you want to accentuate the brow line, then semi rimless sunglasses are the right choice for any face shape looking to accentuate the upper portions of the face, like triangle face shapes.
These types of frames not only accentuate the brow bone, but also they can come in more subtle styles and designs and retro styles as well. In some cases, the bottom of the frames appears invisible due to low-profile options like thin metal, no bottom or thin wire to support the bottom of the lenses.
Rimless sunglasses, like rimless eyeglass frames are designed to look invisible with clear lenses and those with a slight tint. The sunglass lenses are usually held on the bridge and arms with screws, and in some cases, they have an invisible stretchy cod that is wrapped around the lenses as well. The aesthetic is sleek and interesting.
In these cases, the lenses are especially important, and the choice of lens shape is important as well, but these look good on a lot of face shapes. Just remember to try them on to make certain that they look flattering and feel comfortable on.
General Sunglasses Types
Shopping for sunglasses can be easier when you know the type of frames you want. To further assist you in your search, here are the most popular types of frames that can be found and even purchased online. While many may differ slightly in color, the shapes these sunglasses define are more consistent and reliable, making them easy to shop for once you know that they work for you.
Aviators are one of the most popular and easily recognized sunglasses with their typically reflective lenses, distinctive shape and lightweight frames. They rose to popularity with pilots and movies and shows like Top Gun and Hawaii Five-0.
Aviator sunglasses are cool, no doubt about it, with teardrop shapes and typically metal frames. Aviators look fantastic on heart shaped faces.
Butterfly sunglasses are oversized most often and can feature details on the temples. These sunglasses are great for fashionably protecting eyes from as many angles as possible.
They are also great for the times when you want to go incognito as they cover a good portion of the face. Be careful not to choose a set that will overpower your face.
Rectangle frames are clearly wider than they are tall in most cases, but there are straight and angular rectangle frames. Rectangle frames have a lengthening effect on faces, so they are ideal for rounder faces and shorter faces.
Round sunglasses were created in the ‘40s and were very popular for the time. Round shades are often found in several different frame styles from semi rimless to brow line and they frequently find resurgence in popularity every few years.
Round sunglasses look excellent on square, rectangular and triangle shaped faces.
Square shaped frames, which are great for round faces, oblong faces and narrow faces, are usually oversized. They provide excellent protection for eyes and a bevy of style options. They do come in smaller frames as well, but are typically a more rounded square rather than featuring right angles.
Shield sunglasses feature one large lens and protect the nose with a sculpted cushion. These are typically well tinted but not completely opaque. Shield sunglasses protect the eyes from all angles.
These are classic frame shapes that have been popular since the ‘50s. Wayfarers are fantastic, accenting and complementing almost every face shape beautifully. They are versatile and timeless with easy-to-update stylistic changes like color and embellishments.
A great example of wayfarers is the sunglasses worn by the Blues Brothers. Wayfarer frames work beautifully on rounder faces.
Wrap sunglasses rose to popularity with athletes thanks to the aerodynamic attributes and lightweight frames that they possess. These are almost always seen on volleyball players and anyone who does winter sports or track and field.
Wraps are not always full-framed, but they do typically cover most of eyes, shielding them from all directions. The arms are secured with spring-loaded temples for security and durability.
Size, even for oversized sunglasses is very important. Just the slightest bit out of proportion and the sunglasses won’t be flattering.
Even with oversized frames your eyebrows should always be visible above your sunglasses so that your facial expressions are never fully obscured. You wouldn’t buy clothes or shoes that are the wrong size because they would be uncomfortable and unflattering, so you shouldn’t purchase glasses that do not fit your face either.
Your best bet with sunglasses is to make certain they match up with your temples and don’t slide off your face when you smile.
It might sound weird, but the right shade of the frames for your sunglasses can also make or break your look as far as face shapes are concerned. Make sure to follow these rules while picking the right frame colors for your face shape:
• Too dark and too light frame colors will not flatter round faces, but instead you should consider getting more neutral colors, like olive, brown, or wooden frames. Touches of bright colors and eye-catching prints and embellishments can appear on the brow line, which will nicely balance out the roundness of your face shape.
• Those with a square face shape have a wide range of frame colors to choose from, as practically any shade will look good on this face shape. Simply pick the color of your frame based off of your hair color and skin tone, and you are good to go.
• Translucent frames, deep blue and grey frames are perfect for those with oval faces, though this is the ideal face shape for experimenting with practically any hue and embellishment.
• Those with oblong faces can also have fun with a big array of frame colors, particularly brighter options, as well as cute embellishments that don’t visually elongate the face even more.
• To give a touch of heaviness to the bottom of the heart-shaped face, consider getting ombre frames that are lighter on the top and darker on the bottom. Generally metallic frames and delicate, lighter colors for plastic frames will work well for this face shape.
• Frames that feature catchy colors and embellishments on the top are amazing options for diamond face shapes, while universally flattering monochrome bright purple and red shades will also brighten up your look.
• Finally those with triangle faces should opt for darker frame colors, and they can also have fun with bold embellishments that add weight to the upper part of the face.
Don’t forget that choosing the right sunglasses also involves picking the right lenses as well. Always make sure to refrain from purchasing sunglasses that don’t provide any information on UV protection, as you always want to invest in shades that provide at least 99% of UVB and 95% of UVA protection.
Reflective lenses on certain frames have a tendency to look bug-eyed on the wrong face shapes.
Varying levels of opacity and gradients can come in several tints on the lenses, and matching the colors of the lenses to your skin tone as well as your outfit is more ideal. There is one more thing to consider: how the lenses will affect your sight.
Most lenses come in shades of black and gray, but there are also pastels, neons, browns, yellows and oranges, ambers and reds and gradients that combine more than one.
• Neutral colors of lenses are gray, brown and green. These lenses would not distort any of what you are seeing, just shading them a bit darker. Greens are good for any weather conditions. As neutral colors, these lenses look good on cooler complexions as well. Greys, blacks and greens work in nearly every weather condition, making them the ideal option for anyone and everyone to keep on hand.
• Mirror coatings are very popular and can even be a benefit to glaucoma patients – mirror-coated lenses can come in any color without actually distorting what you see. If you want to test out a color, any color, but not face the distortion that can come with lenses of that shade, go with a mirror coating in the color of your choice. That is the best way to get everything you want with no drawbacks.
• Reds will increase the contrast of everything you see, but will also distort the colors and shadows that you see greater than any other lens color. These also look good against warmer complexions.
• Reds and purples, however, are good for misty days and snowy conditions. These are best for sunny and overcast days. Purple lenses look better on cooler skin tones as well.
• Orange, yellow and amber colored lenses will increase contrast and are good for foggy and hazy days. These lenses also block out blue light. This is not necessarily a bonus, as blocking out blue light may even be harmful, but nothing has been proven to that effect as yet. Warmer complexions look best in these shades.
• Consider your primary use for sunglasses – is it fashion or necessity? If you are out on the water, pick rose-colored glasses, while for pilots, neutrals of brown, green and gray are recommended.
• For everyday driving, gray lenses and brown lenses with medium darkness are the most ideal, as they will not distort any of the colors or signs that indicate traffic or directions.
• For cooler undertones, gray, green, blue, rose and purple lenses are the best.
• Orange, amber, red, brown and yellow are the best lens colors for those with warm skin undertones.
Even when you find complementary frames, test out your options with the embellishments and lenses, the bridges and shapes that work for you. Pay attention to how the color of your sunglasses frames and lenses plays against your skin.
Think about the overall feel of your wardrobe and pick sunglasses that will complement several outfits.
Remember that there are always exceptions to the rules, and the best way to see what looks good on you is to try the sunglasses on. Take a picture and ask for opinions on Instagram or bystanders.
Make certain you like them, rather than purchasing because they are popular or on trend right now. They need to work beautifully on you. That’s the goal: fantastic eye protection with these practical accessories.
Photos via Instagram