Confession: I’m as blind as a bat.
For years, I wore glasses. Then, I gave up on them entirely and switched to contacts. The primary reason?
When a woman with a round face and small features wears glasses, all you see are the glasses. At least, that’s all I ever saw.
If you prefer to be be-spectacled (and with the myriad of cute frames on the market, I can understand why), here are some makeup tips from Bobbi Brown to help set you apart.
For your look, Bobbi advises wearing less eye makeup since glasses all ready draw attention to your eyes. She also emphasizes the importance of corrective concealer for the under-eye area. If you’re looking for a good concealer, Bobbie’s two-step system is great. The corrector is pink-hued and the concealer has yellow tones, so it really neutralizes darkness. If that’s out of your price range, try Benefit Boing.
Bobbi also emphasizes the importance of eyeliner. As a person who skipped out on eyeliner until three or four years ago, I can attest that it makes a BIG difference. I currently use Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner in Violet Ink. It’s dark enough to define, but not as severe as the black. The black is pretty strong, so unless you really need the dark, dark line, try the Violet Ink or the Black Mauve Shimmer.
Need help learning how to apply eyeliner with a brush (I use an angled eyebrow brush)? Check out Bobbi’s tips. I learned how to apply the product watching her on QVC. Who says the home shopping channels aren’t good for anything?
In addition to eyeliner, Bobbi insists that you need to define your brows. If you’ve never filled in your brows, trust me, it makes a huge difference. I used to use a brush and powder, but the ease and simplicity of the pencil is unchallenged, so I switched. Right now, I like Rimmel London’s simple pencil with built in brush in dark brown.
Bobbi also emphasizes the importance of wearing lipstick or at least lip color if you’re wearing glasses. Even if you choose a neutral shade, like the model, lipstick really completes the look.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a neutral eye shadow palette for Summer and Fall, Bobbi’s Tortoise Shell palette in Sand is perfect. Browns, nudes, and metallics in neutral hues. And if you’re looking for something bolder, she also has an eyeshadow palette in bronze colors with navy and earth tones for a warmer look. Both are $60 and contain eight shadows.
Wearing glasses can be sexy and chic, but you need to choose the right frames for you and do your makeup accordingly. Now, where can I find the tortoise shell frames that the model is wearing…
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Wow, thanks Belle! I have always viewed glasses as sort of an accessory for one's face (and I love accessories), but would constantly let my friends talk me out of wearing them out. Or when I had to, I erred on the side of more eye makeup in order to make it past the distraction of the glasses. I'm really glad that someone put out some tips for girls to prefer glasses, and I'll definitely have to give it a try!
amy b.s. says:
i so need to get on the eyeliner boat!
My grandpa always used to tell me “boys don't like lasses with glasses”. Thanks grandpa- a real self-esteem booster for the girl wearing glasses since age 9!
As a glasses wearer since second grade, I dislike the title of this post 🙁 Especially given that my boyfriend loves my glasses, and said they were part of why he fell for me. I think you're right that you have to fit for your face – but don't give you bespectacled readers the wrong impression – men do like women who wear glasses – Dorothy Parker be damned!
I love the BB gel eyeliner and I use those two shades as well! One BB saleslady said I should be using black (Asian, dark hair, brown eyes), and I said, are you out of your mind, it's way too severe for normal every day use.
Take a breath, hon. It was just an homage to Dorothy Parker, even though I think it's not true.
I'll be the first one to tell you that there are a lots of mine who LOVE glasses. I once wore mine to work because my eyes hurt, and a colleague at an association couldn't stop talking about them.
I'm not trying to give anyone the wrong impression, it's just a title.
Ugh, contacts are the devil. When I first got a pair when I was 21, it took me about an hour to put them in and out. Thus, I wore them maybe a week before going back to glasses.
Belle, is there a way of putting on eyeliner that doesn't make your eyes water? I can line the top part of my eye just fine, but the bottom waters even if I just think about lining them.
Anon (glasses-wearer) says:
I just want to offer my opinion that too much make-up with glasses makes you look like a porn star (naughty librarian?)…
Thanks for finally doing this post! Great tips! As someone who switched from contacts back to glasses (after 15 years), it was a hard adjustment to look in the mirror and see 'pretty' rather than 'sick' or 'sleepy'. Now I have 4 pairs & prescription sunglasses. I can finally see them as an accessory, like DB said.
I agree 100% with the eyebrows and lips suggestions — it makes a huge difference, even if the only other thing you have on is tinted moisturizer.
Another tip, although not necessarily makeup related, is to make sure to get lenses with the anti-reflective coating. People looking at you will be able to see through the lens, rather than a reflection or glare. Lesson I learned the hard way.
Please let us know if you find those frames (seriously). The eye doctor broke my tortoise shell frames and I haven't been able to find a fabulous replacement.
You guys should check out Spex club- they have stylish glasses that are really affordable (and unique).
I think it saw it in the NY Times? I don't remember, but its a cool idea. You can “try on” the glasses by uploading a picture of yourself.
My mom always wore glasses and refused to wear contacts. Her makeup routine was almost exactly what you describe above – concealer, eye liner, blush, lipstick. She swore by clinique under-eye concealer and estee lauder lipstick.
Now I alternate between wearing glasses and contacts, depending on what I'm doing at work that day (12 hours of looking at documents and computer screen = glasses, a day of meetings followed by drinks with friends after work = contacts). One concealer that I love whether wearing glasses or contacts is bare minerals well-rested for eyes.
I wear contacts most of the time but occasionally wear glasses just to switch up my look. I have a tortoiseshell pair similar to what the model is wearing – kind of a hipster-meets-“Mad Men ad exec”-meets-career girl:
I'm finding them listed as “men's frames” on some sites and “unisex” on others, but I have normal woman-sized features and they fit well. They definitely make a statement! And yes, they definitely look better with a little bit of concealer, eyeliner, mascara, and groomed brows.
Amelia Bedelia says:
Do you think defining the eyebrows is necessary if you have VERY strong eyebrows? I'm beginning to wonder if I am missing an important step, but mine are strong. They are a solid brown (I am pale) and very thick (think Brooke Shields thickness). I just maintain the arch, but don't thin them out. do I need makeup on them???
Rory- I never line the bottoms, so I can't help you there. I don't put mascara on the bottom either because it darkens my undereye circles.
Anon-No one is advocating wearing “too much” makeup, just the wearing of the right makeup.
Amelia- Even if you don't fill them in, I would invest in some clear brow styling gel to keep them looking tight.
Im pretty sure that if you're loving the frames, you should be talking to the gents and ladies up at Moscots in NYC. Their mangito lens has a lot of features the the Bobbi model's had, and their service is sublime
Definitely still important to at least touch up the brow, and you could probably get by with a shade a touch lighter than your natural brow. I am Russian with medium brown hair and quite the set of brows compliments of my father. My stylist calls my brows fuzzy caterpillers but still insists that i lightly pencil them for consistency. Maybe you don't need fill the whole brow, but lightly feathering them in makes a world of difference. I always brush my brows a little and set it with the teensiest bit of gel so they stay in place but don't make my brows look like they are shellacked and channeling the Backstreet Boy's hair of the 90's.
I recently crossed over to penciling my brows a few months ago and despite their natural thickness I am so amazed at how much of a difference they make. It took a couple of hours to get used to. My stylist recommended i wear my new brow look around the house a little bit and glance at the mirror every so often rather than give myself a staredown. It really helped ease me into wearing them.
PS- that model's brows- DEFINTELY penciled in.
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I am a HUGE fan of Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner. I switch between caviar and espresso. Wonderful colors without being too dark for me.