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How to Choose the Right Frames for Your Face and Skin Tone

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Your new eyeglasses are so much more than utilitarian. Of course, they make your vision crystal clear, but they’re also a fashionable expression of your style and personality. Dr. Tanya Lau and the team at Mission Viejo Optometric Center, in Mission Viejo, California, want to help you see better and feel confident in your new glasses. Here’s how to choose the right frames for your face and skin tone.

Skin tone sets the stage for fashionable frames

You may think the shape of your face is the most important factor when selecting new eyeglass frames — and it is an important one — but, skin tone is just as influential when choosing frames that complement your features. Basically, everyone’s skin tone, or complexion, falls into three categories:

  • Warm: yellow, bronze, peach, or golden undertones
  • Cool: pink or blue undertones
  • Neutral: a mix of pink and gold undertones

When selecting new frames, it helps to know your skin tone. Warm skin tones work best with frames in warmer color families, such as:

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

If you have a warm skin tone, think of fall colors when selecting new frames. Stay away from pastel colors and white frames that are too cool for your face.

On the other hand, think of wintery colors with cool skin tones:

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

Black frames work well for cool skin tones, too. The idea is that you want to choose frame colors that complement the color of your face, rather than make you look washed out or ruddy.

If you have a more neutral skin tone, just about any color frames work well. In this case, place more emphasis on your face shape when selecting frames.

How face shape factors in

The shape of your face works the opposite as skin tones when choosing new frames. For example, if your face is round, choose more angular frames for better balance. Round frames on a round face just accentuate all that roundness.

The same is true for oval and angular face shapes. If you add oval frames to an oval face, you’re not balancing your features as well as if you choose more geometric styles. Follow these guidelines to choose frames that fit your face shape best:

Oval face

You have balanced facial proportions, so look for frames that are as wide as or wider than the broadest part of your face. Avoid frames that are too narrow or too deep so your glasses don’t throw off your natural symmetry.

Round face

Your face is about the same wide and long, with curved lines and no angles. To make your face appear longer and thinner, select angular frames or frames that are slightly wider than they are deep. Avoid rimless, round and small frames that accentuate the roundness of your face.

Diamond face

You have a narrower forehead and jawline, and high, dramatic cheekbones. Draw attention to your eyes and soften your cheekbones with rimless frames or a cat-eye frame shape. You might also look for frames with a more distinct browline or added detailing. Avoid boxy, narrow frames that overpower delicate features.

Square face

You have a strong jawline and broad forehead, about the same width and length for equal proportions. Soften your angles and make your face look longer with narrow frames. Choose glasses that are wider than they are deep, or narrow ovals for added balance. Avoid angular, boxy frames that can make your face appear bulky.

Heart-shaped face

Your face is wider at the top and middle but narrow at the chin — like a heart. To create a more balanced appearance for the lower half of your face, choose frames that are wider or heavier at the bottom. Rimless frames or thin ones are good choices, too. Avoid frames with a heavier browline or decorative temples that draw more attention to your forehead.

When you take skin tone and face shape into consideration, you can choose glasses that perfectly complement your features. Eye and hair color factor in as well, but consider those second, especially if you frequently change your hair color.

Your glasses should fit your lifestyle and personality, too. It’s a great idea to select more than one pair so you have options such as more formal frames for work or special occasions, and a fun every-day pair to express your creative side.

Ultimately, we want you to love your new glasses, and we’re here to help you select everything from frame color to lens coatings to comfort. And, trying them on in person helps you find just the right ones. Contact Mission Viejo Optometric Center today.


Written by Dr. Tanya Lau

Dr. Tanya Lau of Mission Viejo Optometric Center in Mission Viejo, California was born and raised in San Francisco and has been living in Southern California since 2012. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and double majored in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and Psychology. She earned her doctorate in optometry at the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum in 2016. She completed her professional internships at Lawton Indian Health Hospital in Oklahoma, Palo Alto Veteran Affairs in California, and Camp Zama United States Armed Forces in Japan.
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