How to Pick the Perfect Sunglasses for Your Face Type

Sunglasses are more than a major summer accessory — they can be the best protection for our eyes from harmful radiation, reduce fatigue, and add harmony to our overall look. That is, of course, if we choose the right type that suits our faces. Sunglasses can also help disguise your face so no one can recognize you, just like they do for Superman.

We obviously can buy any sunglasses we want, even if they don’t “fit” our face shape. This article will serve as a guide if you are looking to buy your first pair and don’t know where to start. The most important thing is that you feel cute and confident while wearing them.

How to determine your face shape?

There are many ways you can tell whether you have an oval face, a round face, or any other shape, and we are here to make your life easier. Some people use a measurement tape but this hack is super simple and can be done with just lipstick and a mirror.

Take one of the following: a washable marker, lipstick, a piece of soap, or a pencil. Stand at arm’s length in front of a mirror. Trying not to let your hand stray, trace the outline of your face on the mirror’s surface, starting from your chin and ending with your hairline. Take a step back, and look at the resulting shape.

You can try this trick from many of your angles because sometimes it happens that we have a combination of different face shapes.

All face shapes are beautiful and sometimes we want to accentuate our natural beauty, If you want to visually lengthen your face choose glasses with dark frames. They narrow the face and bring its contours closer to an oval shape. To balance your facial proportions, it’s best to choose a frame where the width is greater than the height.

Best for round faces:

  • Pointed, rectangular, and square glasses
  • “Cat-eye” glasses
  • “Butterfly” glasses
  • Glasses with narrow bridges
  • “Aviators”
  • “Wayfarers”

Not suitable for round faces:

  • Round glasses
  • Narrow frames
  • Glasses with sharply defined edges
  • Geometrically shaped glasses
  • Glasses with colored lenses
  • Glasses that cover the eyebrows

Fun fact: Some celebrities that were born with beautiful round faces are Emma Stone, Kirsten Dunst, and Drew Barrymore.

Some people think that the oval face is the most balanced of them all, so in this case, the main goal is to not disturb your face’s harmonious proportions. Therefore, you should avoid glasses that look too massive. The frame should be as wide as your face, or a little wider. Make sure that the frame’s upper part is in line with your eyebrows.

Best for oval faces:

  • Glasses with smooth-lined frames: rectangular, oval, round
  • “Butterfly” glasses
  • “Aviators”
  • “Cat-eye” glasses

Not suitable for oval faces:

  • Glasses with sharply defined edges
  • Glasses that appear too massive
  • Glasses that look too wide
  • Narrow frames

Fun fact: Some celebrities that were born with a harmonious oval face are Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, and Rihanna.

Sharp-angled rectangular or square frames can “overload” your face’s outlines. Rounded frames will help to visually balance and soften overall facial proportions.

Best for square faces:

  • Large glasses
  • Glasses where the frame width equals the width of your face
  • Glasses with colored frames
  • Glasses with oval, round, or teardrop-shaped frames
  • Frameless glasses
  • “Cat-eye” glasses
  • “Aviators”

Not suitable for square faces:

  • Square frames with sharp corners
  • Small, narrow, and petite frames
  • Glasses where the frame is wider than your face

Fun fact: Some celebrities that were born with a sexy square face are Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightly, and Zoe Kravitz.

It’s best to aim to make your face appear visually broader. Go for large, massive-looking glasses. Also, make sure they have transparent lenses and slender frames that match the tone of your skin.

Best for rectangular faces:

  • Large-framed glasses
  • “Aviators” (with large frames)
  • Round-framed glasses

Not suitable for rectangular faces:

  • Narrow frames
  • Small glasses
  • Glasses with bright, colorful frames

Fun fact: Some celebrities that were born with a unique rectangular face are Sara Jessica Parker and Sandra Bullock.

Your goal is to balance out the upper part of your face by making the lower part appear bulkier. Massive-looking glasses won’t help: they’ll just add more bulk to the upper part. We advise you to choose glasses where the width equals the width of your face. Opt for a teardrop-shaped design. “Aviators” would be ideal.

Best for heart-shaped faces:

  • Rounded or round glasses
  • Small frames with a narrow bridge
  • Glasses with low-set arms
  • “Aviators”
  • “Wayfarers”
  • Frameless glasses
  • Bright or neutral-colored frames

Not suitable for heart-shaped faces:

  • Glasses with large and heavy frames
  • Glasses with sharp, pointy outlines
  • Glasses that cover the eyebrows
  • “Butterfly” glasses or teardrop-shaped glasses
  • “Cat-eye” glasses
  • Glasses with brightly colored frames

Fun fact: Some celebrities that were born with a romantic heart-shaped face are Kourtney Kardashian and Reese Witherspoon.

Your main aim should be to visually broaden the upper half of your face while making the lower half less conspicuous. Choose sunglasses with a large frame and a broad upper part. The lower part shouldn’t have square or sharp outlines.

Best for triangular faces:

  • Round glasses without bright decorations
  • “Aviators”
  • “Cat’s eyes” glasses with transparent lenses
  • Frameless glasses

Not suitable for triangular faces:

  • “Cat’s eyes” glasses with dark-tinted lenses
  • Glasses with square or rectangular frames
  • Glasses with narrow or small frames
  • Glasses where the lower part has square or sharp-edged outlines

Fun fact: Some celebrities that were born with a cute triangular-shaped face are Emma Watson and Scarlett Johansson.

Remember that using sunglasses is not only for the aesthetic, for looking cool, or for hiding our real identity, like Clark Kent. They should also be of use for your eyes’ health. That means that you should be attentive that your pair has UV protection.

Bonus: Testing sunglasses for UV protection

Don’t look directly at the sun! This is a small piece of advice that most of us have heard throughout our lives. But have you ever stopped to think why? Not everyone knows this, but the sun expels UV rays, which can damage the health of your eyes, if we expose ourselves too much to the sun we can develop eye cancer, cataracts, and growths.

Moderate exposure to sunlight can be beneficial for our health, but everything in big quantities can damage us. The best way to prevent this is by using specialized sunglasses that have UV protection. So now we’ll teach you how to tell if your new pair of glasses has that shield.

Whether you have a “perfect” oval face shape or a romantic heart-shaped face we all need to follow the next tip in order to keep our eyes safe. Take a UV flashlight, and shine it through the lens of the sunglasses at any fluorescent object (like a pen cap, an earphone speaker, a marker, or a sticker). The better the glasses are at filtering out ultraviolet light, the fainter the object will glow.

In the first photo, you can tell the white stick is glowing through the lens, while in the second image the object is barely getting the light. Whenever you go to buy a new pair of sunglasses take an UV light with you, so that you can be sure of what you’re purchasing.

Testing sunglasses for polarization

Have you ever been driving when suddenly the sunlight bouncing through the pavement bothers your eyesight? It can be pretty annoying and potentially dangerous. Polarized lenses filter out reflected light, remove glare, and reduce eye fatigue.

Finding out if your glasses have polarizing filters is very easy: just look at a reflective surface with unprotected eyes, then put on the glasses and look again. If the glasses are polarized, the glare should disappear.

Also, try turning the sunglasses in your hand. Under certain angles, the glare will disappear and then reappear.

Before you take your money out to pay for a new pair of sunglasses try to check that the UV protection is adequate, it is recommended that you ask for 100% UV absorption. Polarized lenses don’t offer that protection, they just reduce the glare of light, so don’t let anyone fool you. And try to do a quick check on the sunglasses by using the tips in this article.

Do you know of any other tips for how to choose the best sunglasses for your face shape? Which was your favorite tip? Tell us what your and your family’s face shapes are in the comments.

Please note: This article was updated in December 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Photographs by Roman Zakharchenko for Bright Side


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