How to Buy Eyewear to Suit Your Face

The eyes are the first thing people notice about a face and eyeglasses are a great way to make a unique statement. Pulse turned to optician Nadine Marshall from Precision Eye Care of Huntington for advice on nailing that first impression. “In optical, we use four basic face shapes—heart, round, square and oval,” said Marshall. She then went on to school us on the proper fit for each shape.

High cheekbones, a wide forehead and a narrow chin are features of the heart-shaped face. The goal, said Marshall, is to play up the cheekbones while minimizing the width of the forehead and softening the lines of the chin. Frames that are thin (even frameless) and light in color will help balance the width of the forehead with the rest of the face. Heavy and dark frames can have the opposite effect. In terms of frame shape, look for round or oval frames or oversized glasses as an offbeat possibility. Finding just the right oversized silhouette can be tricky, but Marshall noted that if her clients are flexible it’s always possible to find a fit.

The soft, round face is almost equal in width and length and benefits from angular frames. For the round face Marshall likes square, rectangular or cat-eye-shaped frames that create structure and add angles, cautioning against round frames. Round on round is not a good combination, she said. She also advised against the current trend of oversized frames which she said can “make a round face look even rounder.”

Marshall described a square face as “wide all across the board.” And although she said people with square faces are usually unhappy about their blockiness, she personally finds the shape “fun to work with.” In her experience, “rectangular or cat-eye frames look awesome on square faces.” She also suggested an aviator, “if it’s not too squared off.” Avoid anything boxy.

Ah the few, the lucky, the oval faces. This facial structure is considered the “ideal” shape, said Marshall, and is characterized by a narrow forehead, wider cheeks and a narrow chin. The balanced nature of an oval face creates many options for eyeglass wearers. Marshall said “ovals can wear just about anything—rectangles, squares, cat eyes, round—they all look fabulous.”