If you wear glasses and love makeup, you may feel like your brow beauty options are limited, especially if your frames obstruct your eyebrows or beautifully blended eyeshadow. All it takes is some astute decisions at the counter, and clever application in the mirror, and you’ll find that makeup can actually complement your frames, and vice versa, rather than detract from them. 

Creating makeup is much easier if you choose a pair of glasses to suit your face, as you’ll know what space you have to work with, and what works best within it. As eyewear experts Designer Glasses recommend, you should pick a frame colour that complements your skin tone or hair colour — the same can be said for your makeup — or frames in a bolder, brighter colour, which can even make you look younger. Building on this wisdom, and helping you put your best brush forward, here are 6 makeup tips for glasses wearers.

PLAY WITH EYESHADOW CAREFULLY

Eyeshadow can easily lose its impact if it isn’t applied properly, or if the shades don’t suit your frames. Remember that your eyeshadow colour shouldn’t compete with your glasses, but rather, complement them. If you do want to match them, try using a base hue that’s a shade lighter than the frames, and go a few shades darker for the crease colour to accentuate your eyes.

Using a shadow in a lighter, pearlier shade will make your eyes look bigger and brighter, as it helps them to stand out, which is ideal if you’re nearsighted and wear glasses which minimise the size of your eyes. 

Conversely, farsighted individuals should wear dark, matte eyeshadow in colours like brown, grey and green, which will minimise how big your eyes look as a result of your frames. Generally, you should avoid applying eyeshadow above where your glasses sit, as it may clash and look disjointed.

CONSIDER BOLD EYEBROWS

Glasses frame your face, but your eyebrows also frame your glasses, making them an essential part of your makeup routine. Having groomed eyebrows will instantly make you look polished, with no makeup look complete without primed brows, in our humble opinion. 

Start by brushing your brows upwards with a spoolie to help you see if there are any long hairs. To trim, only tidy the front area of the brow, and do one hair at a time at a downward angle. Once trimmed, pluck any stray hairs, and fill in any gaps with your favourite eyebrow products.

CHOOSE VOLUME OVER LENGTH WITH YOUR MASCARA

You should choose a volumising mascara instead of a lengthening one, otherwise your lashes will touch the lenses of your glasses, leaving black marks and smudges. A volumising mascara will keep your lashes full and separated without getting in the way.  

Before applying the mascara, curl your eyelashes to further help prevent them from touching the lens while also making your eyes pop. Then, when applying, build intensity at the roots of your lashes. However, if you find that your mascara looks clumpy or falls into your eyes, pick a product with a comb-like wand applicator to help separate your lashes more thoroughly.

ADJUST EYELINER TO MATCH THE THICKNESS OF YOUR GLASSES

Your eyeliner should match the thickness of your glasses for maximum effect. For instance, a softer eyeliner will work for thin frames, while a thick line to the upper lash line is necessary with thicker glasses to make your eyes stand out. 

You should try to strike a balance between the definition of your eyes and your frames — use a darker liner than your natural eye colour as this creates a perfect contrast and defines the eyes. For an extra lift, use a shade that picks up any colour in your frames, or black eyeliner to improve the appearance of deep set or sunken eyes. 

To determine what will work best for you, don’t be afraid to try out different eyeliner styles. Flicks, for example, can help balance out the lens and frames, while the cat eye style can “completely change the shape of an eye and just the whole expression of the face”, suggests makeup artist Grace Ahn. This will make your eyes appear bigger behind your glasses, as the outward flick will accentuate them.

USE CONCEALER

Using a concealer will instantly remedy the problem of frames casting shadows under your eyes, and will lift and brighten your face. Make sure it’s the right under-eye product for your skin tone, though. 

A warm concealer with a peachy undertone is ideal for medium skin tones, and a skin-tone correction formula one or two shades lighter than your foundation will help lighten any darkness. This should be applied under the eye, up to the lash line and in the inner corner of your eye. Blend with your finger and press the formula into your face, being sure to never rub or drag your finger across your skin.

CHANGE THE FOCUS

You may want to use makeup to draw attention away from your eyes, and lipstick is the perfect way to do this. A bright lipstick is a must for your makeup bag anyway, but if you wear glasses, choosing the right lip colour is essential. Whether it’s for daytime or evening, the goal is to make sure your lipstick matches or complements your frames, especially bold, bright colours like pink, purple and red.