Makeup tips for wearing glasses (that doesn’t involve a list of “don’ts”)

I’ve had a couple requests for a ‘how to makeup with glasses’ post, since I wear my glasses full time and don’t hate them. I feel like I have it a little easier than some, because I got my glasses at the tender age of 12 and by this point I basically don’t know life without them, of course I have always used the best lenses for glasses. If you need new eyeglasses, you might want to visit sites like https://www.eyeglasses.com/brands/ray-ban-glasses for new eyewear trends and designs.

I wore contacts for a long time, but around the time I started college, for some reason every eye doc I saw stopped prescribing the brand I wore (RIP Freshlook Toric). Not sure if they were discontinued, or if Acuvue reps give better kickbacks? My eyes have rejected every contact lens I’ve tried since then, so I decided to just switch to prescription glasses full time. Now I actually slightly prefer the way I look with glasses (though I may still get my eyeballs lasered purely for the convenience). To be honest, most of the time I don’t really think too much about them – I just do whatever makeup I want to do, and then my glasses go on over it, bam. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that needs to be ‘dealt with’ or ‘overcome’, and it doesn’t mean certain things aren’t ‘allowed’  (despite what Bobbi Brown would have us believe). But, according to AOS there are some things that can help make sure your makeup meshes well with your frames.

30 Faces: Day 4

Choosing your glasses

For some reason, I never see this on the ‘glasses makeup tips’ posts on Pinterest. The specific frames and lenses you pick make a huge difference though! On the other hand, if you want to get rid of your glasses for good, you can instantly click here for info.

Here are a few recommendations from blue light blocking glasses uk:

Frame shape – Ideally, you want something where the rims won’t cut across your eye or cast shadows under your eyes, so bigger round or square glasses can be nice. Unfortunately they just don’t work for some of us – large lenses don’t flatter the shape of my face at all. My opinion: go with the frames that look best with your face shape every single time. You can figure the makeup out later.

Frame size -This sort of goes along with the shape issue, but I felt like I should talk about it because I somehow wore glasses for probably 10 years or so before anyone ever told me that they come in standard sizes. Mind=blown. It’s a good thing to know, because if the bridge or eye width is too large for you, that makes it look like your eyes are closer to the inner edge of the glasses – in other words, makes them look more close-set. Plus it’s handy for online shopping, so you’ll know which pairs will fit you.

Glasses Frame Sizing

Image courtesy of GKB Optical

Lenses – I didn’t realize until recently how incredibly important this is! The first thing to know is that they’ll cause a bit of visual distortion from the outside looking in, that’s just physics. If you’re nearsighted they’ll make your eyes look smaller; if you’re farsighted they’ll appear larger. The stronger your prescription is, the more noticeable it’ll be, at least with regular lenses. If that’s a dealbreaker, you can spring for high index lenses, which are thinner, lighter, and don’t distort your eyes as much. They’re more expensive, but the difference is pretty significant. The other thing: anti-reflective coating. With my old glasses I could never take selfies while I was wearing them because all you could see was a huge reflection of whatever the nearest light source was. That’s why if you look at super old posts I never have them on. With the latest pair I finally got anti-reflective coating, and it’s a game-changer. Not only can I wear my glasses in blog photos now, but all the people I see in real life can actually see my eyes.

Make your eyes pop

Ok, so here’s my gripe about a lot of the makeup tips I’ve seen for glasses – they’re always full of things not to do. Don’t bother wearing colorful eyeshadow. Don’t try to put the focus on your eyes – focus on lips or cheekbones instead. Don’t wear dark eyeshadows. Don’t put mascara on your bottom lashes. I call BS. I’m not interested in hearing how much of an obstacle my glasses are and all the things I can’t do because I wear them. So here are some strategies for making your eyes stand out. Some of them overlap with how to make your eyes look bigger, so feel free to mosey on over to that tutorial too. It should go without saying, but these are not rules by any stretch of the imagination – you can do all or none of these. Play around and don’t limit yourself to what you’re ‘supposed to’ do with glasses. Where’s the fun in that?

Use a color-correcting concealer under your eyes – I actually would do this with or without glasses, but since frames can cast shadows it’s especially important to brighten up that area. I use Armani Master Corrector to cancel out the color in shadowed areas, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Luminous Skin Wand to brighten it all up.

Use a nude eyeliner on your waterline – This will help make your eyes look more open, especially if you have a little redness in that area.

Use a light and/or shimmery shade – This is especially helpful in the inner 1/3 of your lid and along the inner part of the lower lash line, since it keeps your eyes from looking smaller. It also pulls attention to your eye.

Keep your eyeshadow within your frames – This is something I take as a loose guideline, not a strict rule. I’ve noticed if I go too far above the top of my frames there’s a weird break where some of it is distorted slightly by the lens, and some isn’t.

Curl your lashes – For one thing, it lifts them up so they’re more visible, making a nice frame for your eyes. It also helps keep them from brushing against the lenses and leaving annoying mascara smears behind.

Line the outer 1/3 of your lower lash line with a dark eyeshadow – I know practically every list of tips ever disagrees with me on this, but it’s important to define the top and bottom of your eye; otherwise it can look unbalanced. To be clear, I’m talking about the area just under your lower lashes, not the waterline. Lining the whole bottom lash line with a dark color can close your eyes in and make them look smaller though – experiment and see what you prefer. And you know what? Go ahead and put a little bit of mascara on your lower lashes if you want.

Match the thickness of your liner to the thickness of your frames – Again, just for visual balance. I usually go for thin-ish liner anyway just because I don’t have a ton of lid space to work with, but at a certain point there’s the risk that thick liner can compete with thin frames instead of complementing them.

Do a glasses check while you groom/draw your brows – I’m terrible at remembering to do this! But if you pop your glasses on for a second while you’re creating your brow shape, it will help make sure that they follow the line of your frames evenly.

Wear blush and/or lipstick – I’m a big fan of doing eyes only on lazy days, but that can make your eyes the only focal point, and make it seem like your glasses dominate your entire face. I like to highlight another feature too, to balance things out.

Logistical stuff

As much as I like them, glasses aren’t all fun and rainbows. There’s a little bit of maintenance involved, and some drawbacks – but those are pretty easy to avoid.

Powder your nose – If you wear liquid foundation (or none), it’s easy for the nose pads to slooooowly migrate south. A mattifying primer & powder helps keep them in place.

Clean the nosepads – Makeup can build up on the back sides of the nose pads, and it’s totally gross if you let it go on too long. I use a pointed q-tip to wipe off any grime that gets back there. If it’s just really, really bad you can get them replaced for a few bucks at the optician of your choice.

Invest in a lens cloth – No, really. Probably one came with your glasses in the first place, and you can get them for just a couple bucks if the first one has been lost in the abyss. Wiping your glasses with your shirt can scratch them, which eventually gets annoying and can mess up any coatings on the lens. Be sure not to use fabric softener on the cloth – that can make it leave icky residue all over your glasses (I may have learned that the hard way).

A table mirror is your friend – If you’re nearsighted you probably already know that having a mirror that’s two feet away from you on the wall isn’t terribly useful. Having a small tabletop one (preferably that tilts and has a magnifying side) will let you get as close as you need to in order to see what you’re doing. They also make wall-mounted ones that fold up and swing out toward you, if your bathroom counter doubles as your vanity.


So, I hope you liked my little novel there! I feel like there are probably a billion things I forgot, so if you have your own tips please feel free to share them! Or if you have questions/want tutorials for [specific look + glasses], lemme know and I’ll make it happen.


  1. Sherry

    September 5, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Thank you thank you…..I have just recently started wearing glasses full time and am still very confused as how to get my eyes (which I am vainly proud of:) to stand out with my glasses. So your helpful tips and list of “to’s” are very welcome indeed! Love your blog and am glad to have found you!!

    1. Nikki

      September 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Thanks, I’m glad it helped!

  2. Jim

    January 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I’m a guy so my point of view may not mean much to you but you seem very self confident about your looks wearing glasses and for good reason. You look amazing and your glasses don’t take anything away form your good looks. First of all the glasses you selected is perfect because they hardly block any of your lovely face. That alone is very important since you wear your glasses full time. Your beautiful eyes are clearly visible though your lenses. Your glasses look to be very comfortable sitting on your nose and i personally think having adjustable nose pads make wearing glasses so much more more comfortable because they seem to fit the nose so well. I don’t think you will ever get lasik because I think you would miss your glasses too much. (retired optician)

    1. Nikki

      January 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words Jim! I actually did end up getting PRK about a year ago just because it’s more convenient for things like running/buying sunglasses, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss them a little bit sometimes.

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