Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Beauty Discovered

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Wear Eye Makeup with Glasses

Share your best tips and tricks for wearing eye makeup with glasses!  Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

Temptalia’s Tips

  1. Always, always keep your glasses handy and regularly put them on/off while you’re applying your makeup, because this helps give you a better idea of how it will work with your glasses.
  2. Curl lashes to help open up eyes and keep your mascara-wearing lashes away from your lenses.
  3. Keep eyebrows well-shaped and filled-in, and use eyeliner to help frame and define the eye area.

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53 thoughts on “How to Wear Eye Makeup with Glasses – Tips & Tricks

  1. And play up the lips!

  2. edith

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 3. Take an extra minute or two to make sure your eyeliner is straight and smudge-free. The horror of realizing it’s lopsided while looking at it magnified in the mirror is not fun.

  3. Kendall

    Whenever I wear glasses I use white eyeliner on the water line and do a slight cat eye. I also highlight the inner corners of my eyes. This works more for people whose glasses make their eyes appear smaller.

  4. Diane

    My glasses have very thick frames and I find being a little “heavy-handed” on the highlighter helps my eyes pop out instead of hiding in the shadow cast by the frames. Not so much that I look super glittery/shiny if I take them off, but enough for a bit of extra emphasis behind the lenses.

  5. Danii

    If you have long lashes that touch your lenses, DON’T wear waterproof mascara! If that stuff gets on your lens while you’re out and about, you’ll be really unhappy.
    Careful with false lashes, because they might brush your lenses and that gets old fast.

  6. Somayea

    I feel like you can get away with a more smokey look because the eyes are hidden behind something. I have “hipster”/wayfarer style glasses so they are a little big.

    Don’t pile on mascara. No use, they will stick to your glasses and that’s no fun.

  7. Daisy

    I sometimes find ladies wear coloured eyeshadows that clash with the colours of their frames. I used to wear dark pink frames, and nearly every colour of eyeshadow I wore made me look like a clown! I wear black ones now so can be more adventurous with my colour. But then again, neutural tones can get boring!

  8. Brittany

    Wearing no bottom liner and winged top liner tends to work best for me, It opens up my eyes. Using lighter,neutral shadows as well!

  9. Kendra

    When wearing glasses you can definitely get away with a little more eye makeup, although neutrals colors tend to work a lot better with glasses.

    A slightly smokier look works well. I also like to play up the liner on the lower lash line to emphasize the eyes.

  10. Leah

    1. I definitely agree with Christine about making sure that your eyebrows are well-groomed.

    2. Liner on the lower lid will help “push” your eyes forward. I’ve seen beauty advice columns that tell you not to put liner on your lower lash line because it will be too prominent and create shadows while wearing glasses and I respectfully disagree. If you’re putting on so much liner that your creating shadows and looking sad while wearing glasses then you are putting on too much liner in general. A thin line of liner on your upper and lower lids, lightly smudged will bring definition to your eyes. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Lisa Loeb doing this.

    3. Remember that different prescriptions can distort your eyes. Near-sighted prescriptions can make your eyes smaller while those for far-sighted people can magnify the eye area.

    4. Have fun! I’ve worn glasses for years and I wear a lot of different eye makeup looks. Don’t think that something is completely off limits because of your glasses. If you find a look you like, just play around with it until it works.

  11. Elaine R

    Not very helpful in terms of eye makeup, but my advice is to stain or tint your lashes black, contour the crease with a neutral, heavily define your eyebrows, and play up your lips. I can never get adventurous eye makeup to look the way I want when I wear my glasses!

  12. I have worn glasses since I was 5 years old. Now that I am makeup obsessed I have found a few tricks to make my eyes stand out even with forfeiting my glasses and feeling blind…

    1) Dont afraid of color. I love using colored eyeliner because its a great pop even behind my frames.

    2) Dont be afraid to go a bit heavy on the eyeshadow. It is a lot less noticiable behind your lenses so its ok to addmore than you usually would.

    3) Focus on your lashes. Make sure they are always looking their best.

    4) And finally, try to make your eyes look bright. I like using white eyeliner on my water line. I also like to use eye drops to prevent redness and dryness.

    <3 Glamourista Eli

  13. Shaunnagh

    I actually don’t do my eye makeup any different to what I would if I didn’t wear glasses – perhaps I’d wear bigger false lashes but I’ve managed to find ones that don’t hit my lenses. I’m lucky that my glasses don’t alter the look of my eyes. But even so, I go by how my makeup looks without them (other than clashing lipsticks/eye shadows with frames etc). I love makeup too much to be limited by my eye condition.

  14. Carrie

    Wear colors that make your iris pop, so they stand out from the frames even more. If to your style, try and get a pair of frames that can have the same effect.

  15. Veronica

    I agree with somebody’s comment below that a neutral colored pair of glasses is important to have. I’ll also add that eyeliner can do wonders to help define the eye better when have glasses on – especially on the lower lash line.

    Personally, I’ve also found that if I do a very vampy lip, I need to do my brows a touch bolder than usual in order to balance the face. The reason being that whatever I’d done to the eyes to balance the face can be toned down by the glasses.

  16. I don’t wear my glasses often during the day, but I try to go light on the eye makeup. I ALWAYS go for concealer under the eyes, the frames of my glasses frame my undereye area too. I usually go for a light shimmery shadow, a subtle eyeliner on my upper a lower lashlines, and mascara. I avoid lining on the waterline since it makes my eyes look even smaller behind the frames.

  17. anna

    I believe the key is to balance all your makeup with the kind of frame you use. Mine’s is those “geeky”, thick frame in dark tortoise shell. After some time, I’ve come to realize if I put on a thick line of black eyeliner, my eyes end up looking darker, and in the end would result in a heavy look – even more if I use a dramatic mascara. So if you don’t want to drop your eye makeup routine just because that, I would suggest to put a more bold lipstick or blush, it would drag less attention to your eyes and make your look more balanced. Also, I don’t think colorful eyeshadows looks good with eyeglasses of any type, but again, makeup also is about creativity, so people should feel free to try anything using Christine’s 1. hint :)

  18. HeavenGlam

    Great tips everyone!
    My frames are clear and wide so I can wear any color. The only thing I steer clear of while wearing glasses are falsies and tons of mascara to avoid the “windshield wiper effect” on my glasses! :). I agree that brows are most important while wearing specs and you cant go wrong with a bold lip!

  19. futuralon

    I have been wearing glasses since I was four years old. I haven’t been wearing makeup that long of course, but I’m an old hat at specs.
    1. If you wear makeup and glasses, you have to wear eye makeup – either mascara or eyeliner (on top lashline) as a minimum.
    2. If you are wearing mascara, use a lash curler. Even if you think your lashes have a normal attractive curl already. Curled lashes cover your lid more than your eyeball, making you look more awake. ALSO curled lashes are much less likely to hit your lenses.
    3. I have had colored and invisible frames and right now am rocking massive black frames. There’s pros and cons to any frame. If your frames are a color, consider that color in your makeup look. Heavy black frames can “support” a LOT of eye makeup.
    4. If you have any time to do your makeup take the extra 15 seconds and use brow powder. The frames frame the eye, but the brow frames the whole eye socket area. Even the biggest blackest frames ever still leave your brows visible. Unfilled brows make you look old.
    5. Each of my eyes has a different prescription so my eyes are not only magnified by the lens, but distorted asymmetrically. Don’t try to correct this with your makeup. Just consider it something mysterious. People who know you well will eventually see you with your glasses off, then they will have proof that your eyes are normal and symmetrical. Even people who only sort of know you will see your face in profile and see normal eyes from the side. Just stop worrying about your glasses making you look weird. That’s what your outfit is for. xx

    • Lisa

      I agree with absolutely everything she said. My one extra tip is to add a *subtle* highlighter under your eye near where you would put your blush. REALLY brightens up my face.

    • milaxx

      I have 2 radially prescriptions as well (+5.25 & +75). I find it’s worth it to spend the extra money on high index lenses so that I don’t have to worry about the thickness of them and they don’t make my eyes smaller or larger.

      I apply my makeup with a magnifying mirror.

    • Ha, one of the reasons I prefer glasses to contacts is because my eyes are not normal and symmetrical, and I think the specs help to hide it.

  20. I can’t see super clearly for things in the distance without some sort of corrective lens, so I’ve found a magnifying mirror to be a life-send for putting on makeup. It’s hard to do fine makeup touches (like a straight line for liquid eyeliner, blending, making sure highlighters aren’t too shiny, etc.) while not wearing contacts and, obviously, you can’t put on eye make up while wearing glasses.

    A magnifying mirror is useful for tons of diff. stuff (tweezing!) but mostly because it lets me see things without having to have my nose to the bathroom mirror. I use one with a stand and 10x magnification, which I put on one of my container drawer sets for makeup. That way, I don’t have to hunch down, squat or anything. And, in a single step, I can move away and see how makeup looks from afar as well once I put on my glasses. If anyone is interested, I got mine for $14.99 from Amazon, so they’re not expensive at all. (I don’t know if it’s okay to give a link here, but you can find it easily if you search for “vanity mirror with a stand.”) Hope that helps someone!

  21. I am near sighted, so whenever I wear glasses my eyes look tiiiiny! My tip is to focus more on the lips and eyebrows instead of the eyes. I keep eye makeup to a minimum (usually tightlining, but that’s it), but make sure my brows are filled in and do something extra with my lips…like a bright lipstick with lipgloss on top.

  22. Lily M

    I wear white frames , so I’m heavy with colored smokey eyes. Or a black smokey eye ,
    Trick is thick groomed eyebrow & colored in I use MAC new eyebrow pencils which work forever . ( well not forever ) but last a long time
    Second is mascara is a must !!! It defines behind the glasses which makes my eyes look bigger when seeing my eyes through the glasses !

  23. blueraccoon

    Here’s a question for folks who are more talented with me: What do I do with tinted lenses? My normal glasses have pink lenses, my computer (and every day) glasses have yellow lenses. It’s a medical thing, it’s not for fashion. How do I work with that?

    • Lisa

      I think for your pink lenses (depending on the shade of pink), you should probably wear more neutral colors because the pink already gives color to your face

  24. AdraKP

    My number one rule is to always conceal any darkness around the eyes.
    My second is… eyeliner!! Eye makeup must be personalized to the shape of the frames. Since my frames are ticker and winged out on top and frameless on the bottom, I make sure I apply some eyeliner on the bottom. The eyeliner on the bottom is then connected to the eyeliner on the top that only runs on 1/3 of the top lid. It completes the look I am going for =)

  25. I always define my brows whenever I’m wearing glasses. Also, if i dont wear eyeliner my face just looks washed out and plain.

  26. Erica

    My eyesight is *horrible.* What makeup you can wear depends on whether you are farsighted or near sighted and the thickness of your lenses. Lenses impact how your makeup looks. I don’t go crazy because no matter how good the tech is, high prescriptions require lenses of a certain thickness.

    As others have said, you have to swap the glasses on/off throughout the process to be sure.

    HIGHLIGHTER. Get that on your brow bone and inner corner.

    I like to use washes of color on my lids, highlight, mascara, and then focus on the lips.

    I’m practicing with gel liner but that requires me smooshed up on the mirror so I save gel liner + glasses for days when I have a lot of time to get ready.

  27. Deborah

    I normally wear contacts since they’re so convenient but there are days where I wear my glasses just because they make my face look less round, more shaped, etc. On that note, I love the look of bronzed cheeks with a pop of color on the outer apple blended up paired with a shimmery neutral eye! I find that I can get away with a lot less makeup on when I have my glasses on (granted they are huge, black, rectangular Prada ones that are classy but a statement). I will say that I don’t think cut creases look good with glasses (or in general) and that darker colors look better on the lid/lash line than through the crease no matter what your eye shape is (so smokey gradient up to the brow bone). Personally I think lower lash line [blended] eyeshadow is a must if you have something on top as well. I also don’t bother spending 5 minutes on my mascara (just a quick swipe) since no one can really see my lashes with my glasses anyways!!

    • Deborah

      AND EYEBROWS SHOULD BE THICK AND ANGULAR AND EXTENDED OUT ENOUGH (hate when people have short tails. Use the straight line trick!) especially if your glasses have a bolder shape! They can get lost without proper filling in.

  28. Anne

    I’ve been wearing glasses since I was four, and I hope I’ll be able to switch to contact lenses some day, because I actually want to see my face without frames on it, but I never considered the effect it could have on makeup. If I ever get rid of glasses, I don’t think I’d really change anything at all in the way I do my makeup.
    I do agree about the eyebrows, but that’s because I like a strong brow anyway (Audrey Hepburn fan here!).
    My glasses don’t alter the size of my eyes much (they only make them look a wee bit smaller), so I guess I’m lucky here. I also have dark (nearly black) frames that go with everything, which I much prefer to colourful ones, so I do not worry about colours clashing (and some people don’t mine anyway).
    I’d personally find it rather tiresome to rethink my makeup routine just because of my glasses!

  29. Cate

    The Sam Chapman (from Pixiwoo) has a great video on this on her RT techniques channel which even describes what to do depending on your glasses type – how good is that!!

    Link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaVr9VhDoGw

  30. Yellowlantern

    I don’t think there is anything you “have” to do if you wear glasses. I actually think it’s easier to look nice without makeup if you wear glasses than if you don’t (assuming you have a pair of glasses in a shape and color that are flattering for you). Mostly because glasses make people focus on your eyes more and they can help camouflage dark circles depending on your frame color and size.

    Really the right color and shape of glasses makes a world of difference in how you look. IMO if you own a good pair for your coloring and faceshape then you absolutely do not need more makeup than non-glasses wearers.

    E.g.: Years ago I owned a pair of black metal rectangular frames because that style was the rage and I was a noob at glasses. They were pretty unflattering for me as black frames make my eyes look smaller and emphasize my undereye circles and the rectangular shape made my face look like a square. Now I have light colored frames in a cat eye shape and I freaking love how they make me look.

    • Cait

      I totally agree. I sometimes wear contacts but on days I do I feel baked and like I need to wear makeup. With my glasses on there are days where I am lazy and go without any makeup and think and feel great about myself. Glasses really are great because it is a simple and effortless way to enhance my face and specifically my eyes.

      • Cait

        LOL baked. I meant naked. I feel naked in contacts.

        • Yellowlantern

          LOL at first I thought you were talking about feeling like you needed to wear makeup after getting high.

      • Yellowlantern

        I’m the same. When I’m wearing contacts my face feels naked, especially my eyes, and I usually wear more eyeliner and mascara to compensate. Whereas I feel fine going out without either of those when I’m wearing glasses.

    • divinem (Melissa)

      Totally agree about the dark circles. I don’t even bother with concealer because they are pretty much undetectable with my glasses on.

      I do tend to enhance my eye make up (not a crazy amount) by make an obvious outer V to make my eyes pop.

      Glasses, after all, do tend to make the eyes look smaller, so giving the illusion of a larger eye is important (to me).

    • Erin

      Agreed. Without glasses I feel the need for mascara, concealer, brows, etc. Some days it’s easier to just put on my glasses and bam! My eyes are instantly emphasized. And it doesn’t hurt that my frames are flattering.

    • Heather

      Oh, I totally play up the cat-eye makeup with my cat-eye glasses; usually a winged liner and will make the crease color extend outward more. Good groomed brow and, depending on how big the glasses are, I will conceal under the eyes. Everything is really just dependent on how big your glasses are, the lenses (some will reflect oddly on, say, taupe shadows), and your eyebrow shape. The only part of my makeup routine that changed once I started wearing them was now I am more willing to go with a bold lip.
      It’s completely weird to see myself without glasses on. I feel like I have really beady eyes, even if that’s not actually the case.

  31. BeckBeck

    I am very nearsighted and I was actually told last year that my prescription is too high (-8 in the worse eye) for me to wear frames with an open bottom anymore. If I put nothing else on, I HAVE to conceal under my eyes, because the shadow from the frames emphasizes my dark circles. After that, my next priority is mascara, because it seems to do the most toward compensating for how much my glasses make my eyes look smaller. I almost always use liner on the top lash line only, but that’s probably a matter of personal taste.

    Thanks for this thread, Christine – it’s nice to get suggestions from average beauty addicts. I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos on “makeup for glasses” and they tend toward looks that don’t fit my eye shape or my style.

    • BeckBeck

      Oh, and I have a mirror from Pottery Barn that’s mounted on an accordion hinge, so it pulls out from the wall to almost touch my nose. Best invention EVER.

  32. Kris

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 6 and I do my make-up smoshed to a mirror 😀 I don’t change anything about my makeup because of my glasses. The only thing I’ve found is dramatic makeup looks a lot less dramatic behind heavier frames. Frameless is as good as no glasses, so you can’t pile the eye makeup on up like Jersey Shore, but with heavier, hipster frames? Jersey Shore all the way and no one will notice!

  33. Rosie

    I think if you’re wearing glasses you shouldn’t overdo the eye makeup, just make sure to have nice eyebrows, and cover up any dark circles! Then focus on your lips as it can help to balance out your look.

  34. caroline

    I thought it was fun reading through these contacts. Someone said their eyelashes dont’ show up when wearing glasses, I think it’s the opposite! I have blonde lashes and I find when I don’t wear mascara I look sick, and when I do I think I notice them more with glasses than without glasses. For me, I stick to mostly matte colors, with maybe some shimmer on the lid, but not under the brow or in the inner corners because the shimmer is more noticeable. I’m too fair for any foundation I’ve ever tried (I’ve probably gotten 25 samples from sephora by now) and I’m too lazy to mix a white in with a foundation, so I don’t wear any so I can’t speak for like cheeks and stuff. But I think the best thing I can do is wear a red lip. I don’t often because I drink water 24/7 and it makes it smear, but compared to any other makeup, a red lip is definitely best looking on me. Even men have complimented me on it. And I wear minimal eyemakeup with bold lips, a touch of mascara and a highlight is usually it.

  35. Quinctia

    I agree with making sure your eyebrows are strong enough to work with the glasses. If you have dense enough hair there, you might not necessarily have to fill them in, but don’t tweeze them to death!

    If you’re nearsighted, some sort of magnifying mirror works wonders. I also prefer using brushes with travel-sized handles, especially when doing things like eyeliner, because I’m usually holing a mirror up pretty close with one hand. No handle to get in the way!

    Aside from that, wear what you want and love it, that’s the way things will look their best. I’ve found that, with nearsighted lenses slightly reducing the appearance of my eye area, looks I do may not look quite as dramatic as I thought they would…but I like dramatic eye looks, anyway.

    If you go with colored frames, and you like a lot of eye looks, try to get something in the same family of eye color that you wear. For instance, I wear lots and lots of jewel tones, and I’ve got both plum and turquoise frames in my repertoire. I’ve never had a problem wearing the same looks with either glasses.

  36. milaxx

    Don’t be afraid of color. Glasses wearers an get away with a little bit more and it helps your eyes not to get lost behind your frames.

  37. milaxx

    I also view my glasses as an accessory. Fortunately with zennioptial, coastal contacts, and other online glasses stores, I have several pairs so I switch up my makeup/eyewear often.

  38. Melissa C

    I wear glasses everyday and I have definitely learned some techniques!
    1. Make sure to conceal dark circles well – glasses will only make them look darker.
    2. I try to stay away from liner on my bottom lash line – because it can tend to make my eyes look smaller – but I always line my top – otherwise my eyes fade away!
    3. Don’t be afraid of color behind your rims – in fact you can get away with more!
    4. I like to balance out my face with a stronger lip color – otherwise my mouth gets lost – especially because I wear plastic frames that are very “present” on my face.

    And I definitely agree that well-groomed eyebrows are a must!

  39. Robin Manrique

    After wearing contacts for 2 decades, switching to glasses was a big change and totally changed my makeup. I have two pairs I switch up, one black and one a warm plum. With the black pair I can play more,with the plum pair I tend to go neutral or sage since those colors seem to work best with those frames. And since the glasses make my eyes look smaller I go for a heavier look. No mascara (it always ends up on the lenses), avoid micro glitter (or remove the excess because it is awful to clean off the lenses even the fallout is less noticeable) and well groomed eyebrows are a must! I recently let my eyebrows grow back in so I could go for a heavier brow; hard not to pluck them but the end result was well worth it.