Sarah Knows Eyes

Particularly at this time of year, with Halloween just a few days away, we as Opticians are asked time and time again about cosmetic contact lenses...

Not wanting to be a party pooper, but as discussed in my earlier post "Sin No.2 - Abusing Your Contact Lenses" as part of National Eye Health Week, the use of contact lenses is not to be undertaken lightly, and “cosmetic” contact lenses are no exception. They carry the same risks if not dispensed and used correctly – they are not to be considered a throwaway “fashion accessory”.

This popped up on my RSS feed yesterday…

(click on image for full article)

So, if cosmetic lenses are an absolute must for your Halloween costume, please don’t buy them "off the shelf", or online! Be sure to visit a reputable Contact Lens Optician, who will ensure that not only do the lenses supplied comply with British manufacturing standards, but that they fit you personally, and will advise you as to their safe usage.

And never EVER share contact lenses!! No. No. Just NO! 

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Following on from the updated Face Shapes post, here are some other important factors to consider when choosing spectacle frames, again with a little help from Elaine Grisdale’s (FBDO FAAO) article in the August 2015 edition of Dispensing Optics magazine.

The 3 "golden rules" of choosing a spectacle frame…

  1. Size does matter (sorry guys!) and is arguably more important than colour or style when “dressing the face”.
  2. A frame can never look good if it doesn’t fit, no matter how expensive or who the designer is.
  3. Comfort cannot be ignored – uncomfortable frames can leave their mark (literally!).

Funnily enough though, it’s not just about the face! How the face looks will also depend on hair style and colour, which can be very deceptive and can sometimes even appear to actually change the shape of the face. This isn’t such a big problem for men, but can be an issue for us ladies.

Always consider…

  • If you have long hair, do you always wear it down, or do you sometimes wear it up? Check that the ‘look’ you have chosen still works with the hairstyle change.
  • The same applies to hair colour; are you currently blonde but thinking about changing to brunette? Generally, bolder colours suit darker hair; warmer colours (gold, browns, peaches, pinks) suit blonde hair; and colder colours (silver, blues, lilacs, greens) suit silver hair. Whilst from my own experience, most redheds look amazing in green frames (and are sometimes the only ones that do)!
  • Also bear in mind, what colours do you prefer to wear?

This here is a very handy little tool: -

Complementary colours are opposite one another on the colour wheel, however using opposites can create drama, which can be particularly useful if you have more than one pair of spectacles (much to your Dispensing Optician’s delight! JK).

It can also be useful to consider eye colour when choosing frames. You can bring out the colour of your eyes by using similar colours in the frame detail – there are currently some great lamninated acetate frames available where colours are effectively used in this way...


However, using an opposite colour to the eyes in the frame generally serves to emphasise eye colour.

As previously explained these are merely some rough guidelines that have helped me choose frames for patients over the years, and there always exceptions to the rule! Try everything, but more than anything else, have fun with the process!

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Having read a brilliant piece by Elaine Grisdale (FBDO FAAO) in the August 2015 edition of Dispensing Optics magazine, I have subsequently updated this post (originally published in May) to include even more hints and tips on choosing the perfect spectacle frame for YOU! Enjoy :)

When choosing a pair of glasses, be it your first pair or your twenty-first, it can be a nightmare. And invariably just when you find one that suits, fashions change and suddenly you’re out of date and what you want isn’t available anymore. That’s where someone like me comes in, professionally trained to look at someone and have an instinct as to what will suit them (and sometimes more importantly, what will suit their prescription!!).

Generally the best advice I can give you is to try on as many frames as you can. Don’t be afraid of frames that you would never have thought of trying on in a million years – sometimes they will be the best ones, trust me! Often somebody will come in and have a set idea of what they want, but when they try it on, it just doesn’t suit them and understandably they’re deflated. Again, it’s MY job to find a similar but more suitable alternative!

Take selfies (I know, #cringe), and if you can, take someone with you for a second opinion. Over time, you will learn what suits you (and what you should definitely steer clear of!). Basically, spectacle frames should contrast the shape of your face, (hopefully) enhancing its features. It is an important choice – the correct fitting frame can change facial features for the better, making longer noses appear shorter, and making asymmetrical features appear more symmetrical.

However, if you find yourself alone and staring aimlessly at an endless wall of spectacle frames, here are some simple pointers that helped me out when I first started in this biz and generally do work (there are obviously always exceptions to the rule though)…


oval shaped face

OVAL: The most balanced face shape - people who have oval faces are lucky as they look good in virtually any shape. Where possible, opt for almond shaped frames that are as broad as (or broader than) the widest part of the face, to keep natural balance.



Celebrities with oval shaped faces

via / **

long shaped face

LONG: Long, rectangular faces can look thin and somewhat gaunt. The proportions can be balanced by choosing a frame that is wider, upswept, round or a deeper oval. These shapes counteract long, narrow faces, as they create focus around the eye area and add width, making the face appear more balanced. Avoid frames with thick, dark arms.


Celebrities with long shaped faces

via / **

Round shaped face


ROUND: People who have round faces will benefit from wearing a frame that is more narrow, angular or rectangular. This will make the roundness dissipate, so that the face will appear longer and slimmer and the eyes look wider apart.


Celebrities with round shaped faces

via / **

Square shaped face


SQUARE: Square/rectangular frames should be avoided. The face is softened by using narrower, curved, rounded, circular or oval frames that are broader than the widest part of the face, softening a strong jaw line and broad forehead. For women who have square faces an elegant upswept oval frame can work well.


Celebrities with square shaped faces

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SLIM AND SQUARE: Someone with a slim face and square-ish jaw, may find that either round or square frames shapes suit, however because of the slimness of the face, particular care should be taken with sizing.


Heart shaped face

HEART - Heart-shaped faces are characterised by a wide forehead and a narrow jawline. The chosen frame should ideally minimise the width in the upper part of the face to create a better balance. Delicate, round or square styles are the most flattering. Avoid heart-shaped styles that echo the shape of the jaw, instead consider round, oval or upswept frames.


Celebrities with heart shaped faces

via / **

As a general rule, the smaller the face, the key is to look for a less fussy and less overpowering frame style. Keep things simple, choosing light, slim and minimal styles. For larger and longer faces, more adventurous choices can be made – consider thicker rims, stronger colours, bolder designs and more decoration.


**Photos courtesy of (Idris Elba), (Emma Watson), (Chris Hemsworth), (Jessica Alba), (Sarah Jessica Parker), (Jake Gyllenthal), (Megan Fox), (David Beckham), (Ryan Gosling), (Liv Tyler), (Josh Duhamel), (Jessica Lowndes), (Kelly Rowland), (Adam Levine), (Teri Hatcher), (Hugh Laurie), (Olivia Wilde), (Brad Pitt), (Angelina Jolie), (Elijah Wood), (Nick Lacey), (Kelly Osbourne), (Henry Cavill), (Nichelle Nichols), (Michelle Williams), (Gerard Butler), (Kirsten Dunst), (Will Smith), (William Shatner), (Queen Latifah), (Jack Black), (Miranda Kerr), (Chris Pine), (Tyra Banks), (Bradley Cooper), (Jennifer Aniston), (Reece Witherspoon), (Robert Pattinson), (Zoe Saldana), (Taylor Lautner).

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