New glasses restore definition to our faces, add some edge to our attitude and style to our looks and just make everyone 50+ a little cooler. They also help us drive safely, read menus or teensy price tags, binge-watch Game of Thrones (again) and appear attentive during long-winded meetings. What's not to love: the often overlooked effects of lens distortion. Do you really want to exaggerate messy mascara or reduce your emerald eyes to the size of green peas? Here are six tips for my four-eyed friends (and that includes me):
Stick to neutral eye makeup. The color of your eye makeup should never compete with frames or eyes. Let me break it down for you: Brown and nude eye makeup always work for dark eyes and gold, tan, beige, or warm tortoise shell glasses. Grays and charcoal-black always flatter light eyes and silver, blue, cool tortoise or black frames. Love colorful glasses in pink, red, blue or bi-color mixes? Great! Just resist adding colorful eye makeup.
Farsighted? Your eyes look huge behind lenses. Do you see things clearly in the distance but find close up objects blurry or hazy? You're hyperopic with corrective Rx lenses (and off-the-rack-readers) that are convex — thicker in the center, thinner at the edges and curved outwards. Glasses on, your eyes look anime-sized...great for those with naturally small eyes or eyes that appear smaller due to saggy or hooded lids. Go for a dark smoky eye or a simple crisp dramatic liner. Just keep it clean and fresh. Heavy-handed concealer, smudges or clumpy mascara won't show up without glasses but sure will when they're on.
Nearsighted? Your eyes seem smaller behind lenses. If you're myopic, objects in the distance are blurry or out of focus but your iPhone or e-readers are easy to see. Your corrective lenses are convex, thinner at the center and thicker at the outsides so eyes appear smaller, and the larger the frame and lenses, the smaller your eyes look. Choose medium to small frames — not oversized — and use illusionary makeup tricks. Skip the dark smoky eyes and instead apply shimmery nude, cream, champagne or sand colors on lids to enlarge and brighten eyes and liner at the lash line and beneath upper lashes (gently lift the lid) to power up your eye size. Then trace white or nude liner in the waterline (the lower eye inner rim) to make eyes really open up.
Bold dark frames team best with strong eye makeup. Whether matte or shiny-black, inky blue, rich browns and deep tortoise shell frames provide a powerful outline. Keep your makeup equally intense with a crisp gel pencil liner and enhanced brows, a smoky eye or a bright lipstick.
Wire or wireless frames require minimal eye makeup. Thinner, more refined frames require a subtle touch and colors. Liner is a must, but keep it thin, penciling it back and forth at the roots of the upper lashes to sharpen eye shape. Softly line lower lids too in a doe-eyed shape so eyes don't disappear.
Use a magnifying mirror and an eyelash curler. You can't wear your glasses while applying eye makeup so don't even try. Curl and follow with a thickening waterproof mascara — not a lengthening one — to prevent lashes from hitting and dirtying lenses.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50+, check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson and AARP's Beauty & Style issue.
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