Guide your patients to frame nirvana knowing key characteristics about facial features and skin tones.

The influence of face shape and skin tones never wavers when selecting eyewear. If you’re feeling rusty about what you need to know, don’t fret. Your guide to face shapes and color analysis starts now.

The seven basic face shapes include two curvilinear shapes, round and oval, and five angular shapes, which are oblong (rectangular), square, diamond, base-up triangle (heart shape) and base-down triangle (pear shape). Since oval is considered the ideal shape, the eyecare professional’s goal is to select eyewear that will make any other face shape appear more oval. Some faces are a bit more challenging to identify because they combine shapes. Begin by determining if the face is more curved than angular. If it is more curvilinear, the face shape is oval or round. If the features are more angular, the face shape is one of the other five shapes.

Curvilinear shapes are softer, and angular shapes are stronger. If the face is round or full, a frame with angles will balance it. If someone has angular features, you can soften the shape with a curved frame style. Round frames on round faces make faces look fuller. You could take a head shot or draw an imaginary oval over your patient’s face shape and select a frame that will fill in the spaces to achieve an oval effect.

The rounded, slightly cat-eye shape of the Roberto Cavalli 0963 by Marcolin brings the attention upward to offset the squared jawline of the base-down triangular face shape. A person with an oblong/rectangular face shape benefits from a frame with a deeper B measurement and by having some softening resulting from a curvilinear shape such as that offered by Vera Wang 389 from Kenmark. Zyloware’s Sophia Loren BR 74 is a classic metal rectangle offering the angles needed to reduce the appearance of fullness in a round face. Leon 4031 by Zyloware would offer balance to a base-up (heart) shaped face by having fullness at the bottom of the frame to draw attention downward. The somewhat cat-eye shape of Brendel 92203 from Tura would give uplift to a woman with a base- down triangle face shape.

It’s important when selecting styles to consider the facial features and sizes. Smaller faces with petite features should have smaller styles. On the other hand, someone with larger features can pull off very dramatic bold styling such as the rectangular shaped Via Spiga Fabiana by Zyloware, which provides a touch of the wild with a bold animal print in either black or burgundy.

All colors can be classified into either warm or cool. Everything in nature is one or the other…never mixed (see chart). Someone with a round face and soft warm coloring (a spring) would be more balanced with the softly angled shape of the Silhouette Titan Accent in shape 4497 and color 6064 which is a soft aqua combination.

Gwen Stefani GX004 from Tura in Teal would look fabulous on a diamond-shaped face in soft cool coloring. The top positioned temple would not hide the wonderful cheekbones of this rare face shape. Ted Baker B884 would soften the angles on someone with a square face and look, and tortoise would be perfect for someone with warm coloring.

Rosarin Marte, a student at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, has a mostly oval face with just a bit of fullness but not enough to identify as round. So we don’t want to disrupt her beautiful face shape. With her complexion, with perfectly cool skin tones that are very intense (winter), so she can pull off bold colors. From the Europa Scott Harris collection, I selected SH 426 in color 3 which is cherry/multi/black. The modified upsweep follows her browline, keeping her face in balance.

Diane F. Drake, LDO, ABOM, FCLSA, is a licensed optician, writer, lecturer, and consultant to optical professionals in Jackson, GA.


Europa International 800.621.4108 • europaeye.com

Kenmark Optical 800.627.2898 • kenmarkoptical.com

Marcolin USA 800.345.8482 • marcolin.com

Silhouette Optical, Ltd. 800.223.0180 • silhouette.com

Tura, Inc. 800.242.8872 • tura.com

Zyloware Eyewear 800.765.3700 • zyloware.com


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