An Introduction to Face Shapes and Sunglasses

You stand in front of the sunglasses display rack overwhelmed by the array of options. With so many styles and shapes, how do you choose the perfect pair to complement your face? The right sunglasses can pull your whole look together, while the wrong ones do the opposite. Understanding your face shape is key to finding shades that accentuate your best features. In this article, learn how to determine your face shape and what sunglass silhouettes work best for oval, round, square, heart, and diamond faces. With these tips, you'll walk out of the store with sunglasses that make you look and feel fantastic. Now go try on those cat eyes, aviators, and wayfarers to find your new go-to pair!


How to Determine Your Face Shape

Oval Face Shape

If you have an oval face shape, your features are evenly proportioned. To complement this shape, choose sunglasses that are as wide or wider than the widest part of your face. Styles that are rounded, square, or cat eye-shaped work well for oval faces. Square frames in particular help create angles and add contrast to the natural curve of an oval face.

Round Face Shape

Those with round faces have full cheeks and a rounded jawline of roughly the same width and length. To make a round face appear longer and more angular, select sunglasses that are rectangular, square, or cat eye-shaped. Styles that are as wide or wider than the widest part of your face are also flattering. Rimless or semi-rimless styles should be avoided as they emphasize the roundness.

Square Face Shape

A square face is often described as having a wide forehead, wide cheeks, and a strong, square jawline. The goal for square face shapes is to soften angles and create the illusion of length. Therefore, round or oval sunglasses are ideal choices. Cat eye shapes also work well. Rimless styles are not recommended as they draw attention to the square angles of the face.

Heart Face Shape

Heart-shaped faces are wider at the forehead and narrow at the jawline. To minimize the width of the upper face and create balance, choose sunglasses that are wider at the bottom. Cat eye, oval, and rimless styles that are wider at the bottom suit heart-shaped faces best. Round styles should be avoided.

Diamond Face Shape

Those with diamond-shaped faces have narrow foreheads and chins with wide, high cheekbones. To highlight the eyes and soften the cheek area, sunglasses that are rimless, cat eye, or oval shaped work well for diamond faces. Round styles also balance diamond faces. Avoid very square styles.

Best Sunglasses for Oval Faces

Look at Your Face in a Mirror

Stand in front of a mirror and examine your face shape. An oval face is longer than it is wide, with a forehead that is narrower than the jawline. A round face is nearly as wide as it is long, with a round chin and hairline. A square face has a broad forehead, square jawline, and similar width and length. A heart-shaped face is wider at the forehead and narrow at the jawline. A diamond-shaped face is narrow at the forehead and jawline but wider at the cheeks.

Measure Key Facial Features

If visual inspection does not provide a clear determination, take measurements of your face. Measure the width of your forehead, cheekbones, jawline, and face length from the center of your hairline to the tip of your chin. An oval face will have a jawline and forehead width smaller than the face length and cheekbone width. A round face will have nearly equal measurements. A square face will have a jawline, forehead, and face length that are nearly the same. A heart-shaped face will have a forehead width greater than the jawline and cheekbone width. A diamond-shaped face will have a cheekbone width greater than the forehead and jawline width.

Consider Other Face Attributes

Also note other attributes like a pointed or rounded chin, high or low cheekbones, a wide or narrow nose, and the openness and prominence of your eyes. These additional details can provide clarification when measurements alone do not determine a definitive face shape. With practice, you will get better at identifying the subtle distinctions in face shapes.

Knowing your basic face shape provides a guide for choosing sunglasses, haircuts, makeup, and accessories that will complement your features. The most flattering choices work with your natural contours rather than against them. With the right styling, you can make the most of your appearance and feel confident in how you present yourself to the world.

Round Face? Try These Sunglass Shapes

Emphasize the Width of Your Face

If you have an oval face shape, your main goal when choosing sunglasses is to emphasize the width of your face. Styles that are wide at the top, like cat eye or square shaped frames, are ideal for making an oval face appear wider and more balanced.

Avoid Narrow or Round Styles

Narrow frames or rounded styles will only accentuate the vertical length of an oval face, so they should be avoided. Styles like aviators or round frames will not provide the width you need to balance out your face shape.

Consider Color and Decorative Detailing

In addition to shape, look for sunglasses that incorporate decorative details on the top outer edges of the frames. Things like metal embellishments, patterns, or contrasting colors on the upper corners of cat eye frames or square frames will draw attention to the sides of the face and make it appear wider.

Key Features to Look For:

  • Cat eye or square shaped frames: These styles provide width at the top of the frames to balance an oval face.
  • Wide, horizontal frames: Frames with an exaggerated width, especially at the top, help make an oval face appear wider.
  • Decorative details on the top outer edges: Details like patterns, metal accents or contrasting colors on the top outer corners of frames draw attention to the sides of the face.
  • Avoid narrow or round frames: These shapes will only enhance the vertical length of an oval face rather than balancing it.

With the right pair of sunglasses that provide width and balance, an oval face shape can look striking. Focus on styles that emphasize the width of your face and avoid anything too narrow or round. The perfect shades for you are out there; you just have to find frames that complement your features.

Flattering Sunglasses for Square Faces

If your face is square, your jawline and forehead are about the same width, with angular features. The goal when choosing sunglasses is to soften your jawline and create an oval shape. Round or oval frames are ideal for square faces.

Round Frames

Round frames add curves to balance the angles of a square face. Frames that are slightly wider than the widest part of your face work well. Look for frames that are slightly rounded at the bottom to offset your jawline. Metal or plastic frames in gold, rose gold, or tortoise are stylish and help square faces appear more oval.

Oval Frames

Oval frames also complement square faces by making the chin and forehead appear more oval. Frames that are as wide as or slightly wider than the broadest part of your face are most flattering. Plastic or metal frames in darker colors like black, brown, and gunmetal minimize the square angles. Rimless oval frames are another stylish option.

Avoid Angular Frames

Steer clear of frames with sharp angles, square shapes, and that are too narrow or too wide for your face. These will only accentuate the squareness rather than soften it. Square frames, wayfarer styles, and frames with boxy lenses are unflattering and should be avoided.

The sunglasses you choose can make a striking difference in how flattering and fashionable you look. Round and oval frames that are proportional to your face shape help square faces appear softer and more oval. With the right style and fit of sunglasses, you can showcase your best features and feel confident out in the sun.

Picking the Perfect Shades for Diamond Faces

If you have a heart-shaped face, your face is wider at the top, narrowing to a point at the chin. The key to choosing sunglasses for a heart-shaped face is to soften the narrowness of the jawline and balance the width of the forehead.

Frames that are Wider at the Bottom

Select frames that are wider at the bottom to offset the narrowness of your jawline. Cat eye frames, aviators, and rounded frames help soften angles and balance proportions. Frames that are slightly taller in height also help create balance. Avoid frames that are wider at the top, as they can overemphasize the width of your forehead.

Rimless or Semi-Rimless Frames

Rimless or semi-rimless frames with an arched browline help open up and balance a heart-shaped face. The openness at the bottom of the frames helps offset the narrowness of the chin. The arched top line follows the natural curve of the brows to balance the width of the forehead.

Oversized Frames

Oversized frames, especially those with round or square shapes, help balance the narrowness of the jawline on a heart-shaped face. However, be careful not to choose frames that are too wide, as they can overpower a heart-shaped face. Oversized cat eye frames and rounded frames in a medium size work well to balance proportions.

To summarize, the keys to choosing flattering sunglasses for a heart-shaped face are:

  • Select frames that are wider at the bottom to balance a narrow jawline
  • Consider rimless, semi-rimless, or oversized frames to open up and balance the face
  • Choose frames with a rounded, square, or cat eye shape
  • Medium to slightly oversized frames usually work best for heart-shaped faces

With the right style and fit, sunglasses can help highlight your best features and bring balance to a heart-shaped face. Take your time and try on multiple pairs to find the perfect sunglasses for your face shape.

More Tips for Finding Your Best Sunglasses

Frames that Minimize Width

Diamond-shaped faces feature a narrow forehead and jawline that widens at the cheeks. To minimize the width and create balance, choose frames that are wider at the top. Cat eye styles, aviators, and wayfarers with angles that point upward are ideal. Their wider upper rims help offset the wider cheek area. Avoid rimless styles and frames that are wider at the bottom, as these will make your face appear even more bottom-heavy.

Embrace Angles and Embellishments

Angular frames with embellishments along the upper rim also help create balance for diamond faces. Look for frames that have angles, like a cat eye shape. Decorative details like metal filigree or gemstone accents along the upper rim draw attention upward and make the widest part of the face appear more proportional.

Consider Color and Contrast

Using color and contrast is another way to create balance for diamond faces. Choose frames that are darker or bolder along the top rim, which helps minimize the width at the cheeks. Lighter colors and frameless bottoms will make the bottom half of your face look even more prominent by comparison. Tortoiseshell frames, with their mix of light and dark tones, also work well for diamond faces. The varying shades naturally draw attention away from the cheeks.

Additional Tips

Some other tips for diamond faces:

  • Medium to oversized frames help offset the width at the cheeks.
  • Round frames also soften the angles of the diamond face shape.
  • If choosing rimless frames, look for a modified cat eye or aviator style with a solid top rim.
  • Consider frames with decorative temples, as these also draw attention upward.

With the right frames that minimize and balance their defining features, diamond faces can rock stylish sunglasses. Follow these tips and you'll be finding pairs that complement your unique face shape in no time.

Sunglasses FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

Once you determine your face shape, consider these additional tips for finding sunglasses that compliment your features:

Size and Scale

The size and scale of the sunglasses should be in proportion to your face. Oversized sunglasses can overpower small faces, while standard sizes may seem dwarfed on larger faces. For the best results, try on multiple sizes to find one that fits comfortably and balances your features.

For oval faces, larger lenses that cover more of your face help create balance, while smaller lenses accentuate the length. Round faces are complemented by slightly angular frames to create definition, so oval, cat eye or square styles are ideal. Square faces look best with rounded frames to soften angles, such as aviators or frames with rounded edges. Heart-shaped faces should aim for frames that are wider at the bottom to balance a narrow jawline, like cat eye, aviator or rounded styles. Frames that are wider at the top, such as frames with decorative details, balance diamond-shaped faces.

Color and Frame Material

The color and material of the frames also make a difference. Darker frames tend to minimize features, while lighter colors draw more attention. Metal frames are more angular and define facial contours. Plastic frames offer more flexibility in shape and size. A combination of materials, such as metal and plastic, provides contrast.

For the best results, try on multiple pairs of sunglasses in different styles, sizes and colors. Ask a sales associate for input, or take selfies from multiple angles to compare the options. With patience, you can find the perfect pair of sunglasses to compliment your unique face shape and personal style.

Roger Sarkis