If you’re afraid your eye makeup look will get lost behind reading glasses, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, the accessory still carries a stigma that makes men and women think they should wear them only when absolutely necessary or behind closed doors. In actuality, wearing glasses presents an opportunity to better frame and highlight the eyes, as you can play more with product and applications that might feel heavy without them.
According to Julie Fredrickson, CEO and founder of Stowaway Cosmetics, “the trick to looking great with glasses is giving your eyes as much dimension as possible by highlighting areas, like your inner eye, and pushing back and framing others, like your crease.”
Ahead are five ways to make your eyes radiant under a set of specs, all of which can be done with a shadow set, like Stowaway’s Essential Eye Palette ($26).
Contour your crease. Since wearing glasses can change how others perceive the depth and dimension of your eyes, a little eye contour along the crease goes a long way.
“The crease is where the top of your eyelid and your brow bone meet in an indentation. Use a nice neutral color on your lid and then use a dark brown, mauve, or even black in your crease to create a shadow pushing back the crease and adding in depth. I will usually use one of my matte brown or mauve shades in Stowaway’s Essential Eye Palette.”
Use an illuminator in the inner eye, under-eye line, and under-brow bone. Fredrickson also says that “drawing in attention and light to your eyes underneath lenses will help them appear brighter and wider and contrast beautifully with a darkened crease. Remember you are adding back in dimension so choose a color that contrasts with the crease color.” The best way to do this is by adding a little shimmer.
Line your upper lid. Although fully lining the top and bottom lash lines can look super glamorous, it can also feel heavy and push back your eyes underneath glasses, making you look sleepy. “Instead, use one line on your top lid as tight as you can get to your lash line,” says Fredrickson. “I like using a brown eyeliner here personally, as it keeps your eyes defined without being harsh.”
Wing It. Concerned that your glasses are making your eyes look closer together? Simply extend the line of your eyes by extending your eyeliner with a wing. “Most glasses are wider than your eye, and it gives you the chance to do the wide-eyed look without it being too wild.”
Groom Your Brows. Glasses already act as a frame, so make sure your real eye frames—your brows—are brushed and filled in. “No need to go full squared-off Instagram-brow, just make sure they are tidy,” says Fredrickson. “I use a light matte brown and the angled brush in Stowaway’s Essential Eye Palette to quickly get stray hairs in place and fill in any sparse areas.”