How to reset your make-up routine when you wear glasses

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28 February 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’m not what you’d call an early adopter. I don’t understand Bitcoin, TikTok is pretty much a foreign country and when people talk about Alexa I think they’re referring to the teenage barista at my favourite cafe.

So I waited until the words began to slide off the page, and Mike McRoberts’ nightly missives
appeared fuzzy around the edges, before I figured there was something wrong with my eyesight.

One optometrist appointment later and I was in possession of sleek black glasses, my ticket to the “World in HD” ride. It might have taken months, plus 90 agonising minutes to chose the right frames for my face, but I finally found my tribe – the 54 percent or so of Kiwis who use either prescription eye-glasses or contacts.

It mattered little that I only had to wear them for working on screen, watching TV and deciphering the annoyingly Hobbit-sized print on supermarket labels; I quickly embraced geek chic, tossing out names such as fashion icon Iris Apfel, Jennifer Aniston and Selena Gomez whenever anyone felt the need to put the words “four” and “eyes” into the same sentence.

I probably also lectured them about the 2018 University of Edinburgh study which revealed the correlation between specs and higher levels of intelligence. Researchers who analysed cognitive and genetic data from over 300,000 people aged between 16 and 102 found that people who were more intelligent were almost 30 percent more likely to have genes which meant they’d need to wear glasses. Take that, haters!

But as Shakespeare almost said, after sunshine comes rain. Even though I enjoyed seeing the world clearly for the first time in ages, there were downsides: I forget to take my glasses anywhere I needed to read stuff and I was constantly misplacing and dropping them.

My make-up also needed a major reset. Because lenses cast a shadow, I had to rethink where and how much concealer was needed, along with changing my eyeshadow, mascara and highlighter.

That was six years ago, and in that time I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make your make-up simple but noticeable if you’re part of the glasses club:

There’s no getting around the fact that specs can cause shadowing/reflection under the eyes, especially if your frames are dark. Which, of course, can make dark circles look even worse. To counteract that, invest in a yellow-toned concealer which can magically make shadows disappear. Just don’t forget to use a big, fluffy brush to blend it well.

Frames constantly sliding your down nose can be a trap for young players. So whoever invented eyeshadow primer deservers a promotion. Even if you have no intention of using foundation, a good base primer will help to anchor your frames in the right position. Double up on translucent powder or setting spray if you need it.

Curl, girl! Your lashes, that is. Dust off the old eyelash curler for lashes that won’t smush up against your lenses but will make your eyes pop. And if you’re going for falsies, choose them based on volume rather than length so again they won’t constantly interact with your lenses.

If eyes are the window to one’s soul, then eyebrows are surely the window frames. So think of glasses as doubling up on the frame action. The clue here is to go big – tweeze or get your brows threaded regularly then do your bit for the pencil, gel and powder manufacturers of this world by ensuring your brows shine (and not in a bad way) above your glasses.

This is also the chance to flay yourself at the temple of dark eyeshadow, a smoky eye and eyeliner because bold works well behind glass. To avoid the horrible mash-up of mascara and lenses, always choose smudge-proof mascara (and make it volumising rather than curling, which helps to swerve around stained lenses).

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