Your Guide to Eyeglasses
Eyeglass FramesThe most fun part of getting new glasses is picking out the frames! Choose eyeglasses/sunglasses frames in shapes and materials that compliment your color, the size and shape of your face, and, of course, your lifestyle.
Matching Your Skin ToneIf your complexion is warm (e.g., peaches & cream or golden), or you have auburn or golden highlights in your hair, consider gold, bronze or copper frames, or plastic frames in off-white, coral or warm tortoise shell tones. If you have a cool complexion (olive, blue or pink undertones) or black, white, gray or pale blond hair, consider silver, black, blue, jade or purple frames.
Complimenting your face shapeThose with an oval face shape look good in almost any frame shape, but choose frames that are at least as wide as the widest part of your face. Triangle-shaped faces look best in frames that are rimless or wider at the bottom. Oblong-shaped faces appear shorter when frames have a low bridge or are decorated at the temples. Square-faced people have broad foreheads and strong jaw lines. Wide-spanning narrow ovals are a great choice.
Plastic framesThey frames are available in every imaginable color. However you like your glasses to be, it is all up to the frame. For cost-effective, lightweight frames, choose zylonite, which can be designed with a lighter color inside and a darker color outside. Nylon-based plastic (propionate) is also lightweight, and is glossier and more transparent than other plastics.
Metal FramesMetal frames are more durable than plastics. Nickel-free metal frames are also available.
TitaniumThese can be more expensive than plastic, but it is certainly gaining in popularity. Hypo-allergenic, lightweight and durable, it comes in many colors. One titanium-based alloy—flexon—is lightweight, extremely flexible and is described as a 'memory' metal, so your frames' shape comes back even after twisting and bending.
Stainless steelThese are reasonably priced, durable and can be hypo-allergenic, plus stainless frames are usually reasonably priced.
Gold and SilverThese frames are also hypo-allergenic, flexible, and can resist corrosion, but they can also be uncomfortable and cost more than other choices.
Bone, Wood and HornThey are still occasionally used in beautiful, one-of-a-kind frames, but can be stiff and expensive.
Lens CoatingsAnti-reflective (AR) coatings block reflected light to decrease glare. They are also safety features for night-driving and comfortable for prolonged computer use. AR coatings also provide cosmetic value, as they make your eyes more visible to onlookers.
- The insides of sunglass lenses can also be treated with AR coatings, minimizing glare and decreasing reflections. AR coatings are a valuable, if somewhat pricey, addition to your lenses, but the surface can be easily scratched if wiped with a dry cloth. Most of today’s lenses have scratch-resistant coatings, but additional coatings are available—at a price—to help minimize scratch marks.
- Ultraviolet treatments consist of invisible dye that blocks out all of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Photochromic lenses also block 100% of UV rays without an added UV lens treatment.
Bifocals & TrifocalsTo blend or not to blend is a big concern for eyeglasses users on a budget. Progressive lenses are seamless, but can be expensive. Keep in mind that frames for bi- and trifocals must be large enough to accommodate multiple prescriptions.
Contact lensesContacts can be rigid—oxygen permeable—or soft lenses made from plastics which contain water. Some are disposable, others must be changed and cleaned daily, and some are extended-wear lenses that you can keep in while you sleep.
- Spherical contact lenses correct near- or farsightedness, whereas bifocal contacts can correct both, and toric lenses correct astigmatism. Some contact lenses include UV protection, while others are strictly for cosmetic use, such as those that mask eye deformities or temporarily change your eye color. Choosing the prescription contacts right for you may be a matter of trial and error.
If you need a new look, nothing will help you see the world in a whole new light as easily as a temporary switch to sapphire blue, honey gold or emerald green eyes!
SunglassesAvailable in all shapes, sizes and colors, sunglasses make a cool fashion statement while blocking out harmful UV rays. When choosing any sunglasses, from Versace shades to Ray-Ban aviator glasses, and from classic Wayfarers to folding clip-ons, consider what you will be using them for, and make sure they block out those nasty UV rays.
Mirrored sunglassesThese are popular with athletes, because the coating reflects some of the light away from the lenses, making them helpful in very bright conditions. The silvery mirrored surface can be of any color and can be applied to any color lenses. Mirrored lenses also stay cool under the sun.
Polarized LensesThese are very popular among car drivers, fisherman and golfers. Polarized lenses reduce glare on horizontal surfaces—so much so that they allow fisherman to see past reflections on the water’s surface, and look directly into the water.
Clip-on SunglassesClip-on sunglasses are perennial favorites that attach to prescription spectacles or baseball caps, and are an inexpensive, handy alternative to prescription sunglasses or transition-style lenses, which darken in sunlight. Be sure to purchase clip-ons that fit your prescription glasses.
Eyewear for AllHopefully this explains the basic eyewear out there and all the best in looking at things! :)