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What face shape do I have and which glasses are best?

illustration of woman's head with different face shapes wearing different glasses styles for each face shape

If you’ve shopped for glasses, at some point you’ve probably wondered: “What shape face do I have and what are the best style eyeglasses for this shape?”

Determining what type of face shape you have can help guide your purchase, narrowing down your selection to the frame shapes and styles that will balance your features and flatter your face. This can be especially helpful when buying online because you can’t try anything on physically, and a site’s selection may be so vast and varied it's hard to know where to start.

Generally, there are seven face shapes:

  • Oval

  • Oblong

  • Round

  • Square

  • Diamond

  • Heart 

  • Triangle 

While there are slightly different variations, and some shapes may go by different names (like oblong as rectangle or heart as an inverted pyramid), these shapes are the most common.

It’s important to keep in mind that while figuring out what kind of face shape you have can be helpful, it’s not a science. You may find that your face doesn’t fit any shape exactly or is a combination of shapes. So remember that these shapes are meant to guide, not dictate. If you like the way a certain style looks on you, wear it with confidence (even if it’s not listed as one of the best shapes for your face). 

First things first: To figure out your face shape, you need to examine your face and maybe do a little math.

READ MORE: The best glasses for your face shape and skin tone

What face shape do I have? 

When you ask yourself, “What kind of face shape do I have?” there are a couple of ways you can find out: Look at your face or measure your face.

A visual assessment

Start by finding a mirror or taking a selfie. This is not the time to pose. Face the mirror or the camera squarely and look directly into it. Study the lines of your face and the placement of your features, especially as they are related to each other. Then consider the following:

  • Look at your jawline – Does it have a rounded look or is it more angular? Angular lines are associated with face shapes like square, heart or diamond, while rounded jawlines fit with oval or circle shapes.

  • Consider your chin – How prominent is it? Are the lines leading from the base of your jaw to your chin more horizontal or more vertical? A pointed or prominent chin is the hallmark of a heart shape, and also fits with the diamond shape.

  • Trace your hairline – Draw a line from ear to ear along your hairline. Is this line straighter, like in a square face, or more curved, like in a round face? 

  • Eyeball the length and width of your face – If the height of your face (from chin to hairline) is longer than the width (from cheek to cheek), you may have an oval or heart-shaped face, but if the length and width are similar, you may have a round or square face.

  • Look for the most prominent feature – Honestly assess which features stand out. Do you have a strong jaw, pointed chin, high cheekbones, longer forehead? When looking for what glasses are best for your face shape, you’re looking for balance. So, for example, if you have a pointed chin, thicker, more rounded frames may draw the eye up and balance your features. If you have prominent cheeks a semi-rimless look would emphasize the browline and avoid adding unnecessary bulk to the cheek area.

The measurements

If you want to get really technical about your face shape, you can take a few quick measurements with a flexible runner or sewing tape measure. The point of taking these measurements is to compare them to each other. For example, on an oblong face, the jaw is the same width as the forehead, while on a triangle face the jaw is wider than the forehead. Those measurements may help guide you toward a face shape if it isn’t obvious when you look in the mirror.

  • Face length – Start at the middle of your hairline, a spot in line with your nose, and take it down to the center of your chin.

  • Jaw width – Measure from the spot where your jaw meets the bottom of your ear lobe to your chin. Then multiply that number by two.

  • Cheekbone width – Measure from approximately the spot where your ear meets your hairline, or the widest part of your cheeks, across the bridge of your nose to the other side. This is generally right below your eyes.

  • Forehead width – Look for the widest point of your forehead and measure along that line, from your hairline to hairline.

What shape face do I have and what are the best style eyeglasses?

Now that you’ve answered the question, “What type of face shape do I have?” you can determine what style or shape of eyeglasses you should get.

The oval face shape

Defining features: The oval face shape is defined by being longer than it is wide, with cheekbones slightly wider than the forehead and jaw. The forehead may also be a little taller, while the cheekbones are also typically positioned higher on the face and are more prominent. Overall, this face shape is considered one of the more naturally well-balanced and is therefore suited to many different styles of glasses.

Look for these glasses: If you have an oval-shaped face, you can choose from many different styles. So be bold and try something fun, daring or trendy. Consider bright colors, interesting textures or unique shapes — or stick to the classics. To best compliment your face shape, go for frames that are as wide as (or wider than) the broadest part of your face. Consider more geometric or angular shapes to balance the soft curves of your face. 

  • Wide, but not oversized, frames

  • Square

  • Rectangular

  • Geometric

  • Cat-eye or horn-rimmed (even with temple embellishments)

Avoid these glasses: Oversized frames that take up too much of your face (think more than half) will throw off the natural balance of your face. You can avoid round or oval-shaped glasses because they simply won’t look as good as the myriad of other options you have. 

The oblong or rectangular face shape

Defining features: An oblong face shape is similar to an oval face shape in that it is longer than it is wide, but the cheek line is long and straight. 

The right glasses: Like an oval face, many different shapes will work well on you. If you want to de-emphasize the length of your face, look for glasses that are deeper than they are wide. Because you have room on your face, these glasses won’t look crowded and will balance the length of your face. Bold browlines and decorative details on the temple area are also perfect for this face shape.

  • Cat-eye

  • Browline, semi-rimless

  • Two-toned with lighter or clear bottoms

  • Round

  • Square

  • Aviator

The wrong glasses: Avoid thin, narrow or rectangular shapes because they will emphasize the length of your face.

The round face shape

Defining features: If you have a round face, your forehead and jaw are around the same width and your cheekbones are the widest. You may have fuller cheeks. Both your jaw and hairline have rounded, subtle lines. The width and length of your face are essentially the same as well.

The right glasses: While many styles look good on round faces, angular glasses like rectangle shapes tend to work best, adding definition and downplaying roundness. Look for glasses that have bold, angular lines with bottoms that hit just above your cheekbone and a thin or clear bridge.

The wrong glasses: Round, oval, rimless or overly deep glasses overemphasize the roundness of your face, rather than complementing it.

The square face shape

Defining features: With a square face shape, you can effectively draw a clear, straight line along the sides of your face, from forehead to jaw. The lines across your chin and forehead also form straight-enough lines, with a strong horizontal jawline. The width and length of a square face are effectively the same. 

The right glasses: Because square faces are linear, rounder or curvier frames provide a beautiful contrast with your face shape. Rounded or oval frames soften strong, angular lines. Look for a thinner frame, one that is slightly wider than your cheekbones. The glasses should look proportional to the length and width of your face.

The wrong glasses: Angular or boxy frames draw attention to angular features. Square or rectangle frames may make your face appear bulkier.

The diamond face shape

Defining features: People with a diamond face shape have more prominent cheekbones that are wider than their forehead or chin. While this is similar to an oval face, the diamond face shape differs in two ways: The cheekbones are wider while the chin and forehead are narrower, and the lines along the sides of the face are more angular.

The right glasses: If you have a diamond face shape, your cheekbones are more prominent than your browline, adding impact to the browline without adding unnecessary bulk to the cheek is key, so glasses that have thicker tops than bottoms like semi-rimless glasses work well. Also look for frames that sweep up the cheeks, pulling the eye upward toward the temple (think cat-eyes). These will balance your face, complementing your cheekbones rather than making your face look wider.

  • Cat-eye or horn-rimmed

  • Oval

  • Browline

  • Rimless or semi-rimless

  • Glasses with distinctive detailing on the temple

The wrong glasses: Avoid oversized, boxy or long rectangular frames that will overemphasize your cheeks’ width and draw more attention to the narrow points of the face.

The heart or base-up triangle face shape

Defining features: A heart-shaped face is sometimes called a base-up triangle or inverted triangle (think of a triangle in the shape of a V). A base-up or inverted triangle may be used more often when describing what face shape you have for males. This face shape features a forehead and cheekbones that are the same width — or a forehead that is slightly wider than the cheekbones — with a significantly thinner chin. 

The right glasses: Look for frames that are slightly wider than your forehead for balance. Soft shapes help balance the lines and angles of your face. Consider thin, light-colored or rimless frames with low-drop temples that don’t sit too heavily on your face. 

  • Wayfarer

  • Oval

  • Rimless

  • Bottom-heavy glasses

The wrong glasses: Avoid glasses that emphasize the eyebrow rim or temple, like semi-rimless or temple embellishments. While cat-eye or horn-rimmed frames can work depending on their shape, you want to avoid glasses that sweep up too severely along the cheek — they mimic your face shape, rather than adding that desired complementary contrast. 

The base-down triangle, pyramid or pear face shape

Defining features: The triangle face shape, which looks like a pyramid, is the opposite of the heart-shaped face. Those with this face shape have a wider jaw than forehead and the cheekbones are no wider than the chin or forehead. 

The right glasses: Look for glasses that have a top rim that is as wide as or wider than the widest part of your face, likely your jawline. The ideal frames for those with a triangle-shaped face emphasize the browline with thicker frames, detailing or color. Don’t be afraid of a strong bridge either.

  • D-frames

  • Aviator

  • Cat-eye or horn-rimmed

  • Semi-rimless

  • Two-toned with lighter or clear bottoms

The wrong glasses: Avoid glasses that are smaller or narrower on your face, because they will draw more attention to your jawline. Bottom-heavy glasses will also pull the eye down.

By analyzing what shape face you have and the glasses that look best on that shape, you can find the right glasses for you — or you may find a style that surprises you, one you would never expect works on your face. The whole point of this is simple: Have fun, and find some great-looking glasses that provide just the right balance to your unique features. 

READ MORE: How to pick the best sunglasses for your face shape

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