The stiletto example

Has this happened to you? You are shopping for dresses, and the store clerk offers you stilettos to try with them.

Not to buy, necessarily, but to “complete the look.” This can be useful if you plan to wear the dress with heels.  

But stilettos do more than just “complete the look.” They make almost anything you wear look fabulous.

Stilettos change your posture

They change the way you carry your body. They deepen the arch of the back and cause the butt and chest to stick out. They add inches to your height, making your legs look longer and thinner.  

They do a lot more than just show how the dress will hang when you have your favorite heels on.

Kicking off your heels

But anyone who has been to a wedding knows that the stilettos don’t stay on. As much as we may love them, they can be uncomfortable. 

How does the dress look without them?

Probably fine. But not necessarily fantastic. And fantastic would be better, wouldn’t it?

Flattering your unique shape

A great dress for you looks fabulous on you with both feet flat on the ground. 

It looks that way because it is an exceptionally good fit. Because the unique lines of your body are complemented and flattered by the unique cut of the dress. 

That’s the dress that will still look fabulous when you kick your heels off, and phenomenal when you keep them on.

How does this relate to glasses? 

Make up also changes the appearance of your face. 

It doesn’t literally change your face shape the way that stilettos literally alter your posture. But, it does give the appearance of change by emphasizing different features. 

For example, a common tip to “widen the eyes” is to apply dark eyeshadow to the outer corner and light eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye.

Make up causes mediocre frames to look good

Just like stilettos make a pretty-good-on-you dress look great, make up can cause many frames to look about equally attractive on you.

Sounds like a good thing, right? 

But as a result, you can’t tell which frames look great because they fit you so well and flatter your unique face shape and features, vs which ones only look good because you look so good with your pretty, made-up face. 

My experience

I remember a glasses shopping trip I made years ago on a day when I happened to be all done up with lots of eyeliner and mascara. 

I found I looked pretty good even in frame shapes that I know don’t work for me generally. Frames that were the wrong shape for my face. Even in frames that were obviously too large. 

I couldn’t tell which I liked. There was no clear winner.

Make the exceptional frames stand out

Unless you wear make up all the time, it would be nice to have a pair that looks good even when you aren’t wearing it. You don’t want to end up with frames that you can only pull off when you have your whole face on. 

But that’s not actually why I recommend going bare-faced for glasses shopping.

In a sea of frames that look “just ok” on you, the particularly flattering frames will float to the top more easily when you don’t have all the frames looking about equally good simply because you and your pretty, made-up face looks good. 

So if you want to find the best possible fit, and to pick it out from the other options more easily and quickly, I recommend skipping make up when you try on frames. It’s what I do.

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