How to master wearing glasses on make-up like Madonna

Glasses can mess with your make-up, here's the solution

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Credit: MADONNA/INSTAGRAM

Madonna is a big wearer of glasses - in most of her social media posts, she's donning a pair of spectacles, whilst still wearing make-up. But if like me, you wear glasses all day everyday, you’ll know: they can really mess with your make-up.

They can obscure elements, compete with your brows and just get in the way, frankly. Your eyes can get lost with a big, dark frame, feel exposed by large lenses with thin frames, and have every mascara smudge and slipped flick of liner amplified by thick lenses. But when you know the right makeup tricks, you can make both your glasses and eyes look like the perfect pair.

“The trick is to think of your glasses as part of the make-up and part of the look,” says MAC Global Senior Artist Claire Mulleady. “If your frames are glossy and reflect a lot of light, you can balance this with choosing matte eye shadows and vice versa: you can afford a bit more shimmer on your eyes if your frames are matte.”

Once texture is sorted, consider colour. “If you want a contrasting pop to stand out from gold metal frames, opt for purple or navy bases,” advises Bobbi Brown Featured Artist, Amalie Russell. “If you want a softer look to support your eyewear use colours similar to your frames. If your frames have cooler metals try warmer earthy colours to pop such as gold, coppers or greens.” As a rule tortoiseshell, clear and black frames act as pseudo-neutrals: they frame any colour your fancy.

Next, the placement of your products can really set off your glasses to perfection, says Amalie. “The shape of your glasses work best when the eye makeup is reflected to compliment the frame. If weight and thickness sits on top, you may want to balance a soft smoke on your lower lashes. If your frames have a circular effect, a soft smoky eye shadow can work nicely. If you have cat like frames, a winged liner mirrors the shape beautifully with the eye.”

Then, eyeliner is key to stop eyes getting lost behind frames - and Madonna usually follows this rule to perfection. “If you wear thick black frames, wear a thick black liner to keep the balance,” advises Claire, “For a softer frame try a softer pencil liner to give definition to the eye that won’t overwhelm the look. Then make sure you curl the lashes before adding mascara, to stop them smudging on the lenses.”

And lastly, brows. “A thicker or darker frame works well with slightly bolder brows,” says Amalie, “so add volume and shape where needed. If you have thinner, lighter frames your best bet is to reflect the delicacy of the frame, opting for or a softer, natural brow.”

The best five make-up products for glasses

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Ivy Shimmer Ink Gel Eyeliner £20

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Ivy Shimmer Ink Gel Eyeliner £20

MAC Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash £17

MAC Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash £17

Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil £22.50

Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil £22.50

Charlotte Tilbury The Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate £39

Charlotte Tilbury The Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate £39

 Smashbox Photo Edit Eye shadow Trio in Day Rate £20

 Smashbox Photo Edit Eye shadow Trio in Day Rate £20

How to protect your skin from spec-breakouts, with facialist Dija Ayodele

“The main problem I find with my clients that wear glasses is breakouts on bridge of the nose, behind ears, on the tops of cheeks and on the sides of the face where the glasses sit. Taking glasses on and off all the time makes them dirty, so that when combined with a ‘skin soup’ of sticky sebum, dead skin cells, bacteria, make up and SPF, you get the perfect conditions for breakouts.”

  1. Keep glasses as clean as possible.
  2. If you constantly push your glasses to your head into your hair, stop. Bacteria, oil and dirt from your hair is being transferred back to you face each time you wear the glasses again.
  3. Make sure you pay special attention to those areas when cleansing.
  4. Ensure your glasses fit your face properly. Not too tight that they mark and not too loose that you’re constantly touching them to adjust.