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Learn to wear makeup in a way that makes your glasses pop and vice versa!
Are you wondering how to get into a good makeup routine without wrecking your beat face or pricey spectacles? We’ve got you.
We chatted with Kerrin Jackson, a four-time Emmy-nominated makeup artist (or MUA, as they say). Jackson is also the creator of The Makeup Refinery blog and the podcaster behind the 5 Minute Face Talk Podcast.
Join us on a journey to beauty school in this exciting guide to wearing makeup with glasses!
Jackson offers an alternative if you can’t switch to contact lenses for your makeup routine. While it can take some time to streamline your makeup regimen with glasses, she says a set of makeup magnifying glasses can be a savior.
“They contain just one lens that you can shift from left to right eye and vice versa,” she says.
You can find tons of these from Amazon or Walmart. Jackson points out several customized options on Etsy, saying that some lift your glasses higher up off your nose to allow you to access your eye area from underneath your glasses.
“Using these can require a bit more of a learning curve to master,” she says. “But it might be worth exploring if you struggle with your makeup application and your vision hinders it.”
Once you’ve grabbed a pair of makeup glasses, you’re ready for Jackson’s makeup routine!
1. Skin prep
Start with your regular skincare routine, emphasizing priming your skin. This can be a liquid makeup primer or a spray version if your skin is sensitive and prefers something lighter. Jackson says to keep your moisturizer minimal around the nose bridge area.
2. Apply your foundation
Jackson suggests using a mineral powder foundation for your all-over makeup (if it suits your skin type).
“If not, you can use a powder foundation just for the bridge area of your nose, or a pressed powder is a good option as well,” she says.
She explains you can layer the powder to build an excellent layer, which will help prevent any sliding or friction that will remove and transfer your makeup at that point.
Still, Jackson also reminds us not to go too hard with a foundation on the nose bridge area. You don’t want too much build-up in this area, making it too slippery for your glasses to sit nicely.
3. Powder time
“Powder is obviously going to be your best friend when it comes to preventing makeup smudging and transferring because of your glasses,” Jackson says.
She says to thoroughly powder your nose bridge area, leaving the excess powder on for good measure. For those who have glasses with nose pads, Jackson says you can even pop some powder onto the nose pads where they are in contact with your skin.
“This will help prevent the shiny nose-pads from sticking, rubbing, and friction, causing your makeup to shift and transfer, leaving big red oval shapes when you take your glasses off,” she says.
4. Apply your eye makeup
While you can apply looks that avoid creating shadows, considering that glasses will exaggerate whatever you choose, Jackson always encourages people to apply makeup to their personal tastes.
“I love to follow the old adage that there are no rules in makeup,” she says.
Jackson explains that you’ll first start by doing your eye that is exposed from the one open lens side on your makeup glasses. She also points out that long lashes can make too much contact with your lenses.
“To help avoid this, be sure to give them a preemptive curl before putting on your mascara,” Jackson says.
This will effectively “shorten” them in terms of how and where they sit relative to the lenses of your glasses. Plus, Jackson says this can help keep them from bending into the lenses and irritating your eyes.
5. Flip and repeat
Once you have finished your eye makeup (e.g. mascara, eyeliner, or brow makeup), Jackson says to flip the lens over to the other side of your face and repeat your makeup.
6. Don’t forget your brows
Maybe you’re not a brows person, but they matter big time.
“Remember to groom your brows nicely — as they can peep over the tops of your frames, framing your frames, and should look clean and tidy,” Jackson says.
When it comes to foundation, Jackson says it might be best to avoid oil-based liquids or creams and stick with a water or silicon-based foundation.
Again, she likes mineral power foundations for glass-wearers, saying it will help you prevent any transfer or wreckage around your precious peepers.
However, she points out that acne-prone or dry skin folks should skip it and opt for long-lasting, water-based, and silicon-based foundations instead. Psst. We list the best foundations for dry folks here.
Here are some specific products Jackson recommends for glasses wearers:
What makeup looks best with glasses?
“I like to think that the style of your frames and your own personality and complexion can help dictate which makeup will look best and suit all of these things for you,” Jackson says.
She suggests letting your frames inspire your makeup.
“If you have bold frames, perhaps go for a softer look with your eye makeup and wear a strong lip to balance the frames on your face,” Jackson says.
Or, if your frames are fine and petite, she suggests a stronger eye makeup look.
“As I always say, there are no rules in makeup, so get to know your face, the clothing colors that suit you best, your hair color, and of course, your glasses frames color and style,” Jackson says.
How to do makeup while wearing glasses?
Jackson recommends grabbing a pair of makeup glasses, explaining they allow you to see what you’re doing while keeping magnifying glasses on. You can find these via Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, you name it.
What foundation is good for people who wear glasses?
Jackson is a fan of mineral powder foundation in this case, explaining it’s likely your best bet to avoid any disruption to your makeup from your glasses.
If that sounds like you, Jackson recommends long-lasting water-based and silicon-based foundations as your next best contender.
Should I wear eyeliner if I wear glasses?
Jackson repeats her mantra: There are no rules in makeup.
“If you want to wear eyeliner, wear eyeliner,” she says.
Just know that your eye makeup may appear exaggerated if you have powerful lenses.
“This may mean you soften your heavy black pencil eyeliner or switch to a softer shade like navy blue, charcoal, or a soft, cool brown shade,” she says.
You could also mess around with some white eyeliners famous for making your eyes look bigger and well-rested.
She suggests experimenting to see how different depths of color and intensities of eyeliners look, keeping in mind that it’s best to start with less and build your way up. This way, you don’t have to wipe everything off and start from scratch, wasting time and precious makeup budget.
Sometimes, you need your glasses to see what you’re doing. According to our trusted MUA, using makeup glasses (many are around $10 online) can help you know what you’re doing in the mirror without wrecking your actual glasses or your makeup.
Other tips, like using the proper foundation and strategically applying powder, can also help reduce makeup transfer around your nose.
Take your time and experiment wisely. Eventually, you’ll have all eyes on you — in a good way!