Are glasses supposed to cover your eyebrows?

Whether you're a first-time glasses wearer or you've been wearing them for years, the appearance and style of your spectacles are just as crucial as your vision.

But you have this nagging uncertainty…

Should glasses cover my eyebrows?

The top of your glasses frame shouldn't cover your eyebrows as they're one of the most expressive parts of your face. This is especially important if your glasses are thick or full-rimmed as the frame should ideally 'skirt' but not cover your brow line to assist your facial expression and demeanour. This makes it easier for people to 'read' your emotion during face-to-face interaction and makes your glasses look less dominant on your face.

Depending on the fit, style, size and thickness of your glasses, they may still cover your eyebrows. As we'll explain in more detail below, chunky glasses are likely to intersect your brow line. Whereas slim or wire-rimmed frames are less intrusive to your eyebrows.

Let's go into more detail to help you get the best looking glasses that will flatter your face.

 

Comparison illustration of two women wearing tortoise pattern eyeglasses in relation to their eyebrows

How to choose and position your glasses properly in relation to your eyebrows

The best positioning of your glasses relative to your eyebrows ensures the frames rests comfortably on your nose whilst aligning slightly below to your brow line. Ideally, the top rim of the glasses should 'trace' parallel to your brows, complementing your natural facial features without obscuring them.

With certain (mainly thin) spectacles, there may even be a slight gap between the top of the frame and your eyebrows which gives a clear and unobstructed display of your expressions. Thin acetate or wire-rimmed glasses are inherently less bulk and tend to have a less stark impact on your facial appearance. This allows your brows to remain visible as a prominent and expressive feature.

For more advice, scroll below for 3 helpful tips to achieve the best positioning of your glasses in relation to your eyebrows.

 

 

Example of spectacle frame dimensions labelled on inside of temple

#1 Choosing frame size for visible eyebrows

When trying on glasses in a store, you can easily gauge if they suit you. However, purchasing online requires relying on specific measurements to make the right choice.

Like shoes or clothes, glasses frames use a standardised sizing system which measure the lens width, bridge width and temple (arm) length. On first impressions these strange series of numbers look like a random product code, but they can be incredibly helpful once you understand what they mean.

For optical performance, comfort and aesthetics, there are three digits you should look for when choosing new glasses online. These numbers are typically labelled on the interior surface of the glasses and also usually indicated in the product description. Here's what to look for to know the size of any glasses frame;

Example: 48 [] 18 140

48 = lens width in mm (single lens, edge to edge)

18 = bridge width in mm (distance between both lenses)

140 = temple (arm) length in mm (from hinge to tip)

(48mm) Lens width helps to indicate of the overall width of a glasses frame and whether or not it will be too large or small for your face. In the context of your eyebrows, overly wide frames are likely to sit lower on your face but may also sit too low and have that infuriating tendency of sliding down your nose. This is why bridge width is super important.

(18mm) Bridge width determines how high or low your glasses are positioned on your face and whether they're comfortable to wear. Too wide and the nose pads won't poise the frame properly causing your glasses to slide down. Too narrow and your glasses will sit too high, cover your eyebrows and may even cause uncomfortable pinching. Adult bridge widths average around 18mm, but can range from 14mm to 24mm.

(140mm) Temple length is what helps keeps your glasses from sliding down your nose by 'hooking' round the backs of your ears. In conjunction with your bridge width, the temple length is crucial for comfortable glasses that rest securely. In terms of visible eyebrows, temple length isn't quite as important, but it does help with comfort.

As a reference point, it's a good idea to know the size of your current glasses before getting new ones. Why not check your current frame's dimensions and punch these numbers into a note in your phone?

But don't cling to these exact numbers like your life depends on it. Different brands and frame thicknesses means a few mm difference won't hurt. A 140 temple from brand X might fit the same as a 135 temple from brand Y.

 

 

Illustrative instructions of how to adjust a metal glasses nose pad

#2 Adjusting your glasses for visible eyebrows

Maybe you've recently purchased new glasses? Or you have existing ones you wish would just fit you a little better? If so, you might want to consider making some small adjustments for better comfort and better looking brows.

Doing this yourself might seem daunting, but with the right approach and some confidence, the following steps could make a world of difference to your glasses.

 

Bridge width

Does your frame have adjustable nose pads? if so, these malleable metal arms are designed to be manipulated with your thumbs so they can be wider or more narrow for your nose. As seen in the image above, you can use gentle pressure to make your bridge width wider to lower the height of which your frame rests on your nasal (maxilla) bones. In turn, this will make your eyebrows more visible; but be careful not to go so wide the lower rims rest on your cheeks.

The main contact point of your glasses should be your nose pads and where each temple (arm) tucks behind your ears.

 

 

Illustration of glasses temple arm being adjusted

Temple length

A common culprit of hidden eyebrows is your frame tucking-inwards too closely towards your face. This can be caused by temples (arms) which are too short or if they're slightly too 'hooked' which can pull your frame inwards and upwards on your nose.

To adjust this yourself, you can simply use warm water (50°C) or a hair dryer to gently heat one of your temples at the 'hooked' section. Do this for at least 60 seconds to ensure thorough heating so that the acetate/metal has become soft and pliable.

Holding the temple only on either side of the hook (not the frame front), gently bend the temple so it's less curved. Repeat this on the other temple so they're even. To check they're level and equal, lay your glasses back on a flat surface. If necessary, repeat this process to suit.

 

 

Not sure?

If you lack the confidence or practical experience to make these adjustments yourself, don't worry. A reputable optician or eyewear specialist will be able to make these adjustments for you, ensuring your glasses fit perfectly and comfortably. Furthermore, they have specialized tools that can assist in adjusting the frame without causing any damage to your glasses.

Some opticians may adjust your glasses for free (especially if you that's where you purchased them from). Other opticians may charge a relatively small fee to make adjustments. If you bought your glasses online, be confident and enquire with the closest local practices to see who's willing to help with your adjustments.

After all, your glasses are to help correct your vision - so don't scrimp on your comfort and performance. It's worth the effort in the long run for helping you look, feel and see better.

 

Brunette female against black wall wearing cat eye glasses

#3 Different glasses styles for great looking brows

Shopping around, the style of your glasses can significantly influence how your eyebrows are framed and displayed. For example, thick chunky frames are more likely to cover your eyebrows and contrastingly make them appear thinner. Meanwhile, thin acetate or wire rimmes frames can have the opposite effect.

In general, it's best to choose glasses that do not cover or obscure your eyebrows too much. This allows them to be visible and well-defined, contributing to a balanced facial appearance.

For some style inspiration, check out the different glasses types in the list below.

 

 

Lady wearing chunky round tortoise eyeglasses covering her eyebrows

Chunky glasses have very thick rims, especially in the upper half of the frame. Classic spectacles like these are good for drawing attention to your eyes, but naturally, their bulky rims can encroach your brow line.

Depending on their shape, full-rim glasses like these can intersect or cover your eyebrows. This isn’t bad or wrong, just as long as the bridge and nose pads rest comfortably on you.

Acetate frames typically have inbuilt nose pads which are sculpted into the frame. These little plastic ‘humps’ should make comfortable contact with the nasal bones on either side of your nose.

Alternatively, some full-rim acetate glasses can be fitted with metal nose pads which allows you (or an optician) to make minor adjustments to suit your nose.

Regardless of what kind of nose pads your frame has, the lower rim of the frame should never rest on your cheeks. The nose pads are what poise your glasses properly on your nose. If the bridge width of your glasses is too wide, your frame will sit too low, slip down and inevitably annoy you.

Glasses that’re too wide will need constantly pushing back up. This means you touch your frame more often, thus leading to dirty lenses and frustration.

 

 

Close view of young lady wearing large round eyeglasses with black rims

Combination glasses are a hybrid of acetate and metal which commonly feature adjustable metal nose pads. With acetate rims, glasses like these are still likely to cover your eyebrows depending on their size and how the nose pads fit your nose.

The benefit of frames with metal pad-arms is that the pads can swivel and adapt to the shape and width of your nose. Furthermore, the pad-arms can be carefully bent by your optician if your frame needs adjusted.

Again, the size, style and fit of your glasses influence how they look on your face. Oversized, 'ironic' or 'retro' combination eyeglasses are likely to cover your eyebrows which is part of their look.

Smaller, finer combination frames may sit a little lower on your face and therefore may sit below your eyebrows.

If your glasses cover your eyebrows, but feel comfortable and fit you correctly, this is the best long-term solution.

 

 

Large Wire Rimmed Spectacles on young woman

Wire frame glasses are much thinner and finer than acetate glasses. Even if they intersect your eyebrows, wire eyeglasses won’t fully cover them because they’re so thin.

Depending on the bridge width and their lens shape, wire frame glasses can sit either above or just cover your brow line. It’s unusual for your eyebrows to be completely below the upper-rim of your spectacles unless the frame shape is particularly large.

Wire spectacles typically feature metal pad-arms which can be carefully adjusted to the width of your nose. The pads themselves are usually either silicone or metal which can tilt for a very comfortable fit.

Like any spectacles or sunglasses, the pads should be the main point of contact. They should keep the lower rim of your glasses from touching your cheeks and rest comfortably on either side of your nose.

Depending on their material and make, bridge-widths vary across all kinds of glasses. Be sure to choose a glasses frame which fits you correctly, not too wide, nor too narrow.

 

 

Middle aged man wearing rimless glasses and shirt in front of plain beige background

 

Rimless glasses are the most minimal style of spectacles and don’t have any material surrounding the prescription lenses. Sleek glasses like these won't cover your eyebrows as the edges of lenses are completely exposed. transparent lenses .

However, it’s worth mentioning that glasses like these are very utilitarian and generally lack character. They also have a habit of making you look older, so that’s something to keep in mind.

 

 

Street view of blonde woman wearing large butterfly tortoise shell sunglasses frame

Sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from the sun, therefore tend to be much larger and more dominant on your face.

The various shapes and styles of sunglasses are endless, but their main purpose is to block the harmful rays of UV light from entering your eyes.

Sunglasses will likely cover your eyebrows and therefore cover your eyes too. But don’t be afraid to go big and bold with your choice of shades. Not only do they look good, but large lenses alleviate eye strain and keep your eyes safe from the sun.

 

 

Glasses/Eyebrows FAQ's

Brunette female against black wall wearing cat eye glasses

Do glasses go above eyebrows?

Ideally, the top of your glasses should follow just below your brow line. It’s perfectly okay if the frame covers them slightly as large or thick spectacles can often do this. However, if your eyebrows are excessively above the top of your gasses, your bridge-width may be too wide or the frame may be too large for you.

Your eyebrows are the most expressive part of your face and communicate your emotion with subtle facial gestures. As a spectacle wearer, your glasses actually help to draw attention to your eyes and expressions, which can be a characterising and flattering addition to your perception.

This is why full-rim glasses made from acetate are generally thickest near your eyebrows. This top-heavy aesthetic draws attention to your eyes, the main focus of human interaction.

 

 

Young woman resting her head in her hands wearing very large round wire spectacles

How do you know if glasses are too big for your face?

If the lower rims of your glasses touch your cheeks or if the frame sits very low, they’re probably too big for your face. Ideally, your eyes should be approximately in the centre of each lens, equidistant from the inner and outermost edges of your glasses. It’s okay for your pupils to be slightly higher-up in your lenses, as long as they’re relatively centred.

 

How do you tell if glasses are too small for your face?

If your glasses are difficult to put-on or pinch the sides of your head or nose, they’re likely too small for your face. Another tell-tale is if the temples (arms) are too short and don’t tuck comfortably behind your ears, thus pulling your frame too closely to your face. All of these factors lead to discomfort and poor optical performance.

Furthermore, glasses which are too small can create pressure points on your nose and the sides of your head. Over time, this can lead to headaches and your frame to eventually become warped.

To avoid these issues, check out this handy article about how to measure your face to find the best-fitting glasses online.

 

 

Why do my glasses go over my eyebrows?

Your glasses can go over your eyebrows due to the way they fit and how thick the frame is. Your glasses bridge width informs how high they rest on your face. The thickness of your glasses can also mean they’ll cover your brow line. This isn’t a bad thing, as long as your spectacles are comfortable and fit you properly.

A common misconception is that you have low eyebrows and that all glasses will cover them. But the fact is, most spectacles will cover your eyebrows unless they sit very low on your face.

 

Where should your glasses sit on your face?

The main contact-point of your glasses should be the nose pads and temples (arms) where they tuck over and behind your ears. Ideally, your frame shouldn’t rest on your cheeks as this indicates the frame is too large or the bridge is too wide for you.

 

Dual comparison of acetate nose pads vs metal nose pads on glasses

Are glasses better with or without nose pads?

Generally, spectacle use two types of nose pads to help them rest properly on your face. These can either be inbuilt acetate pads or metal arms with pads on them. Regardless of their format, the pads help keep your glasses in place, resting comfortably on your nasal bones. This prevents them sliding down your nose and resting incorrectly on your cheeks.

Acetate glasses generally use inbuilt nose pads (seen above) that are sculpted into the frame itself. These little bumps aren’t adjustable therefore it’s important to attain the correct bridge width from the get-go.

However, you can purchase adhesive silicone nose pads online to decrease your bridge width and aid the comfort of your glasses.

Certain opticians may be able widen or even remove acetate nose pads by filing them down, removing the acetate and even replacing them with metal pad arms.

Metal or wire glasses usually have pad-arms with silicone or titanium nose pads attached to them. These are incredibly versatile as the pads can swivel and adjust to the shape of your nose.

Better still, silicone nose pads can be very gentle but provide excellent grip to your nose. This can be especially helpful if you have oily skin, play sport or require a particularly narrow bridge width.

The handy thing about this format is that you (or your optician) can replace or exchange the pads for different materials or thicknesses, depending on your preference and requirements.

 

Should glasses be wider than your face?

Glasses should generally be the same width or marginally wider than your face. This way, the temples (arms) can wrap around the sides of your head for a secure but comfortable fit. Glasses that are much wider than your head won’t fit you properly and will likely slip down your nose. Glasses that are too narrow will be awkward to put on and become misshapen from repeated flexing and continuous strain.

 

 

Lady with grey long bob haircut wearing formal work clothes and tortoise shell glasses frame

How do you choose glasses that make you look younger?

Mature complexions and hair colours call for colourful, characteristic glasses that can help make you look younger. Classic spectacle shapes made from materials like tortoiseshell acetate have a youthful appearance, bringing warmth and depth to your aesthetic. It’s advised that you avoid rimless glasses as they lack definition and have a habit of making you look older.

 

What glasses suit thick eyebrows?

Chunky or thin full-rim frame glasses frames can suit thick eyebrows. By contrast, thin spectacles can emphasize the thickness of your brow line making them look fuller, whilst chunky frames can cover them slightly making them seem less dominant.

This is highly subjective, but if you have especially thick eyebrows, your choice of glasses can help accentuate or cover them. The choice is yours.

 

Why can I see the frame of my glasses?

You can see the frame of your glasses as they’re within your peripheral vision. This is perfectly normal with full rimmed glasses as they have material surrounding your lenses. If you’ve recently started wearing glasses for the first time, you’ll eventually get used to this.

 

Hopefully you found this article helpful. Please check out our other guides to choosing glasses. Thanks for stopping by.

 

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