A must-keep guide of expert optician tips for perfectly matching frame colors to skin tones and hair
information on matching frame silhouettes to face shapes is ubiquitous, but what about the just-as-important art of aligning frame colors to skin and hair tones? Read on for expert tips you’ll want to remember.
As a start, you’ll want to pick out glasses that will match (or contrast with) the customer’s skin undertones. Every complexion fits one of two color bases—cool or warm.
COOL SKIN. Has blue or pink undertones.
Popular frame colors: plum, pink, blue, jade, and black.
WARM SKIN. Has yellow or peaches-and-cream undertones.
Popular frame colors: red, khaki, copper, off-white, and warm blues.
Matching hair color to frame hues is a bit more straightforward.
BLONDE. Darker frames create contrast. Unless you’re an expert (like the opticians we interview on the next page), keep away from yellow and gold.
BROWN. Pinks, blues, rich tortoise, and black are great for warm skin tones. Purple, green, and white can be added to the mix for brunettes with cooler undertones.
RED. A lot of strong frame colors work for redheads, though green, neutral and warm neutrals, and black-and-white are great complements.
BLACK. Diluted pastels will wash out the color, while strong colors, including black and dark tortoise, are perfect.
GRAY/WHITE. Stay away from brown, but colors like black and cherry look great.
Making (Then Breaking) the Rules
Truth is, skilled opticians love breaking the rules.
To find out which ones they follow—and how they break them—we spoke to three fashion-forward, high-end opticians: Julia Gogosha (owner of Gogosha Optique, with two LA locations); Paul Garcia, ABOC (chief optician at Executive Park Eyecare in Colorado Springs); and Valerie Vittu (owner, Margot & Camille Optique, with two locations in the Philadelphia area).
Here’s what they each had to say about the art of matchmaking.
Julia Gogosha at work, and in style
I love enhancing someone’s freckles or their silver hair. Decide what you find most interesting and beautiful about the human in front of you, and enhance it by using color theory.
I imagine two color wheels in my head—skin tones on one and frame colors on the other. I rotate each in my mind until a natural or surprising match occurs.
That’s not the end, though—that’s when we begin. Does a frame or color speak to a feature or characteristic of the client? Are they exuberant and light, direct and serious, or open and playful?
Rotate the wheel in your head until you find the look that best enhances the wearer and is most conducive to their personal expression.
Paul Garcia snaps a selfie at the office
Here are things I don’t do. It’s rare that I match frame color to hair, partly because hair color can change. I also don’t match frame color to skin because 9.9 times out of 10 you will wash them out by matching the two.
Instead, make sure you are savvy about a person’s seasonal coloring, and contrast the complexion rather than match it.
Most important, trust your instincts. Always! You won’t grow as a stylist unless you are confident in your choices. Clients will always recognize both confidence and a keen eye.
Valerie Vittu shows how champagne turtle shell complements her hair color
I say there are no rules other than it has to look amazing. If they don’t want to make too strong a statement, I usually go with hair color.
For blondes—matte gold, champagne acetate, light brown, or, if they’re really fair, red. If they have redness in their skin, I go for green or blue. Green can be tricky, though. It can make someone glow or make them look sick, so be careful.
On brunettes, I like to try reds or a royal blue. For gray hair, I like stronger colors but in a transparent acetate.
My favorite hair color to work with is red or strawberry blonde. Matching those colors and their skin tone is tricky, but when you do it right, it’s so beautiful. Try honey colors or soft pastels, strong blue, or golf green.
—Stephanie K. De Long