How to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape

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You know what clothing suits your body type before you go shopping, you know your skin type before buying beauty products, but do you know your face shape when it comes to buying glasses and sunglasses?

I thought I did, but as it turns out I’ve been buying the wrong glasses my whole life. And you probably have too.

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Most Australians think they have an oval or round face shape, but new research suggests otherwise, with oval and round face shapes only accounting for 14% and 11% of the population respectively.

I had my face mapped by leading facial recognition scientist Dr. Kendra Schmid, PhD, who has been working with OPSM (along with The FaceHunter, Yvan Rodic) to determine the face shape of over 1000 Australians.

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Bizarrely, no one has ever questioned the four traditional face shapes, round, oval, square and heart, before. When out of the 25 million people living in Australia, a quarter were born overseas and millions of us have more than three ancestries, it makes sense that our faces wouldn’t fit the traditional moulds.

“The most surprising thing was the diversity in the face shapes – I did not expect to find nine groups,” said Schmid.

“Kite and Heart shapes, which together represent over 40% of the population, typify the ‘average’ Australian face shape. These shapes demonstrate a trend seen in at least three quarters of faces – a narrower lower half of the face, decreasing in width from the cheekbones progressively through to the jawline and chin,” she said.

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Her research which involved using a formula based on 29 points on the face and 14 measurements between those points, revealed five new face shapes: Kite, Rectangle, Teardrop, Heptagon and Oblong.

I fall into the ‘Always thought I was an Oval shape’ club, but as it turns out I have a heart shaped face. Heart shapes are characterised with forehead and cheekbones of a similar width with a narrow yet prominent jaw. So all those cat eye sunglasses and square frames I own are only accentuating my wide forehead. Excellent. Being myopic for most of my life, this is something I wish I had known oh, roughly two decades ago.

Do you struggle to find the right glasses/sunglasses for your face shape?