Four eyes forever: The Bobbi Brown eyewear collection + how to wear makeup with glasses

Bobbi Brown eyewear

Bobbi Brown eyewear

See what makeup you should be rocking behind your frames »

In the 1970s, Sissy Spacek became an unlikely beauty inspiration for makeup artist Bobbi Brown; she had just seen Spacek host Saturday Night Live wearing round wire frames and was immediately drawn to them. Serendipitously, Brown failed an eye test and was told she needed glasses but they weren’t mandatory; she jumped at the chance to wear a pair. “They were not that popular at the time,” recalls Brown over the phone from her New York City office. “It was just about this cool hippie girl, which I really wanted to be.”

Brown’s loyalty to wearing frames to this day (“I’ve never been able to put contacts in”) is now on trend; cool women like Tina Fey and Jenna Lyons have helped glasses evolve from being accepted to being embraced and even sought out. For this, Brown has a theory. “This is a time when women are more empowered, and the most comfortable and strongest that we’ve ever been,” she says. “It’s not about trying to be like everybody else, but [about] being your best self. I think if you need glasses, you look smart. What’s more beautiful than smart? To me, smart is the new beautiful.”

Furthering the cause is Brown’s own collection of eyewear, a partnership with Italian company Safilo (from $195, safilo.com). Brown immersed herself in the world of spectacles and came away realizing that “what really matters is how glasses fit on your face and what you want them to portray.” In addition to catering to the needs of hipsters with thicker frames, she made sure those designed for the more conservative set were “still stylish.” She also tweaked the shades of coloured glasses, which she admits she’s not a fan of; instead of cobalt blue, she made hers navy, and she opted for transparent pink rather than a candy hue, deeming it more modern. And the insides of the arms on all the frames are nude. “You only see it when you’re looking at someone [from] the side, but it’s kind of cool, and it gives a bit of light to the face,” she says. It’s a detail you cannot help but assume she notices because she’s a makeup artist.

As such, she of course has some pointers on how to circumvent the disappearance of one’s eyes that wearing glasses can cause. Brows should be filled in “just enough that it gives strength to the face,” she says. Equally important are corrector and concealer, as well as eyeliner and mascara to ensure that the eyes remain noticeable. “And then throw on some blush,” says Brown. “You look pretty when you have a little bit of colour to your face.” However, the easiest way to look polished is with a bold lip that looks a little nonchalant. “I think the best bright lip is one that is not too perfect,” she says. “It just looks like you took a great lipstick and put it on.” Because, as we well know, brainy babes don’t have time for precise lip-colour application. They’re far too busy being brilliant. Now go forth, lady nerds, and rule the world.