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“They do not have to cost a lot of money to work well. Less expensive sunglasses marked as 100% UV blocking can be just as effective at protecting the eyes as other pricier options,” said Dr. Stephanie Erwin, an optometrist at the Cleveland Clinic.
So if you want to go fancy, by all means, grab a pair of Tom Fords. But don’t let labels fool you. Instead, pay attention to the key words that mean sunglasses are effective at what they’re meant to do.
“The most important function of sunglasses is to protect the eyes from UV rays. You want your sunglasses to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Always choose sunglasses that are marked as blocking 100 percent of UV rays. Some manufacture labels say ‘UV absorption up to 400nm.’ which is the same as 100 percent UV protection,” said Erwin.
The takeaway: Everyone should slip on a pair of shades.
“Sunglasses are vital to protect the eye and the skin around the eye from damaging UV rays, which can cause eye diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, keratitis or even cancer around the eyes," Erwin said.
Take a peek at some of the season’s best sunglasses, all featuring the recommended level of UV protection. TODAY Style Squad member Jill Martin also offered up a few easy tricks to find your face shape, and suggestions for which types of frames will look most stunning on you.
Sunglasses for heart shaped faces
If you have a wider forehead and the rest of your face gradually narrows to your chin, there's a pretty good chance your face is heart-shaped. The best frames for you are cat-eye sunglasses or round frames.
- 1. Joopin Fashion Cat Eye Sunglasses, $12, Amazon
Priced at only $12, these cat eye sunglasses are a steal. They block out UV rays up to 400 nanometers (a lot) and many reviewers commented on how chic they look on.
- 2. Le Specs Women's Bandwagon Sunglasses, $69, Amazon
For great mid-priced sunglasses, look no further than Le Specs. These rounded frames have a slight cat eye shape to them pulling together both top sunglass types for heart shaped faces.
Sunglasses for oval shaped faces
An oval-shaped face is slightly longer in the lower half and has a bit of a rounded jaw. If you have an oval face, you're going to want to stick to soft, angular frames like aviator sunglasses.
- 1. Lilly Pulitzer Women's Lexy Polarized Aviator Sunglasses, $48, Amazon
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Add a fun twist to traditional aviators with this colorful Lilly Pulitzer take. Not only do the arms boast the trademark Lilly Pulitzer pattern, the lenses are rainbow colors.
- 2. Michael Kors Women's Mk2040f 57Mm Sunglasses, $71, Amazon
These sunnies are perfect for those with oval shaped faces who don't like the look of traditional aviators.
Sunglasses for round faces
If your face is about as long as it is wide and you have a more rounded jawline, you most likely have a round face. To balance out your less angular features, add a pair of wide or rectangular frames.
- 1. Ray-Ban Wayfarer 52mm Sunglasses, $125, Amazon
It doesn't get much more classic than these Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Although they may seem pricey, they're well worth the investment since they never go out of style.
- 2. Quay Australia x Desi Perkins High Key Sunglasses, $65, Amazon
Quay Australia's sunglasses boast a near 5-star rating and more than 200 reviews on Nordstrom with comments such as "I get compliments on them all the time," "I have found a perfect travel companion" and "the quality is better than Ray Bans."
Sunglasses for square shaped faces
If your forehead, cheekbones and jaw are about equal width and you have a strong jaw, you may have a square-shaped face. To complement your shape, go for round frames, oval-shaped shades or cat-eye sunglasses.
- 1. Street Goggle Sunglasses, $60, MVMT
These are the perfect oval shape and feel much more expensive than they actually are.
- 2. Sojos Cat Eye Mirrored Flat Lenses Street Fashion Metal Frame Sunglasses, $13, Amazon
These retro shades are available in 12 different metal and lens color combinations to match anyone's style.
Sunglasses for oblong shaped faces
If the bottom half of your face is longer than the top half, you might have an oblong face shape. This shape can often fit into other categories, but the best sunglasses include oversized shades and wrap style sunglasses.
- 1. BP Leith 60mm Square Sunglasses, $19, Nordstrom
At 60mm wide, these sunglasses truly take "oversized" to another level.
- 2. Guess GF0143 Wire Rim Wrap Around Fashion Sunglasses, $30, Amazon
Wrap style sunglasses accentuate oblong faces in all the right places. This pair from Guess combines style with a low price.
Splurge sunglasses for anyone!
So, price has no bearing on the efficacy of the lenses. But sometimes, you just want to blow it out and get something trendy. Here are two pairs we (and celebs) love.
- 1. Illesteva Women's Leonard Sunglasses, $177, Amazon
These classic sunglasses are made in Italy and can be worn with almost any outfit. According to the brand, you can feel good about wearing them in the sun due to the 100% UVA/UVB protection.
- 2. Ray-Ban Hexagonal Sunglasses, $153, Amazon
From celebrity Instagrams to the streets of New York, these stylish sunglasses are everywhere. They may feel like a bit of a splurge, but the shape will never go out of style. Think of this as an investment instead of buying multiple inexpensive pairs in a variety of styles.
Looking for more summer essentials? Check these out:
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