| May 9, 2013

Finding the perfect pair of sunglasses is no day at the beach.

The right shades can make anyone look effortlessly chic, and with the sun-soaked days of summer right around the corner, it’s more important than ever to stock up.

“Sunglasses not only make you look cool, they also are very important for your health,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York. “A good pair of sunglasses can even save your life. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun can get in through the pupil and case damage to the retina. This can lead to an increased risk of not only macular degeneration over time, but also melanoma in the pigment cells of the retina, which can be extra deadly.”

READ: How to Get Back to Great Skin

Krant stresses that prevention from harmful rays is simple by slathering on sunscreen regularly and wearing shades that have 100% UV protective lenses. An added benefit? Protective shades can also prevent wrinkles causes by the sun's powerful rays, Krant says.

Sunglasses can do more than protect your delicate skin and eyes. With celebrities sporting the latest eyewear trends, anyone can look like a star with minimal effort.

“Sunglasses, like any statement accessory, can help transform an outfit, say a T-shirt and jeans, into something chic and fabulous,” says Lauren Michael, global product director for GUESS. “You can add a touch of old Hollywood glamour with oversized retro-inspired shapes or pops of bold, flirty colors to perk up an ensemble and make a personal style statement.”

On the hunt for new sunglasses to welcome the summer season? Here’s how to discover the right shades for your face:

Find Your Shape

Before you splurge on those must-have shades, it’s important to know what your face shape is to determine which styles will best enhance your features. Illysia Neumann-Loreck, a fashion stylist who has worked backstage at over 50 shows during Fashion Week in New York City, says there are five quick steps to discovering your face shape:

  1. Get all your hair out of your face.
  2. Stand in front of a mirror.
  3. Draw an outline of your face in the mirror in lipstick.
  4. Stand back and look at the shape on the mirror.

Once you know your shape, it’s time to get shopping!

Heart-Shaped Face

Those with heart-shaped faces should embrace one of the most popular looks around. “Go for aviator styles that will keep the attention on the cheekbones,” advises style expert Hilary Kennedy. “Thin-wired frames, like aviators, are chic, never go out of style and they add a little extra ‘oomph’ to the bottom half of the face. Your face will instantly look more balanced, which means thinner, prettier and more symmetrical.”

Round Face

When it comes to those with round faces, the key is looking for lenses that are just the opposite. “To create balance here, look for rectangular frames,” says personal stylist Nicole Busch. “This will make the face appear longer and leaner. Avoid round, small frames. This can make your face seem fuller.” Also, look for specific colors that will provide a slimming effect. “Deep colors, such as black or tortoise can minimize fullness,” says Converse eyewear creative director Nico Roseillier.

Oval Face

Those with oval faces are fortunate because stylists insist nearly any style is doable. Therefore, be bold and go for a unique look that you normally wouldn’t try. Kennedy suggests going retro with sexy cat-eye glasses, which can add instant glam to any outfit.

Square Face

Look for frames that are opposites of your strong features. “Anyone with a square face can complement it with frames that are slightly curved or oval/round,” says Roseillier. “The top of the frame should sit high enough on the face to balance the jaw line.” A rounder frame will also soften a prominent jaw and balance your overall look. 

Oblong Face

If your face is long, then get ready to add some glitz to your outfit. “Go for those wide, round shades that Jackie O used to sport around town,” says Kennedy. “These add width to your face and draw the eye to the most interesting part of your face. This style is ultra glamorous and a favorite of celebs. If you’re heading to a function where you could be photographed or need to feel extra special, this is the pair to give you the boost of confidence you need.” Oversized glasses cover more of the face, minimizing narrow features. 

Get Trendy

When it comes to sizzling hot shades, the trend for this spring and summer is all about going bold. Roseillier notes that his most recent collection highlight pops of color, which have become a favorite among Hollywood stars. “I was inspired by the beautiful California landscape when designing the latest line,” he explains. If neon sounds overwhelming to wear daily, Kennedy suggests brighter hues of your favorite colors, such as mint green, pale yellow or cobalt blue. “Color is key to have in your sunglasses arsenal,” she says. “Whether you pick up an inexpensive pair at Forever21 or a covetable Warby Parker pair, just do it.”