Few of you know that I actually wear glasses most of the time while I’m working. One of my eyes is very slightly nearsighted and the other is slightly farsighted, which means that they work against each other. I don’t actually need to wear glasses to see well enough, but I do end up with a bit of a headache if I don’t wear them when working or driving.

For about two years, I’ve had a very simple pair of Chanel frames (which I still love) but I’ve always wanted something more “me” and a little bit more daring. I was really excited when I saw that VIU opened a store in Lausanne (Rue du Pont 10, 1003 Lausanne) because I love their selection of frames and what they stand for (we’ll get to that in a bit).

For any of you out there on the lookout for new frames, I thought I’d share the tips and tricks that I picked up from two experts who helped me pick mine; something that I feel is playful but doesn’t feel like a disguise.

My first stop was the Théâtre de la Coiffure (Rue Centrale 29, 1003 Lausanne) to see Eleni, my eyebrow stylist, to fix the brows and ask for her advice.

Eyebrow shaping tipsPhotos by Hannah Shan Photography

To me, Eleni is Lausanne’s Eyebrow Queen. She focuses on each person’s natural beauty and thinks that it is almost always best to use peoples’ natural brow shape as the basis for “styled” brows. Although I love a good arched brow, I have fairly straight brows and she has made me realise that that is exactly what suits my face shape best, and my face just wouldn’t look right if my brows were too arched or curved.

Eleni eyebrowsEleni is meticulous but you really don’t have to worry about her removing too much hair. She has the most wonderful full brows herself which is so comforting.. is there anything worse that walking into a brow bar where the stylists have super thin brows?

She also has all of the tips to help you grow out over-plucked brows, if that may be your case.

Eleni eyebrows LausanneBefore buying my new pair of glasses, I wanted to hear her thought on what I should look out for (yes, that’s me with my notebook). Eleni shared a few tips:

Unlike with sunglasses, don’t let your frames completely cover your brows. You can be a lot more daring with sunglasses but unless you want to make a real statement with your eyeglasses, try to avoid picking glasses that cover (or go over) your eyebrows.

Pick frames that follow the shape of your brows. Have a little look at the natural shape of your brows and try on glasses that follow that shape.

Think about using the shape of your glasses to counter the shape of your face. This is less of a rule than just something to keep in mind.. you can play with the shape of the glasses to enhance or soften the shape of your face. If you have a long face like me, round glasses may soften your face, and vice versa.

Sofia Clara eyebrowsOnce my brows were done and I’d asked Eleni all of my questions, I was ready to pick out my frames.

How to buy new glassesNext stop was the VIU shop, just around the corner from Eleni. The shop is bright and airy and I love the contrasting worn tiles with the impeccable white walls.

VIU LausanneVIU was started by a group of five friends who thought that the existing selection of glasses on the market was ridiculously expensive. In order to be able to sell a pair of glasses for just 195 CHF, they chose to cut out all of intermediaries. They are the designers, the producers, the opticians and the retailers.

VIU started as an online shop where you can select four pairs of glasses to be sent to your home to try on before selecting your style and sending in your prescription. That service is still available; however, over the last few years, they have started opening flagship stores around Europe as they felt the need for people to experience the brand on a different level.

Glasses shop LausanneI walked into the shop and met Alexandre who mentioned a few things to keep in mind when picking your specs…

Think about where your eye falls within the frame. Alexandre drew a picture of a pair of glasses and said that your eyes should be in the top half of the frame, rather than the middle. You can then play with how much space is left below your eyes to get a different look.

What’s your style and how much of a statement are you looking to make? What I love most about VIU is that they are obviously trained opticians but their focus is on style. Alexandre (without telling me) was quick to correctly assess that style was important to me but that I wanted a pair of glasses that blended with my style, rather than feeling they acted as a bit of a disguise. Know what you’re looking for but try on glasses on both sides of the spectrum, too.

I think I tried on almost every single pair of glasses in the shop but I was utterly amazed that the first pair of glasses that Alexandre picked out for me were the ones that I like the best and felt the most “me” in.

VIU eyewearI sent in my prescription and less than a week later, received an email telling me I could pick up my glasses at the store.

VIU LausanneThese are the glasses we picked out together. They are the “Lolita” style in Champagne Shiny.

I love that most of my friends have only noticed that I got new glasses about 10 minutes into meeting up. That’s so comforting to me as I feel like they don’t make too much of a statement, which is exactly what I was going for.

how to pick glasses

Another cool thing about VIU is that if you find a stlye of glasses that you love, you can try on the same pair as sunglasses. I found that the size up (identical but with slightly bigger frames) were the ones that worked best for me confirming what both Eleni and Alexandre had said about being able to play with slightly bigger sunglasses.

I cannot recommend VIU enough, and Eleni for that matter (if you want to book a spot with her she has just made booking online available). I honestly feel like shops like VIU are going to quickly replace “designer” glasses as there is so much more choice and they really do have something for everyone.

Thanks for stopping by for a read. I hope these tips were helpful and if you do stop by to see the guys at VIU or Eleni, make sure to say hi from me! xS