Glasses frame and lens information

The team here at Blackheath Eyecare are dedicated to providing you with the best care and attention possible. This is true of all aspects of your visit here right down to picking out the best frames and lenses for your lifestyle.

Over the years, eyewear has changed dramatically. The once limited designs and options of the past have evolved into a vast form of expression. Whether you want your eyes and not your glasses to be seen, or you want to make your glasses your most notable accessory, we have something to suit you perfectly. We also have a large variety of designer eyewear so you can wear the latest trends, or start your own.

With all the options available at Blackheath Eyecare, there is a lot to consider when buying glasses. It can be a bit overwhelming, which is why our optical team at Blackheath Eyecare are here to help.

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When choosing a new frame it is important to consider your face shape. Certain frames will enhance your features while others may not make you look your best. Below is a guide to the most common face shapes and the frame styles that will look the best on you.

To determine your face shape, you can sit in front of a mirror with your hair pulled away from your face, and have a friend draw an outline of your face with a dry erase marker directly on the mirror. The resulting outline should give you a rough idea of how your face is shaped. Don’t have the time to do this? Don’t worry! Our opticians here at Blackheath Eyecare are trained in helping you select the best frame for your face.

A round facial shape is widest across your cheekbones. Your hairline and your chin are probably rounded, and your face is equally wide as it is long.The frames that look best for round face shapes are rectangle or square. Round frames will make the face appear more round and should be avoided. Half rimmed (supra) rectangular frames are especially flattering because they make the face appear to be more elongated.

Celebrity Examples: Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst

This facial shape is longer than wide, and is narrower at the forehead and chin than at the cheeks.Lucky you! Since an oval face is symmetrically proportioned you can wear pretty much any frame shape you want!

Celebrity Examples: Kylie Minogue, Jessica Alba

The square facial shape will usually have a similar width across the forehead, cheeks, and jawline. The chin and hairline may appear slightly more angular and square.

To offset your angular features and make them appear softer, opt for a rounded or oval shaped frame. Avoid squares and rectangles as these can exaggerate your features.

Celebrity Examples: Jennifer Aniston, Minnie Driver

Heart shaped faces are wider at the forehead and narrow at the chin like an inverted triangle. Those with a heart shaped face will typically have a sharp chin.

Oval shaped frames with lower rims as opposed to half rimmed frames are the best frame shape for a heart shaped face.

Celebrity Examples: Katie Holmes, Christina Ricci

Skin Tone and Frame Colour

Our technicians at Blackheath Eyecare can also help you decide what frame colour will look best with your skin tone. There are two categories of skin tone, warm and cool. If you are a warm tone, you will have yellow or beige undertone to your skin. In contrast, if you are a cool tone you will have a blue or pink undertone to your skin.Colours for Warm Skin Tones: Black, Brown, Dark Green, Purple, Gold, Bronze, Pink, Dark Red, Orange.Colours for Cool Skin Tones: Blue, Red, Black, White, Yellow, Silver, Copper, Rose, Aqua.

Other Things To Consider

Another thing to consider when picking out frames is your prescription. If you have a very high prescription, you will want to choose a smaller frame to ensure that your lenses aren’t too thick around the edges. Also, if you are a bifocal or multifocal lens wearer, you will need enough depth in the frame to accommodate for this.We may provide advice to assist you in choosing glasses frame, but the frame you choose has to be right for you, the look and feel of the frame must make you comfortable and compliment your style. This is only a guide, ultimately the choice is yours.Your options don’t stop at frames! Click here to find out about your options for lenses.


As mentioned previously on ‘Choosing the Right Frame’, your prescription plays an important part in what kind of frame you choose. What materials your lenses are made out of are also to be taken into consideration. A thinner high index lens can be put into any frame, whereas a thicker lens isn’t suited for a rimless or half rimmed frame.

Metal Frames

There are many different metals that can be used when making frames. Crude steel, stainless steel, titanium, and gold are a few of the metals used most often. The most beneficial part of having a metal frame is that they can be made to be extremely flexible and strong. Metal frames are also very lightweight.

Plastic Frames

While a plastic frame may sound like it could be a little on the flimsy side, the plastics used such as Optyl, Cellulose Acetate and Propionate, and SPX are actually very durable materials. A huge plus to using plastic to form frames is its versatility with shape. Plastic can be formed into almost any shape imaginable for a frame.

Skin Sensitivity

If you have any allergies or skin sensitivities to a particular plastic or metal make sure to keep this in mind when purchasing your frame. Our team at Blackheath Eyecare will be glad to assist you in finding out the materials of the frames so that you are able to avoid any kind of physical discomfort.

Frame Comfort

With everything being said about looking fashionable and finding the right frame to compliment your features, it is important to remember that wearing glasses should also be comfortable. Pay special attention to how the frame feels on your face when you are trying it on. This is especially important if you are going to be wearing your glasses full time. The opticians at Blackheath Eyecare have had special training in adjusting frames, so if something doesn’t feel right, make sure to bring it to our attention. We can then let you know if it is due to a minor adjustment that we can make, or if the frame you have chosen is just not the right size for you. If you purchase your frame online, you are still welcome to stop into our practice for any adjustments you need.

To learn more about our glasses manufacturers click here.


Lens Providers

While there are many companies that produce lenses, each one comes with a different standard of quality. As is the case with many other products, a higher end lens will be of better quality than a cheaper or free lens. At Blackheath Eyecare Opticians, we provide you with optimal quality for every budget.Listed below are four of the top lens manufacturers in the industry.


Nikon has produced a very wide range of lenses over the years. While they are most well known for their top quality camera lenses, their glasses lenses are of equal reverence. Nikon has been a trusted manufacturer of eyeglass lenses for every need and requirement for decades. They are also responsible for paving the way to new discoveries in lens manufacturing that have dramatically increased the performance of glasses lenses across the spectrum.See our Nikon information page for further reading.


Essilor is one of the largest lens distributors and manufacturers in the world. While Essilor is a US based company, they are part of a larger company, Essilor International which is based in Paris. With both of these companies, Essilor products are able to provide service worldwide.


Hoya is most well known for being one of the leading designers in the double surfaced lens design, allowing sharp vision in a customizable design.


Zeiss is another manufacturer of lenses that offers its services worldwide. Much like Seiko, Zeiss too offers high quality lens coatings. Coatings and materials are Zeiss’ specialty, and they have some of the most amazing options available.

With all this great quality, make sure you are taking proper care of your glasses! Click here to find out more.

Should you buy glasses online?

With technology putting everything literally at your fingertips, shopping is now easier than ever. Here are a few of the most important pros and cons to consider when deciding if you should buy your glasses online or in person at our practice.

Frame Selection

Should you decide to browse our selection of frames online, you will have the advantage of doing so in the comfort of your own home on your own time. You will also be able to access every colour and style of each particular brand. However, you will not have the ability to try the frame on. What looks nice on the page may not fit you correctly, or look right with your particular face shape or colouring.Also, while most online stores do have more options available, our practice definitely isn’t limited. We offer a very large selection of frames. For those we do not have on hand, we can easily order in for you at your request.Another option would be to browse our online selection to get an idea of what you like, and then come into our practice to try on the ones that caught your eye.

Customer Service

When purchasing products online, if you encounter a question or a problem, customer service can be a little difficult to get ahold of. While the team at Blackheath Eyecare will strive to provide you with the best customer service possible whether you order online or in practice, sometimes it is nice to have the comfort of knowing someone is right there to assist you. Shopping online may feel too impersonal for some individuals.


We all love instant gratification. When you shop online, however, you may have to wait up to 2 weeks to receive your product. The same goes for purchasing eyewear online. However, at our practice we offer a wide variety of non-prescription designer sunglasses that are ready to be taken home with you that very day.Don’t have a credit card? That might pose a problem when ordering online. Most websites require automatic payment with a credit or debit card. A big advantage to buying from our practice in person, is getting to choose how you want to pay for your eyewear.

Still Can’t Decide?

Because Blackheath Eyecare is the exception to many of the ‘cons’ of buying online, you can rest assured that whatever method of purchase you choose, our team will be there to assist you and ensure your complete satisfaction every step of the way.To View Our Eyewear, please click here.

Spectacle Lens Types

When it comes to choosing your spectacle lenses, there are lots of options available. At the Blackheath Eyecare we will guide you through the different optical lenses and help you make the right choice.Choosing the right spectacle lenses is critical for two reasons:-
  • To ensure your visual requirements are met
  • To ensure that your glasses feel and look great.

Thin and light lenses (High Index lenses)

If you have a strong prescription there is no need to have thick and heavy lenses.Plastic lenses come in multiple grades of lens materials from a standard index lens (CR39) to the ultra high index lenses (Ultra Thin). The table below highlights how much thinner our ultra thin lenses could be. However, this will be dependent on your prescription. Our dispensing optician will advise you if thin and light lenses would be beneficial and show how much thinner they will be. We will also take into account your frame choice as this also has a key influence on how thick your lenses will be.
Standard lensesStandard index (1.50)Standard thickness
Thin lensesMid Index (1.60)up to 30% thinner
Super Thin lensesHigh Index (1.67)up to 40% thinner
Ultra Thin lensesSuper-high Index (1.74)up to 50% thinner
An even higher index lens is available in glass so they can be made even thinner. They are available in an ultra-high 1.9 Index. Generally, plastic lenses are suitable for most prescriptions and are the first choice as plastic lenses are lighter and safer.As independent opticians, we, at Blackheath Eyecare can choose the best lenses from all the top optical lens manufacturers. We have great lenses across our whole price range.All high index lenses that we use automatically come with a reflection free coating. Our top end brands also include an “easy clean” coating and come with a 2-year guarantee.We specialise in complex lenses and often recommend custom made surfaced lenses. These lenses can significantly reduce the thickness on longsighted prescriptions. We will automatically use custom made lenses if you would benefit from them. Stock lenses tend to be used on lower powered prescriptions.Another type of lens we would automatically use is the “Aspheric lens”. This is less curved than a standards lens. The less curved the lenses are, the flatter and thinner they will be.

Anti Reflection Lenses

Standard plastic lenses (CR39) transmit 90% of light to the eye. 10% of light is lost through surface reflections. The new generation Anti-reflective lenses transmit more light and reduce reflections which provide the following benefits:
  • Better for driving – Improved night vision
  • Better looking glasses – Improves your appearance
  • Better for working – Reduced eye strain
  • Better durability – Lasts longer

Anti Reflection Lenses – Better for driving

Anti-reflective lenses provide you with improved safety and faster recognition of potential hazards on the road, especially at night. The reflections of street lamps and headlights on your lenses are virtually eliminated.

Anti Reflection Lenses – Better looking glasses

People want to see your eyes. Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of interpersonal communication, and reflections from your glasses get in the way. These exceptional anti reflection lenses help you enjoy direct eye contact unhindered by distracting reflections.

Anti Reflection Lenses – Better for working

Artificial light in an office environment quickly leads to eye fatigue as much as working on the computer can put a strain on the eyes. Anti reflection lenses can help give you a clearer and more comfortable vision.

Anti Reflection Lenses – Better durability

Anti-reflective lenses are also scratch resistant, which improves the durability and life of your lenses. This extra protection means that the lenses maintain clearer vision for longer.Our top end brands also include an “easy clean” Anti Reflection Lens and come with a 2 year guarantee.

Bifocal lenses

Bifocal lenses are corrective lenses prescribed to people with presbyopia who need both a separate near and distance vision correction.Some people choose to have separate pairs of glasses for reading and distance, however, the majority of people prefer the convenience of one pair.There are many designs of bifocal lenses all of which have a visible dividing line that separates the distance and reading portion. The picture below highlights these areas in blue and purple.Bifocals are a good solution for maintaining clear distance and reading vision at the same time. They are excellent in proving large clear distortion free areas for both distance and reading.One disadvantage of the bifocal is the demarcation line, which separates the near and distance prescription. Another concern of the bifocal is the increased difficulty of viewing intermediate tasks such as the computer screen. Varifocal Lenses have been designed to help solve the limitations of bifocals.Our range of bifocal lenses are available in the thin and light lenses and also in Photochromatic (Transition) lenses.

Varifocal Lenses

Varifocal lenses are corrective lenses most commonly prescribed to people with presbyopia who need both a separate near and distance vision correction. They allow you to see clearly at all distances with just one pair of spectacles without any abrupt changes or visible lines in the lens. Varifocal lenses take a little time to adapt to. Once you get used to these types of lenses you will find that you can see clearly at all distances.Varifocal lenses are available in numerous designs. The differences in designs refer to the areas allocated to the distance, intermediate and reading zones.Some older varifocal designs have large distortion zones which can make them more difficult to adjust to. We at the Blackheath Eyecare use newer technology that reduces the size of the distortion areas making them easier to adjust to. These lenses provide significantly wider viewing zones therefore giving a much clearer more comfortable vision.As independent opticians, we choose the best lenses for you from a number of different optical lens manufacturers. We always put your needs first and base our recommendations on your lifestyle requirements.On the whole, the success rate is extremely high. The newest designs of Varifocal lenses are easier to get used to. A small number of people may not get used to wearing varifocals. That is why we will give you a 30 day varifocal exchange warranty. If you do not get on with them they can be exchanged to bifocals or single vision alternatives.Our dispensing opticians are able to analyse and interpret your prescription and match a suitable lens to your lifestyle. Feel free to drop in with your prescription and share your concerns.