God we love a tint. It can really up your eyewear game when it comes to style, but also when chosen with a specific purpose in mind, be an absolute game changer. And we’re not just talking about helping to block out the sun. If you’re thinking about entering the colourful world of tints, this guide should help you on your way. But in short - be bold, go forth and tint like you mean it.
A lens tint can provide comfort from different types of light. Of note, blue light is known to cause quicker eye fatigue and suppress melatonin which helps us sleep. Visible light and brightness from the sun can also cause discomfort as we squint and strain to avoid it. Although tints don’t represent how protective lenses are against UV, they do help us see more comfortably.
Style and customisation
A tint can compliment your eyewear by emphasising the shape of the lenses or matching an accent colour in the frames, bringing together the full look.
The jury is still out on this as it’s very specific to your frames and prescription, but some tint colours and transparencies could draw the eye away from the thickness effects of your lenses.
Show off those baby blues
If you want people to see your eyes but need some protection from glare, a lighter tint compared to full blown sunglasses lenses work great and can be more personable e.g. if you’re on a date outside. That said, if you’ve had a bad night sleep or you don’t want to be seen out and about without your full face on, a dark tint is your friend.
Visual performance and safety
A tint can affect your perception of colour and depth. And different coloured tints are more suited to some activities over others, for instance sports (e.g. golf, hiking, cycling, snowboarding, water sports) and driving in different conditions.
Reduce eye strain and headaches
Your optician might explore different tint options to make some health conditions more comfortable, like photophobia or migraines. If you work in a brightly lit environment, or a dark one like a bar, you could also benefit from choosing a tint.
A tint based on your skin colour can help make your complexion look fresh and hide dark circles. If you’re fair skinned, a barely-there warm peach is the one, or if you’re darker, try an amber or caramel.
Tints come in a range of ‘strengths’ or transparencies which change how they look and perform. A very subtle tint weighs in at around 12% and if you’re adding the tint for style but don’t want to be too bold just yet - this could be your best place to start and is great for everyday wear.
A mid-strength tint would be somewhere between 50-75% and provide much more comfort from glare, whilst also allowing others to still see your eyes.
Higher grade tints are above 75% and are much darker, hiding away those peepers.
Gradients and bi-colours
Gradually reducing the tint further down the lens to create a gradient can look cool, but also be great for looking down and still being able to clearly see a dashboard or read a menu. Combining colours like blue with pink at the bottom can make things clearer too.
Different coloured tints filter light differently which changes their performance and how you see through them. For general use; dark grey, brown and green are popular and provide true colour perception. Other colours like yellow, blue and red suit different activities, looks and light conditions. Tints come in just about every colour but here are some top choices.
A dark green tint is a great all round choice for a sunglasses finish, providing high contrast and sharpness whilst blocking some blue light. This makes it great for sports like tennis and golf. Aesthetically, it can give a slight retro look.
Similar to green, brown lenses make great sunnies and are a strong choice for an autumnal or natural look. They suit outdoor activity due to the colour contrast with blue sky and green landscapes. In overcast conditions, they can make things appear brighter.
Grey / Black
Grey and black tints are a great go-to colour because they suit most frame colours, and probably more outfits. They provide great true colour perception which make them a good choice for driving.
They’re also perfect for hiding behind and keeping it classy.
Blue can enhance colour perception and offer some protection from reflective surfaces like water, snow and glass. In bright sun, they might not provide the anti-glare that you need, but in foggy or overcast conditions, they’ll work great and not make things too dark.
Style wise, they’re a great choice for a cool, stand-out look.
Pink / Rose
Similar to blue, pink reduces glare from surfaces like water making them great for around the pool or ski-ing into the folie douce. Pink also increases contrast at night so are often chosen for driving. For normal wear, they can create quite a soft, romantic look.
Amber / Yellow
A go-to colour in sports to enhance overall vision and provide some protection from glare. They also filter out some blue light and are worn by gamers who spend a lot of time looking at a screen. Wearers will experience colour distortion i.e. things will look more yellow but vision will be sharper.
Explore yellow if you’re looking for a sporty or quirky vibe.
Think before you tint
We’ve combined some top questions to think about before you commit to a tint;
- Where will you wear them most and what will you be doing?
- Are you trying to solve any comfort issues?
- What are the lighting conditions?
- What are the relevant weather conditions?
- Do you have a set pair of frames you want to fit?
- What time of day will you be wearing them?
- What colour tint might compliment your eyes and skin colour?