Be Spectacular™: The Organized Way to Select New Eyewear

New glasses

New glasses

I don’t know about you, but I would (seriously, almost) rather shop for a new swimsuit than to shop for new glasses. There are so many choices! And most of them look hideous on me. It’s a big commitment to choose something that you are going to wear every single day. You want it to look, well, if not downright attractive, then at least not off-putting in any way. Am I right?

Apparently some people have a whole wardrobe of glasses for different looks. But I am not one of them. The only time I get new glasses is if mine get damaged, or if my prescription changes dramatically. I’ve been through a lifetime of glasses, starting at ages 2-4 with corrective lenses for amblyopia, and picking up again at age 10 with glasses, a brief contacts phase in college, LASIK surgery and no glasses for awhile, cataract surgery, readers, bifocals, trifocals, transitions, progressives, you name it, I’ve tried it.

Be Spectacular™: The Organized Way to Select New Eyewear Click To Tweet

Enter my friend Dawn Nieto-Gouy, who is a Personal Stylist and Wardrobe Consultant. She knew my regular MO was to go by myself and make the best of it. She made me promise that next time I needed new glasses I’d take her along. So the day finally came.

But first…Dawn made me take a personality test. WHAT?! But, of course…we needed to determine my style. My predominant style turned out to be The Natural (no surprise there) with a dash of Elegant Charmer (hmmm….). Here, you can take the quiz too, online: What Style are You? This quiz and consultation method was created by Wendy Buchanan, a Canadian licensed optician and image consultant. She calls it Be Spectacular™. (Spec-tacular. Get it?)

The quiz is just the first step, mind you. There are also Face Shape, Fitting Goals, and a Top 10 Spec Shopping Guide to consider (part of the package for clients who get a Be Spectacular™ consultation). Then there are the eyewear features, including temple size and placement; shape and size of lenses; no rims v. top rims only v. full rims; contrasting colors, various material choices….the list goes on. Who knew?

Next we went shopping. Dawn took me to her favorite local optical shop, which was nicer than the budget places I usually frequent, where a nice lady helped us pick a dozen contenders based on my new Fitting Goals (what to look for, what to avoid). So, although there were still choices to be made, it was MUCH easier to narrow it down with guidelines… and with help.

Here are my BEFORE and AFTER shots (ignore the flat hair and bad lighting… if you can):

OLD and NEW glasses

What do you think? I called Dawn a week or so later and said, “I love my new glasses but I can’t say they are changing my life in magical ways.” I complained that no one was noticing them and raving about them. But, to be fair, I hadn’t been out much, nor had I had many one-on-one conversations in good light with people who would notice and care. She said, “That’s good! That means they aren’t distracted by your glasses. They are seeing YOU, and paying attention to what you have to say.” I think she’s right.

Details which are only apparent close up and in the right light.

Details which are only apparent close up and in the right light.

Although this is a specific recommendation for Dawn, and the Be Spectacular™ consultation, I realize that not everyone who reads this will have access to them. So, it’s also a general recommendation to ask a Personal Stylist or Image Consultant for help, if you know one. It’s always a great confidence booster to know you look your best!

Albuquerque Area: Contact Dawn Nieto-Gouy at or

Dawn Nieto-Gouy

Dawn Nieto-Gouy (left) and me.


Outside NM: Contact Wendy Buchanan at Perceptions Eyewear, or look for an Image Consultant or Optician near you who is trained in Be Spectacular™ consultations.

If nothing else: Take someone shopping with you whose fashion sense you respect, and who will tell you if you are about to make a big mistake.

FYI, I get nothing except personal satisfaction if you contact Dawn or Wendy. But if you do get new glasses, send me before and after photos. I’d love to see them!

Have you ever worked (or do you think you would) with an Image Consultant or a Personal Stylist? Was it for wardrobe? Eyewear? Hair and makeup? Other? What was your experience? Share with us by leaving a comment!

Copyright 2016 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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  1. Janine Adams on January 30, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I love your new glasses, Hazel! And I love the topics you write about on your blog. I’m off to check out Be Spectacular!

    • Hazel Thornton on January 30, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Thanks, Janine! I wonder if either Wendy or Dawn has considered virtual consultations? I’ll ask them!

  2. Jill Robson on January 30, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Yes Hazel I much prefer the new glasses. I too wear trifocals and I am thinking of changing my frame style this year when I have to update my prescription. Well timed post, and I will let you know what my glasses personality is when I get it.

    • Hazel Thornton on January 30, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Thanks, Jill! Good luck with your new selection.

  3. Linda Samuels on January 30, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I love your sense of humor, Hazel…and your new glasses too. They are subtly different from your old ones, but what I love is that the color of the new ones (less dark) enhances you rather than distracting from your nice smile and face.

    But mostly what I read is that sometimes we need to reach out for help…for another person’s perspective because it’s so hard to really see ourselves.

    Enjoy your new view (in all ways!)

    • Hazel Thornton on January 30, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Thank you, Linda! And exactly — everything you said!

  4. Kathy Vines on January 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Love the new specs!

    A couple of years ago, I went to a small boutique optometrist in Boston for my new glasses, and they had an on-staff stylist. He had been a counter consultant in the jewelry department of Nordstroms for year, specializing in more contemporary styles like David Yurman. The consultation process for finding just the right glasses for me was so different than in the past. My husband then went and ended up with some stylish and funky-ish (but still okay for a downtown financial services company) that he NEVER would have picked on his own, but he LOVES. We both can’t imagine buying lenses again without a stylist’s input.

    We are lucky when we find people who are great at things we are not, and we benefit from their expertise. You know, kind of like hiring a professional organizer.

    • Hazel Thornton on January 30, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Exactly! Kind of like hiring a professional organizer. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Kathy!

  5. Andi Willis on January 30, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Your new specs look fabulous and so do you! I wear glasses only occasionally and probably only get new ones every 6-8 years because they are so expensive and it’s such a pain! Next time in need new ones I’ll have to look into being spec-tacular. Thanks!

    • Hazel Thornton on January 31, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Awww, thanks, Andi!

  6. Sabrina Quairoli on January 30, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    That’s awesome, Hazel! The new glasses look less pronounced on your face and blends beautifully. I don’t like looking for glasses either. I usually stick with natural tones like golds and browns. They bring out my hazel eyes. =) This past year, I purchased a pair of glasses that were a light chrome color. They made me look a lot older than I am. So, I reverted back to my older pair. I was so disappointed. Thanks for sharing this, I feel like I am not alone in this hunt for a flattering pair of glasses.

  7. Jamie Steele on January 30, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I love the new glasses too! I agree that they are not that dissimilar from you old ones, but the light color really allows YOU to shine!

  8. Liana George on January 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Love your new glasses Hazel! They look spectacular on you 🙂

    • Hazel Thornton on January 31, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you, Liana! 🙂

  9. Sarah Soboleski on January 30, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Your new glasses are so pretty! They definitely seem to match your personality (ok, we’ve never met, but inferring from your writing) which seems fun, witty and colorful!
    Oh and by the way, all my kid keeps talking about is wanting to watch the “cat cleaner” – that vacuuming cat clip you posted on my FB page! He loves it! Further proof how fun you are ;).

  10. Carla Anderson on February 1, 2016 at 9:39 am

    I loved this article because I hate shopping for new glasses. Once I get my new pair, no matter what I have chosen, I usually end up still using the cheap readers I purchase at my local CVS or 99 Cent Store.

    I have yet to find someone who can actually set the lenses right to where I can see what I am supposed to when I am supposed to. I have NEVER been able to use them while on my computer, even though I express that each time the lenses are measured.

    As for the style and how they look, I use my husband who is very honest, so I always take him along.

    I love your new glasses and they do look great on you. It’s all about taking the time to find exactly what you want and being happy in the end…..that’s for me!!!!

    Thank you!!

    • Hazel Thornton on February 1, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Ah, yes…the size and positioning of the bi- and tri-focal lenses… I didn’t have a problem with this pair, but had to send my last pair back (different shop). So frustrating! Nice to hear from you, Carla!

  11. Janet Barclay on February 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    When I started to read your post, I remembered meeting a woman at a networking event last fall who offered this type of service, but I couldn’t remember her name until you mentioned it: Wendy Buchanan! How exciting to know her concept has gone so far from home!

    You look great in your new glasses. I think I need help just to do the quiz, because I don’t understand all the answers, and I’m afraid that if I choose the wrong one I’ll end up with something I don’t like.

    • Hazel Thornton on February 4, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Janet — small world! That was the problem with including the quiz…it’s fun, but it’s just the first step of the process, and meant to interest you in paying for a consultation.

  12. Wendy Buchanan on February 5, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Hello Hazel,

    I was absolutely thrilled to read your blog and hear about your Be Spectacular™ eyewear experience with Dawn Nieto. She has a tremendous gift and an eye for style. (Pun intended)

    When I finally decided to formalize my system of selecting eyewear last year, my goal and purpose was to help Image Consultants and Opticians around the world help their clients look awesome and feel confident wearing specs. To have the opportunity to meet you virtually and read your blog has been an inspiring experience for me. Thank you for writing and reaching out and it is truly a small world. I cannot believe we have mutual friends. Love it!!
    Keep up your “specsy”!

    • Hazel Thornton on February 6, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Hi Wendy, thanks for visiting my blog! I hope your Be Spectacular method spreads to everyone who needs it. Have you considered virtual consultations? Via Skype? It wouldn’t include a chaperoned trip to a local eyewear store, but it would be a good start for many!

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