Confession of a bargain-hunting world traveler: I will throw out $900 in a heartbeat to go to Tanzania, but up until recently I really struggled to spend over $20 for a pair of sunglasses. Maybe it was my frugal upbringing, or the fact that the most awesome (and comfortable) pair of sunglasses I’d ever owned cost $5 in Little Havana. I’d heard about the benefits of quality shades but just couldn’t buy into the expense.
I typically go to Puerto Rico and/or Cuba twice a year, and let me just be clear: the summer Caribbean sun ain’t no joke, especially for someone with lighter-colored eyes. So the last time I was there, in May, I decided that when I got back I’d give more expensive shades a try – after all, it couldn’t hurt anything.
Traveling is my bread and butter, what inspires me the most and gets this usually quiet girl to talk your ear off. Protecting the environment is also very important to me, too. So when I found EarthShade, with its connection to Colombia, I thought I’d give this company a try. Anything to help out my fellow travelers.
Not wanting to venture off too much from my comfort zone, I decided to try out the Ebony Walnut Polarized Wood Sunglasses; their dark shade still looks close enough to my typically black plastic ones that they don’t cause too much extra attention. And now, while I may buy more $5 shades when I’m on Calle Ocho, for sentimental reasons, these glasses have convinced me I can’t go back to the $14.99 ones from a department store.
Vanity Meets Self-Care
It’s embarrassing to say I waited this long to prioritize caring for my eyes – my eyes are hazel, making them more vulnerable to sun damage, and cataracts runs in my family. Everyone else just got the surgery to remove them, so I assumed that when I got older, that’s what I’d do too. But then I found out how glasses with lots of UV protection could help against cataracts, so even if I still get them eventually at least I’ll know I was responsible enough to do all I could to help protect my vision.
When you read up about UV protection and the need for polarized lenses, you’ll read a lot about protecting your eyes from the glare off of snow and bodies of water. But one day when I wasn’t wearing these shades I realized – during your daily commute there’s a lot of glare off the cars in front of you too, and off your phone when you turn it the wrong way – Wow!
Leaving my wood sunglasses at home for a day taught me just how important using them is – my eyes felt more tired and achy during the day, and after wearing them consistently since then, I haven’t noticed any problems.
My eye doctor recommended wearing the glasses anytime I’m out during the day, even when it’s overcast or it’s a season other than summer. After the fiasco I mentioned just above, I couldn’t agree more. I was hesitant at first, though, as my eyeglasses (when I wear them instead of contacts) irritate my ears and the bridge of my nose when I wear them for even a couple of hours. But the skeptical me was convinced after a day of wearing these ebony shades – being made from wood, they’re more lightweight than other materials, and yet they still manage to feel sturdy. They don’t feel cheap at all, and I don’t get that irritating mark on my nose after wearing them.
The compliments help motivate me to wear them all day, too. My favorite was when I was in line at the grocery store and the cashier kept going on and on about how she loved them. Plus the glasses fit my style, which leans more towards hipster, so the fact that I love them and other people love them just makes me happy wearing them. And the stainless steel flex hinges? Now my boyfriend can borrow them and I won’t have to worry about him messing up the frames!
In sum, this is one purchase I can’t stop talking about. The quality eye protection, the sleek design, the cute bamboo case the glasses come in – these glasses not only look super classy but, being from wood, they’re better for the earth than plastic. I love how the grain pattern is unique in each one, so no two pairs will be exactly alike. And as an avid traveler, almost nothing attracts me more than a product that is more lightweight, so I can easily travel around without my belongings weighing me down. I was happy to buy these glasses and the free straps saved the day from them falling off into the water more than once!. Given the fact that they’re both so fashionable and extra comfortable, my rating is five stars for complete customer satisfaction.