If you were given a choice between your vision and your makeup, which would you choose? Luckily, this is a decision you don’t actually have to make, as the two can coexist for women who wear contacts. It’s important to understand that improper application and maintaining can lead to contact wearers to suffer from pretty nasty eye infections but, by taking a few simple steps, ladies can safeguard against the buildup of bacteria. Continue reading to learn how to healthily utilize your favorite makeup staples while sporting contact lenses.
I’ll give you the best tip right off the bat:
************************WASH YOUR HANDS**************************
Having clean hands is an absolute given anytime you will be touching close to the eye—PERIOD. The idea is to keep the eye free from foreign matter, so washing hands is critical in keeping your fingers from stuffing things into your eye. If in doubt, wash your hands.
Another golden nugget:
————————————–DON’T SHARE MAKEUP—————————————-
Bacteria from makeup can get into the eye and cause real problems. It is best to make sure only you are using your makeup to avoid having others’ germs spread to your makeup and body.
Other tips and tricks:
- Along the same lines as mentioned in our earlier post The Ins-and-Outs of wearing Makeup with Contact Lenses, consider spraying perfume/hairspray/deodorant/etc. BEFORE putting contacts in to avoid the spray contaminating the contact lenses and potentially getting trapped in the eye—causing serious discomfort.
- In general, it is best to use oil-free and fragrance free makeup—consider water based products. Also, using water resistant eyeliner and mascara will help prevent makeup flaking off into the eye. Some eye care providers suggest using hypoallergenic products as they are gentler.
- When applying eyeliner, it is better to use a soft pencil; as hard pencil is more likely to flake and fall into the eye. Don’t use liquid eyeliner. It should be obvious but when applying eyeliner, but be VERY careful not to accidentally strike the eye with the pencil.
- Don’t apply makeup onto the inner eyelid (also called eyelid margins) because this part of the eyelid has oil glands which—if clogged by makeup—can cause dry eyes and even ugly styes (worse than being ugly, styes hurt).
- Don’t wear glitter around the eyes. The glitter can fall into the eye and can badly scratch the eye; the problem is compounded if the glitter gets under the contact lens.
- When applying mascara, it would be best to apply from mid-lash to the tips, rather than applying from base to the tips. Applying mascara at the base can allow the mascara brush itself to touch the eye and cause damage, and leaving makeup at the base of the eyelash increases the chance that it will flake off into the eye. Do not use mascara with lash building fibers because the fibers can fall into the eye.
- If applying eye shadow, make sure the eyelashes do not get in the way by holding them down. Makeup inadvertently applied to eyelashes has a good chance of falling into the eye. Be very gentle when applying shadow so you don’t damage the contact or move it out of position.
- Remove your contacts BEFORE removing any makeup, and make this a daily practice using oil-free makeup remover. Always make sure to thoroughly clean your contacts or, to have a hassle-free, fresh lens ready to pop in every morning, consider purchasing Dailies.
Lastly: if your eyes show any redness, swelling, irritation, or if you have pain in either eye DO NOT APPLY MAKEUP. Call your eye care professional for advice.
Wearing makeup with contact lenses does not have to be a cause for worry. Adjusting your makeup application habits to include these tips will help avoid the potential problems, such as infection and scratches to the eye. For suggestions on which hypoallergenic makeup products would be right for you, consult with your eye care professional. Plus, if you want to spice up your look, consider pairing your cosmetics with the colored contacts brought to you by Freshlook.