Eye Makeup with Contact Lenses

Is it safe to wear eye makeup with contact lenses? Find out with our tips to keep eyes beautiful and healthy.

If you wear eye makeup, you've almost certainly had bits of makeup flake off into your eyes at some point; perhaps you've even stuck your mascara brush into your eye in a rush to apply makeup in the morning?

When that happens, your eye starts to water and it can be difficult getting the makeup out of your eye in order to see properly.

Now imagine if you also wear contact lenses; the same thing can happen, only this time the makeup gets stuck to the lens, and that can cause severe irritation as well as an eye infection, especially if you're using makeup products that are not allergy free or non allergenic, as they are called in the cosmetic trade.

So should you wear eye makeup with contact lenses at all?

Contact Lenses Cosmetics

eye liner with contact lenses Wearing eyeliner with contacts

While there are certain brands of makeup made specially for contact lens wearers, like Almay, I have to be honest and say that I've worn both non allergenic and cheaper branded eye makeup with my contacts all my life. I even put eyeliner directly onto the inside lower lid of my eye, which is a real no-no.

There are, however, certain steps you should take to minimize the chance of any makeup getting into your eyes.

  • First, always put your contact lenses in BEFORE applying any eye makeup. It's obviously easier to see what you're doing and you are less likely to have any makeup on your fingers when inserting your lenses.

  • Wash your hands throughly after you have applied your eye makeup; that way you won't get any residual makeup in your eye, should you brush something away from your eyelid.

  • It's recommended to NOT use powder eye shadow (as particles can get onto the lenses), but I always use hypoallergenic powder shadow, especially the sparkly kind as seen in the above picture; you just have to apply it very carefully, keeping one eye closed as you apply it to the opposite eye; oh and don't apply the makeup while in a moving vehicle - you're bound to get stuff in your eyes!

  • Cream form of eye shadow is recommended, but it can also irritate the eye (as it smears), so if you do plan to use this type of eye makeup, make sure it's water-based, not oil-based.

  • Everything I've ever read says you should NEVER put eyeliner between your lashes and your eye, in other words on your inner eyelid. OK I confess, I've been doing this for years and yes, sometimes, particles have irritated my eyes, but I've used the same kind of eyeliner (a cheap brand) since I was 20 and I've never had any serious problems. And I have pretty sensitive eyes.

Allergy Free Makeup

So I guess you should try different types and brands of eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara to see what works best for you. And if you experience severe eye irritation through wearing eye makeup with contact lenses, then try to get some free samples of allergy free makeup from brands like Cover Girl or Almay to see if it makes a difference.

Tip: Be careful of using old eye makeup (longer than 6 months old) with contact lenses. Bacteria can build up in creams and powder and even mascara after a few months, and this could cause an eye infection.

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