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Can you, and should you, wear make-up with contact lenses?

eyes with make up

The simple answer is ‘yes’ but you will have to be a bit fussier about the products you select and how you apply them. This is even more important if your optician has also told you that you that your eyes show signs of dryness. Eye dryness, which causes loss of contact lens comfort and vision quality, can be made worse by the wrong type of eye make up.

Your contact lenses, unlike glasses, allow the world to see your eyes as nature intended. However, everyone likes to have the extra boost that eye make-up can give. Here are 10 pieces of sage advice to help you enjoy the freedom of contact lenses AND the impact of beautifully made-up eyes.

1. Get the basics right. Firstly, make sure you are looking after your contact lenses as instructed. Don’t cut corners as the advice you were given aims to keep your vision clear, eyes healthy – and your lenses comfortable. That includes washing your hands and thoroughly drying them before touching your lenses.

2. Lenses first then make up. Once inserted and feeling comfortable you are ready to get started. The reverse applies too – lenses out and then remove make up. Also, don’t forget hand moisturises should be applied after your lenses have gone in!

3. Creams not powders. If applying a primer or eye shadows select a cream rather than a power. This is because powers are more likely to go into the eye and stick to the lens, potentially causing irritation.

4. It’s a big NO to chemical nasties. Whatever make-up you choose to apply make sure you select products which are free from chemicals nasties which will potentially make it more difficult to get clear comfortable vision from your contact lenses. It is not always obvious what to avoid, and paying more is not a safe guard. The Dry Eye Zone has researched this for you and recommends ‘The Eyes Are The Story’ range as they are uniquely formulated for sensitive eyes, contact lens users, and sufferers of dry eye and digital eye strain. These high-quality cosmetics blacklisted toxic ingredients found in mainstream cosmetics and skincare.

5. Beware of flaking. Use a non-waterproof or water-resistant mascara as it is less likely to produce flakes which could go into the eye and cause discomfort. Eyelash serums work to increase the thickness of your lashes and make them darker. Try new Lash Builder Restorative serum to give your natural lashes a boost and help avoid the need for heavy mascara.

6. Avoid eyeliner inside the eyelash line. Eye liner can be tricky to apply at the best of times but the Dry Eye Zone would advise you to keep it either on or outside your eyelashes. Applying a line inside the eye lash margins (a technique known as tightlining or waterlining) could result in you clogging up your meibomian glands. The consequences could be a poorer tear film quality and less comfortable lenses – or worse still an eye infection.

7. Steer clear of oily products. Whatever you put around your eyes is highly likely to make its way into your eye, and onto your contact lenses, to some extent. Oil on your lenses will result in ‘cloudy’ lenses and impaired vision. Both things to avoid

8. Wave good bye to that old mascara. It is always tempting to keep, and use, those half empty products lurking at the bottom of your make-up bag. But resist! Old mascaras in particular can harbour lots of bacteria which could lead to an eye infection. It is recommended to throw away your mascara every couple of months. To help avoid this some companies make smaller sizes – these improve hygiene and are also handy for purses.

9. Throw away those falsies. False eye lashes use glues on stay on and if a loose lash goes into your eye it is going to cause problems for your contact lenses. But do not despair as help is at hand. The new restorative serum Lash Builder will give you longer, thicker, fuller lashes without having to compromise on eye health.

10. Eye hygiene has always been important but once you have contact lenses it is ESSENTIAL. Remove your lenses first and then clean off the eye make-up thoroughly.


The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA). Important dos and don’ts of contact lens wear.

Association of Optometrists. Helpful guidance and tips for wearing and maintaining your soft contact lenses

Can you use mascara if you wear contact lenses. By Krystle Vermes. 4 Jan 2023

10 EYE MAKEUP MINEFIELDS form Eyes are the Story



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