Whether you’re a minimalist who prefers the au naturel look or you go for glamour at all hours, makeup can present unexpected challenges for contact wearers. Because handling your lenses in and out every day presents opportunities for contamination, it’s important to make sure anything coming in close contact with your eyes is clean and high quality, like your cosmetics.
To improve your beauty routine, here are a few reasons to consider ditching your contacts:
1. Mascara is your frenemy…
Mascara has a funny way of getting everywhere it’s not supposed to be — your eyelid, your hair — but have you ever gotten it on your eyeball? Wearing contacts means that black-brown goop just might make its way right onto your contact lens, and unless you want blurry vision for the rest of the day, your options are to blink it away (unsafe) or start from scratch.
Contact wearers should also be mindful of ingredients to avoid. Any mascara with added fibers in the product have the potential to clump and get stuck under your lens — ouch. And try to avoid waterproof mascara unless you’re going to be filming a pool party music video or something. The drying nature of waterproof mascaras make your lashes susceptible to breakage, meaning they could end up irritating your eyes.
2. …ditto for eyeliner…
A Catch-22: you need your contacts in to see well enough to put on eyeliner, but if your eyeliner comes in contact with your contact lens, you have to take it out to sanitize it. Annoying.
3. …and eyeshadow is shady
Oil-based products and powder eyeshadows can easily make their way into your eyes, causing irritation, dry-eye and cloudy vision, meaning your smize could be compromised by incessant blinking and eye rubbing — not the look you were going for.
4. False eyelashes can create a sticky situation
Not unlike mascara, the glue from false eyelashes is also an eye irritant and has a habit of going where it doesn’t belong: on your lens. And if it does, you should remove your lens, clean it with contact lens solution, wash and dry your hands, put your lens back in, and start all over. Funnnnn.
5. Keep it clean when it comes to makeup removal
A few things that are not sterile: 1) tap water 2) your makeup remover. Even when tired at the end of the day, be sure to take your contact lenses out before your take off your makeup. This prevents oils and chemicals from your makeup remover and bacteria from your tap water coming in contact with your corrective lenses. Not only could these things cause stinging and redness, but lenses have the potential to hold onto these materials and cause future irritation.
Something we often forget to add to our beauty routine: get regular eye exams with your eye doctor. And if you’re sick of your contacts and your mascara wand being at war, maybe talk to our LASIK surgeon about ditching those lenses for good.
Voila. Some beautiful advice, inspired by eye health tips from the American Refractive Surgery Council.