Tips on Contact Lenses and Makeup

by Jami Summers on June 18, 2009 · 7 comments

Tips on wearing contact lenses and makeup Helpful Tips on Contact Lenses and Makeup

Many women who wear contact lenses to correct vision impairment often experience discomfort and eye irritation when putting on contact lenses, especially when also applying make-up. Many of our readers have contacted us with questions on how to properly handle contacts when it’s time to get ready for a night on the town.

The first question that comes to mind is whether to apply make-up before or after insertion or removal of the contacts. According to two eye care professionals we asked this isn’t the main issue. What makes the difference with regard to keeping your eyes free from discomfort and infections is the level of hygiene that is maintained.

Let us assume you will apply your make-up before inserting your contact lenses. To avoid damage to both your contact lenses and your eyes, remember to wash your hands thoroughly. Use a pH neutral soap to clean your hands of any cosmetics. If you plan to use nail polish, apply it after contacts have been inserted.

Contact lenses are made of highly sensitive materials (such as polymer used in Acuvue 2) and will easily damage if they come in contact with certain chemicals. Contact lenses contaminated by make-up are a common issue and often lead to allergic reactions, dry eyes, or other eye infections.

To further avoid this discomfort, it is important to purchase high-quality cosmetic products only.
Regarding eyeliner, or eye shadow, make sure to be extra careful as they both are applied close to and around the eye. If you choose to insert your contact lenses after applying make-up, it is important to let the eyeliner or eye shadow settle.

In conclusion, always keep a high level of hygiene when dealing with contact lenses. Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses, especially after having applied make-up. For more information it is also advisable to contact your local eye doctor.

“This post was sponsored by the online contact lens retailer, 1-800 Contacts. Visit the 1-800 Contacts promo code page to find exclusive, limited time offers on contacts.”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Renee June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Hey Jami,
Great article! I’ve been wearing contacts for the past 8 years now and always do makeup beforehand – mostly because I can’t see anything if I don’t put on my contacts first! I’ve been doing this I started wearing makeup and I have never had any problems concerning my contacts and makeup, so I would recommend doing it that way. :D

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2 Liz June 18, 2009 at 7:32 pm

This is great info! I’ve worn contacts for 15 years and have sensitive eyes… my eye doctor seems to think that putting in the contacts before applying make-up is a good idea so that there is less risk of getting mascara on them:).

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3 M.J. June 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I am really glad to see this article! I am considering getting contacts, and I had no idea how to adapt my makeup application techniques! Thanks!

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4 Lucy June 19, 2009 at 7:10 am

I don’t wear contacts only glasses. Do you have some special hints for wearers of glasses? I am also nearsighted and I don’t know if that’a makes any difference. Thanks!

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5 Bionic Beauty June 19, 2009 at 8:31 am

Lucy, EXCELLENT idea! I will try to think up my best tips for glasses wearers.

Are your frames light (like wire) or dark (I have the solid black frames- like the old style “geek” glasses)? I know that my dark frames make my eyes looked almost lined immediately. Very handy… but they can also hide some of most amazing eyeshadow creations.

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6 Optigoth September 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The corrective sphere for nearsighted generally makes the eyes look smaller which means that you can splurge on eyeliner. Glasses usually takes away a lot from eyemakeup though so even for everyday eyes you can go with bolder colour choices without worry. Smokey eyemakeup is also a good choice. Oversighter/farsighted corrective sphere makes the eye look larger instead but like for nearsighted this is all in relation to the power and general quality of the lens in the glasses.

As an optometry student I would also like to highly recommend putting your contacts in before applying makeup. It keeps the makeup from being smeared and protects your eyes from mascara debris. Also, avoid makeup on the waterlines.

Love from an Optometry student.

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