If you’re one of the millions of American women who view the world through contact lenses, chances are you’ve struggled with a stray lash, teared up over teal eye shadow and blinked out more blush than you care to remember. And chances are, your eye doctor and mother have lectured you on the finer points of makeup application. But in case they haven’t, these tips will have you seeing clear and saying bye-bye to the bloodshot in no time.
For starters, decide your early morning order of events. Are you going to put your contacts in or apply your makeup first? If you find yourself getting out of bed to get a closer look at the 15-inch red numbers of the alarm clock on your nightstand, you’re in luck. Mother Nature has already decided your beauty routine. If you mistake the big fuzzy towel on the back of the door for your face when peering in the mirror, put your contacts in before applying your makeup. If you can pluck your eyebrows with the help of a distant mirror, unaided by eyewear, leave your lenses until last.
Whether you put in your contacts before or after makeup application, wash your hands before dipping into the wells and grabbing a hold of your lenses. Make sure your hands are clear of lotions, potions and even scented soaps. Once these elements meet your lenses, there’s no turning back. Red, itchy, burning, blurry and watery eyes will be the result. Clean and dry hands are always a sight for sore eyes.
You are what you apply. If you’re tired of counting carbs, start reading the ingredients on your makeup bottles instead. Trade in your loose powder for the pressed or liquid variety if you spend the day blinking “beige buff” out of your eyeballs. As for mascara and eyeliner, opt for hypoallergenic versions of your favorite hues. While waterproof makeup will keep your face stain free throughout the day – especially if you need to break out the rewetting drops – you’ll need to do a little TLC during your nighttime removal routine. Waterproof makeup is harder to remove and requires special solvents that are safe for your eyes. Look for water-based versions of your favorite brands and no matter what, take your contacts out before going in for the scrub down.
How old is your makeup collection anyway? Are you scraping the bottom of the tube that your grandmother gifted to you from her beauty stash when you turned sixteen? Toss that germ bottle! Never share makeup, and by all means, replace your products seasonally. If the magic wand of the mascara tube touches your contact lens, you’re almost guaranteed an infection that no fairy godmother can reverse.
What about implements? We’re talking the sponges, brushers and beauty utensils that help you achieve that salon look. Like your makeup, these beauty aids must be kept clean and away from your contacts. Corrective lenses love to stick to eyelash curlers, so take extra caution when creating your blinking beauties.
Though hairspray falls just outside of the makeup category, this product can be a contact lens wearer’s biggest bugaboo. After your makeup is applied and your hair is ready to be bomb-proofed, close your eyes before you spray. If you choose to watch the shower of sticky stuff close in on your locks, your contacts will end up as hard and sticky as your ‘do! Keep your contact lens case out of hairspray’s stream to avoid contamination and dirty buildup. And remember, if you develop an infection or irritation even after following these tips, remove your contacts and schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.