A Contact Lens Wearer’s Guide to Eye Make-Up

Comedian Will Ferrell is not really known for his subtle humour, and this was certainly the case in his 2008 film Semi-Pro, which detailed the exploits of a losing 1970’s basketball team. In one scene, while trying to intimidate their opponents (and also trying to look good on TV), the team decided on the questionable idea of wearing eyeliner to give themselves a dramatic look.

While most women probably don’t wear eyeliner as a means of intimidation, well-selected and applied eye makeup can really complete a look. Achieving that look, however, isn’t always so straightforward, particularly if you wear contact lenses. If you’ve always denied yourself the pleasures of eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara out of concern for your lenses, then not to worry—there are some easy tricks and tips that will allow you to have eyes that pop, without sacrificing the cleanliness of your contacts.

When to Put in Your Contacts

There are two schools of thought on whether it’s best to apply eye makeup before or after putting in your contacts, but at the end of the day, makeup first and contacts second is usually the best bet. Putting in your contacts after applying eye make-up can mean that tiny remnants of makeup might be left on your fingertips, which can then become lodged next to your eye—something that can be less than pleasant. Putting your lenses in first can work, but it’s usually best to apply them after you’ve applied your makeup and after thoroughly washing your hands.

Don’t Go with Glue!

It might seem like an obvious thought, but most lens wearers don’t want their lenses to be permanently glued to their eyeballs. This is exactly what you risk if you attempt to adhere false eyelashes, since they use a weak, skin friendly form of glue to attach themselves to your eyelids. While you can accentuate your lashes with mascara, false eyelashes are best avoided by contact lens wearers.

Cream, Not Powder

Eye shadow can create a dramatic look, if you want to give yourself that panda eyes smudge look, but it can also create a subtle accentuation of your natural colors if you use more neutral tones. If you wear contact lenses, powder based eye shadow is best avoided, since this has the potential to become attached to the lens, possibly irritating your eye. This is not an issue with cream based eye shadows, and so it’s best to check out the wide variety of cream based eye shadows on offer. You don’t want to have go to a store or buy new lenses online just because they’ve become permanently smudged with powder.

And Finally…

And of course, when the time comes to remove your eye makeup, you also need to remove your contact lenses. Eye makeup remover is designed to be gentle, but it still contains an astringent that can damage the lens, in turn irritating your eyes. So, with clean hands, remove the lenses and then remove your makeup. It takes a little more effort, but there’s no reason that your contact lens clad eyes can’t pop!

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