I Kept Destroying My Contacts With My Makeup Until I Discovered These Tricks

Now if someone could just created a windshield wiper for my lenses.
Publish date:
November 20, 2013
shoppables, makeup, contact lenses

It took me a long time to come around to wearing contact lenses. I don’t know if it was the action of placing my finger INTO my eyeball or the adjustment to wearing something on the eye itself, but I only started wearing them about three years ago.

I’m attached to my contacts now, despite people trying to persuade me to have Lasik. I'm of the belief that you should only have surgery when your health depends on it, and since contact lenses aren’t threatening my existence, I’m leaving well enough alone.

What I DON’T like about contacts is that they must remain in relatively pristine condition or everything goes horribly, horribly wrong. I don’t how many of us have been blinded by the daggers of an eyelash coated in mascara, the Disintegrating Makeup Kiss Of Death when eyeshadow and glitter - GAH! GLITTER! - falls into the eye, or when liner or cream shadow comes seeping into the eye, creating a blinding cataract effect that can cause you to wipe out on the sidewalk. Or have to ditch a lens in one eye leaving your sight lopsided and your head pounding.

So, until they come up with a lens with an invisible windshield wiper, here are some tricks I’ve tried that have helped me make it a whole night without being blinded or wounded by my makeup.

Smell your mascara to make sure it’s good - This sounds really random and kind of gross, I’m sure, but the best way to know if your mascara is too old is to smell it. If it has a faint gasoline scent to it, the formula is breaking down and it’s prone to clumps, dry flakes and other maladies, like causing styes and infection. Crack open new mascara every 2-3 months and don’t “pump” your mascara into the tube to get more. That forces air in and speeds the drying process and can contaminate your tube. Slick, wet, new mascara = fewer flakes or falling debris.

Use ONLY waterproof eyeliner - I know this sounds sort of duuuuuh, but you’d be surprised how many times you’ll reach for liner in a hurry and forget you’re wearing contact lenses. I keep waterproof liner with my contact case so I don’t mix them up in a rush, and there is no better formula in my book than Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner. If you insist on lining along the inner rim of the eye, this absolutely does not budge after 10 seconds of drying. I’d advise you to put it on, let it set for 30 seconds, THEN put your contacts in and finish your eye look.

Prep with primer - Eyeshadow primer helps shadows stay put and should keep them from running down your face or disintegrating into your face. I love Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer for this reason (it supplies extra moisture to the skin around the eye, because who doesn’t love that?) Apply to the eye, THEN top it with your favorite shadow.

Dust your lashes before you apply mascara - Keeping a tissue under your eye if you’re using powder shadows serves two purposes. One, it catches debris falling beneath your lashes so you don’t have to reapply concealer, and two, you can close your eye and gently wrap it on your lashes and pull away, catching any excess shadow dust before you apply mascara. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it’s worth it.

Cover regular mascara with clear mascara - I evidently grow a LOT of eyelashes and I lose about five a day so the new ones can have space. This can cause The Crazed Dance of Blinded By Lashes I tend to perform when an eyelash turns downward and stabs me underneath the lens. I have discovered that Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara OVER any other mascara forms an invisible seal that keeps the lashes in place while forming an extra barrier so they won’t move until I take off my makeup. The trick is to run the mascara up the lashes after the darker mascara has set, then dip the brush and run it across the middle, creating a seal that holds them up and in place.

Do you have makeup tricks that help you maintain your sanity with contact lenses?