The three biggest problems with wearing makeup, when you are a contact lens wearer, are improper application, applying too much, and improper removal. Here are some guidelines for successfully wearing makeup, while minimizing problems with your contact lenses and maximizing the life expectancy of your lenses.
A water base mascara is recommended as first choice, because it is easier to remove from lashes. When oil base or waterproof mascara is used, an agent, which is petroleum based, is needed for proper removal. If this gets into your eyes or on a soft lens, it will coat the lens.
Never add anything to your mascara to make it last longer or to change the color. By doing this you will change the chemical nature of the mascara and it can harm your eyes. If your mascara ever changes its color or fragrance, throw it away. Normally change every 2-3 months, because of bacteria. Use do‑dots to remind you.
Never apply powder or other substances to your lashes, before or after applications of mascara.
If mascara gets on your contact lens, immediately clean your lens with your daily cleaner. The longer the mascara is left on, the more difficult it will be to remove.
An oil base or waterproof eye liner will usually remain on your eyelid longer than a water base eye liner. The waterproof type is acceptable to wear, as long as a proper cleaner is used to remove it. Extended wear contact lens wearers need to use a water based eye liner (This should be placed below the bottom row of eye lashes, not above).
This is not usually a problem, unless the eye shadow has been improperly applied. A sponge applicator, rather then brush, is recommended to avoid shadow flaking in and around your eyes.
CONTACT LENS WEARERS WHO HAVE ALLERGIES OR SENSITIVE EYES:
“Hypo allergenic” products do not contain chemicals that sensitive eyes tend to react to, including lanolin or alcohols. The best products to use would be those that are unscented. You can still be allergic to these types of products.
EXTENDED WEAR CONTACT LENS PATIENTS:
Since these lenses are not always removed on a regular basis, mascara and the products used to remove eye makeup that get into the eye will also get onto the lens. If eyeliner is used, it must be the water base type. The choices for a mascara wearer are:
1. No mascara used. This is acceptable, especially if you have dark lashes.
2. Individual lashes (artificial). These can be applied at home or in a salon.
3. Band lashes can be used, which are applied at home and removed each evening.
4. Apply water base mascara to the eyelash tips only.
5. Lashes may be tinted at a salon.
There is debate as to whether you should insert the lenses before or after applying your makeup. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ways. The main concerns are getting makeup in your eye, on your lens, or smearing your makeup with insertion of the lens. The advantages of inserting your contact lenses before makeup application are: being able to see well enough to apply makeup, decreasing the likelihood of picking up makeup during insertion and getting it on your eye and lens, and also avoiding the possibility of smearing your makeup during insertion. Soft contact lenses after makeup are: being able to remove smeared makeup and then re‑applying it and, if any makeup gets into your eye, you can remove it without removing your lens. A magnifying mirror, with double or triple magnification, or special makeup glasses are assets when applying makeup. If you have any reason to believe that your makeup is old, contaminated, or causing an allergic reaction, throw it away.
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