Contact Lens Wearers Guide to Makeup

Wearing contact lenses can be a wonderful way to enhance your vision and provide the freedom to engage in various activities without the limitations of traditional eyeglasses. However, for those who also love to wear makeup, there are certain considerations and techniques that need to be taken into account to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

Contact Lens Wearers Guide to Makeup
Contact Lens Wearers Guide to Makeup

This guide aims to provide contact lens wearers with valuable tips and insights on how to apply makeup while maintaining eye health and preventing any discomfort.

Makeup Dos and Don’ts for Contact Lens Wearers

When it comes to makeup application for contact lens wearers, there are a few dos and don’ts that should be kept in mind to avoid any potential issues. Let’s explore them below:


  1. Hygiene First: Always start with clean hands and a clean face before applying makeup. This helps reduce the risk of transferring bacteria or debris to your lenses and eyes.
  2. Opt for Oil-Free Products: Choose oil-free makeup products, including foundations, eyeshadows, and eyeliners. Oil-based cosmetics can interact with the lenses and lead to discomfort or blurry vision.
  3. Apply Makeup Before Inserting Lenses: To prevent makeup particles from getting trapped between your lenses and eyes, it is recommended to apply your makeup before inserting your contact lenses.
  4. Use Creamy Eyeshadows: Creamy or powder-free eyeshadows are preferable over powdery ones, as the latter can potentially cause irritation or dryness if particles enter the eyes.
  5. Replace Makeup Regularly: Makeup products, especially mascaras and eyeliners, have a limited shelf life. Regularly replace your eye makeup every three to six months to avoid any risk of contamination.


  1. Avoid Waterproof Mascara: While waterproof mascara may seem like a good option for long-lasting wear, it can be challenging to remove and may cause your lenses to become dislodged during removal.
  2. Steer Clear of Loose Powder: Loose powders, such as loose eyeshadows or setting powders, have a higher tendency to fall into the eyes and cause irritation. Opt for pressed powder products instead.
  3. Skip the Lash Extensions: Lash extensions can increase the risk of debris getting caught between the extensions and the lenses. It’s best to avoid them while wearing contact lenses.
  4. Never Share Makeup: Sharing makeup products with others can lead to the transfer of bacteria, which can cause eye infections. Always use your own makeup and avoid borrowing or lending.
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By following these dos and don’ts, contact lens wearers can significantly reduce the risk of eye irritation or discomfort while still enjoying the benefits of makeup application.

Choosing Contact Lens-Friendly Makeup Products

Selecting the right cosmetics is crucial for contact lens wearers to maintain eye health and comfort. Here are some factors to consider when choosing contact lens-friendly makeup products:

  1. Water-Based Formulas: Opt for water-based or gel-based products, as they are less likely to cause eye irritation compared to oil-based or creamy ones. Water-based formulas are generally lighter and less likely to interfere with lens wear.
  2. Hypoallergenic and Fragrance-Free: Look for makeup products labelled as hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. These products are formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions and irritation, making them ideal for contact lens wearers.
  1. Ophthalmologist-Tested: Makeup products that have been ophthalmologist-tested are specifically evaluated for their compatibility with sensitive eyes. Checking for this label can provide additional reassurance.
  2. Non-Comedogenic: Non-comedogenic makeup products are designed not to clog pores, reducing the chances of oil or particles entering the eyes. This feature is especially important for eye makeup, such as eyeshadows and eyeliners.

Safe and Comfortable Makeup Techniques for Contact Lens Wearers

Now that we have covered the dos and don’ts as well as choosing contact lens-friendly makeup products, let’s explore some safe and comfortable makeup techniques specifically tailored for contact lens wearers:

1. Proper Makeup Removal:

Thoroughly removing makeup at the end of the day is crucial for maintaining eye health. Use a gentle, oil-free makeup remover and avoid rubbing harshly around the eye area. Be careful not to get any makeup remover directly on your lenses.

2. Priming the Eyelids:

Applying an eyeshadow primer before your eyeshadow helps it adhere better and reduces the chances of it smudging or flaking onto your lenses. This step also helps your eyeshadow last longer throughout the day.

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3. Gentle Mascara Application:

When applying mascara, avoid pumping the wand in and out of the tube as it introduces air and increases the risk of bacterial contamination. Instead, gently swirl the wand inside the tube to coat it evenly with the product. Apply mascara in a zigzag motion, starting from the roots of your lashes and moving towards the tips.

4. Avoid Tightlining:

Tightlining, which involves applying eyeliner to the waterline, can increase the chances of makeup particles transferring to the lenses. Instead, apply eyeliner to the upper lash line or opt for eyeshadow and an angled brush to create a soft, smudged liner look.

5. Replace Expired Products:

Expired makeup products can harbour bacteria, leading to eye infections. Regularly check the expiration dates of your makeup and replace any products that have surpassed their recommended usage period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I wear contact lenses if I already have eye makeup on?

A: It is generally recommended to apply makeup before inserting your contact lenses. This reduces the risk of makeup particles coming into contact with your lenses and eyes. However, if you need to apply makeup after inserting your lenses, make sure to be extra careful and avoid any makeup residue on the lens surface.

Q: Is it safe to wear coloured contact lenses with makeup?

A: Yes, it is safe to wear coloured contact lenses with makeup as long as you follow proper hygiene and use contact lens-friendly cosmetics. Make sure to choose makeup products that are labelled as safe for use with contact lenses, and always handle your lenses with clean hands to prevent any transfer of makeup particles.

Q: Can I wear eyeshadow if I have sensitive eyes from wearing contact lenses?

A: Yes, you can wear eyeshadow even if you have sensitive eyes from wearing contact lenses. Opt for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free eyeshadows, and avoid loose powders that may irritate your eyes. Applying eyeshadow with a light hand and ensuring proper removal at the end of the day can help minimize any potential discomfort.

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Q: How often should I replace my eye makeup as a contact lens wearer?

A: To maintain good eye health, it is recommended to replace eye makeup products, especially mascara and eyeliners,

every three to six months. Over time, these products can accumulate bacteria, which may increase the risk of eye infections. Regularly replacing them helps minimize this risk.

Q: Can I use makeup remover wipes to remove my eye makeup?

A: Makeup remover wipes can be convenient for removing makeup, but it’s important to choose ones that are specifically formulated for the eye area and are gentle, oil-free, and fragrance-free. Make sure to avoid any contact between the wipes and your contact lenses to prevent residue from transferring to the lenses.


With the right techniques and careful selection of contact lens-friendly makeup products, contact lens wearers can enjoy the transformative power of makeup without compromising their eye health or comfort.

By following the dos and don’ts, choosing suitable cosmetics, and practising safe makeup application and removal, contact lens wearers can enhance their natural beauty while maintaining clear vision and optimal eye health.

Remember to prioritize hygiene, opt for oil-free and water-based products, and replace makeup regularly to ensure a pleasant and safe experience.

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