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Post in Everything Eyes

Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

So I've been wearing glasses for 23 years, and for my birthday this year, my mom is getting me contact lenses! I'm so excited! I've never worn them before, though, so I have a couple of questions about it.

First, do you need to apply makeup differently? Like if I line my waterline, could it possibly come off and get under the lenses? When you wash your face, should you take them out? Can certain eye creams irritate your eyes if you wear them? I'm sorry if these are weird questions, but as a glasses wearer since I was three, I don't know anything, it's a whole new world! *Cue magic carpet and sweet harem pants* Thank you!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I've been wearing contacts for the past 12 years or so.


The best advice I can give you is to get daily contact lenses. I used to have the ones that were supposed to last you two weeks for each pair, but they'd dirty easily, smudge, and I'd have to dispose of them early, anyways. By getting dailies, there's no "build up" on the contacts.


It may be different for other people, but that's just been my experience.

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I've worn contacts for years, for 21 years to be exact.
And I don't do anything differrently, at least I don't think.

Well except when applying glittery eye shadow, I look down with my
mirror and apply that way, that way the extra glitter falls on the floor
and not into my eyes.
Because then they get stuck right on the contact and you have to remove them
and then re-apply where you touch your face to take them out and put them
right back in, blah! lol
So I guess I do that differently than most.
But it happens rarely! Smiley Happy

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

As someone who's worn contacts and glasses since the 6th grade, you're asking some very good questions.  You've got to be careful with eye creams, just to be sure not to get any in your eye.  Contacts are like magnets for moisturizers and they get cloudy if you're not careful.  As far as applying makeup differently, I don't think there is a difference.  I do it the same as when I wear my glasses, except for the fact that I will put my contacts in BEFORE applying makeup.  I get major teary eyes (not all the time, but more often than not) when I put in my contacts.  Do you know if you're getting one day wear contacts or monthly change ones?  Anyway, you do have to be careful lining your water line, because it will make its way into your contact and it's a pain to have to take it out and rinse and reapply, especially if you've already finished the rest of your face.  This is why I typically apply my foundation, blush, etc after I put my contacts in, because of the tearing.  As far as washing your face, you should be safe.  Just be careful if you go swimming in the summer because chlorine can really hurt!  Good luck and welcome to the land of the glasses free!!!Smiley Very Happy

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

They're starting me off on two-week disposables. Smiley Happy Thanks for all the advice!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I know someone else mentioned this earlier, but I just want to reiterate, do not sleep in them!  Your eyes will burn for hours after you wake up lol, just always remember this and you're golden! 

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

Lots of great advice here, I just wanted to say that I always put mine in before my makeup for 2 reasons.  The first is that I can see better with them in.  The second is that I am one of those people who tears up like crazy when I put them in so I mess up my makeup if I put them in after.  I just have to be careful tight lining and have found certain eyeliners will transfer and get stuck to the lenses.  I just try to stick with liners that I know work.


Interestingly, I have also had a few red/purple pigmented eyeshadows that are so finely milled they have tinted my entire contact red/purple.  I don't think this is common and the worst offender that comes to mind was a holiday Lancome limited edition set.  I have also had a few eye cream samples that don't dry quickly or remain tacky and eventually travel into my eyes enough to be irritating.  


Because I wear monthly lenses, I like to use the peroxide cleaner (Clear Care) so that there is no residue left like with many of the other lens cleaners.  You just have to know that you can leave them out for 8 hours or more to use it because it oxidizes from peroxide to saline...if you don't wait long enough....ouch!!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I've had contacts for about 11 years now. I wear them only when I leave the house, going out, driving, etc. otherwise I wear my glasses. I have daily contact lenses that you throw away after 1 day of use. 


In the morning, I wash my face, then put in my contacts, then moisturize my face, then apply makeup.
At night, I take my contacts out first, then eye makeup remover, face wash, eye makeup remover again (I wear a lot of makeup), moisturizer. 
That has been the best order so far for me Smiley Happy

For lining waterline, I use creamy retractable pencils (Stila mostly) because when I've used liquid in the water line, if I mess up, the liquid tends to just spread in your eye and under your contact, and then you have to take it out and clean it. A mess. I use liquid for lining the rest of my eye.

For eye creams, using a flat small concealer brush to apply your eye cream gives you better control rather than just using your finger. I haven't heard or had any problems myself with eye creams irritating my eyes because of contacts. 

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

The only thing I do differently when I wear contacts is I tightline my upper waterline BEFORE I put in my contacts. After I tightline, it seems like no matter what product I use, some of it will get in my eye. This is tolerable if I already have my contacts in, but it just can be annoying. I've learned it's easier to tightline before. Just make sure your hands are clean before putting those contacts in! 


If I tightline before I put my contacts in and then simply touch it up (if it needs it) later, I have no problems! I apply the rest of my makeup the same.


I also remove my eye makeup after I've taken my contacts out. Whether I use make up wipes or a liquid eye makeup remover, I'm scrubbing my eyes, and it's way easier to do with no contacts. I've forgotten to take my contacts out occasionally and nothing bad happens (besides my contact feeling funky for a few mins), but it's definitely preferable to remove your contacts before removing your eye makeup.

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I have a little trick I use for making sure waterproof mascara doesn't get on your lenses. I apply it and make sure not to blink. I use a Q tip and turn it on the side (the plastic part) and run it through my lashes. It keeps all the excess gunk off! When I don't do this, I end up with foggy lenses covered in goop. Blarg! 


Best of luck!! 

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

Welcome to the dark side Smiley Happy 


I've been wearing contacts for 15 years and as long as you make sure that you wash your hands before changing them, and avoid getting hardcore waterproof eye-liner in your eye when applying you your waterline you should be fine. I can't tell you how many pairs of contacts MAC's Liquidlast Liner has ruined Smiley Sad 

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

Congrats from stepping from glasses to the world of contacts! Smiley Happy


In regards to waterline make up, I've never had an issue of a product after being applied smudging onto my contacts, the key is during application, making sure the product is "set" before letting the waterline touch your eye again, so maybe hold it from the area for a few extra moments or even build opacity in thin layers so it'll set quicker. I've had the few occurrences where while applying in a rush or in a haphazard manner actually touched a liner or mascara wand to the contact itself, liquids tend to be easily just "blinked" away and washed off the contact, but sometimes gels or creams can stay so I have to take my contact out, rinse, then put it back on.


I always take my contacts out anyway when I was my face, to me it's just safer, the last thing you want is for eyes to be dry and you rubbing away during washing and the lens moving out of place...ouch.


In regards to eye creams/products for skin care, just be sure to not apply products too close to the lash line or even on the lid unless it's specified as safe. Unless you're downright allergic to a product/ingredient, I don't see how using it whether you're wearing or not wearing contacts will make a difference.





Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I started wearing lenses in about 1969.  The most important things for me are always cleaning them, making sure your hands are meticulous before handling them, carrying eye drops and wearing sunglasses.  I used to carry a pair of glasses but I have found I don't need to.  I would also advise not wearing waterproof mascara.  I put my lenses in after makeup and take them out before evening face washing routine.  My daughter does the opposite, so it will probably be personal preference. Enjoy and good luck!  You will love them!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

 Congrats for getting contacts! With a little practice, you will master them quickly. You've already gotten a ton of good advice, but I'll just give you my $0.02. Smiley Happy


I have been wearing contacts for 12 years now. I got them when I was 13 and I started off with those contacts you toss after a year. However, the contact in my left eye always ended up ripping...<.<

After this happened three times in a year ended up switched to ones you toss after two weeks (Acuvue 2).

What I used to was wear my contacts regularly during school (10-12 hours/day) and during summer vacation I would give my eyes a break. A few years later when I was at the optometrist she told me I had a a few scratches in my corneas. She told me I had to give my eyes more of a break so now what I do is after I toss each pair of contacts I give my eyes a rest for two weeks, go back to contacts then switch back to glasses etc.,

This method has worked for years and I've had no problems since then! Smiley Happy


Now I wear the Acuvue Oasis contacts (my old ones were discontinued). I find they are much more comfortable in my eyes and I don't need to reach for my drops every few hours.


In terms of wearing makeup, I don't take any special attention in applying. Yes when I line my waterline sometimes eyeliner does end up transferring on the contact lens, but it's just trial and error to find the best eyeliner that does not transfer. If it's too creamy it's more likely to transfer. You need to find the perfect balance of creaminess and firmness (LOL XD).


I really want to get Lasik but it's soooooooo expensive for a really reputable place (ones where the doctors actually check you out during the consultation). I've heard that cheaper places it's essentially an In and Out kind of business and you only get one set of eyes.

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

This is so exciting for you!  I've been wearing contacts for about 12 years now and I pretty much never put my glasses on anymore!


I put my contacts in before I apply my makeup. Two reasons - one being so that I can actually see what I'm doing and secondly so that I don't mess up my makeup when I go to put them or getting any flakes of makeup on them.


I line my waterline everyday and while it does wear off, I've never had a problem with it getting on the lenses and causing any irritations.  Sometimes you will get smudges on the lenses, but you can just pop them out, rinse them with solution and put them back in.


I always take them out when I'm washing my eye makeup off. Rubbing your eyes can cause them to move around your eyeball or even tear.  


I don't have any problems with eye creams, but I think if they don't normally irritate your eyes, you should be fine Smiley Happy


Always wash your hands when you're handling the contacts and at the beginning, you may need to train your eyes by wearing them for a few hours at a time before going all day with them.


I'm sure you will love your contacts! Good luck!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

One last thing - Don't sleep with them in.  I did this once by mistake - they are so comfortable that I forgot I had them in - and the next morning I woke up with burning, dry eyes that were redder than your reddest lipstick!


Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

Yeah, a lot of contacts say you can sleep with them in and some people actually can (my cousin always sleeps in his) but the one time I tried to it felt like my eyeballs were swollen or something, they were horribly dry and irritated. But my eyes dry out pretty easily. I highly recommend testing out the whole "sleeping in contacts" thing with a nap first. Plus, you know, naps. Yay naps!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

Yeah...mine were not the sleep-in kind.  They are okay for naps (a little dry when I wake up), but for a whole night - that was torture the next day!

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

This is really exciting! I've worn both contacts and glasses for 20+ years. You've gotten a lot of good advice tha tI won't rehash. I didn't see anyone mention that you might need to change your eye makeup application with contacts. I like to do my eye makeup differently when wearing contacts, because I no longer have the glasses framing my eyes so my face feels naked. At the same time, I have to be more careful with application, because glasses are more forgiving (those little smudges and nicks can hide behind frames, but they can't hide behind contacts!)


Non makeup related - always have a pair of glasses with you for backup, especially if you (like me) are functionally blind without corrective lenses! If a contact pops out or something, you don't want to be stranded and helpless.  Smiley Happy  I keep old pairs of glasses in my car and at work.

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

Alright, I have another question that just popped into my head. I live in Florida, so theme parks are something I do at least once a year, if not more. It was mentioned to take them out before swimming, so should I just wear my glasses to the parks since there are water rides, or is it safe to have contacts in for those since it's a short period of time? (Not talking about going to Sea World or something, just like log flume rides at Islands of Adventure and so on.)

Re: Applying makeup when you wear contacts...

I always swim with my contacts in.  You have the risk of splashing them out, but just be a little mindful of that and you should be fine.  I swam competitively for years with contacts and never had a problem.  Once you wear them enough you'll see that you really don't have to think about the "cans" and "can'ts."  I do everything in my contacts (besides sleep), if they get cloudy or worn out, just clean or change them.  I apply my makeup the same as I do without the contacts in.  Enjoy!!

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