6 things you need to know about applying make-up with contact lenses

Thursday, 18 May 2017 by Callan Smith-Sheerin

There are plenty of guides to wearing make-up with glasses, but not so many for contact lenses. The truth is that contact lens wearers need to take care when applying make-up. The last thing you want is irritated eyes or having to replace a lens before you’ve even properly worn it. With this in mind, we’ve put together 6 tips to help you get it right every time.

6 things you should know

Wash your hands thoroughly before putting in lenses

Whenever you put in contact lenses you need to wash and dry your hands first. This is even more important when handling make-up too, as you don’t want to get any on your lenses before you put them in. It’s also a good idea to put your lenses in before you start your make-up routine so none gets in your eyes.


Use the right products

Remember to try any new product before you buy it! If you’re picking out a mascara make sure it doesn’t clump easily. Clumpy bits of mascara can fall off your lashes into your eyes and make them irritated and uncomfortable. Avoid fibre mascaras too as these can cause infections if they get in your eyes.

You should also steer clear of any make-up products that contain oil. Oil and water don’t mix, so if any gets in your eyes it could lead to your lenses clouding up.

Keep your lenses clean

If you wear monthly or 2-weekly lenses, keeping them clean is vital. A good routine involves washing each side of the lens with fresh solution and rubbing it in for 15-20 seconds to remove any dirt. Then you need to store them in a contact lens case filled with more fresh solution overnight. Also, to keep your case in the best condition, you should clean it after each use and replace it once every 3 months.

If this sounds like a bit of a bother, you could always switch to daily lenses for an even more hygienic and convenient option!

Check out our daily lenses

Take care with your eyelids

When you’re applying eye make-up, make sure you avoid getting any on your inner eyelid. As this part comes into close contact with your eye, it could end up blocking the natural oil glands that help to keep your eyes hydrated. If this happens it could lead to irritated and dry eyes.

Try not to apply make-up while on the go

If you lead a busy life, it’s easy to get caught in a rush. It’s a common sight to see people on the train or bus applying their make-up, but you should try to avoid doing so. Sudden stops or a bumpy ride make it easy to get make-up in your eyes and, in extreme cases, could lead to you poking yourself in the eye, breaking your contact lenses and even damaging your cornea.

Replace mascara regularly and keep your brushes clean


Don’t forget that mascara has an expiry date. Check this when you buy it so you know how long you can use your mascara for before it starts to get clumpy. Clean the wand applicator regularly so that old mascara doesn’t build up and crumble into your eye when you’re applying it. Also make sure you keep any other make-up brushes clean to minimise the amount of dry make up that stays on the brush and help protect your eye.


Overall, the main thing to remember is to minimise the risk of any make-up becoming lodged behind your lenses and causing you discomfort. If you follow these tips then this shouldn’t be a problem and you can enjoy comfortable contact lenses side by side with a strong make-up game.

If you do experience any significant and sustained discomfort, however, make sure you visit your optician.

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