Make Up for Sensitive Eyes

By Kristine
AP Contributor

Hello all!

A reader who wished to be kept anonymous recently emailed us with a beauty question:

Just wondering if you or your contributors have any advice on wearing eye makeup for those of us who have “dry eyes” and apply eyedrops throughout the day. I used to always wear mascara and now don’t because the eyedrops smear and run the mascara after application and give me “raccoon eyes.” I’m not sure I want to try waterproof mascara since it seems rather harsh and removing it might get problematic since my eyes are sensitive. I should tell you the eyedrops I use are over the counter and not prescription on the advice of my optometrist. 

What an interesting question. I don’t have dry eyes myself, but I do have terrible allergies in the spring and summer so I am familiar with the eye drop situation. Not only are my eyes watery, but they swell up and get really red.

After experimenting with many different mascara formulations, I threw in the towel and decided to start eyelash tinting. My brows and lashes are naturally blonde and if I leave them bare I look like I have none at all. Honestly, I do this at home with Henna. I’m not going to explain to you how to do that, because you shouldn’t be doing it. I shouldn’t even be doing it but I’m broke and…my safety just isn’t that important to me I guess? But you, being the responsible person I’m sure you are, can get this service done at a salon. There is no FDA approved eyelash or eyebrow dye currently, so it’s important to know what your salon uses before undergoing the service. Benefit is a good choice because they use a vegetable based tint so there is no danger of blindness. The service take around 20 mins and prices vary, but are usually in the $20-40 range. If you have sensitive eyes, this may be uncomfortable, but the results last 4 to 6 weeks and it might be worth it. I’ve never had a problem with it myself, and it’s wonderful not worrying about putting in eye make up everyday.

dyed eyelashes

If you want to stick to mascara, there are several options to consider. I even asked a few knowledgeable friends to weigh in with their advice. If you don’t want to try a waterproof mascara, I would suggest carrying a make up remover pen like the one from e.l.f. and just clean up any excess after applying your eye drops. You can also blot your mascara brush before applying, a thinner layer of mascara won’t smudge as easily.

If you would like to try a waterproof variety, just make sure you are using a very gentle make up remover. Some of the safest include Lush Ultrabland, Bioderma, and Make Up For Ever Sensitive Eyes. Using a thicker eye cream like Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Eye Cream will greatly reduce irritation as well.

I hope one of these solutions was helpful and I would love for you guys to let me know via email or in the comments. Any of your own tips would be a great addition as well.

Email me with any beauty questions.

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Kristine Rose is a make-up artist, esthetician, and writer. She strongly believes in each individual’s right to express themselves through style, make up, and body modification (or lack thereof). Beauty writing is her one true passion and she intends to revel in it until her untimely death, crushed under the weight of her own jewelry.

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