Eye Makeup and Contact Lenses: The Dos & Don'ts

While wearing contact lenses may not be a difficult task, it is one that requires a great amount of commitment to proper care and maintenance by the wearer. However, many do not understand the whole process of wearing contact lenses with eye makeup and the common practice of handling them. This ignorance can lead to problems and, if not used correctly, contacts lenses can increase chances of an eye infection.

Here are some dos and don’ts that will help you understand the best ways to apply eye makeup with contact lenses:


It’s best to wash your hands thoroughly before putting your contact lenses in to avoid infecting yourself with germs. Rinse your hands before handling contact lenses to help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.

  • Apply cosmetics and eye makeup after you put in your contact lenses

Always put your contact lenses in after applying makeup to avoid damaging or scratching the lenses. Chances are you can get makeup onto your fingers while applying it and on the contact lenses, which could cause some discomfort and possible infection.

  • Apply eye makeup sparingly and on the outer lid margin only, not the waterline

Never put eye makeup inside your eyes. If you use an eyeliner, only apply it to the outside of the eyes as particles from eyeliner when applied inside the eyelids and waterlines can cause the makeup to get trapped by your contact lenses, resulting in possible infection of the eye.

  • Remove your eye makeup after removing your contact lenses

Even if you use a gentle, waterproof eye makeup remover to wipe away makeup from your eyelids and waterlines, there are chances of contaminating the contact lenses with bacteria or damaging them, so take your contact lenses out before you take your makeup off. it’s a good idea to use hypoallergenic eye makeup, If you have a history of allergies or have extra sensitive eyes. Avoid makeup with arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, carmine, lead, nickel, selenium, and thallium.

  • Use hypoallergenic and fragrance-free eye makeup

Consider using hypoallergenic products to prevent makeup from irritating your eyes when you wear contact lenses throughout the day. Products that contain oil, fragrance, dyes or anything that could get stuck or adhere to contact lenses should be avoided.       


  • Apply cosmetics if you have red or swollen eyes or an eye infection.

Refrain from applying eye makeup in the event of an eye infection or allergy. Replace all your existing eye makeup products with new ones in order to prevent the infection and causative bacteria from spreading. Consult your ophthalmologist before using makeup on your eyes.

  • Apply makeup to the inner margin of your eyelid and allow it to come in contact with your contact lens

When using eyeliner and mascara, avoid lining your waterlines to prevent the risk of dry eyes and styes. When applying eyeliner, only line half of your lower lash lines along the outer corner of your eyes to open them up. It’s best to avoid any eyeliner or makeup directly on the waterline. This area of the eye is where the eye glands (meibomian glands) produce oil. If these glands get clogged with makeup debris, not only will they get infected, but styes will become more frequent.

  • Use water or saliva to lubricate the makeup applicator

Keeping your makeup applicators clean is one of the hygiene practices to keep the infection at bay. Never use water or saliva to moisten your makeup or applicator! Your mouth is home to many kinds of bacteria that can risk your eye health.

  • Use makeup with preservatives, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, and diazolidinyl urea to remove makeup.

Avoid using mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, and diazolidinyl urea. Even though they work well to remove makeup, they are known to cause irritation to the eyes. These ingredients cause more inflammation or damage the longer they stay on the eye. Use eye makeup that has been specially formulated to be oil and fragrance free.

  • Use cosmetics that are exposed to heat or spray hairspray or other aerosols into your eye after putting your contacts lenses in

Chemical injuries to eyes can result from using cosmetic products (solid, liquid, powder, or aerosol chemicals) that are exposed to heat over a period of time. These chemicals can come in contact with the eye and cause surface damage. When using cosmetics or aerosol sprays, such as hairspray and deodorant, while wearing your contact lenses, make sure to close your eye, as such products may leave a residual film on the lens. If you have been in a situation where there was an opportunity for cosmetic products to enter your eye, clean and replace your contact lenses. Make sure to wear makeup before wearing your contacts lenses.

Remember, we’re here to help you know how to protect your eyes while still looking and feeling your best. Your Magrabi eyewear specialists can address any concerns you might have regarding your beauty regimen. Know your nearest MAGRABi store to schedule your free eye test.

More blog posts

  • Magrabi_Blog_Images_Blog_Direct_Image_342x210px-copy.jpg

    Shades of Fun: Discover the Exciting World of Kids Eyewear

    Read more
  • Magrabi_Blog_Images_Blog_Direct_Image_342x210px.jpg

    The Exciting Growth Journey of MAGRABi Across the Market

    Read more
  • Magrabi_Blog_SunKIssed_Blog_Direct_Image_342x210px-copy.jpg

    Sun-Kissed Style: Your Ultimate Summer Sunglasses Guide for Middle Eastern Destinations

    Read more