False Eyelashes & Contact Lenses
Long, thick and fabulous eyelashes have always been part of the perfect makeover. I’m sure you’ve seen commercials on TV for all kinds of products that promise thicker and longer lashes quickly. A few are mascara-like products that are applied with a wand. Others are lash extension products that you then apply mascara to enhance the look. As a contact lens wearer, I wondered if these types of products would pose a risk to my lenses. I know it’s okay to apply mascara once I’ve already inserted my contacts, but false eyelashes seem a bit riskier as they could slip off and into my eye, possibly scratching the lens.
I asked my optometrist and he gave me three points to consider.
- How long are the lashes supposed to stay in place? My doctor felt that applying false eyelashes for one special night or occasion (like your wedding or prom) may be okay. If you plan on using a false eyelash product designed to stay in place for a longer period of time, you may be putting your lenses at risk. Note: Some doctors and lens manufacturers say to never wear false lashes, so it’s always best to consult your optometrist before you try it.
- What’s in the product? Contact lens manufacturers like Acuvue suggest avoiding mascara that contains lash-building fibers because if some of the mascara gets into your eyes it could damage your lenses. You may also want to avoid wearing any kind of waterproof mascara because this type is much harder to remove in the evenings. The more mascara you have on when you sleep, the bigger risk of those particles getting into your eyes.
- How much do you need? For some people mascara is a one or two coat process that makes the lashes a little thicker and a little darker, but some tend to over apply. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to avoid this lash look. The more product on your lashes, the heavier they’ll be and the more likely globs of it will fall off into your eyes and on your lenses.
Remember, the main reason people use mascara products and false eyelashes is to bring attention to their eyes – not their lashes! If you wear contact lenses, consider other ways to bring that attention to your eyes like colored contact lenses that intensify eye color or contrasting eye shadows to draw attention. Talk to your optician at your closest America’s Best store for more ideas!