Which Comes First: Make-Up or Contacts?
There seems to be pros and cons to both ways. While conducting my own research, I even found differing opinions on the topic.
Some suggested that you always apply your eye make-up first. They believed this was the safest way to avoid scratching your lens with that eye liner pencil, getting a blob of mascara in your eye, or even getting some eye shadow dust in there. After applying all your eye make-up, they recommended letting your make-up set (mascara dry, etc…) for a minute and then washing your hands with soap and water. After your hands are clean and make-up free (and dry), then they said to carefully pop in those lenses.
It all sounds nice in theory, but I’ve tried it. And, it never works quite that nicely. I always smudge my mascara, or my eyes tear up a bit and streak my foundation. Then, I have to go back and redo the make-up all over again!
So, that’s why I was glad to read that most professionals (and even the contact lens manufacturers) suggest that the contacts go first!
They agree that clean hands are where you start. But, they recognize that it’s extremely difficult to get all the chemicals, oils and everything else that is in make-up, off of your hands in one washing. Accordingly, popping your lenses in right after you get your make-up on is a surefire way to end up with a little bit of leftover make-up residue on your lens. (Can you say: burning eyes?)
The pros also recommend that you are very careful when working around your eyes. Specific suggestions for this include: avoiding pencil-type eyeliners that require sharpening (like the wooden ones), not lining the inside of your lid, avoiding glittery shadow products, and switching to hypoallergenic make-up if your eyes seem sensitive to cosmetics.
Keeping everything clean is another key to a happy relationship between your contacts and your cosmetics. Replace your mascara and liners every four months and shadows every year (and anytime you have an eye infection). If you get make-up on your lenses, immediately and thoroughly clean the lenses with saline or disinfect them again if possible.
If your wondering which goes last…well, eye doctors also recommend that you remove your contacts before taking off your eye make-up.