Getting things slightly wrong with your eye makeup can have disastrous consequences, whether that’s going overboard with the eyeliner, not blending correctly or skipping your primer, but not all makeup mishaps are purely cosmetic.
Your eyes are one of your most important organs and not applying your makeup correctly can actually have some pretty adverse effects on your eye health, both in the short and long term.
Here are some of the worst eye makeup and contact lens mistakes that you might be making and how to avoid them.
Not cleaning your eye makeup brushes
Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly can feel like a chore at times, but it’s really important that you do so.
The longer your brushes go without being cleaned, the more likely they are to collect bacteria, which can lead to infections and irritation in your eyes, so make sure that you take the time to look after them, ideally as often as once a week.
Overdoing the glitter
If Euphoria has got you looking to embrace a bit of glitter in your eye makeup looks, you might want to think twice.
Not only can too much glitter exacerbate ageing features like dry skin and fine lines, but it can also flake off into the actual eye itself, which as you can imagine, can be pretty irritating.
Using the wrong products for sensitive eyes
The eyes are an incredibly sensitive part of the body already, but if yours are particularly sensitive, then it’s important that you’re not using the wrong products for your eyes.
Ingredients such as colour additives, parabens, fragrances, sulfates and more can all damage sensitive eyes, but thankfully lots of brands produce products made specially for sensitive eyes, so if you're not already using them, make sure to seek them out!
Scratching your eye
Applying mascara is a delicate task and there are few things in life more painful than jabbing yourself in the eye with your brush.
Usually, this pain should pass fairly quickly, but if you’re not careful you can end up causing a scratch to your cornea, which can lead to redness and teariness in your eyes.
Again, this should pass within a couple of hours, but in some cases it can be a little more serious and cause problems with your vision.
If you do have an accident, be sure to rinse your eye with water or a saline solution and try to avoid touching or rubbing your eye and avoid wearing contact lenses if possible.
Not looking after coloured contacts
Coloured contact lenses have been growing in popularity in recent years, especially at Halloween, but there are a number of mistakes you could be making with them that could have negative effects on your eyes.
Firstly, make sure not to wear them any longer than it’s recommended to do so, as otherwise, they can cause inflammation and irritation, and for this reason, as with eye makeup, it’s important not to go to sleep wearing your coloured contacts.
When it comes to looking after them, you should use a sterile solution instead of water to clean your lenses as it could contain bacteria, including a microscopic organism called Acanthamoeba.
Forgetting to sharpen eyeliner pencils
It’s easy to do, but forgetting to sharpen your eyeliner pencils can be dangerous. A sharper pencil is a lot more accurate, meaning you can be more precise and get the look that you want without the danger of scratching your eye.
In addition, by sharpening your pencils, you’re actually also stripping away any harmful surface bacteria from them that could otherwise end up in your eyes!
Applying mascara before curling lashes
Another common mistake that many people make is curling their lashes after they apply their mascara.
All this serves to do is make your lashes sticky and more likely to get ripped out by the curler. On the other hand, applying your mascara after curling can help to keep them in place and add more volume to your curl.
Not replacing makeup regularly enough
Nobody wants to waste good makeup, but at the same time, using expired products can be dangerous to your eye health.
It goes without saying that you should never use products that have passed their expiry date, but it’s also a good idea to replace any products which you’ve been using for more than four months or so, as failing to do so can lead to bacterial infections.
You can usually start to tell when it’s time to replace your products if they start giving off a funny smell, forming clumps or separating.
And if you suffer from any eye infections, then you’ll definitely want to replace your products straight away, to prevent bacteria from spreading any further.
It’s tempting to want to borrow your best friend’s favourite products, but in terms of your eye health, you probably should think twice.
Mascara can harbor all kinds of bacteria and viruses which can pass onto other people and your eyes are much more susceptible to catching infections than your skin is.
If you really are desperate to share with your friends, the only truly safe way is to use disposable wands to apply.
Going to bed wearing eye makeup
When you’re getting ready for bed after a long day (or even more dangerous, after a long night out), removing your eye makeup can feel like a hassle that you could do without.
However, it really is important, especially when it comes to mascara. The main reason for making sure to properly remove all makeup is that leaving it on can lead to something called Meibomian gland dysfunction, where these important glands get clogged up with makeup, meaning that they can’t release oil, which leaves you with dry eyes and styes.
Not only this but the skin around your eyes can also develop wrinkles and start to look older, as the makeup and dirt get trapped against your skin and causes damage overnight.
To make sure that you’re being really thorough with this, gently brush a cotton bud under the base of your eyelashes to ensure all the makeup has been removed and if you use makeup remover, make sure that that has been properly rinsed off too!
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