What Is The Best Mascara For Contact Lens Wearers?

Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
Choosing a mascara that won’t irritate or dry out your eyes is a must for contact lens wearers.

There are many advantages to wearing contact lenses. Contacts are liberating because they improve peripheral vision, you are not constantly aware of them because of their weight, and you don’t have to own several pairs of glasses or sunglasses if you want to your eyewear to compliment your wardrobe. Eye makeup choices may need to change as well because you won’t need to apply as much eye makeup in order to bring out your eyes. It is a good idea to discuss what mascara is best for contact lens wearers with your friends and optometrist.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) advises contact lens wearers to stay away from lash extending and waterproof mascaras. Lash extending mascaras contain fibers that can flake off into the eyes, causing pain, irritation, and destruction to your makeup job.

Mascara Application
Insert soft contact lenses before applying makeup.

Waterproof mascaras and eyeliners are not recommended either because they repel moisture, something your eyes need for comfort and to keep contacts in the eyes. Dry eyes get irritated, and rubbing them can dislodge the contact.

The AOA also suggests that soft contacts be inserted prior to applying makeup. The only exception would be with hard contact wearers. Look for sensitive or hypoallergenic mascara that is ophthalmologist tested.

If makeup gets into your eye, gently rub the lens to remove it, suggests OPTI-FREE, a supplier of contact lens products. Other suggestions from OPTI-FREE include:

  • Wash and dry hands before inserting and removing lenses.

  • Take contacts out before removing mascara.

  • Stay away from oil based makeup removers.

  • Avoid false eyelashes because the adhesive can cause damage to the lenses.

  • Avoid wearing contacts if your eyes are irritated, red, swollen, or infected.

So what is the best mascara for contact lens wearers? Mascaras that are smudge-free, hypoallergenic, and resists flaking like L’Oreal Voluminous Full-Definition Mascara. It is kind to sensitive eyes, recommended by ophthalmologist, and resists smudging and flaking.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover
My personal favorites: Maybelline Lash Stiletto in Very Black and Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Personally, I use a mascara primer before applying mascara because it prevents the mascara from flaking off and discourages clumping. This is great if you can’t give up your lengthening mascaras which usually contain fibers like my favorite mascara, Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara in Very Black. It defines my long, curly eyelashes and allows me to build on length without clumping, even without a primer. It has a strengthening conditioner and comes off easily with an oil-free makeup remover. I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover which removes mascara beautifully, even waterproof mascara. I have tried more expensive mascaras, and they don’t work nearly as well as this one does for me.

It may take some time to adjust to a new mascara but there are so many options that you’re sure to find more than one that enhances your eyes while keeping them comfortable and healthy.

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I created StylEnigma in 2014 to celebrate the beauty of individuality and creative personal expression/presentation. I love the idea of being a canvas and expressing myself by transforming into the embodiment of my mood - to the mood I want to be in. I am fascinated by different standards of beauty and style and fashion incorporates instinctively incorporates both. I use writing as a form of continued education. I've never been into cliques or trends because I've always believed that personal style supersedes trends, I've never been a follower or stressed about being liked, and what I'm thinking usually escapes my lips before I can stop it. I love dark colors like black and midnight blue. I own so much black clothing it looks like I'm in a perpetual state of mourning - and I probably am. I love nail art. In fact, I started this blog because of a Nailasaurus nail art post, and before that, I owned a nail and skincare salon, so there will be a LOT of nail art. As a lupus patient who has been riding this global crisis solo, I have acquired a vicious plant habit and currently have approximately 95, including propagations. I frequently critique nonsense, ponder the human condition, dodge the bullets and jump over the obstacles placed before me all while learning how to make ADHD work for me because at the moment, it isn't. I am also learning how to create alternative forms of content and maintain my sanity because life frequently tests it. This will be fun. Let's do this!

5 thoughts on “What Is The Best Mascara For Contact Lens Wearers?”

  1. Thanks for this article. I just started wearing contacts again after a 2-year hiatus. Back then I wasn’t wearing that much mascara, so I never had any problems. Now I’m starting to see the effects you mention in your article – dryness, etc. I will need to change my mascara game.


    1. When this post was made, I was using Maybelline Intense XXL Volume and Lengthening Mascara, but just the primer, not the mascara, and not all of the time. Presently, I am not wearing contacts at all and I use Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit. I have no problem with the fibers in this kit, but there are people who report that the fibers get in their eyes so I definitely wouldn’t suggest this for those who wear contact lenses.


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