Makeup is notoriously tricky to do with eyewear, especially glasses. The frames can physically block you from applying product to the eye area—but if you wear them for vision correction, you may not be able to see where or how you're putting makeup on at all. That's why you may have made the switch to become one of the 46 million people in the US who wear contact lenses. By providing unobstructed vision, these products can make it more convenient to do your face. 

However, optometrist Jordan Jones warns that they aren't entirely risk-free. He explains that if residue from products like foundation and blush gets on your contacts, you may experience more than just discomfort, irritation, and watery eyes that can potentially ruin your look: you might also develop microbial keratitis or a corneal infection. 

So, what exactly are the best and safest ways to pull off stunning makeup looks while wearing contacts? Try these tips to get started.

Use the right contacts

For the best effect, get the right lenses for your needs and preferences. Start by considering daily contacts from the likes of Acuvue, Clariti, and MyDay. Since they're disposed of after one use, you're less likely to develop eye infections from makeup residue over time. Meanwhile, you can get colored contacts if you want to try a more daring eye look. FDA-approved brands like Air Optix® Colors, Dailies® Colors, and FreshLook® Colorblends® offer hues from bright blue to gemstone green so you can play with colors beyond those offered by your eyeliner and eyeshadow. Both daily and colored contacts can correct your vision if you need it. Even if you don't, you'll want to get a contact lens exam before buying a pair. Here, optometrists will give you a prescription so you can get contacts of the right size and fit for enhanced comfort and visual clarity. Use this prescription to buy contacts from authorized sellers, which are guaranteed to be safe to use. 

Wear your lenses first 

To avoid infections, wearing your lenses even before prepping your skin is crucial. The residue from products like moisturizer and primer can stay on your fingers and transfer to your eyes once you put your contacts in, where it can potentially cause infections. It can also be more challenging to place contacts once you've got everything from eyeliner and eyeshadow to mascara and concealer in place—and if you wear these lenses as a corrective aid, you'll probably want clear vision throughout the process of putting your makeup on. Even if it's safer to wear your lenses first, you'll still want to follow the best hygienic practices for contact lens application. First and foremost, wash your hands to remove any dirt or debris. Use soaps without added oils or fragrances since these can also be transferred to your contacts. From here, lift each lens out of their case with your fingertips, ensuring they're positioned like upright bowls. Rinse them with the proper solution before placing them in your eyes. 

Prioritize cream and oil-free products 

One of the golden rules you need to remember is that oils and contact lenses don't mix. Your contacts will just attract these oils, and that can result in cloudy vision. You'll also want to stay away from powder eyeshadows and blushes. Their particles can enter your eyes and contaminate your lenses. Instead, opt for water-based foundation and concealer, as well as cream eyeshadows and blushes, that are less likely to irritate your eyes while you're wearing contacts. When compared to powders, makeup that uses cream formulas (Beauty For Real Level Up Multi-Dimensional Liquid Eyesadow is a safe choice) also offers a few added benefits. You can get more coverage with less product, and they won't emphasize texture, fine lines, and wrinkles so heavily. You can also apply them with your fingers, so you won't risk fallen brush bristles getting into your eyes.

Level Up Multi-Dimensional Liquid Eyeshadow Duo

Avoid your waterline 

Avoid putting too much product near the insides of your eyes. Makeup here can dislodge as you blink and make its way to your contacts. That means you'll probably want to avoid tightlining or putting eyeliner inside your lash line. You'll also want to avoid clumpy mascara, as those clumps can fall into your eyes and get under your contacts. Instead, look for those with lengthening or volumizing formulas, and use your mascara correctly by putting more product at the roots of your lashes rather than the tips. If you still experience clumping, try cleaning your brush by submerging it in hot water or replacing your mascara altogether—it might be past its prime. 

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