11 Makeup Mistakes People With Sensitive Eyes Make

by Elena Hart

Whether your eyes are prone to constantly tearing up (leaving you to explain to everyone that yes, you're actually doing quite fine today, thanks) or you suffer from irritating dryness due to contacts — it's a frustrating reality that eye sensitivity affects a lot of women, in a lot of different ways. While it's true that your eyes are extremely important, and you should handle them with extreme care, I'll be the first to admit that if eye makeup on sensitive eyes is wrong, I just don't want to be right.

For anyone who has ever been told to steer clear of eye makeup due to their sensitive eyes, I have amazing news for you: You don't have to. I stand behind the idea that without my usual eye routine, I'd look like I just rolled out of bed (#ZzZzZ). So, instead, I've rounded up the biggest mistakes that you may be making when it comes to your peepers, and I've given you easy solutions that let you rock the look you love (while maintaining healthy, pain-free eyes)! Whether you simply need to swap your powder eyeshadow for cream eyeshadow, or start using lubricating eye drops before applying your makeup — you'll never settle for hiding behind your shades all day again.

You Don't Take Days Off: Use Red Wine-Infused Under-Eye Highlighter To Look Instantly Awake

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, $20, Amazon

Use your next errand day as an excuse to go fresh-faced: Lightly dab this illuminating highlighter beneath your sensitive eyes to look instantly awake. Its refreshing ingredients like Vitamin E, red wine extract, peptides, and marine collagen will give irritated eyes a chance to rest — leaving them looking (and feeling) nourished. While it's not usually fun to have to ditch the makeup you love, it's always refreshing to go makeup-free when you can.

You Use Waterproof Mascara: Plump Lashes With A Heated Eyelash Curler

Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler with Comb Design, $15, Amazon

If you have eyes that are prone to tearing up and watering, try using a light mascara and finishing with this heated eyelash curler for the same volumizing effect. This curler has a comb design that separates lashes as it evenly applies heat to the entire lash line. While waterproof mascara may sound like the best way to keep your makeup from running, it can be harder to remove (and tougher on your eyes) when it comes time to wash your face. Bonus: This comb can be easily washed under warm water.

You Use Powder Eye Shadows: Stick To UV-Protection Cream Shadow

bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Cream Eyeshadow, $18, Amazon

This brightening cream shadow is the subtle, shimmering solution to your sensitive shadow search. This nude shade includes SPF, promises to stay on for 12 hours, and reduces fine lines. Eyeshadows with a powder base can easily flake and cause extra irritation to sensitive eyes, so it's best to stick to one with a light, cream base. Pro Tip: Always steer clear of glitter eyeshadows, as they can easily cause pain and redness (try rocking the glitter in your nail polish instead!)

You Don't Use Natural Products To Avoid Irritation: Switch To Paraben-Free Products

HoneyBee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara, $11, Amazon

This botanically-enriched mascara promises the same plump lashes you get from any other leading mascara, but without the burning and irritation to your peepers. Users praise this product for causing no clumps or smudges throughout the day. Kicking your average drugstore mascara to the curb brings you one pain-free step closer to clearer eyes.

You're Using The Wrong Hues: Shade Your Lids With A Neutral Color Palette

e.l.f. Prism Eyeshadow, $10, Amazon

Red and purple hues can cause added irritation to tender eyes, says Giorgio Armani's National Director of Creative Artistry Tim Quinn. When using powder, snag this multi-shade nude cream palette to get popping, shimmering effects, instead of using potentially harmful hues. One user said this palette's shades retain pigment for up to 10 hours, definitely stacking up against other high-end makeup brands — with a much more affordable price tag.

You Don't Clean Your Brushes: Wash Tools With Silicone Scrubbing Glove

Makeup Brush Finger Scrubber Board , $6, Amazon

Combined with a brush shampoo, this silicone finger glove acts as a scrubbing board to wash away all traces of dirt and old makeup from your favorite tools. This is vital for people who already suffer with eye sensitivity because brushes can easily carry bacteria and cause eye infections. This glove even contains tiny bumps that help you foam and lather for a squeaky clean brush. Stop putting off this crucial habit — it could make all the difference in fighting recurring eye irritation.

You're Washing Eye Tools With Generic Soap: Use a Cleanser Formulated for Makeup Brushes

BrushPearl Cleanser , $9, Amazon

Odds are, your dishwashing soap isn't the same thing as this clarifying brush cleanser. Gentler on tools than the heavy-duty alternatives, this formula prolongs the life of those high quality brushes you've saved up for — keeping them clean and pristine. And that's great news for anything gliding past your peepers every day.

You Forget To Take Off Your Eye Makeup: Refresh With Remover Formulated for Eyes

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, $16, Amazon

Infused with all-natural chamomile, this soothing eye makeup cleanser is perfect for anyone with eye sensitivity. It will leave you clean from raccoon eyes, while it conditions your lashes with flower extracts — taking care of the sensitive skin around your eyes, too. When you wake up free of makeup (and the red eyes that come with it), you'll never skip this step in your routine again, no matter how late you stumble in.

You Don't Wash Hands Before Doing Makeup: Clean With Hypoallergenic Hand Soap

Seventh Generation Hand Wash, Free & Clean Unscented , $3, Amazon

Irritants can travel to your eyes so easily, which makes using this gentle plant-based, hypoallergenic hand soap your best bet. This one is amazing because it contains no dyes or synthetic fragrances that can cause redness. One of the most simple mistakes people with sensitive eyes make is not washing their hands prior to coming in contact with their eye area. Avoid all that by leveling up your everyday hand soap. (Being free from unnatural chemicals mean it'll be more hydrating for your hands, too!)

You Don't Apply Eye Drops Before Makeup: Prep Eyes With Best-Selling, Preservative-Free Eye Drops

Systane Ultra Lubricant Preservative-Free Eye Drops, $11, Amazon

Listen up: All eyedrops are not equal. This No. 1 best-selling preservative-free eye redness reliever is the best way to start your makeup routine. Not only do the pocket-sized vials promise instant relief, but users say they don't leave vision blurred or get gummy at the eyelids like other drops. The one-and-done containers are disposed after use, so there's no chance of causing chronic irritation with a contaminated applicator. Your eyes will look brighter all day, with or without makeup.

You Use Liquid Eyeliner: Sharpen Pencils Regularly To Decontaminate

L'Oréal Paris Dual Eyeliner Sharpener , $3, Amazon

This 2-in-1 professional pencil sharpener keeps any sized pencil's tip sharp and ready to give you fierce lines. This one's the No.1 best-seller because it can sharpen both jumbo and regular-size eyeliners, and when you're done, it doubles as a lipliner sharpener, too! By using a pencil over a liquid, you are able to constantly wipe away the surface by sharpening and removing any dirt that exists on your pencil. While it does take a little extra effort, your eyes will thank you for it.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (11)