Contact lens wearers have a few things to consider regarding their eye health that those who wear glasses don’t – choosing the right mascara. Flaking is something that can happen with mascara, and when you’ve got contact lenses on, this can bring about a world of complications. Itchiness and inflammation are made so much worse when mascara flakes make their way under your contact lenses. And nobody wants to deal with that!
Fortunately, there are many mascara brands that make mascara that’s formulated to be safer for contact lens wearers. In this guide to mascara, we’ll discuss nine different options that are proven to be eye-safe for those who wear corrective contact lenses.
Best Mascara for Contact Lens Wearers
There are some qualities that you want to look for in a mascara for contact lens wearers:
- Free of harsh parabens and sulfates
When you’ve got a mascara that packs all 4 of these qualities into a single tube, you’re going to have a much better time wearing your mascara and contact lenses at the same time. Here are 9 of our favorite contacts-friendly mascaras.
1. Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Primer
This 2-in-1 product primes your lashes and delivers on its promise for length – all in one swipe. The primer component of this mascara ensures an even application and a dynamic, rich black from root to tip on each lash. Made without parabens, paraffins, silicone, or synthetic fragrances, Honest Beauty’s lengthening mascara has everything that you need to frame your eyes beautifully (and nothing that you don’t).
Honest Beauty, owned and founded by actress Jessica Alba, is committed to delivering impactful cosmetic products that are safe and healthy to use. Their mascara has been vetted and tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists to ensure safety for your eyes – and your contact lenses. Definitely my favorite best mascara for contact lens wearers.
2. St. Mege 4D Silk Fiber Lash
This thickening and lengthening mascara from St. Mege is designed to handle whatever life throws your way – including the lights of the performer’s stage and even the heaviest rain – in impeccable style. Smudge-proof, waterproof, and long-lasting, the 4D Silk Fiber Lash mascara delivers where it counts. Its formulation is free of synthetic ingredients, making it a perfect find for contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes!
Fiber mascaras are all the rage lately, as they bring tremendous results without the hassle of applying false eyelashes or lash extensions. Each purchase of the St. Mege 4D Silk Fiber Lash mascara comes with a gel (to be applied like ordinary mascara) and fibers (which are applied after the gel, while it is still wet). This combination of products makes it easier than ever to get 300x length, added volume, and long-lasting results.
3. Endlessly Beautiful Organic Mascara
Are you looking for a vegan, organic mascara that doesn’t skimp on results? Look no further than the organic mascara sold by Endlessly Beautiful, a brand that’s dedicated to providing exactly that! This lightweight mascara packs a surprising punch of length, volume, and curl to frame eyes beautifully.
The best part? This cruelty-free mascara is comprised entirely of natural ingredients! Even if you don’t wear contact lenses, this is certainly something to feel good about when you make your purchase.
The ingredients inside the tube are also designed to nourish your natural eyelashes, which is an incredible find. How many mascaras do you see that actually improve upon the condition of natural lashes? Endlessly Beautiful promises healthier, softer lashes – or you get your money back!
4. UBRU 4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara
Another incredible fiber mascara makes our list! You might not think of fibers as being safe for eyes (and especially contact lenses), but modern beauty products are delivering excellent results for all. UBRU’s fiber mascara is one example of a brilliant, eye, and contact-safe fiber mascara. Waterproof to last all day long, the 4D Silk Fiber Lash mascara sold by UBRU lengthens, curls, and volumizes natural lashes with no damage, from root to tip.
If you have sparse, thin, or especially short eyelashes, a fiber mascara is something you should really consider adding to your beauty routine.
5. Skin2Spirit NaturLash Mineral Mascara
Fashioned out of natural botanicals and other organic ingredients, Skin2Spirit’s mineral mascara is safe for eyes and contact lenses. The waterproof formulation works to nourish your natural lashes, provide incredible separation, lengthen and volumize eyelashes to show-stopping levels. The vegan and cruelty-free mascara provides a natural but heightened look to lashes while boosting the health of the natural eyelashes beneath.
Because Skin2Spirit’s mascara is so incredibly eye-safe, it can even be used as a liquid eyeliner! Simply dip a small eyeliner brush into the tube and swipe on the perfect cat eye to compliment your stunning eyelashes!
6. Cherish Lengthening Hypoallergenic Mascara
From cosmetics brand, Cherisher comes a perfect mascara option for contact wearers and those with sensitive or dry eyes. This ultra-soft product evenly coats and separates eyelashes without flaking or clumping. Located within the tube is a formula that’s bolstered with a vitamin complex. The result? Nourished, healthier eyelashes even after you take your mascara off!
Cherisher’s mascara comes with a curved wand that’s been designed for optimal length and curl. Your beautiful lashes will last all day, and only require your favorite cleanser or makeup remover to take off. This lightweight mascara is easily buildable. Simply wait for the first layer to dry and then apply again to boost the volume and length of your eyelashes.
7. Naturally Rooted Premium Organic Mascara
Free of harmful parabens and sulfates, Naturally Rooted makes a mascara that is 85% organic and completely cruelty-free. With each swipe of this mascara, you get all of the lengthening, curling and volumizing benefits you want – and without dyes or synthetic fragrances.
Chamomile and sunflower oil are a part of this unique mascara’s formulation. Together, they work to enhance and strengthen natural eyelashes. Your eyes will look stunning, even without the mascara on your lashes!
The rich, black color of this mascara makes eyes a real stand-out feature without flaking or clumping. From root to tip, treat your eyelashes to the premium treatment with the organic mascara from Naturally Rooted.
8. Beautify Beauties Easy on the Eyes Mascara
Boasting all-natural waxes and clays, the Easy on the Eyes mascara by Beautify Beauties is an excellent find for contact lens wearers and those with sensitive or dry eyes. This product doesn’t smudge or flake, so you won’t have to worry about anything getting into your eyes or under your contacts throughout the day.
The all-day wear of this mascara still provides a surprising softness to lashes while remaining buildable to create the look you want.
You can purchase this mascara in different colors: rich black, stunning navy, and natural-looking black-brown. So, you can get any look that you want without eye irritation! And the unique design of the brush makes it incredibly easy to separate and lengthen your eyelashes in a snap.
9. COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume
Iconic cult favorite, COVERGIRL’s Lash Blast mascara, comes in a volumizing formula that leaves a high-impact look around eyes. In a single swipe, you can enjoy thicker and longer lashes from root to tip. Buildable and lightweight, this COVERGIRL mascara is praised around the world for delivering results that make the eyes the most notable feature in a person’s makeup look.
Every lash is separated, lengthened, curled, and volumized when you apply the unique and dynamic Lash Blast brush to your lashes. And you can achieve desired effects without clumping or flaking, so you can rest assured that this product is safe for your eyes.
So, it’s Safe to Wear Mascara with Contact Lenses?
Absolutely! But you can’t use just any mascara. The safety of using mascara while wearing contact lenses depends entirely on the formulation of the product you’re using and how you apply it. You want to avoid mascaras that contain synthetic components like:
- Artificial colors
- Artificial fragrances
These agents can cause irritation, even for eyes that aren’t sensitive or using contacts. A natural, long-lasting mascara with a lightweight formula is the best option for lens wearers. Such a mascara will not flake like many others do, which can cause additional irritation.
When you buy one of the mascaras listed above, you can breathe easily in knowing that you’re beautifying your eyes safely and effectively. Even a fiber mascara can be safe to use, as long as the fibers are made of natural ingredients and don’t flake into the eyes.
How do You Keep Mascara from Irritating Contacts?
First and most importantly, you need to be discriminating in selecting the mascara you use. Once you pick the right mascara, the rest is all about the technique in your application. We recommend applying the mascara from the middle of your lashes to the tips, rather than from the root.
Applying mascara to the roots of your natural lashes increases the risk of it flaking off and landing in your eye, which can cause redness and some pretty nasty irritation for contact lens wearers.
Using a hypoallergenic eyelash primer is another great way to keep your mascara on your lashes, rather than in your eyes. Primer can also boost the volumizing and lengthening effects of your chosen mascara.
It’s also worth telling you that wearing false eyelashes with contacts isn’t a good idea. Many use mascara on top of false eyelashes to fuse their lashes to their falsies and create a more realistic effect. But false eyelash glue can get into eyes and even worm its way under contact lenses.
Should My Contacts go on Before or After My Makeup?
You should apply your makeup after you put your contact lenses in, 100% of the time. Putting in your contacts after doing your makeup can cause you to mess up your look.
More importantly, you run the risk of getting makeup chemicals onto your lenses! Lenses that have been touched by makeup will cause irritation, which is what we’re all about avoiding.
If makeup does get onto your lenses, make sure to rinse them thoroughly before they go into your eyes!
5 Mistakes Contact Lens Wearers Need to Avoid When Applying Mascara
While applying mascara may seem like a simple task that doesn’t involve a lot of thought, there are some mistakes that can compromise the beauty – and even the health – of your eyes.
- Hastily applying mascara on the go. We know that you’re very busy, but it’s worth it to keep the makeup application process at home. Applying mascara in the car or on the bus can cause you to poke yourself with the wand or apply your mascara unevenly, which can lead to flaking (and thus, irritation) later in the day.
- Not washing hands before applying mascara. Bacteria can travel from your hands to your mascara wand, which introduces the bacteria to your eyes.
- Using dry, expired mascara. Even the best mascara can dry out. Don’t try to use mascara that is flaky and clumpy right out of the tube! Not only will your eyelashes look far from stellar, but you also increase the likelihood of the mascara flaking and getting into your eyes.
- Using a mascara that contains oils. Oil-based mascara isn’t super healthy for anybody’s eyes, but contact lens wearers are especially vulnerable to irritation caused by oils. These oils can break down and get into the wearer’s eyes.
- Removing mascara with contact lenses in. You likely use more than water to remove your eye makeup, like an oil or alcohol-based solvent. You should always remove your contact lenses before you remove your makeup. The solvent can get into your eyes and under your contacts if you reverse this process.