Getting All Dolled Up for the Holidays

December 21, 2018

Makeup For Holiday Gatherings

Meeting your significant other’s family and friends, your co-workers’ families, or how about those distant relatives you haven’t seen since this time last year? Tis the season for enhancing our natural beauty with cosmetics! Since we’re all dressing up for holiday parties, here are a few tips about how to care for your eyes while still looking fabulous.

Contact Lens Hygiene

Above all things, be sure to wash your hands before inserting or removing your lenses. Even if you didn’t shake hands with anyone, you still picked up that serving spoon at the food table, grabbed the doorknob on your way out of the party, and texted on your phone. Wash those hands!

Don’t use any hand creams or lotion before touching your contacts. Not only does this leave a film on the lenses, but it can also burn and irritate your eyes. Nobody wants Rudolph-red-eyes if it can be prevented.

Insert soft contact lenses prior to applying makeup. This is to minimize the amount of makeup that could get into your eyes/tears. Plus, you’ll have better vision for perfecting that killer eye makeup!  If wearing rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, these go in after you have completed makeup application.

Don’t Poke Your Eye Out

It goes without saying – be careful with makeup pencils, brushes, and mascara wands. We’ve all had some close calls, but you might not be as lucky next time. A distracted slip of the pencil could cause a corneal abrasion (scratch on the front surface of the eye) that is painful and may result in blurred vision based upon the severity and location. Similarly, be very careful when wearing glittery eyeshadow. Specks of glitter can find their way into the eyes, which causes irritation and streak-like corneal abrasions with each blink. It is best to stay clear of eyeshadow with large pieces of glitter; We know you sparkle and dazzle on your own without it!

Avoid applying eyeliner along the inside lower eyelid or “watermark”. This can clog the meibomian glands that line the eyelid margin. The meibomian glands are responsible for releasing oils into the tear film to help prevent tears from automatically evaporating into the air. If the glands become blocked or don’t secrete oils properly, it leads to MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction), which is a form of dry eye. A hordeolum, better known as a stye, occurs when one of the meibomian glands become infected. You don’t want Herbert the Hordeolum as your “plus one” to the New Year’s Eve Party, so watch where you put that eyeliner!

Mascara Tubes are a Breeding Ground for Bacteria

Did you know that mascara should be replaced every 3 months? However, if the mascara starts drying out or getting clumpy, those are signs that it could be expired sooner or even contaminated. Pumping the mascara wand in and out of the tube also increases the risk of contamination as it is pushing air and bacteria back into the container.

Avoid sharing makeup with other people, especially mascara and eyeliner. The bacteria on your friend’s makeup is specific to her, but may give you an eye infection once introduced to your eyes. Passing our individual germs back and forth is a recipe for conjunctivitis, or “pink eye”. Again, we don’t want Rudolph-red-eyes for the holiday bash, so think twice before borrowing makeup.

The Finishing Touches

Take off those gorgeous glasses before going wild with the hairspray and body spray. The chemicals could damage the lens coatings, leaving you with streaky glasses. Of course these same chemicals can irritate your eyes and form a film on your contact lenses, so be sure to close your eyes if spraying around your face (even for a few seconds afterwards while the particles are still misting through the air).

When The Clock Strikes Midnight

After the fun and excitement are over, remove your contacts and makeup, so you can get some shut-eye! It seems obvious, but make sure you remove your contacts before washing your face. Makeup should be completely removed every night. Particles of remaining makeup debris can clog the meibomian glands (see above) and get into your eyes, causing irritation, corneal abrasions, and infections. The pores of your facial skin can also become clogged, which could lead to acne or other skin problems. Use a non-oily makeup remover and gentle facial cleanser. If you think you may have a skin condition, consider seeing a dermatologist for a specific facial regimen.

Don’t be bashful with makeup. It is meant to be fun and highlight your beautiful, natural features. Enjoy all of the festivities this holiday season brings, and remember to take care of your precious eyes!