Janetta Mackay: All smeary eyed

By Janetta Mackay

Collette Dinnigan at Specsavers. Picture / Supplied
Collette Dinnigan at Specsavers. Picture / Supplied

More often than a beauty editor should admit to, I look in the rear view mirror of my car to find my eye makeup is smeared.

Mascara has somehow managed to brush itself beneath my brow.

So there I am, idling in traffic, trying to rub off the black bits, while wondering how I managed to leave the house looking such a fright. Were it not for a 13-year-old's plaintive wail of "Mum, you can't go out like that", the offending sight would be even more frequent.

Much as I'd like to blame inferior product, the sad truth is I just can't see what I'm doing. Without my glasses, it's all a bit of a blur up close.

That's why I was thrilled to see a chapter on Make-up for Glasses in a new Bobbi Brown book that crossed my desk recently and features in Viva this week. The book, called Everything Eyes, contains plenty of useful tips, but sadly not the solution to my morning muck-ups. A personal makeup artist might be the answer, but dreams aside, I'm just going to have to get better at checking my handiwork - with glasses on - before I leave the house.

But not too soon; the problem, I've realised, is mostly caused by my doing my makeup, then putting on my glasses before my mascara is dry. Most people want longer lashes, I curse that mine waywardly brush about.

A tip from the book is to switch to waterproof mascara because this is less likely to smudge against the lens of your glasses. Another suggestion is to keep eye makeup simple and adopt a bright lip, which can be accurately applied while wearing glasses.

Eyeliner, on the other hand, is a trickier proposition. So too, blending shadows. Habit helps, so mostly I get it pretty right and by popping on my glasses, I can see what tidying up needs doing. Often I think it has all ended up okay, only to find later that in my eagerness to return to 20-20 vision, I've put my glasses back on too quickly and that final coat of mascara wasn't as dry as I thought.

There's an opportunity awaiting an entrepreneurial type: work out a way of interposing a prescription or magnifying lens on a little stand between the vision impaired and their mirror. I'd be a willing tester.

Otherwise, I'll have to shelve my spectacles for permanently covering up with sunglasses.


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