Ask The Beauty Editor: Is There Such Thing As Makeup For Sensitive Eyes?

By Ashleigh Cometti
If your eyes are stingy, watery or red, your makeup isn’t working for you. Collage / Julia Gessler

Dear Beauty Editor,

I’ve all but given up on wearing eye makeup. Every time I do, I end up with itchy, irritated eyes, and puffiness that sometimes lasts for days. It’s not just mascara either, it spans from eyeliner to eyeshadow and even highlighter on my brow bone. Not to


Sad Eyes

Dear Sad Eyes,

Don’t fret — having sensitive eyes doesn’t mean you need to say farewell to eye makeup for good. Instead, you can still create an impactful look with eyeshadow or a sultry cat-eye when using the right products, applied delicately.

The sensitisation you’re experiencing could be due to allergens, pollutants or environmental aggressors, which can manifest as redness, itchiness and irritation. In some cases, sensitivity can develop over time — this reaction can be blamed on contact dermatitis.

Keep watery and itchy eyes at bay by looking for makeup that’s hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist tested. This way, you’ll avoid common irritants like synthetic fragrances and colours, sulphates, parabens, talc, alcohol, essential oil and preservatives. Your best bet is unscented makeup with fewer chemicals that lean into natural ingredients, meaning they’re less likely to cause irritation.

Switch from powder eyeshadow to cream, as cream-based products are less likely to migrate during the application process. Generally speaking, cream eyeshadows also don’t contain talc like their powder counterparts — a known irritant.

Your application technique may need reviewing — try patting motions to blend your eyeshadow instead of hard strokes, which can cause irritation on your eyelids.

How you remove your eye makeup is equally important — look for gentle micellar waters which are safe to use on the delicate under-eye area. Just remember not to pull or tug.



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