Eye Health

Updated 13 February 2015

Makeup tips for eyes

Makeup tips for women who wear glasses and contact lenses.

Many women who wear glasses and contact lenses are familiar with the problem - it can be quite difficult to create dramatic eye makeup when you wear eyeglasses.

Not only do the lenses and frames have to be taken into account; the type of vision problem you are correcting plays an important role as well. Your eyes may look smaller or larger than normal; eye makeup may look different behind your glasses. How can you address these issues?

The first thing you need to think about is the use of the proper foundation for your face. Make sure your makeup is wipe- and water-resistant, so that unattractive lines below the glasses and at the sides of the nose do not develop.

Given that the frames of glasses frequently cast a shadow across the face, it helps to use a foundation that is one shade lighter than your natural skin tone in these areas. Apply a thin layer to the lid and beneath the eyes.

If your skin has a tendency to be oily, the use of a light powder will help to reduce shiny areas in the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin).
Women who wear glasses should pay particular attention to their eye makeup. If your vision is very blurry without your glasses, ask your optometrist about “makeup glasses.” These glasses allow you to fold the lenses away individually.

As a result, one of your eyes can see very well while you are applying makeup to the other one. Of course you can also use a magnifying makeup mirror. It’s another way to simplify the application of eye makeup and one that is great for travel as well.

Makeup tips for farsighted women who wear glasses

In particular women who are extremely farsighted and who wear plus-power lenses are familiar with the problem of magnification of the eyes behind the lenses. To compensate for this effect, use a smart makeup technique.

Opt for dark, matte eyeshadow (brown, grey or green hues) to achieve a visual minimisation of their eyes. Eyeshadow that is liquid or creamy in consistency is a better product for you than powder-based alternatives, because the glasses amplify the small loose colour particles powder contains.

Refrain from using shiny or glittering eyeshadow, given that these effects are also emphasised by the lenses.
Apply eye shadow from the inner corner of the eye to the outside without extending beyond the crease of the eyelid.

Emphasize the fringes of the lid using dark eyeliner or a pencil. This will make your eyes look smaller. Apply everything with great care as the enlargement effect of your lenses will make makeup bloopers more evident. Do not apply too much mascara on the top and use no mascara or very little on the bottom.

Makeup tips for nearsighted women who wear Glasses

Nearsighted women who wear glasses face the exact opposite problem. Unfortunately, their glasses make their eyes look smaller. Consequently, nearsighted women should avoid dark eye shadow and thick eyeliners.

Choose bright and shimmering colours such as rose, lavender, beige, light grey or white.


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Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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