5 Eye Makeup Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

From envy-inducing smokey eyes to meticulously applied falsies to flawless winged eyeliner, you’ve got all of the eye makeup trends on tap and the know-how to pull them off. Your makeup game may be worthy of a selfie (or two or three) for Instagram, but are your eye makeup health habits up to snuff? Whether you’re going for a glam, night-on-the-town look or you’re satisfied with some simple mascara to help you look more awake in your Monday morning status meeting, it’s important that you know how to promote your eye health. In this blog, we’ll give you a few tips to keep your baby blues (or whatever pretty color eyes you have) healthy and happy, all while maintaining your favorite makeup looks.

Avoid Waterlining

Waterlining (applying a pencil or gel liner to the skin underneath the upper lash line) and tightlining (applying the eyeliner to the skin above the lower lash line) can help you achieve a variety of different looks (you can make your eyes look smaller, bigger, more awake, more emphasized, etc.), but they’re also makeup tricks that you should probably stay away from. Why? Applying eyeliner to these places can block oil glands that help protect your cornea. It can also introduce bacteria to your eyes—and if you ask us, adding that one final touch to your eye makeup is definitely not worth risking a bacterial infection.

Wash Your Brushes and Tools

Over time, gunk and makeup residue can build up on your eyeshadow brushes and eyelash curler—and bacteria can, too. Just thinking about it makes us squirm. When was the last time you gave your makeup brushes a good cleaning? For brushes you use around your eyes, you should aim to clean them at least twice a month to keep the bacteria lurking in your brushes at bay. Check out an easy tutorial here to learn how to properly wash your brushes, so you can be sure they’re squeaky clean and they maintain their quality.

Take Your Makeup off before Bed

After a long, exhausting day, it can be tempting to fall into your comfy bed without taking the time to remove your makeup. But unfortunately, your makeup can find its way into your eyes while you sleep, leading to irritation. And making a habit of sleeping in your eye makeup is, understandably, even worse. Over time, it can clog the oil glands and hair follicles on your eyelids, potentially resulting in a stye (or multiple). Plus, sleeping in mascara can weaken your eyelashes, causing them to become brittle and break off. Be sure to wash your hands before removing your eye makeup, and check your individual cosmetics to find out the best way to remove it completely and safely. Now, you can rest easy knowing you’re caring for your eyes properly.

Watch out for Toxic Chemicals

You shouldn’t just read labels when you’re looking for the perfect organic hummus—it’s time you start paying attention to labels on your cosmetics as well. There are a number of common eye makeup ingredients that can actually harm and damage your eyes, potentially causing dry eye disease and other long-term complications. For example, parabens, carbon black, and formaldehyde are a few you’ll want to watch out for. For a handy list of chemicals to avoid and how to spot them in an ingredient list, check out this article.

Pay Attention to Expiration Dates

Did you know makeup can go bad? If you didn’t, take inventory of your collection and see if there are any cosmetics you should toss. A good rule of thumb for mascara is to replace it every three to four months. When you first open it, grab a permanent marker and write the date on the side so you can be aware of when it’s time to throw it out and buy a new tube. As for your other eye cosmetics? Liquid eyeliner should be replaced every three months, while pencil eyeliner and powder eyeshadow can be used for two years. You can hang on to cream eyeshadow for six months. It might seem like you’ll have to replace your makeup pretty often (at least compared to how often you do now), but hey, treating yourself to new makeup every few months sounds pretty good to us.

Keep Your Makeup to Yourself

In kindergarten, we’re taught that sharing is caring—but when it comes to your makeup (especially your eye makeup), it’s better to avoid borrowing makeup from a friend. Sharing your favorite mascara or eyeliner is also a great way to share bacteria—so play it safe and avoid using someone else’s makeup whenever possible. If you want to sample a cosmetic at your favorite beauty store, be sure to take advantage of the one-use applicators instead of applying the makeup with your fingers.

So much more should go into your makeup looks than simply picking a shadow that will make your eyes pop or finding the perfect set of false eyelashes. Adopting these simple habits can help promote eye health and can keep you looking your best.

Are you experiencing trouble with your eyesight, or is it simply time to schedule your biennial eye exam? Whether you’re dealing with a problem or just looking for some preventative care, we’re the family eye care doctors for you. We’re here to help you take care of your beautiful eyes (so you can keep rocking that glam makeup look). Contact us today or schedule an appointment!