Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Mascara for Contact Lens Wearers

    (4 replies)

    I've never worn mascara on a daily basis, but was able to wear regular brands fine when using it occasionally. Recently though, I've found that when I do wear it on occasion, it never fails to get onto one or both of my contact lens and then I end up having to throw the lens away because I can't get it off. Please let me know if there is a mascara that you love and can wear comfortably without ruining your contact lens! Thank you.

    Hiya! Fellow contact lens wearer here. You need TUBING MASCARA! It's great, it creates little plastic tubes around your eyelashes and comes off easily by rubbing them with water at night. I use Blinc's tubing mascara,, you can easily get it on Amazon, Sephora, etc. There are others as well.

    I have used only these two for many years now, and I wear my contacts about 12 hours a day. I think the secret is using waterproof mascara and to take your time applying it! Hope this helps!

    Tarte- Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof mascara

    Maybelline- Great Lash Mascara, waterproof

    Try a tubing mascara. They don’t budge. Thrive Causmetics makes one as does Trish McEvoy and Blinc. I think there are others as well. You remove with warm water (water has to be warm). 

    I love Glossier's mascara! You should try that one and see if it works for you!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Mascara Eye Liner Trouble with Eye Makeup


Mascara for contact wearers

Feb 2012

This may sound trivial but I have never worn mascara because I wear contacts. As I get older, I am finding that my eyelashes seem to be disappearing! Can any contact wearers recommend a mascara that won't flake into your eyes? It's a problem!

I've worn contact lenses (gas-perms) for more than 20 years. I've always worn mascara -- the plain-old Maybelline Great Lash variety. Works fine for me. Karen

I have worn contacts for nearly 10 years and have used Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils for almost as long. It's pricey at $30, but it doesn't flake into my eyes or smudge onto my face. And it washes off easily. Nicole

I've worn contacts for almost the same length of time I've worn mascara -- nearly 30 years now. And I've honestly never had any trouble with mascara flaking into my eyes, or at least not since the 1980s! So I'd advise you not to worry. You might want to start with something that's labeled for 'sensitive' eyes but I choose my mascara based primarily on color (I'm a redhead, for whom none of the standard variations on 'black' tend to look right). I like the 'match your eye color' lines from both Almay and Cover Girl. I do tend to avoid waterproof mascaras, as I find them unreasonably difficult to wash off at night. Pick something not too expensive that suits your color and texture ('thicken' vs 'lengthen') preferences and give it a try. Holly

I wear rigid gas permeable lenses and use waterproof mascara every day. I'd been using Physician's Formula Aquawear mascara but it's impossible to find locally anymore so I just switched to one of L'Oreal's waterproof mascaras. It actually seems a little better than Physician's Formula, but I've never had significant problems with flaking. Seems inevitable that some mascara will get in your eyes--just part of life for contact wearers. Merrie

I don't wear contacts but I have sensitive eyes and can feel every little speck. I like mascara by Jill Iredale and Clinique. Mascara that is billed as 'lengthening' or 'thickening' does contain little bits of things that can get into your eyes, such as nylon or rayon fibers. Mascara can also include ingredients like rice bran, talc, mica, aluminum powder, all kinds of other stuff including mercury. I think waterproof mascaras are particularly toxic. Check the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic database - they list ingredients for practically every brand. mascara wearer

Best Cheap Mascara

June 2008

Does anyone have a favorite drugstore-brand mascara that they love? A make-up expert once told me that buying expensive mascara was a waste of money, because you have to replace them so frequently. She said that she always used drugstore mascara on her clients, but I don't remember what brand she recommended. I've been having terrible luck with awful mascara choices. Any recommendations? looking for cheap glamour

Try Al May. When I need mascara on the cheap this has served me well. signed, Al May (no kidding)

maybelline, great lash hands down. Been using it for 20 years anon

Kiss Me Mascara is the BEST I've ever used, I've tried everything from all the cheap brands like covergirl to all the most expensive like MAC and Channel. And in the end no matter what they said, waterproof, smearproof etc. they all ended up under my eyes looking like black raccoon eyes by the end of the day. Kiss Me is weird it's not like other mascaras it says it 'tubes them', and it does, it's very liquid but once you apply it sets rock solid, and NOTHING (well apart from lots of water and rubbing) gets it off. When it does come off, it comes off in weird little spider leg tubes. Mine lasted the 3 days I was stuck in hospital after giving birth to my son, yes and through the birth too! It's not the cheapest at $24 a tube, but it's totally the BEST. Kiss Me fan

I'm not a mascara-wearer so I can't speak from experience but almost every article I've ever read about beauty bargains mentions Maybelline Great Lash mascara as being great and used by celebrities (i.e. people who can afford any brand). Susan

I think you are looking for love in all the wrong mascara is and will always be just that, cheap. There is so much hype about the Great Lash pink and green tube from the drugstore it makes me want to lay down in the middle of a busy street. I'll bet many people will tell you this is the one to get. No professional make up artist I know uses this stuff although every magazine makes that claim. (I've been in the biz for 20 years in NY,LA and SF)

Trish McEvoy makes a fiber mascara that does not run or smudge beacuse the formula is made of fibers and the beautiful thing is it washes off with water in seconds. It just rolls off your lashes in little black shreds. Never again will you have black under the eyes. You can find it at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek. The best thing is if you do not like it just return it. Costs about $29.(I know...breathe) but worth it, I promise. Sephora has Kiss Me Mascara another fiber/tube formula made in Japan. Again, you can return it there if you are unhappy with it. About $30. Now, if you must have a cheap mascara after knowing about the fiber miracle, go to The Beauty Center and get Sharani for $2.99. It can smudge, so be prepared to clean it up during the day (a huge drag) or get the waterproof formula (blue tube) and be prepared for the nightly removal ritual(ugghh). If you factor in your time, energy, make up remover, cotton balls, creating wrinkles by rubbing off the mascara - it really is worth getting the fiber mascara. obsessive, Virgo, makeup artist

I'll say she recommended the Maybelline, the outside is pink and use the waterproof, if you don't want your lashes to go down and uncurled, try this one, doesn't make your lashes go straight at all. Everyone uses this one, even actresses. Good Luck susana

I have used Maybelline Full & Soft for a few years, usually waterproof but sometimes regular. It's not a super thickening/lengthening mascara, but darkens/slightly thickens/enhances your regular lashes (If you want a lush lash, try L'Oreal Voluminous). Almost every mascara I've tried, pricey or thrifty, eventually gets clumpy, so I wipe the wand w/ tissue before applying. Oh, and Longs Drugs often runs buy one get one free coupons for cosmetics in their weekly ad, good opportunity to stock up. -cheap mascara user

The reason many of us don't buy cheap mascara is because of what they put in it. Type in ''mascara'' into this database and see how toxic or safe the one you're interested in is. The beauty industry is totally unregulated in terms of chemicals and what's considered safe.
I'd rather spend the money

I used Max Factor - waterproof, but recently tried Maybelline-also waterproof. I think I like the Maybelline better. These products stay on better than the more expensive kinds and I've tried them all, pricey and drugstore brands. MM

Unstoppable Mascara, Maybelline. Cheap, works great. And, of course, an eyelash curler beforehand. Lover of mascara

Mascara that stays on and doesn't run?

Feb 2007

... one that is over the counter preferably and goes on dark dark black and doesn't run for someone with oily skin and therefore oily eyelids as well?! I'd appreciate your suggestions. Thanks!! Sarah

Try mascara from Blinc (Kiss Me Mascara). It's really good - won't budge until you remove it with water and a little pressure from your fingers. Francesca

max factor aqua lash stays on and absolutely doesn't run. don't try revlon-it's like using tar. mm mm

Try Estee Lauder's More Than Mascara. It's expensive (compared to drugstore brands) but for me is worth the expense. I periodically try a different brand but always have to toss it and go back to Estee Lauder. It's the only mascara that does not create circles under my eyes. Rich black is a nice dark black color.

I can highly recommend two mascaras for you: Neutrogena Weightless Volume and L'Oreal Featherlash.

The L'Oreal Featherlash product comes in a water-resistant version that isn't as thick or hard to take off as a full-on waterproof mascara. It gives pretty greath length, if that's what you're looking for.

The Neutrogena Weightless Volume is a new find for me. I absolutely love it. It just adds a bit of length and oomph to my lashes, so it looks very natural, never rubs off under my eyes, and is never thick and clumpy.

And they both come in a very dark black, which I think is what you were looking for. Lashey Lashey

Maybelline Greatlash waterproof mascara! Elaine

Try ''Kiss Me'' mascara. It applies on so smooth and doesn't run. Makes your eyelash look so long and so really. It's like a plastic or microfiber. Stays on so well. It comes off with just warm water. It's a little pricy. But it worth it. I have super sensitive eyes. I can not wear regular mascara, until my facialist suggest me ''kiss me'', I can wear mascara again. I got it at Lucia's Health and beauty. Her number is 510.205.1028 The fire bird

Mascara for sensitive eyes

March 2003

I have very sensitive eyes and when I wear mascara it is really irritating. Can anyone recommend a good mascara for me that will not irritate my eyes. anon

I rarely use mascara because of the irritation. Instead, I get my lashes ''tinted'' every 6-8 weeks at Benefits on 4th street. The dye they use may irritate a little during the procedure (15 minutes of eyes closed with goop on them), but then my lashes are dark brown or black for weeks! Good luck JV

I have extremely sensitive skin and eyes, and the ONLY mascara that I have been satisfied with is made by Dr. Hauschka. Not cheap (aprox. $12, unless you can get someone to bring it from Europe, where it is about half the price)- Unquestionably the purest ingredients - no chemical, perfumes, etc. Cleansing tip: get your hands wet and with your eyelashes between your forefinger and thumb, gently pull downward, repeating until no more mascara is on your fingers. This avoids having to use eye makeup reomover and prevents mascara from getting in your eyes- hh

I am not sure how severe your eye allergies are but I use Shanti hypo-allergenic mascara. This has worked great for me. I bought mine at the Beauty Center on Solano next door to Peet's. You have to ask for it as it is behind the counter. The cost was about $6 or $7. Good luck!! Glenda

My sister has the same problem. Try ''dry'' mascara, you know, the type where you have a brush and a black pallet. It is much more sanitary than putting the mascara brush in the tube over and over again. m


Permanent Eyeliner

May 2008

I'm looking for a very, very natural, sophisticated permanent eyeliner expert. I'm willing to travel outside of the Bay Area. Thanks in advance for recommendations of true experts. Thank you. Ready for makeup ease

The very best is located in the Palm Springs area - if you every go there. She is fantastic. New Age Glamour Permanent Cosmetic Make-up Sheryle Taffolia 72-880 Fred Waring Drive Palm Desert, Calif. 760-341-6606
extremely happy 10 year customer

I had my permanent eyeliner done about three years ago b/c I was tired of runny/eyeliner aggrevated by my allergies. I do not wear a lot of make-up and most days I wear none at all. I LOVE my eyeliner and everyday I am so happy I had it done. I would highly reccommend Brenda Tiner at 925-254-7293. She is located in Walnut Creek and is great! I have no regrets and am thrilled I was able to find her. mel

Call Tashana at Master Waxing Studio in Alameda. 510.865.6200. She is on Central. A Happy Client of 4 Years

Liquid Eyeliner Recommendation

March 2006

For 20 years, I have used Lancome\x92s liquid eyeliner (the one in a tube with a little brush). They have discontinued making it and I can\x92t find a good replacement! I tried the other liquid eyeliner Lancome makes (the one that looks like a marker) but didn\x92t like how it went on (too thick). Two friends suggested Bobbi Brown\x92s gel liner but it ends up all smudged around my eyes by the afternoon (apparently I have very oily eyelids). Can anyone recommend a liquid eyeliner with great staying power? (I find that liquid stays on better than pencils, but if you have a recommendation for a good pencil, I\x92ll try it!). Thanks! No Raccoon Eyes

You don't need to buy those expensive dept. store brands (check out Paula Begoin's ''Don't Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me'' book, she rates cosmetics and often the drugstore brands are just as, sometimes better, than their more $$ counterparts -- sometimes they're all made by the same company in the same factory!!). I've been a liquid eyeliner addict for over 10 years and have tried 'em all -- L'Oreal makes a great one, lasts all diggity dang day. Lineur Intense has a brush (not a ''marker'' tip, those are just wonky -- avoid the confusingly named Line Intensifique). The brush is very well shaped and holds up well, the liner itself stays on all day and night but washes off easily. Also, if you can find a color you like (look beyond the disgusting color name ''Roach'' to admire the pretty sparkly brown) and are willing to pay a little more, Urban Decay makes a great liquid liner (the brush is very small but very nicely shaped). Sephora (and carries them -- they're $14. isabel

I have been using liquid eyeliners for years. I like them much better than pencils. I am using Maybelline. If it gets smudged, I clean with Q-tips.

Try Bare Escentuals. They have a mineral eye liner (in lots of colors) that you mix with water to your desired thickness. Then you apply it with an eye liner brush. It looks great and stays put all day. Carolyn

Try Lancome Artliner. It goes on like liquid and works the same way as liqued eyeliner, but uses a more firm brush. This is not one which is like a marker, but actually has a resevoir of fluid that the brush dips into. Signed: Lydia

Stila makes a gel eyeliner called Smudge Pots. It comes in a little jar, and you use a liner brush (I don't think it comes with a brush, you may have to buy separately). My sister uses this and loves it because it doesn't smudge (she's got the smudge problem & oily eyelids) jen

Trouble with Eye Makeup

Dry skin/rash below my eyes

Feb 2012

Hi - I have never been much of a makeup wearer, but as I get older (I'm 43!), I want to wear a little bit to brighten up my face. So a few months ago, I started just using mascara and a little eye liner. Unfortuntately, I now have a tiny rash below each eye, which maybe is from the products themselves, or maybe the eye makeup remover (i used a lancome product, as well as tried something else from the drugstore) The rash looks a reddish, is slightly puffy, and is dry like excema. So I now I look older than ever! Once I stopped the make-up routine, the rash went away. So is it the products I am using? What can I do? Is there a really super gentle makeup remover? amelia

Always look at the ingredient list and make sure your skincare stuff doesn't contain parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, is ph balanced, preferably botanically-based. And wear eye cream every day and night! 58 with fantastic skin here... Jessica

I had terrible skin problems when I tried Lancome products. I went back to using Clinique and the problems went away. The only Clinique product that I have had an issue with is a daytime moisturizer (Repairwear) with sunscreen in it. No problems with anything else but I haven't tried anything else with sunscreen in it. My skin is sensitive too

You should visit a dermatologist. It might be just a coincidence that your rash appeared when you started using make-up. I had a rash below my eyes for months that didn't go away even though I was changing all my products in and out and paying a lot of attention to ingredient lists. I happened to mention the rash at a regular check-up and my GP referred me to a dermatologist. It turned out to be a very common type of dermatitis that usually appears under the eyes. It had nothing to do with the products I was using. The doc prescribed a cream and it went away.

By the way, I got this same rash during both my pregnancies (wasn't using makeup then) -- it went away after I gave birth. This time I got it in menopause. I think it might be hormonally related. anon

Makeup, and other skincare products, can be really tricky. All kinds of crap that is really not good for your skin gets put in -- and gets touted as really great. But, there are all kinds of really good stuff too (and there's no real relationship between price and how good it is for you; some really expensive stuff is bad, some really cheap stuff is good). I've got pretty sensitive skin and it makes me crazy.

One way to sort it all out is to look at the makeup and skincare reviews on this website: The woman who writes them is very clear on what is good for you and what is not. She wrote a book, too; I think it's called ''Don't Go to the Makeup Counter Without Me'' or something like that. She reviews all of the ingredients of different products, whether or not they are healthy for your skin. She actually has products too, that I buy (and LOVE), but you don't have to buy her stuff. She's really objective about all the other products out there. Karen

I have the same problem. First, switch cosmetic products for sure. Then, use a cream-based cleanser rather than a gel-based cleanser on your face, if you aren't doing so already. I use Epicuren Apricot Cleanser. Not sure if it's a salon-only item. It's not the cheapest but it's a far cry pricewise from Lancome and other department stores brands.

I switched to a moisturizing cleanser rather than a liquid soap on my body too and noticed a huge difference. There are great ones at Target.

Don't ever scrub or rub around your eyes, use a cotton ball to gently remove make-up, and moisturize with a rich cream/lotion/eye treatment twice a day. Limiting or reducing coffee should help too.

You don't mention your complexion or hair color, but if you're not super-fair and don't want to add a lot of definition you can brighten your eyes with eye-shadow (top and a little at the bottom) instead of mascara and liner too. Much gentler going on and off. Mineral-based cosmetics come in some really rich colors. been there

bummer! sorry you are having a reaction to something. i'm no expert, but my child has eczema, so i do know that dove soap (original, unscented, hypoallergenic) is a great mild, pure soap. (when i mentioned it to my facialist, she said she uses it herself- which was pretty annoying since she had been pushing expensive cleansers on me for years!) and cetaphil lotion is a good moisturizer, also hypoallergenic. both of these products have the bonus of being quite affordable as well. good luck. anon

Rash from Eye Shadow

Feb 2009

For as long as I can remember, every time I've tried to wear eyeshadow, I break out in a red, bumpy rash on my eyelids. I've tried all different brands, Clinique, Estee Lauder, etc., but have the same result. I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and can recommend a product that they've had success w/. Or has any idea what I'm reacting to? Thanks in advance! Perplexed

Have you tried a mineral make-up? There are a few different brands, and you can even learn to make your own. The women in my family have a plethora of skin issues, and the one type of make-up all of us can wear is minerals. It doesn't cause us to have break-outs, itchiness or redness. My skin loves minerals.

I get a rash from anything that lists ''silica'' in the ingredients. Brand doesn't matter, I just have to look for specific colors that don't include silica. Maybe there is something similar for you -- look through the ingredient list for a commonality across a bunch that have given you a rash, and then see if you can avoid it. Karen

I've had increasingly sensitive reactions to eye make-up too. Lately, I've had really good results with neutrogena lash tint, and physicians formula mineral eye shadows and liners. Both are drugstore items, but better than most department store things I've tried, and very gentle. I also really like the physicians formula cream eye make-up remover. mary