It’s always a treat to enjoy the festivities of Halloween. Beyond the opportunity to indulge in countless fun-sized candy bars and binge-watch scary movies, there’s the obvious main attraction: dressing up! But don’t let your enthusiasm for this year’s costumes allow your attention to eye health fall by the wayside. There are plenty of beauty tricks that can cause significant damage to your eyes — and if you love getting in the spooky spirit with vibrant or intricate makeup, chances are you’d utilize a few. Here are the top five beauty techniques to avoid every Halloween.
Glittery makeup around the eyes
Have you ever wondered what makes glitter so dazzling? While every manufacturer of the fancy flecks have their own proprietary techniques, they’re usually made of layers of plastic and aluminum, which are then cut into tiny jagged pieces. From the description alone, glitter sounds like something you wouldn’t want near your eyes. Sure, plenty of sparkly eyeshadows are labeled as eye safe, but that doesn’t mean they come without risk. Glitter can cause eye irritation or corneal abrasions, which could lead to infection, visual impairment, and even blindness.
Those risks grow exponentially higher when you choose to use craft glitter, the flecks of which are much bigger than cosmetic glitter and are absolutely not safe for cosmetic use. In fact, one woman lost her eye — and nearly her life — when a piece of craft glitter got in her eye after cleaning up an art project she was working on with her daughter. Her failed corneal implants and the subsequent removal of her eye were all due to an accident, so why intentionally put your vision at risk?
Recently, some popular cosmetic brands have come under fire for creating makeup palettes containing neon colors, which many customers have assumed were safe to use on their eyelids solely because they were in the palettes. However, all these palettes note that not every shade can be used around the eyes. In fact, neon pigments are explicitly banned by the FDA for use in cosmetics, including D&C Red No. 6 and D&C Yellow No. 7, as they can cause irritation or trigger an allergic reaction. Considering very, very few ingredients have been prohibited by the FDA for makeup formulas, we highly recommend sitting out this trend.
Colored contact lenses
If you’re getting your tinted lenses from an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or in some states, an optician, you’re free to continue wearing them with no qualms. However, if you’re buying them from a Halloween store, local beauty supply store, or online, that’s a huge red flag — and it’s actually illegal! Contact lenses must be prescribed and properly fitted to your eye, which is unique (no, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all lenses). The wrong lenses could cause an infection — after all, because it’s an illegal lens, you have no idea what’s in the solution or what the lens itself is made of — or abrade your eye, causing damage. And don’t even think about using “blackout” lenses that cover the sclera, or whites of your eyes. Those can cause many serious complications and should only be used under the supervision of your ophthalmologist.
Eyeliner on the waterline
If you’ve been following twenty/twenty beauty for a while, you already know this — applying eyeliner on your waterline blocks your meibomian glands, the tiny organs responsible for producing the oil that prevents your tears from evaporating too quickly. Over time, this blockage will cause the glands to permanently die, leading to dry eye symptoms that will continue to worsen. Use a liquid eyeliner like our Double Duty Precision Liner, which won’t flake off or smear into the eye, on the upper lash line only to define your eyes. (You can also use it to sketch on whiskers, a nose, or other designs for Halloween.)
Sleeping in your eye makeup
Everyone knows that going to bed with your makeup on is bad for your skin, and it’s also bad for your eyes due to risk of infection, irritation, meibomian gland damage, and even permanently staining the surface of the eye. If you’re too tired to complete a full cleansing ritual, go ahead and use a face wipe (and consider keeping the package in your nightstand so you never skip this step). While it’s not quite as thorough, it’s better than nothing.