Why Does My Make-Up Hurt?’
From irritating eyeshadow to ultra-drying lipsticks, the real reasons cosmetics can make you miserable—plus exactly how to sidestep them.
MASCARA MAKES YOUR EYES TEAR UP.
It’s probably past its prime. “Mascara expires faster than any other cosmetic—
three months from the time you open it,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer. The dark, moist tubes are hotbeds for bacteria. Plus, the older mascara is, the clumpier it gets, causing small particles to flake off, landing (where else?)
in your eyes.
Set a three-month calendar reminder, or mark the date onto the tube. Had an eye infection?
LIPSTICK MAKES YOUR LIPS SAHARA DRY.
are actually solid powders that prevent
moisture from penetrating your lips,” says Hammer.
Matte versions are chockful of the stuff—the reason
they feel like a clay mask after 10
You don’t have to settle for a wussy
colour—more beauty brands are rolling out high impact shades in buttery formulas, like Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain—its
encapsulated moisture molecules release a burst of hydration over time.
POST-MANI, YOUR FACE FEELS WEIRDLY
Polish is the leading cause of periorbital dermatitis—a facial rash that can develop around the eyelids
when you touch your face post-mani.
“Lacquer is made with irritating solvents and plasticisers,” says
Look for '3 free' formulas (like the one below), which lack aggressive formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene, says Hammer. Many brands have ditched them, but check labels (or Google) prior to painting.
EYESHADOW MAKES YOUR EYES
Again, it’s usually not the formula (respectable beauty brands make sure their eye products are doctor-approved) but rather the form.
“Blending loose powdered shadows onto your lids creates a dustbowl around your eyes, where particles can settle,”
Skip loose formulas—there’s nothing sexy about smokey bloodshot eyes. Most pressed-powder shadows won’t create a cloud of dust, but your safest bets are cream and cream-to-powder shadows (like the one here), which have zero fallout.
FOUNDATION MAKES YOUR SKIN FLARE
Whether your skin
gets splotchy or breaks out, bacteria is the probable cause. “Liquid formulas are usually made with water. If you put your fingers or a brush into it, microbes can easily form and multiply,” says Hammer. Even compact foundation can get funky. The
accompanying sponges are porous breeding grounds.
Stick with liquid foundations that come in a tube (like this one) or pump. Dipping your mitts into a jar transfers germs. If you use a sponge, wash or replace it weekly.
Clinique A Different Nail Enamel For Sensitive Skin in Hi Sweetie, 1,100 Deborah Milano 24 Ore Velvet Eyeshadow in Rose, 395 Lancôme City Miracle CC Cream, 2,800
Marks & Spencer Mascara in Black, 499 Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, 600