St. Mary's Medical Center

Summer 2017

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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2 5 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 | S P I R I T O F W O M E N Looking Good Finding makeup that's By Margaret Littman easy on the eyes Replace early and often. Damp or liquid cosmetics can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so even those without sensitive eyes should toss mascara every six months or so. If you're concerned about sensitivity, even six months may be too long. Smaller tester-size products are good options to cut down on waste. Color outside the lines. "Never apply eyeliner in what's now popularly referred to as 'the water line,'" says Weingarten. That's the inside rim of your eyes, and it's just begging for irritation. A gel eyeliner may cause fewer problems than liquid or pencil products. Embrace your four eyes. If you're a contact lenses wearer, consider switching to your glasses when your eyes feel irritated. If nothing else, the switch might help you figure out if the contact lenses (rather than your makeup) are contributing to your itchy eyes. Keep clean. Tools like brushes, eyelash curlers and pencil sharpeners need to be washed and dried to avoid contamination. No need to buy fancy solutions when dishwashing liquid or baby shampoo will do the trick. A cotton swab or cotton pad dipped in alcohol or witch hazel works well too. Use common sense. If a product looks sparkly or appears to have other obvious irritants, stay away. Eyelash extensions and false eyelashes (which require glue to keep them in place) are probably no-no's too. Read the labels. In particular, look for items marked "sensitive" or "hypo-allergenic," because you know the chemists developing the products have your special needs in mind. Take notes. If you suspect certain products are causing itchy eyes or swelling, write it down in a journal, just as you would if you were tracking a food allergy. For example, Weingarten says pink or purple products can cause problems in some people because of the carmine in the dyes and pigments. Talk to your dermatologist about your specific concerns and then try to select products that are a better fit for you. Be selfish. "Don't ever use testers on your eyes at places like Sephora or Ulta, even if you use a clean, disposable applicator. You're just inviting potential irritation," Weingarten explains. If you have sensitive eyes, you may have resigned yourself to either skipping the makeup or ending up with raccoon eyes. But fortunately, there's a middle ground. Rachel C. Weingarten, a former celebrity makeup artist and author of "Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America 40s-60s" (Collectors Press, 2006), says that "you don't have to give up on wearing cosmetics altogether. The not-so-great news is that sometimes it's a matter of trial and error, which can be agony." Weingarten offers these tips to help make that process go more smoothly:

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