How to stop watery eyes ruining makeup

Watery eyes not only cause discomfort, but they can also affect other everyday parts of your life – such as applying makeup. Excess moisture can cause eyeshadow and mascara to smudge and run, sometimes even when supposedly waterproof cosmetics are used.


This problem can be embarrassing and inconvenient. You might apply your makeup like a pro, then step outside into a biting wind and your eyes will start to stream. By the time you reach your destination – whether that’s work or a night out – your makeup is ruined. Over time, this can start to affect your confidence too.


What’s more, the combination of watery eyes and streaking cosmetic products is not good for your eye health. Getting mascara and other eye makeup in already irritated eyes will only make the problem worse.


Makeup-related eye issues can be painful and uncomfortable, but you don’t have to put up with them. There are many ways you can manage your eye health and learn how to apply makeup to prevent it being spoilt by watery eyes.


The first step – find out the cause of your watery eyes


Of course, one of the best ways to stop your makeup being ruined is to find out what’s causing your eyes to water in the first place. Watery eyes can have lots of causes, including sensitivity to contact lenses, as well as allergies. Some people find that their eyes stream when exposed to smoke or in the face of a cold wind, while others may actually have an eye injury or infection that needs to be checked out.


If your eyes have only just started to water on a regular basis, it’s important to get yourself to a doctor to find out what the problem is. If your watery eyes are not related to an injury or infection, you can then find ways to manage issues like streaking eye makeup.


And don’t worry – there are plenty of things you can do to stop watery eyes causing unwanted streaks, smudges and smears.

How to prevent watery eyes when applying makeup


The good news for people with watery eyes is that you don’t have to abandon makeup altogether. There are a number of tips and tricks you can try, along with medical advice if you have an allergy, infection or injury, to reduce the risk of tears. Here are just a handful…


Choose hypoallergenic eye makeup


Something as simple as switching to hypoallergenic mascara, eyeshadow and eyeliner (and perhaps foundation too) could make a world of difference to your watery eye problem. You could be allergic to the cosmetics you use, which is causing your eyes to run. So, look for products that are specially designed for sensitive eyes.


Replace old makeup


If you’re still hanging onto a mascara that’s more than three months old, it could be time to ditch and switch. Old or expired makeup can potentially cause eye infections, especially if it’s in liquid form. This can make problems worse for people with watery eyes.


Clean brushes and applicators


Your eye health is important. You wouldn’t use an old or unhygienic toothbrush, so why would you neglect cleaning your makeup brushes and applicators? Dirty or dusty brushes can irritate your eyes, as well as shedding bristles, and they could even cause an eye infection.


Dry eyes? Use some eye drops before applying makeup


If you’re experiencing dryness or irritation around your eyes, it’s not a good idea to just hope for the best and start applying your makeup. Your eyes will almost certainly start to run, and once they do, it’s not likely they’ll stop.


In plenty of time before you need to get ready, apply some eye drops to reduce the discomfort and flush out anything that may be causing the irritation. You may want to get advice from your doctor, who might recommend eye drops for contact lens irritation, or an eye mist for dryness. If your eyes are in good shape before you start applying makeup, there’s less chance that they’ll start to water.


Avoid eye liner


People with chronic watery eye problems may unfortunately have to make some sacrifices when it comes to which cosmetics they use. Anything that goes in the inner area between the lashes and the eyeball will be problematic for people with sensitive eyes. Eyeliner used here may wash into the eye and clog the glands that secrete oil to keep tears on the eyeball, without evaporating. If these glands aren’t functioning properly, eyes become dry and are more likely to water.


Last but not least – always remember to have a tissue handy. Some tears are to be expected if you have sensitive eyes, but if you slightly tilt your head back and gently apply a tissue, they won’t ruin the rest of your makeup.

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