The most dangerous eye make-up habits, according to an optometrist.

When seeking beauty advice, the optometrist is not most people’s first port of call, but while a beauty blogger might be able to give you five steps to follow for perfect winged eyeliner they can’t tell you how to keep your eyes healthy, long term.

Optometry Australia’s resident optometrist Luke Arundel can, however.

He shared his top makeup tips with Mamamia to help avoid puffy eyes, redness and other common types of damage caused by cosmetics.

Watch where you’re sticking that eyeliner.

One of the most popular techniques for applying eyeliner is called “waterlining” or “tightlining”.

Basically, it’s when you draw along the inside edge of the eye below the eyelashes.

While it might look dramatic, a recent study confirmed it also leads to more stray particles from your eye pencil winding up in your eye, where it can cause redness and irritation.

It can also damage the fragile skin around your eye.

If in doubt… CHUCK IT OUT.

Most cosmetics come with a use by date… and most people just ignore it.

In fact, up to 98% of us admit to using old makeup and mascara is by far the most popular product to hold onto long after we should have waved goodbye.

This is gross for two reasons: Bacteria and fungi.

Both of the above thrive in gooey black mascara, grow quickly and can cause truly icky eye infections.


Generally speaking, you shouldn’t keep your liquid or gel eyeliner, or mascara more than three months.


Eye pencils last about two years.

You can check how old your products are by running the batch number through a website like and you can keep track of what’s in your cabinet with an app like beauty keeper.

Think twice about getting eye lash extensions.

Eye lash extensions can be great as a one off, but eyes that pop come at a cost – and not just a financial one.

Optometry Australia have found that infections of the cornea and eyelid are common in people who use the stick on eye-lashes, as are allergic reactions to the adhesive used to secure them which may cause eyelid swelling and even the permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes.

Beware the eyelash extension. Source: iStock

The repeated use of eyelash extensions can case a thing called "tractional alopecia", where the natural lash falls out from pressure placed on it by the fake one.

This can damage the hair follicle and slow down - or even stop - the natural growth of hair follicles.

If you do want to go ahead and get extensions, the best thing to do is see a properly trained beautician and avoid the use of formaldehyde-based adhesives which are a common trigger for allergic reactions.

Say 'no' to novelty contact lenses.

Halloween can be a scary time for optometrists because often it's when people decide to trial whacky contact lenses to complete their spooky looks.

Over the counter contacts can cause infection, damage and even permanent blindness.

Non-prescribed novelty contact lenses, particularly from a dubious source, can damage the eye, cause corneal scarring and in serious cases the loss of vision.

An optometrist can not only measure your eyes to ensure the lenses fit properly, they can also tell you have to insert, remove and clean them.

If you do find yourself with eye troubles that last more than a couple of days - whether its itching, redness or a build up of yellow gunk - be sure to pop into you your local one (which you can find here).