Eye makeup that contains fragrance, parabens or other irritating ingredients can aggravate the delicate skin around your eyes or make your eyes themselves red, watery or itchy. If you wear contact lenses, your eyes may be especially sensitive to makeup as well. Cleaning your makeup brushes frequently is one preventative measure you can take, but it also helps to pick the right products. Look for clean beauty brands formulated without parabens, toxins and fragrances, and seek out mineral-based makeups. To help with your search for the best eye makeup for sensitive eyes, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites.
The best eyelid primer for sensitive eyes
This beauty brand specializes in creating toxin-free products for sensitive users, so you can trust that its eye primer will give your eye makeup staying power without causing irritation. To apply, squeeze a small amount onto your finger and gently sweep across both eyelids.
Bonus: You can also use this primer under your go-to lip color for longer-lasting wear.
The best eye shadow for sensitive eyes
This long-standing brand remains a pillar in the clean beauty world, so investing in a jane iredale eye shadow palette is a must for those with sensitive eyes. All shadows undergo sensitivity testing, so you won’t have to worry about irritation. They also contain silica for crease-free coverage. Find your favorite out of nine different color collections available, from Pure Basics (can’t-go-wrong neutrals) to Let’s Party (bright jewel tones well-suited for a night out).
The best brow enhancer for sensitive eyes
Well-defined brows help frame your eyes, making your whole face light up. This brow powder from clean beauty brand RMS contains cocoa seed butter and ethically sourced mica for a subtle shimmer. To apply, load the powder onto a brow brush and apply to each eyebrow, following its natural arch. For a more intense look, you can mix the powder with a dab of water before applying. Don’t have a brow brush in your makeup stash? Try RMS Beauty’s own Back2Brow Brush.
Bonus Product: Are your brows sparse and undernourished? Applying neuBROW PROFESSIONAL™ Brow Enhancing Serum by Skin Research Laboratories® on a daily basis makes your brows look thicker, darker and better overall with five powerful polypeptides.
The best eyeliner for sensitive eyes
Eyeliner pencils with a hard texture can tug at the eyelid as you apply them, causing redness and watering. This eyeliner from Dr. Hauschka features a soft texture, which allows it to easily glide along your lash line. Botanicals such as shea butter, quince wax and Anthyllis (a genus of flowering plants) help create a smooth finish, while mineral pigments create seven different color options, from dusty plum to taupe to dark-as-night navy blue.
Pro Tip: Sharpen your eyeliner pencil before each use to prevent bacteria from getting near your eyes.
The best mascara for sensitive eyes
Mascara might be the hardest product to shop for when you have sensitive eyes. Some waterproof formulas contain toxic ingredients that cause irritation. However, some non-waterproof mascaras smudge or flake, which can be just as irritating! This volumizing mascara by Colorescience is fully waterproof and smudge-proof, and it contains no harsh ingredients, fragrance or parabens. It also contains peptides to protect your eyelashes from future breakage.
Bonus Product: Want the appearance of longer lashes without makeup? While other eyelash serums may cause irritation, neuLASH PROFESSIONAL™ Lash Enhancing Serum by Skin Research Laboratories® gently hydrates brittle eyelashes while making them look longer and lusher than ever before.
The best eye makeup remover for sensitive eyes
This organic eye makeup remover uses calendula, cucumber and chamomile extracts to gently remove all traces of shadow, eyeliner and even the longest-wearing mascaras. The addition of lavender provides extra calming properties. Plus, the bottle’s pump top makes dispensing the remover onto a cotton ball or reusable makeup pad super easy as well.
Do you suffer from sensitive skin as well? A skin barrier repair cream could help. Read more about the best barrier creams for sensitive skin on our blog.