You may love your lash-enhancing mascara, bright eyeshadow and sultry eyeliner that makes your eyes more dramatic than ever — but that doesn’t mean your eyes love them. In rare cases, allergic reactions to eye makeup can trigger tears that streak your makeup, cause red eye and other unsightly issues. To keep your eyes fresh, ditch the old brands and use hypoallergenic eye makeup.


A set of sultry eyes starts with a wicked eyeliner, but use pencils instead of liquid liners. Pencils are wax-based and latex-free and lack the preservatives liquids require. “Marie Claire” recommends makeup from Dr. Hauschka and Weleda. Their formulas need parabens, preservatives that can cause rashes on sensitive skin. If you’re addicted to liquid liners, Dr. Hauschka sells one made with rose wax and neem leaf extract that is gentle on sensitive skin and even conditions your lashes. If you prefer to shop at the drugstore for those budget-friendly prices, stick to the Clinique and Almay shelves. Their products are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.


A crumb of mascara in the eye can cause redness and itchiness that’s anything but sexy. To keep corneal damage at bay, the University of Kansas Medical Center recommends black mascara over dyed mascara. If you must have color, use an allergy-free product. If you’re in the market for a brown or blue makeup, look for all-natural mascaras that contain antioxidants, black tea extracts, and neem leaf extract. That combination will soothe sensitive eyes.


Try mineral makeup for a splash of color on your lids that will not cause redness or flakes. Its natural ingredients are noncomedogenic. That means they will not clog your pores and cause further flaking, and they also won’t overload your sensitive eyelids with chemicals. If you can’t find minerals, the University of Kansas Medical Center recommends earth-toned shadows that don’t rely as heavily on dyes to create their shades. “Real Simple” recommends Pur Minerals’ Goddess Eye Shadow Trio and Laura Mercier Mineral Eye Powder. The first gives you three colors, while the second gives eyelids a natural shimmer. These shadows double as liners if you add a touch of water to your brush.

Eyebrow Pencils

If your eyebrows need darkening or drama, an eyebrow pencil is a safe choice for its minimal preservatives (just like pencil eyeliners). Don’t think eyebrow makeup doesn’t count as eye makeup; when you brush your eyebrows after penciling in your new look, flakes can easily drop into your eyes and irritate. If Clinique and Almay don’t have the eyebrow pencils you want — or if you just want to save money — mineral eyeshadow can double as eyebrow makeup. Brush it onto your brows as you would brush it onto your lids.


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