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The stinging and watery eyes resulting from certain formulas might be enough to make some stop wearing mascara altogether, but you don't have to miss out on its impressive prowess just because your eyes are a little sensitive. We turned to celebrity makeup artists to see which mascaras they rely on for clients dealing with sensitive eyes.
From drugstore finds to totally indulgent options, their recommendations include an option for every budget.
"This is one of my favorite mascaras, and achieves a luscious look with just one stroke. It has natural beeswax that delivers instant volume without irritating the eye," said celebrity makeup artist Brandy Allen, whose clients include Mary J. Blige and Danielle Brooks.
"This is a great waterproof formula that also conditions your lashes. It's fragrance-free, allergy tested and great for contact wearers,” said Rob Rumsey, a makeup artist who's worked with celebrities like Carly Rae Jepsen and Peta Murgatroyd.
"Eyeko mascaras use tubing technology, so each eyelash is essentially shrink-wrapped in a sheath of the product. This means it won't flake or dry out and crumble once applied," said celebrity makeup artist James McMahon, whose clients include eyelash icon Twiggy.
“I got turned onto this by my client Reba [McEntire]. She uses it in her real life, and now I bring it with me for photo shoots. The tubular, smudge-proof, flake-free formula is great for sensitive eyes, and has a lot less ‘run off.’ It’s my secret weapon!” said celebrity makeup artist Brett Freedman.
"This mascara offers a beautiful application and contains more than 90 percent natural and naturally-derived ingredients. It contains vitamin B5 and natural oils and waxes to condition your lashes," said Ashley Humphreys, makeup artist and owner of the beauty line Nude & Noir Cosmetics.
"It builds volume and length plus keep lashes hydrated without drying up, which can make sensitive eyes more irritated,” said celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose, whose clients include Lupita Nyong'o.
"This is the classic go-to product most mascara lovers can’t live without, and many beauty lovers have had a long relationship with it," Allen said. "Not only is it ideal for contact lens wearers, it’s also hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist tested."
"This mascara is infused with coconut oil and vitamin B to hydrate, lengthen and strengthen each lash," Humphreys said. "The supernova color is a beautiful jet black and does not clump or flake."
"This vegan mascara contains vitamin C to help condition your lashes and keep them strong and healthy. The mascara brush also makes your lashes look thicker and longer," said celebrity makeup artist Archangela Chelsea, whose clients include OIivia Munn and Elizabeth Olsen.
"The shea butter and keratin in this mascara hydrates and strengthens your lashes. The wand is great for a one-swipe application," Rumsey said.
"99.8% of the agriculturally-derived ingredients in the Kjaer Weis Mascara are from organic sources and are safe for sensitive eyes," said Humphreys. "It is a higher price point for mascara, but they do offer a refill for a lower price once you finish your initial product."
"This mascara is in every makeup artist's kit," said Rumsey. "The formula and the wand are perfection. It never dries out or flakes, which is key for sensitive eyes."
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