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Eye Makeup Tips After Eyelid Surgery

Posted in Blepharoplasty, Recovery

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After blepharoplasty, patients are anxious to take in their new look in its ultimate form. They’ve been dreaming of a refreshed and beautiful face for months. Following the operation, however, we urge patients to wait just one more week before applying eye makeup.  

Blepharoplasty is designed to soften puffy eyes,  lift sagging eyelids, and fade unwanted lines around the eyes, but after the procedure, there will be some temporary effects while you heal. This is the healing process and it is completely normal. Like any surgical procedure, bruising and swelling are expected. These side effects will fade quickly but often linger beyond the first few days. When you’re ready to go out, you may be wondering if you can cover these surgical side effects with cosmetics. Here’s what you need to know about makeup and eyelid surgery recovery. 

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Cover Your Eyes

We understand that you don’t want the world to see your post-surgical bruising and swelling, especially in the first few days after your procedure when it is most severe. If you feel a need to put makeup on to run errands or get out of the house, avoid the temptation. 

What should you do instead? Grab your favorite shades and wear them often. Sunglasses are ideal for covering the after effects of an eyelid lift.  

If you apply makeup before your incisions properly heal, especially mascara, it could tattoo your eyelids. Pigment seeps into new incisions and permanently integrates with the tissues. The best rule of thumb is to avoid makeup until you’ve met with Dr. Livingston. He will instruct you when you can apply makeup according to how quickly your incisions are healing.    

Where to Start

Most patients are back to using makeup in two to three weeks. When you’re ready to start using cosmetics again, look for gentle products. Water-based cosmetics are generally easier to apply and remove than oil-based formulations.  

The skin may be more sensitive after your surgery, so look for cosmetics that are created for sensitive skin. Remember, a little goes a long way. Minimal amounts of makeup can lead to dramatic transformations in your appearance.  

Resolve Bruising 

Although you will notice that swelling subsides relatively quickly, some bruising may remain for several weeks, even as the incisions have healed. To counter this discoloration around your eyes, use a colored liquid concealer. Green works best for post-surgical redness and yellow is ideal for purple or blue discoloration. 


Removal is often the greatest challenge when wearing makeup after eyelid surgery. Use a gentle touch when removing your makeup. If you don’t already use a makeup remover, invest in one so you can easily remove your cosmetics with minimal effort. 

To learn more about eyelid surgery and recovery schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Livingston today.

Dr. Livingston

Christopher Livingston, MD

“The most important part of plastic surgery is achieving a youthful, refreshed look, with minimal downtime.”

Board-Certified Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon

Chris Livingston, MD

I believe that every design is personal. The connection we have with clients determines how the projects will look at the end of the design process. We must understand the clients and bond with them, be a part of their dream. Their dream is our dream.