The dangers of mascara

That Time Of The Year 

Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas, New Years – there’s so much going on during this time of year, and it’s filled with parties, meals out, and simply getting dressed up. During this time we have seen a big rise in a problem that we should not be seeing, but is inevitable. By failing to follow a few simple steps, you open yourself up to a host of issues that can become extremely serious if not addressed. In this blog, I’ll share with you some tips and tricks to help you lower your chances of getting a nasty eye infection.

Tip 1

My first tip may seem obvious, but the number of people I know who don’t clean their makeup brushes surprises me. Take a moment to think about how much your face and hands come into contact with, and then imagine that not only are your brushes touching your face, but they’re being handled by hands that may not be 100% clean. Cleaning brushes doesn’t require you to buy expensive soaps or special washing gels. You can use either baby shampoo or hand soap, both of which are effective. One easy tip is to dry your brushes on a rolled up towel facing downwards once they have been cleaned so that any moisture inside the brush does not dry and cause bacteria to grow. Watch this video to see how I wash mine. 


We haven’t heard about Xanthe in a while, but now is the time! Let’s learn about how once again Xanthe did something that didn’t end well knowing it wouldn’t end well but still did it anyway! Okay, so to set the scene, here’s a little background. While we were teenagers, we were not allowed to cake ourselves in makeup, so except for special occasions, we only wore the barest minimum. It would be nice to say I saw reason and followed the rules, but rebellious me thought she knew everything.  After my parents left for work, I rummaged through my mum’s makeup bag and then caked my eyes in makeup for school. I would like to go back in time and tell fifteen-year-old Xanthe that she’s a dingbat. Maybe I would have escaped many groundings. Every time I came home from school, I had to scrub my face to the very edge of its life to get it all off before my parents got home or I would be grounded. Needless to say, sometimes I forgot and the argument ensued when I would lie about the makeup on my face not being there when in truth it was…ding-bat! The last laugh went to my mum when she contracted conjunctivitis and then I miraculously (cough) caught it too! As you can see, the moral of the story is don’t use someone else’s mascara because you’re just asking for an eye infection. 

Tip 2

Next, I recommend replacing old makeup with new regularly. Makeup has only a limited shelf life and once it’s out of date, it not only begins to break down, causing it to not function as intended, but it also makes bacteria and germs easier to spread. Most makeup tins, bottles and palettes will have a little sign that contains a number and the letter M on the bottom or side. The number indicates how long the makeup will remain good from the date of opening before it goes bad.

Tip 3

When purchasing makeup, you want to make sure it is sealed, either with cellotape or a plastic stopper. If the “seal” is broken then change it for one that hasn’t been broken immediately. 

So there you have it. Some simple steps you can take to avoid catching a nasty eye infection this autumn and winter. If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us at either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090. And don’t forget to follow us on all our social media Twitter @AllegroOptical, Instagram @AllegroOptical and Facebook @AllegroOptical. 


Xanthe’s unwanted Scare before Halloween

It’s time to get spooky safely this Halloween!

It’s October and that means cosy fluffy socks, orange autumn leaves, Strictly Come Dancing and of course Halloween! Now I have to admit I don’t love everything Halloween, I’m not into the “super” scary parts of Halloween. (I’d like to point out that I’m not a wimp, I just don’t dig the “super” scary stuff like killer clowns and demon nuns). I do however enjoy seeing carved pumpkins appear on peoples doorsteps, the decorations, and of course the dressing up in spooky outfits. However, this year isn’t quite going to plan.

It’s all a bunch of hocus pocus

Every year I get excited about getting dressed up and either going to a fancy-dress party or going trick or treating. I love picking out my costume and deciding how I’ll do my face paint. Over the years I have been many things from a witch to a pumpkin (I’ll be honest being a pumpkin was my favourite) and this year I’d planned to dress up in a skull candy “Day of the Dead” costume. I’d watched millions of tutorials on how to do my face paint, picked out an outfit that was perfect and couldn’t wait! Little did I know what was in store for me.
Day of the dead Halloween mask - don't do it says Xanthe from Allegro Optical
The desired result
Day of the dead Halloween mask - don't do it says Xanthe from Allegro Optical
The Inspiration
Day of the dead Halloween mask - don't do it says Xanthe from Allegro Optical
The result

A night of horror!

So much so that I decided to do a test run of how everything would look. So, I started my face paint, got all my face lovely and white ready to do all the intricate designs and flares. But my face began to feel warm and sting slightly. Now I thought, maybe as I don’t put a lot of makeup and such, I thought perhaps my face just wasn’t use to being caked and so couldn’t “breath” or “air” in the way it should. I began my designs, however the warm slightly stinging sensation quickly changed to burning red hot! I ran into my bathroom and washed of the face paint off as quickly as I possibly could but even after I got it off, I still felt like my face was burning less so then before but it was still pretty uncomfortable. When I eventually looked in the mirror, I resembled what I can only describe as a very red strawberry with white spots all over my face. Clearly, I’d had a reaction to the face paint.

An unwanted fright

Now you’re probably wondering why I am telling you this burning red hot story and why it even matters? Well two reasons; one, I hope my stupidity stops you from making my mistake, and two, nobody wants to sit on their sofa on a Sunday night with a bag of peas stuck to their face for an hour. In my excitement to do my face paint I hadn’t read the back of the packet. The place where it said to do a patch test beforehand, to ensure that when you put it on your face you didn’t look like a strawberry! (well done Xanthe, great look you got going at the moment).

Happy Halloween

Now I’ve face painted my face hundreds of time and never did I have a problem or any sort of reaction until now. I’m not saying that me doing this is in anyway life altering, but do it with something else, like your eyes and it could be. Many of us wear contact lenses; we go see our optician and they provide us with the best contact lenses for our needs. Now I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for my contact lenses, yet every year around Halloween, some people go into accessory shops or market stalls and buy funky colourful cosmetic contact lenses. Cosmetic contact lens uslce The effect these lenses can have on our eyes can be life altering, in some cases leading to serious infections, ulcers and even blindness. So if you’re thinking of trying coloured contacts this year, then PLEASE visit your optician and have the contact lenses professionally fitted. Your optician will find the right contact lenses for you and teach you how to put them in and take them out safely. They’ll have you looking funky and spooky safely, with any unwanted Halloween horrors. So take a tip from Xanthe’s book and visit your optician if you want to change your eye colour