Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images
Makeup's supposed to complement your eyes, not cause them to look bloated and puffy. While it's not the most common cause of puffy eyes, makeup that has bacteria or that you're allergic to could cause swelling. If you injure the eye skin or tissue when applying even safe makeup --- say if rough wood on an eyeliner pencil pokes you --- your eyes could swell.
If you're allergic to your makeup, it could leave you with puffy eyes. Metallic compounds that give eyeshadow that glitter cause allergies, as do scents and substances in skin creams. Symptoms of makeup allergies include red, swollen skin that might blister or feel itchy. If your puffiness is accompanied by some of these factors, you're likely allergic to something in the makeup. If you used several products that day, you'll need to eliminate them one at a time till you figure out what caused the allergy.
You know you're supposed to replace makeup every six months, and bacteria's a good reason to get on that. Makeup preservatives inhibit the growth of bacteria but only for so long. Bacteria from your skin can get on the makeup and cause new bacteria to grow, leading to an eye infection. Ditching old makeup after six months generally keeps you safe. If bacteria causes eye swelling, redness in the eye white or the inner eyelid, or funky-colored discharge, you've got conjunctivitis from bacteria. See your doc to get treatment and ditch the old makeup right away.
If you suspect you have a makeup allergy, look at the label of the product that caused it and identify what compounds are in it. Cross-check other eye makeups that don't hurt your eyes, then eliminate compounds those share. The compounds only in the irritating product could be causing your allergy. Stay away from eye makeup with those compounds, and bring the eye makeup to your doc, who can discuss the compounds with you and help you figure out exactly what doesn't fly.
While makeup can cause puffy eyes, it's not the only culprit. Eyes get puffy in the morning when fluid pools under your eyes while you sleep. Seasonal allergies may also cause eye bloat. You can naturally drain your eyes by sitting up straight, or apply wet black tea bags. The tannins in the tea will reduce the swelling. If you get puffy eyes when you're not wearing makeup, it's probably sleep-related.