Waterproof mascara can be a challenge to remove. If you’re not careful, you might end up pulling out precious lashes, irritating the skin around your eyes, or even developing an eye infection. To keep your peepers healthy and lashes clean, follow these easy steps to remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara.
The Easiest Way to Remove Mascara
The easiest (but not necessarily ideal) way to remove waterproof mascara is simply to use a good facial cleanser (try Neutrogena One Step Gentle Cleanser, $7.50 or Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, $6.59). Gently massage the cleanser in a circular motion over your eyes and lashes and then rinse well.
The problem with this method? If you get even a small amount of cleanser in your eyes, it’s going to sting. Furthermore, these kinds of cleansers tend to dry out both your lashes and the skin around your eyes. In particular, those with very sensitive skin or eyes are likely to find this method of removing mascara to be too harsh.
Whether or not this method works well for you, there is a gentler, yet still effective, way to remove waterproof eye makeup.
Makeup Moxie’s Preferred Method for Removing Waterproof Mascara
What you’ll need:
- An excellent waterproof eye makeup remover. One of the best is Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover ($26). For a more budget-friendly option, try Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($7.99).
- A gentle face cleanser like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleaner ($17.50) or the classic standby, Cetaphil ($11).
Once you’ve got everything you need, follow these steps to remove even the most smudge-resistant mascara:
- Saturate a cotton ball with eye makeup remover.
- Close your eye and position the cotton ball on the bottom side of your lashes (the side where you’ve applied mascara). Once the cotton ball is underneath your lashes, apply gentle pressure so that the underside of your lashes are pressed against the cotton ball.
- Continue to hold the cotton ball against your lashes for about 10-20 seconds without moving it. Doing this allows the makeup remover to do its job and start dissolving the mascara.
- Begin to slowly move the cotton ball up the length of your lashes. Minimize tugging by always “wiping” your lashes in the same direction.
- Continue to gently wipe the undersides of your lashes with the cotton ball and then check your progress in the mirror. If you still have a lot of mascara left on your lashes, you’ll need to repeat the above steps until your lashes are clean. If you find it difficult to remove the last bits of mascara from the base of your eyelashes, dip a Q-Tip into the makeup remover and use it to gently “scrub” the roots of your lashes.
- After repeating these steps on your other eye, use a gentle face cleanser to remove any last traces of makeup and any oily residue that may be left behind by your makeup remover. Be sure to rinse well with plenty of lukewarm water.
Though it’s more time-consuming than other methods, the steps above allow you to remove even the most stubborn mascara with minimal tugging or stress on your lashes. Most importantly, properly removing mascara greatly lessens the risk of eye infection while reducing lash breakage and keeping your flirt fringe in tip-top shape.