A cotton ball soaked in makeup remover is a good way to take off waterproof mascara

Get Every Last Trace of Mascara Off with These Tricks

How to Remove Waterproof Mascara

Waterproof mascara is a lifesaver if you’re the kind of person who gets emotional easily. Or, if you’re prone to allergies or are just perpetually tired and rubbing your eyes (that last one is me).

It’s also handy if there’s any risk of getting rained on, or if you’re planning on going swimming and want to maintain the illusion of being ‘born this way’. You know, because these lush, long curled black lashes are totally natural.

Whatever the reason for wearing waterproof mascara, you will, at some point, want to remove it. Figuring out how to remove waterproof mascara is a bigger task than putting it on, and takes more care than you might think.

Let’s go through how to remove waterproof mascara easily, without getting it in your eyes or ripping out half your eyelashes in the process.

Use a Makeup Remover Designed for Eye Makeup

All mascaras, but especially waterproof mascaras, have a chemical makeup much different to the rest of your makeup. That means breaking them down requires different ingredients too, and you’ve probably noticed that your regular facial cleanser just isn’t cutting it.

Introducing a separate eye makeup remover might sound like an unnecessary cost, but the small amount you’ll use each time means it’s not a budget-breaker. Eye makeup removers are also specially formulated for the eye area, so they won’t irritate your eyes.

Bi-phase Makeup Remover

You’ve probably seen these in stores—a bottle containing two fluids that stay separated, and one of the fluids is often blue. They’re separate in the bottle because one fluid is oil-based, and the other is water-based.

You shake the bottle before using the remover and the two fluids make quick work of breaking down even waterproof makeup.

Cleansing Oil

If you can’t be bothered using two different makeup removers in your skincare routine, try a cleansing oil. Cleansing oils can be based on a range of oils, from grapeseed to olive to argan. What they have in common, however, is the ability to quickly dissolve makeup and lift it from your skin—and in this case, eyelashes.

Cleansing oils are gentle and many are all-natural, making them a popular choice for an eco-conscious beauty.

Soak, Don’t Rub

Whatever eye makeup remover you choose, there is a right way and a wrong way to use it.

Waterproof mascara attaches itself firmly to your eyelashes, so you might be tempted to really rub at your eyes to get it off. All that’s going to achieve is risk pushing product into your eyes and causing irritation, as well as maybe pulling out lashes and putting unnecessary stress on the delicate skin around your eyes.

Instead, take a cotton pad and soak it in your chosen remover. Apply the pad firmly over your closed eyelid and hold it there for up to ten seconds. This will give the cleansing agents in the product time to attach to the mascara and start lifting it from your lashes.

Then wipe downwards gently and flip the pad over and repeat. You might need to do this a couple of times per eye to get all your mascara off, but it’s worth the extra care when your eyes are concerned!

Double Cleanse

Targeted makeup removers are fast at ridding signs of makeup, but remember they’re not actually cleaning your skin. After using an eye makeup remover to lift your stubborn waterproof mascara from your eyelashes, you’re going to want to follow it up with a facial cleanser.

You’ll probably notice that after cleansing and rinsing with a cloth there’ll still be signs of mascara coming away, so it’s a necessary step!

Tidy up with Cotton Buds

No matter how thoroughly I think I’ve removed my makeup, I somehow always end up with dark smudges under my eyes. To avoid this, you can coat the tip of a cotton bud in remover and run it over the lengths of your eyelashes, making sure to get your lashes from both sides.

I find I need to do this with my bottom eyelashes, as the remover on a cotton pad can’t always get them perfectly clean.

Condition Your Lashes

Waterproof mascara isn’t the most gentle product, and after regular use you might notice your eyelashes feeling a bit stiff and brittle. After all, it’s designed for certain occasions, not for everyday wear.

To avoid damage to your eyelashes, first you should try not to wear waterproof mascara everyday. If it’s the only mascara that works for you, though, you can use a conditioning agent to keep your lashes soft, moisturised and strong.

While expensive lash serums are available, many women use a simple oil or even Vaseline applied nightly before bed to keep their lashes conditioned. The advantage of eyelash serums is the boost they give to the lifespan of your lashes, so you can grow them longer and stronger.

These tips should help you get those last traces of waterproof mascara off… but only when you want to remove it!