How to remove waterproof mascara (safely and easily)

Like, without losing all your lashes

Digital Beauty Editor / May 09 2022


Spritz and dissolve

You know how you sometimes need to soak a pan before washing it? A makeup-dissolving spray like the One/Size Go Off Makeup Dissolving Mist ($37 at Sephora) works much the same, helping to loosen makeup particles before you begin your official cleanse. A quick spritz will feel great washing over the sensitive eye area and also start your removal routine off the right way.


Choose the right remover

The key to avoiding repetitive rubbing (never a good idea) is equipping yourself with a makeup remover that simply doesn't require it. Our pick? The Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover ($49 at Clinique) which is specifically designed to break down tricky-to-remove makeup (in fact, waterproof mascara is one of its specific specialties). It's billed by the brand as a 'totally tugless' formula which is exactly what you need when dealing with a delicate area like the eyes.


Soak and swipe

Now you need something to wield your makeup remover with! Traditional cotton pads are always an option, but we advise using reusable rounds like the Face Halo ($30 at Adore Beauty). Soak your makeup removing pad in your makeup removing solution, then hold the pad against your eye for 20 to 30 seconds, applying slight pressure to help loosen the product. Once your timer is up, simply slide the pad down over your lashes; most of the mascara should come with it. Feel free to repeat this step if you're dealing with a particularly stubborn mascara, then fold the pad in half (add a little more makeup remover if necessary) and use it on the under-eye area to rid yourself of your new panda eyes.


Call in cotton tips

If there are any hard to reach areas (think inner corners, right along the lashline, etc.) still showing pigment, call in some cotton tips like the Swisspers Dual Cosmetic Cotton Tips ($2.99 at Priceline), doused in a little makeup remover. They'll make it easier to 'precision clean' any remaining residue or streaks.


Tidy and hydrate

There's no doubt your lashes will usually be feeling a little on the dry side after a waterproof mascara application (and its subsequent removal), so finish off your lash-cleansing routine by using a clean cotton pad to sweep coconut oil like the Only Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ($4.40 at Woolworths) across the eye area. Not only will it make sure any last product is removed (oils are great for picking up stubborn makeup), but it will also help to hydrate, strengthen and nourish lashes (and surrounding skin) just as they're calling out for a little TLC.

Main image credit: @taylor_hill

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