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Discovering waterproof mascara after using regular mascara is like landing on a goldmine. With the waterproof formula, your mascara stays on all day and night long, prevents flaking and smudging, and won’t run even in the wettest of conditions.
And if you’re like us and love the gorgeous look of a fluffy lash full of volume, then we’re sure you can’t go past the best waterproof mascaras out there.
But let’s be real – waterproof mascaras (and waterproof makeup in general) are a challenge to remove. Since the waterproof formula is designed to endure the effects of moisture, humid environments and sweat, it’s not going to be a walk in the park to remove it as easily as non-waterproof mascara.
But there’s good news – it sure isn’t impossible to remove waterproof mascara. To avoid sleeping with your makeup and to wake up feeling fresh-faced, we’re here to show you how to use and remove waterproof mascara without pulling, tugging or scrubbing at your luscious lashes.
Stick to the end for answers to your frequently asked questions on removing the stubborn formula.
- Top tips: How to use waterproof eyeliner properly
- Buyers Guide: What are the best waterproof eyeliners on the market now?
How to Use Waterproof Mascara
Before you learn how to take it off, let’s run through how to apply your waterproof mascara of choice in order to get the cleanest, smoothest application every time.
- Prep your lashes with either a primer or lash conditioner. A primer for your lashes is no different in its purpose than a face primer, as it works to shield your lashes from damage that the waterproof formula can cause from overuse.
You could also protect your lashes by using one layer of a regular mascara underneath, which will dissolve effortlessly once the waterproof layer comes off when you use a remover.
- Use a spoolie without any product on it and brush through your lashes to separate them – this will help the application of the mascara go on much smoother.
- Choose the right brush type for your mascara. If you’re going for volume, use a mascara that is specifically made to volumize your lashes. Same goes for lengthening. Some mascaras are even designed for both.
Also choose a mascara that coincides with your sensitivity – sensitive eyes will need a gentler waterproof formula, like the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara, or IT Cosmetics Tightline Waterproof Mascara.
- If the mascara you’re using has a lot of product on the bristles, use a tissue and gently dab the bristles to remove any excess before brushing onto your lashes.
- Curl your lashes if needed. While waterproof formulas can create a curl, not all of them can hold a curl if the lashes are thick and heavy. Curling them beforehand will ensure a longer wear time for your curl.
- Swipe it on your lashes the same way you would a regular mascara, making sure to wiggle the wand as you move upwards for the best coverage.
How to Remove Waterproof Mascara
While it’s no secret that this formula is more difficult to get off than a regular one, it’s not as hard as you might think. Essentially, it’s all about using the right products, as they will make the process that much simpler.
Before you begin though, make sure you choose the right product for your skin. We’ll talk more about that later in the FAQ, but if your skin is very sensitive, opt for a sensitive skin makeup remover.
- You’ll need either cotton balls or makeup remover pads, as well as some Q-tips to get into those hard-to-reach areas. If you’re more conscious about the environment, use a makeup remover cloth that you can wash and reuse.
- Use either a makeup remover balm, oil, or micellar water. Make sure that the product removes waterproof makeup, as not all of them do.
- Soak the cotton ball or pad with product of your choice. Close one eye, place the cotton ball or pad on your eye and hold it gently against your lashes. Keep it there for 20 to 30 seconds (even a little longer if the mascara is on there thick).
- Gently massage in soft motions for a few seconds, and then wipe away. If you have to wipe more than once, do so in the same direction to reduce pulling. Do not rub! This can cause your lashes to damage or even fall out.
- Wipe away any excess mascara from your undereye. If needed, use a Q-tip to take off an excess from the bottom lashes. Fold the pad or use a new cotton ball if it gets too dirty. Repeat the process for your other eye.
Now continue with your regular makeup removing routine. Double cleanse if you’re wearing a lot of makeup, and don’t forget to nourish your skin afterwards with some serum, oil, and moisturizer.
Aftercare Tips for Your Eyelashes
Give your lashes all the love they deserve by treating them to some aftercare. We suggest doing this every time after wearing a waterproof formula, as it can strip your natural lashes and cause brittleness if not removed or worn properly.
- Try an eyelash mask. They come in bottles that look like mascaras, except they’re filled with a whole lot of yumminess that’s going to nurture and hydrate your lashes. Typically, you wear them overnight, just like an overnight skin mask.
- Apply some olive oil after the removal process for a little conditioning and moisturizing action. It’s an inexpensive, natural way to hydrate your lashes.
- Brush with a clean spoolie after removal to ensure you’ve removed everything, and there aren’t any flakes of mascara hanging on. Brushing can also help separate the lashes and smooth them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Waterproof Mascara Last For?
When wearing on your lashes, some waterproof formulas can last as long as 24-hours, like the Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara. Others can last 10 to 12 hours, and some even more – it all depends on the brand and formula.
In terms of shelf life, always check the tube, as it will indicate how long to use it before it expires. Most mascaras regardless should be replaced after three to six months of use.
Is Waterproof Mascara Bad for Eyelashes?
It’s possible that it can be a little drying to your lashes, but that’s only if you’re overusing it, and if you’re not taking the right precautions, like wearing a primer underneath and not removing it properly. If you’re especially concerned, opt for one that has nourishing ingredients, like oils, amino acids, beeswax, etc.
What Happens if I Don’t Take Off Waterproof Mascara?
No matter how exhausted you might feel after a long day or lengthy night of partying, always remove your mascara – especially if it’s waterproof. If you don’t take it off, it can lead to brittle lashes, and eventually they will start falling out. This is completely preventable though, as long as you take the right steps to remove it, as well as aftercare for your lashes.
How Often Should I Wear Waterproof Mascara?
We recommend that you don’t wear it every day, but a few times a week is fine. If you find yourself swept up in the summer time, when it’s humid, or weeks where you’re particularly sweaty, you can reach for the waterproof option as long as you spend careful time removing it properly and safely after each use.
What is the Best Waterproof Mascara Remover?
Micellar water, waterproof eye makeup remover, cleansing oils, and oil-based balms are all ideal options for taking off waterproof formulas.
You don’t always have to go for the conventional, commercial products though, and you can use some natural products from around the home if needed.
Coconut oil is a safe choice, but be careful if you have acne-prone skin – coconut oil can be heavy when it gets on the skin and difficult to wipe off, which can lead to clogging of the pores. Use organic coconut oil and remove it straight away after application.
Olive oil is another fan-favorite, as it will cleanse the mascara easily and quickly. Remember to rinse it off afterwards with some warm water and your go-to cleanser (double-cleanse if needed.)
Waterproof makeup products don’t have to be the enemy – it’s all about knowing how to properly and effectively cleanse them, and it really isn’t as difficult as it seems. We’re sure it will become a regular part of your bedtime routine, just like brushing your teeth.
Just make sure you always use a cleanser that is gentle on your skin, and spot-test it before to see if you have any type of reaction. Oil-based removers are the way to go, since oil repels water, hence removing it swiftly and gently.