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how to remove waterproof mascara the right way

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your waterproof mascara? Do you love the long-lasting wear it provides, but hate scrubbing it off at the end of the day?

The effort it takes to remove waterproof mascara is often a pain point, but it doesn’t have to be such a tedious undertaking. With the right makeup removal routine, even the toughest waterproof mascara will come off quickly & without hassle— making your beloved nighttime routine a bit more soothing.

After all, makeup is meant to be a fun, creative form of expression that makes you feel fierce, confident & ready to take on the world. It’s a way of enhancing your natural beauty & putting your best self forward. It should never feel like a chore!

This is exactly why we’re dedicating this blog post to sharing everything you need to know about how to take off waterproof mascara in a way that’s simple, safe & highly-effective. But before you can try new makeup removal techniques, it’s important to understand what type of mascara you have, since the best removal method will depend on the formula you use.

Let’s cover the basics & then we’ll discuss the proper techniques for removing waterproof mascara without the tears!

What makes mascara waterproof?

Typically, one of two ingredient categories is used to make a mascara waterproof:

  1. silicones

    Silicones are highly effective at adhering to the surface of lashes & are also FDA-approved as a safe skincare & cosmetic ingredient.

  2. waxes

    Naturally-derived waxes like carnauba & rice bran wax are incredibly powerful binding agents that are resistant to water. These waxes are commonly used in a wide range of cosmetic products to achieve a sweat-proof, smudge-proof or waterproof formulation.

The best way to remove waterproof mascara depends on which type of ingredients are used in your particular product.

how to remove waterproof mascara

Now that you have a foundational understanding of what makes waterproof mascara stay on all day, let’s discuss the best approach for removing it.

removing waterproof mascara (silicone-based)

How do you get waterproof mascara off that’s silicone-based? If your go-to mascara uses silicone as its waterproofing agent, we encourage using the following routine:

  1. apply micellar water to a cotton pad

    Micellar water is fortified with tiny particles that attract dirt, oil & (you guessed it) silicones, diluting them & removing them from the skin’s surface. Those wondering how to get waterproof mascara off quickly & easily can apply a quarter-sized amount of micellar water to a cotton pad. The pad should be damp, but not completely soaked through.

  2. place cotton pads on closed eyes

    Gently lay a micellar cotton pad on each eye, allowing it to absorb for approximately 2 minutes. While micellar water is mild enough to be used on & around the eyes, we still advise being careful not to open your eyes.

  3. lightly massage the pads onto the eyes

    After allowing the pads to soak, gently massage the pads onto the eyes using a circular motion. This will disperse the mascara from your lashes & make it easier to remove.

  4. wipe down using the opposite side of the cotton pad

    Using the clean side of the cotton pad, gently wipe in a downward motion to remove the mascara from your eyelid, lashes & under eyes.

  5. rinse & condition

    Cleanse your face with warm water to remove any mascara that may be left behind & softly pat skin dry with a towel. For extra healthy lashes, apply a natural lash conditioner like coconut oil or castor oil to the lashes using a Q-tip. This will protect the lashes from breakage & promote growth!

removing waterproof mascara (wax-based)

How do you get off waterproof mascara that is wax-based? We encourage following these steps:

  1. use a gentle cleanser to wash face

    Wax-based mascaras are generally easier to remove than silicones. For this reason, you can typically wash them away with your usual skincare routine. We recommend using a gentle cleanser, like our deep dive cleansing gel, to softly wash your face (including the eye area).

  2. lightly scrub lashes with a cotton pad

    While eyes are still damp, use a cotton pad to gently buffer mascara away from the eyes. There’s no need to let the pads soak. Simply wipe mascara away softly, being careful not to scrub too hard, as this could irritate the skin or cause lashes to fall out.

  3. wipe face with a warm cloth

    Use a warm face cloth to gently polish the skin, ensuring all cleanser & mascara has been removed.

  4. condition lashes

    This step is always optional, but we love applying a pea-sized amount of castor oil, coconut oil or vitamin E oil to the lashes (especially before bed time) to keep them moisturized, healthy & luscious.

how to remove waterproof mascara: additional tips & tricks

Want some more tips on how to get off waterproof mascara as painlessly as possible? Here are a few additional steps you can take to achieve the best possible results with the least amount frustration:

  • Buy 100% cotton pads, as these tend to be most durable & won’t unravel or disintegrate with use. Who wants makeup pads that leave white fuzz behind?

  • Avoid fragranced cleansers or those that don’t specifically say “gentle” on the label. These products are more likely to irritate the eyes.

  • Always swipe down when removing mascara, never up or towards the eye. Makeup & skincare products can easily be transferred into the eye & cause dryness, itching or pain.

  • Avoid using exfoliating products near the eyes. The skin around your eye is very thin & sensitive, so these products can cause redness & irritation.

  • Always be gentle when washing the face. Being rough & vigorously scrubbing the eyes is never the answer when it comes to removing makeup!

find a waterproof mascara that works for you

Do you know how to choose a waterproof mascara that’s a perfect fit for your lifestyle & daily makeup routine? Picking the right waterproof mascara is just as important as knowing the best makeup removal techniques. Read our guide to the best waterproof mascaras for tips & guidance from our experts. You can also take our mascara quiz to find out which mascara is your perfect match.

Shop our mascara collection today to find all-natural, safe & high-quality products designed for your beauty needs.

Want to know more about waterproof mascara?

We get it — there’s so much to know! Whether you want to know more about our brand, a particular product or what takes off waterproof mascara, we welcome you to reach out. Our experienced & friendly customer service representatives are also passionate beauty buffs who are happy to provide you with more information. Reach out to customer service or you can find more beauty tips on the tarte™ Talk blog.