How to Remove Waterproof Mascara

Waterproof mascara is built to stand against water. While this is fantastic for pool days, rainy days, or a really emotional event, it can be more difficult to remove than regular mascara. Don’t be concerned, though. Removing waterproof mascara is a lot less difficult than you might think. You simply need the right materials. 

Lucky for you, I have a quick list and step by step process on how to take off waterproof mascara quickly and efficiently. Whether you typically use waterproof mascara or only once in a blue moon, you will want to have this tip on hand in case of an emergency.

Prep Methods

One way to help remove waterproof mascara is to prep your lashes beforehand. There are a fews ways you can do this, but here are the most common: 

1. Condition Your Lashes

Conditioning your lashes can help the mascara slide right off when it needs to. This can be any type of lash primer or conditioner that hydrates and sets your lashes. Not only does this help with mascara removal, but it is good for your lashes on a normal basis even if you don’t wear mascara daily. 

2. Apply a Base Coat

A makeup artist trick to easy removal is starting with a base coat of regular mascara and then adding the waterproof mascara. The waterproof mascara still does its job well, but it doesn’t latch onto the lashes as much when it’s time to remove it. 

3. Find a Gentle Waterproof Mascara

Certain mascara companies have picked up on this common issue, and have created gentle waterproof mascaras that come off easier to prevent damage to your natural lashes. This is the best of both worlds with effective waterproof mascara that is also sensitive. 

Removal Methods

Next, finding the proper removal methods is crucial to keeping your precious lashes intact. Here are the top three methods: 

1. Take Your Time

No matter which process. Be sure to take your time. I know the struggle of forcing yourself to take your makeup off after a long night. The last thing you want is to take your time, but rushing through the removal process can result in large clumps of your lashes falling out. No one wants that. 

Try Using a Cotton Ball and letting your remover of choice sit on your lashes for 30 seconds to loosen up the mascara. Then, swipe gently over your lashes until the mascara is fully removed. You can also use Q-tips to help clean up. Be sure to be gentle with your skin as well. The skin under your eye is the thinnest of your entire body, so harsh rubbing will hurt it easily. Gentleness is always better. 

2. Oil and Eye Makeup Remover

The two most effective removers are a waterproof eye makeup remover or oil. There are loads of each on the market, but make sure that it won’t damage your eyes or hurt and that it is good quality. Coconut oil is a great option. Let this set on your lashes, rub it in gently,  and the waterproof mascara should just slide off. 

Micellar cleansing water is a great eye makeup remover. It is affordable, effective, and easy to use. Unlike coconut oil, you will need an applicator such as a cotton ball or a reusable makeup pad to help the environment with less waste. 

3. Double Cleanse

If you are still having trouble getting the remaining mascara off, try double-cleansing. Once again be gentle. The more you irritate your skin and lashes, the more likely damage will happen. Rinse the product off and try the remover methods again. 

Be sure to remove the mascara fully, however, because keeping mascara on your lashes is much more harmful than the removal process. You can form dust mites in your eyes, get eye infections, or lose lashes over time by neglecting to remove mascara. 


Now you are ready to hit the summer by storm. Don’t be afraid to rock that waterproof mascara as much as you need. However, if you are hesitant about using waterproof mascara often, try adding a lash serum to your nightly routine. This will nourish your lashes to grow longer and thicker. Who knows? You might not want mascara at all! You can also opt for light lifts or lash extensions to give yourself longer lashes that don’t require daily application and removal. Be wary of each of these for damage down the road. 

Regardless of which direction you lean towards, I hope this helped give you some knowledge to use for now or in the future!

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