Take off waterproof mascara without losing all of your eyelashes. 

By Erin Lukas
Updated Apr 23, 2018 @ 11:30 am
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Credit: Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

The basic requirement of a good waterproof mascara is that it won't run or smudge, whether you're tearing up watching Queer Eye or are just caught in the rain.

"The ingredients that make a mascara waterproof are the different waxes used in its formula," says celebrity makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla. "Beeswax, candelila, and carnauba waxes are most commonly used, causing water to roll off the mascara instead of making it smudge."

You stop thinking that this staying power is magical when you try to take waterproof mascara off at night. Unlike makeup-remover commercials, where mascara always comes off with the single swipe of a cotton pad, water-resistant formulas are notoriously hard to remove.

Removing waterproof mascara properly has everything to do with the type of makeup remover you're using. Chinchilla says to look for one that's gentle, but effective, so your lashes won't come off while cleansing. He recommends ArtNaturals Makeup Remover ($13; walmart.com), a green formula that's suited for all skin types and is free of harsh ingredients.

VIDEO: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Eyelashes

Chinchilla says that the best way to remove waterproof mascara is to take a makeup remover-soaked cotton pad, and press it on the area while your eyes are closed. "Let it sit there for a little bit while the remover breaks the product down, then wipe away the mascara in a downward motion," he says. Repeat this process until all traces of mascara are gone.

Whatever you do, don't try to rub it off. It will strain the delicate eye area and your half-removed mascara will smudge everywhere.