Ever since I’ve found that I don’t have to live with smudged eyeliner, waterproof eyeliner has been a staple for me. It’s the reason why I always have perfectly defined eyes even in the face of sweat, tears, and rain. It took me a while to perfect my eyeliner game. And if you’re new to this, allow me to tell you that you’ll soon realize that removal is just as challenging as application.
I mean you kind of want to have amazing, smudge-free, long-lasting eye makeup all day but want a fresh, clean canvas for the next day. And when your waterproof eyeliner doesn’t come off, you’re stuck with messy, dirty-looking eyes, which makes it difficult to apply eyeliner.
But that’s not all. I have sensitive eyes and I’ve seen that if I don’t remove my waterproof eyeliner, it makes the skin under my eyes dry and flaky. So I’ve learned to never go to bed without removing my eye makeup first. And I’ve also learned that you can’t wash away waterproof eyeliner the way you wash away regular eyeliner.
These types of eyeliners are specially made to withstand moisture, humidity, or other elements, which is why it’s difficult to remove. Well, if you’ve learned how to apply it, you certainly can master removing it. Keep reading for different ways to remove waterproof eyeliner.
How To Remove Waterproof Eyeliner
1. Use Waterproof Micellar Water
Using micellar water is the most practical way to remove eyeliner. Whether it’s liquid eyeliner or gel or pencil eyeliner, micellar water is the mainstream method for removal.
For our purposes though, make sure your micellar water is waterproof. Because in general, waterproof makeup products require a waterproof product for removal.
- To remove your waterproof eyeliner using micellar water, get a couple of cotton pads and saturate them with your micellar water.
- Close your eyes, place the pads onto the eyelids, and let them break down your eyeliner for about 15 seconds.
- Open your eyes and gently wipe away the melted makeup.
- Then use your face cleanser to get rid of the remaining makeup.
Some people prefer washing their face before removing eyeliner with micellar water. But this is all up to you. Know that micellar waters usually don’t leave any greasy residue so you’re good either way.
Lastly, know that you may need more than one cotton pad for each eye depending on how much makeup you wear. Once you’re done with pads, also consider dipping a cotton swab into micellar water and going over the bottom lash line.
This is usually where eyeliner smears. Cotton swabs help reach tricky areas to thoroughly remove waterproof eyeliner. A foolproof micellar water option is Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water.
2. Double Cleanse
Double cleansing is the best way to remove makeup, including eye makeup and stubborn waterproof eyeliner. Double cleansing is when you use an oil-based makeup remover like a cleansing balm or cleansing oil to remove makeup followed by a regular cleanser to wash away everything.
Makeup-removing balms and oils work by breaking down your makeup, which makes it easier to pick up with a regular cleanser.
And because of their oily consistency, makeup removal products tend to be incredibly softening and nourishing for the skin. To remove waterproof eyeliner by double cleansing, here’s what you do.
- Get a little bit amount of your balm/oil and massage it into dry skin, or onto the eyelids, allowing it to melt with heat and break down your makeup.
- Use circular motions around the eyes to remove waterproof eyeliner and be gentle when massaging the eye area.
- Make sure you massage the under-eye area too.
- Do this for about 60 seconds or as long as you think is necessary.
- Rinse your face or pat dry.
- Then get your regular cleanser and wash your face to remove everything else. Done!
I can recommend The Inkey List Oat Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm and Dermalogica Precleanse Cleansing Oil. Both of these are incredibly gentle on my sensitive eyes. And I can remove my eye makeup while my eyes are open because these don’t sting my eyes.
3. Use Oil-Based Eye Makeup Remover
A regular eye makeup remover would not work well enough to completely remove waterproof eyeliner. Oil-based makeup removers, on the other hand, are excellent at dissolving stubborn eyeliner.
- Pour a small amount of oil-based makeup remover onto a cotton pad and gently sweep it over your eyelids.
- The oil will break down the eyeliner, making it easy to wipe away.
- Then wash your face with your cleanser.
One thing to note here is that oil-based makeup removers or bi-phase makeup removers should be washed away. It’s because of their high oil content that when not washed away, they can cause milia under the eyes.
Though they’re perfect for removing waterproof eyeliner, you need to remind yourself to wash them away too. Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover is my favorite, though it stings a bit, it’s very thorough!
4. Try Makeup Wipes
Makeup-removing wipes are my last resort. I don’t like using them but sometimes, we can be too lazy to remove makeup and wash our face.
And I think makeup wipes are great only for those times. After all, using wipes is better than sleeping with your waterproof makeup on.
If you don’t have micellar water or you don’t feel like getting up to double cleanse, use your makeup wipes to gently wipe away your eyeliner. Use downward motions and avoid pressing too hard or pulling too harshly.
5. Be Thorough
You’ll see that even if you’re removing your waterproof eyeliner with a cleansing balm or eye makeup remover, there can still be dark shadows around the eyes.
This usually happens when you’re using a pencil eyeliner to tightline or applying eyeliner on your waterline. And when you work only on the eyelid to remove the eyeliner, the waterline remains the same.
To completely get rid of waterproof eyeliner from the waterline, use cotton swabs. Try a non-irritating, gentle eye product and dip your cotton swab in it. Gently swipe the swab on the waterline to remove the eyeliner from your waterline.
How To Remove Waterproof Eyeliner Without Makeup Remover
Of course, there may be circumstances where you don’t have access to a makeup remover or you’ve just run out. Time to get resourceful. Here’s how you can get rid of waterproof eyeliner without makeup remover.
Use Regular Cleanser
Even if you don’t have a makeup remover, you can still get the most of it out by using a regular cleanser. Just make sure to take your time with massaging the eye area with your eyes closed. Make your cleansing step last a bit longer than usual.
Use Coconut Oil
Dip a cotton ball or cotton pad into the liquid coconut oil. Slowly massage the eyelids so that the eyeliner breaks down with the help of coconut oil. Do this for as long as necessary. Once the eyeliner has melted and dissolved, wash your face with your cleanser or just rinse your face.
Alternatively, scoop out some solid coconut oil or petroleum jelly. Use your clean fingers to gently massage it onto the eyelids, allowing it to dissolve the eyeliner as if you’re double cleansing.
Wash your face with your cleanser and pat your skin dry. And you’re done. Even though these types of oils will not be the same as cleansing oils, they certainly make things easier when you’re in a pickle.
This is how to remove waterproof eyeliner using different techniques. Remember that the eye area is very sensitive and delicate. And the whole process of eyeliner removal can be irritating to the skin. Always be gentle when removing your eye makeup to avoid stretching your skin or damaging it. Don’t pull or rub excessively. And always make sure you’re using clean cotton pads and cotton swabs.