Tricks of the Trade: 3 effective mascara removers


I hate using waterproof mascara because I have a hard time removing it. But I wear it almost everyday because I love how big it makes my eyes look. What cleanser can I use to remove mascara and the rest of my makeup without drying out my skin?

It has got to be the most difficult makeup to remove—waterproof mascara! The stuff really sticks to your eyelashes well into the next day, and creates unsightly under-eye smudges that resemble dark circles. It usually takes a lot of scrubbing (and crying, when your facial wash gets into your eyes) to successfully take out waterproof mascara—but not if you use the correct products.

I remember having to struggle with waterproof mascara when I was just starting out as a model. Most shoots and fashion shows required me to wear a thick layer of mascara, and having to remove it was such a pain. My eyes would feel dry and raw from trying to scrub off the product. And the more I did it, the more irritated the skin around my eyes got, until it eventually became dry and flaky. I can imagine how much damage this kind of cleansing can do to your skin, especially around the delicate eye area. Constantly pulling and tugging at the skin can cause premature wrinkles and sagginess around the area, which we know can make us look years older.

At this point, I only knew facial scrubs and astringent-like makeup removers, but eventually (after asking makeup artists and fellow models for a solution) I found the correct products for this problem. Try these effective mascara removers:

Cleansing oil

On my first encounter with cleansing oil, I wasn’t sure how to use it. It looked like it was bound to make matters worse, until I tried it. I was awestruck. It really, truly removed all of my eye makeup. And I was never able to do that before. So, I was hooked! I stocked on the stuff and use it practically every time to remove my makeup. Try: Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil, MAC Cleanse Off Oil.


Eye makeup remover


Makeup removers have come a long way from their predecessors in the ’80s and ’90s—now gentler and more nourishing. Eye makeup removers are no longer painful or astringent-like, but are quite soothing as you wipe away all the makeup from your eyes. Try: L’Oréal Paris Gentle Eye Makeup Remover; Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover, Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover.


Baby oil

When all else fails, you know what to pick up: good ol’ dependable baby oil! The idea here is the oil should be able to melt away gunky mascara and leave your skin baby-smooth as it doubles as a moisturizer. Though this may take a little more effort than my first two recommendations, it is nevertheless an effective makeup remover (though you may need to devote more time massaging out the makeup from your eyes).

Another option when you’re out of options: olive oil. I’ve found that the stuff is not only good for your food but for removing mascara as well. Try: Johnson’s Baby Oil.



  1. Ram Alicarte Reply

    Hi Ms. Kelly! I’m using Petroleum Jelly and somehow it is working well. 🙂

    1. kellymisa Reply

      That’s a great tip! I will try it next time. 🙂

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: