Stop Scrubbing: How to Easily Wash Away Waterproof Makeup

Michelle Grossman
Woman washing face

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Waterproof makeup always seems like a good idea when we’re applying it in the morning, because we know no matter what the circumstance, it isn’t budging all day. However, when we’re vigorously scrubbing, and struggling, to remove it at the end of the night, we start to second guess that brilliant idea we thought we had.

While we can’t get enough of the way that waterproof mascara holds a curl, or how we never have to even think about touching up that lip stain, we begin to question if the love we have for their long-lasting power outweighs the hate we have for the trouble we run into when we try to take them off. If you’re finding yourself stuck in the toss-up, read on below before you throw in the towel on your favorite waterproof products, because we’re filling you in on the best tips for an effortless removal.

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Use oils, baby shampoo, or petroleum jelly. Since waterproof products clearly will not come off with water, your best bet is to use the opposite of water, which is oil. Oil will help break down waterproof properties in your makeup and make for an easy removal. There are plenty of oil-based makeup removers on the market to choose from, or you can opt for household products like olive oil, coconut oil, or castor oil which will all get the job done just as good. As an alternative to using oil to remove any stubborn makeup, there’s also baby shampoo. Since it’s super sensitive it’s safe to use around the eyes, and will wash your makeup off in no time. Lastly, there’s petroleum jelly, which shouldn’t come as a surprise at all – vaseline is the ultimate multi-tasker in the beauty world, so why wouldn’t it have “makeup remover” filed on its resume under the skills section? It totally does and trust us, it’s more than qualified for the job.

Grab some cotton pads and Q-tips. Now that you know what products to use to remove long-wearing makeup, the question is: how do we apply them? Placing any oils, baby shampoos, or petroleum jellys in your hands and slapping them directly on your face is a recipe for disaster (well at least for a mess that is). Instead, put the product on a cotton pad or Q-tip, as both are soft enough that they won’t irritate your skin.

Gently apply pressure. Saturate a cotton pad with your oil, baby shampoo, or petroleum jelly and apply it to the area. Press it down firmly, yet gently, as you should never tug at your skin. Once the product is absorbed into the makeup, all you’ll have to do is a few quick and easy (and again, gentle) swipes and your makeup will be successfully removed. If any small traces of makeup are left behind, go in with some more product on a Q-tip for a quick touch-up. Now, the entirety of your makeup should be removed, so just continue on to cleanse your face as you normally would to wash away any residue left behind from the removal products.