The 4 Best Waterproof Mascara Removers

Amazon/Bustle

Waterproof mascara is perhaps one of the most genius makeup inventions of the past century. But as anyone who loves a waterproof formula knows, taking it off can be ridiculously tough. So tough, in fact, that if you don't use the right makeup remover, you might want up damaging your eyelashes — or worse, losing a few in the process. This is why it's so important to make sure you're using one of the best waterproof mascara removers as the first step in your cleansing routine; with these bad boys, you'll reduce the risk of irritating your eyes or damaging your lash hairs since they're specifically formulated to make short work of waterproof eye makeup removal.

What is the best way to remove waterproof mascara?

There's more to properly (and effectively) removing your waterproof mascara than the product you use — the method is important, too. Users from Reddit's devoted r/AsianBeauty community claim the best way to do it is with a wand or spoolie dipped in product: After each lash is coated, proceed to washing your face (cleansing oils will be the most effective) or further soaking your eyes with a makeup remover-soaked cotton pad. If that sounds like too much of a process, you can try nixing the spoolie part and allowing the soaked cotton pad to sit on your eyes for 15 to 30 seconds before wiping it all away. Others suggest following the same process with a microfiber cloth, then soaking it in warm water and repeating.

Ahead, find four eye makeup removers that are guaranteed to take off even the most stubborn mascara.

1. The Overall Best Waterproof Mascara Remover

Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara is considered by many to be the best mascara on the market — but it also has a reputation for being the most difficult to remove. The brand created this makeup remover specifically to be used on their notoriously stubborn mascara, so you can trust it'll work on any other waterproof formula as well. It comes with a spoolie brush that you apply on your lashes and let sit for a few seconds. After, just wipe away the liquid or proceed to wash your face. Reviewers also report that it's non-irritating and has no scent.

"This is hands-down the best makeup remover I've ever used," writes one reviewer. "Leave it on for just 10-30 seconds. It'll dissolve the most enduring of waterproof, costume, and/or crunchy hangover makeup eyes. It's great with not only the Heroine Make waterproof mascaras but other long-wear brands. Impressive stuff."

2. Runner Up: Another Popular K-Beauty Makeup Remover

Another highly recommended waterproof eye makeup remover is this one from K-beauty brand Etude House. Many of the most popular Asian beauty mascaras are extremely hard to remove, which is perhaps why Korean and Japanese brands tend to make the most effective makeup-removing products out there. Unlike the option from Heroine Make, above, which comes with a spoolie, this is just a plain old liquid to be used with a cotton pad or microfiber cloth.

"I use waterproof mascara that is difficult to remove," shares one Amazon reviewer. "This brand remover is amazing. I do not have to rub a lot and it just seems to disintegrate my mascara. It does not sting my eyes."

3. The Best Waterproof Mascara Remover For Sensitive Eyes

From trusted French skin care brand La Roche-Posay comes this waterproof eye makeup remover that was specifically designed with sensitive eyes in mind — even contact wearers can use it safely. The biphase formula is a mix of water-based cleanser and oil, so be sure to shake the bottle first.

"This is the best eye makeup remover I've ever used," raves one reviewer. "It easily removes waterproof mascara without having to rub my eyes raw and it leaves my skin feeling moisturized." Another echoes the sentiment, saying, "Wonderful product! It takes off EVERYTHING, even my most tenacious waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. No stinging or burning, and better, no oily residue!"

4. Best Cleansing Oil For Removing Waterproof Mascara

If you're more interested in an all-over face wash to remove your waterproof mascara and other makeup, cleansing oils are the way to go. The KOSE SOFTYMO Speedy Cleansing Oil is a cult-favorite Japanese product that's beloved for its abilities to whisk away stubborn makeup and leave your face soft without causing skin to feel greasy or breakout. It's also non-irritating and non-stinging, gaining it a devoted following with even the most sensitive-skinned reviewers.

"What amazed me the most is that it even removes my extremely waterproof mascara in SECONDS ... My face feels super clean after I use this and I don’t feel the need to double cleanse. I think this even helped clear my skin up since it deep cleans and removes all the dirt on my face so well," shares one fan.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.