Raccoon Eyes 4eva
September 16, 2014 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a mascara that will actually wash off my face?

To start with, I do not buy waterproof mascara. The past year or so I've been using mostly Almay brand mascaras because I tend to have sensitive eyes and Almay seems to not flake and irritate my eyes. But, as with almost all other brands I have used (mostly drugstore stuff, but the occasional Chanel or Clinique), no matter how many times or with how many various methods I wash/cleanse my face, I still end up with a ring of mascara underneath my eyes.

For example: last night before getting in the shower, I used some Ponds cleansing wipes all over and around my eyes. Then I took a shower and used my Neutrogena Natural face wash, again making sure to rub over my eyelashes and around my eyes. Upon getting out of the shower, I wiped off my eyes with a towel, as well as under my eyes. Then I used a bit of moisturizer on a cotton pad to get off whatever residue was left from that process. And then this morning I STILL ended up with mascara residue on my lower lids. In case it matters, I mostly sleep on my back, so I don't have my face getting all squished up around my eyes or on my pillow.

So are there brands that are okay for sensitive eyes but also actually wash off? I'm okay to pay for nicer brands if you think they will do the trick.

posted by greta simone to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Rather than trying different mascaras, try a different method of removal. A dime-sized puddle of oil massaged onto your eyes (I use jojoba or grapeseed) followed by a normal face wash is fantastic for removing stubborn eye makeup. I've found that no amount of conventional soap or makeup remover actually removed all my makeup, but moving to oils has changed my beauty routine permanently. A bonus is that it's very gentle on the thin, delicate skin surrounding your eyes.
posted by theraflu at 10:58 AM on September 16, 2014 [10 favorites]

I am too sensitive for makeup remover, so I use coconut oil. Works a trick.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:58 AM on September 16, 2014

I've found that physicians formula is amazing for my allergy prone sensitive eyes. Theirs is organic and doesn't flake. It comes off pretty well but also doesn't irritate my eyes. It's the only mascara I've been able to wear in years.
posted by Crystalinne at 11:02 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use DHC makeup remover for eyes and lips. It works really well -- much better than other brands I've tried. As a bonus, it really does remove lipstick, too.
posted by janey47 at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2014

You don't need to use a complicated cleaning system. I slather a thick layer of Nivea Creme on my eyes and wipe it off with a kleenex. It's unscented, no harsh chemicals, and cheap. Any lotion will work, really. I don't ever use any kind of soap or cleanser on my face.
posted by something something at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Loreal Double Extend "beauty tubes" mascara, which hardens to little tiny plasticized tubes around your eyelashes. You soften them with a warm washcloth and wipe them off.

Once you give it about 10 seconds to harden, it is physically unsmearable. If you sleep in it, it will flake off into creepy spidery wisps on your pillow and cheek.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:29 AM on September 16, 2014

Seconding Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes- it's oddly fun to wash off, and plain water or your regular face cleanser + gentle friction from your fingertips takes care of it. I'm waking up without raccoon eyes for the first time ever, and it makes my lashes look amazing.
posted by sparringnarwhal at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2014

A tubing mascara is the way to go. My favorite is Clinique Lash Power. You remove it with warm water, not makeup remover.
posted by matildaben at 12:02 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also came in to recommend tube mascara. It's fun stuff.
posted by kmennie at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2014

Maybelline Full & Soft has been my go-to for years--it's cheap, stays on, and washes off REALLY easily (I usually just wash my face and take my wet fingers and put my fingers horizontally up underneath my lashes wiggle, rinse, repeat--it comes right off). It is also just an awesome mascara all-around--gets them nice and thick and long without getting all cakey and clumped.
posted by lovableiago at 12:25 PM on September 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

DHC also has a mascara that coats the lash with "tubes" of color, and comes off only if lashes are gently pulled with use of warm water. It doesn't flake, and it comes off completely.

Alternately, if you are wedded to your current mascara, I highly recommend this makeup remover.
posted by bearwife at 12:28 PM on September 16, 2014

I'm far from an expert on beauty stuff, but I have found that lightly pressing a damp hot washcloth (hot as you can stand it) over your face for a few minutes before using cleanser helps a great deal. Hot as in rinsed with hot tap water and wrung out. When I stick to wipes or makeup remover I get the ring too, the washcloth trick seems to soften everything up enough so that it comes off much easier.
posted by Diablevert at 12:28 PM on September 16, 2014

Nthing change your removal style. I like this (CVS and target each make one too - just make sure it's oil free) shake, put on a cotton ball and wipe your lashes a few times. Magic!
posted by cestmoi15 at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2014

I use Loreal Double Extend "beauty tubes" mascara, which hardens to little tiny plasticized tubes around your eyelashes. You soften them with a warm washcloth and wipe them off.

I've been using this too, and it's great. It's a bit weird when the little tubes are left on the washcloth like little spider legs, but it comes off beautifully with no residue or smears. It looks good too, lovely mascara.
posted by essexjan at 12:36 PM on September 16, 2014

When I wear regular mascara, my trick is to rub face wash over my closed eyelashes, then run a finger gently under my eyelashes, while still keeping my eyes closed.

Now I wear tubing mascara (Clinique Lash Power), and it rinses off easily when I run warm water over my eyes in the shower, with no residual dark line of pigment under my eyes. (Another benefit of tubing mascaras is they don't give you raccoon eyes.)
posted by homodachi at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding oil removal - I use unscented baby oil (mineral oil), which is super cheap and effective, and surprisingly does not clog pores. It removes everything except the toughest waterproof mascara, and even that comes off with a washcloth. Before that I used Pond's cold creme, which worked almost as well.

I haven't found any brand of cleansing wipes that removes eye makeup well at all - it helps get the worst of it off, but my eyes get sore from the rubbing long before the wipes remove all the residue of even light, non-waterproof, non-"long-wear" makeup. Similarly, regular face wash doesn't remove much either - it seems like you really need something oily to dissolve the makeup.
posted by randomnity at 12:40 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree with using an oil on your eyes to get everything off before you wash your face (I use mineral oil or jojoba) and also recommend a tubing mascara like Loreal's or Blinc for not having vestiges of mascara later on. If you don't want to use a tubing mascara and want something non-waterproof that never-ever (on me, who is oily) flakes or smudges, nothing I've tried beats regular Buxom mascara, it gives great lashes and although I've tried lots and lots of mascaras over the years, I've stopped trying anything new and only use this now because nothing else has come close. However, I like really long, thick, and black lashes, so if you want something super subtle, this won't be it...
posted by PinkPoodle at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2014

If you squint when washing your eyelids it's hard for the cleanser to get under your eyes. Try to keep your eyes closed gently, "look up" with your head (eyes still closed) and gently run the cleanser under your eyes in the raccoon area- that works for me. And a small dab of something oily or creamy on a tissue (lotion, coconut oil, etc) will take off the last little bits and also moisturize the area.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:35 PM on September 16, 2014

Nthing change your method of removal.

For the record, right now I am using Maybelline Big Eyes mascara, and I wash my face with Cetaphil in lukewarm water, including the eyelids, rinsing with 25 splashes. I repeat this washing process, then follow up with a final rinse.

Yes, I guess I do get a tiny bit of a mascara ring, but you'd have to look closely to see it.

Otherwise, if I end up with a mascara ring after all that, I take a cotton bud dipped in some almond oil to get rid of the excess. If I have on a really extreme makeup look with lots of pigment painted over a wide area, the first thing I do is take off the worst of it with some almond oil, and the same stuff is good for excess mascara.

If none of these answers are satisfactory, I would suggest Swiss-O-Par silver nitrate eyelash dye. Make sure your lashes are 100% clean and dry when you apply it, and then wait a day and dye your lashes again. Curl your lashes with a Tweezerman curler and Bob's your next of kin.

As for the more commonly available ones like Dylash or Colorsport - I have had very bad reactions to peroxide eyelash dyes, not surprisingly, and I would never consider using them again; IANAD. I don't really understand why they're still allowed to be sold.

And of course it depends on whether just dyed lashes are enough for you, since they still aren't nearly as dramatic as putting on mascara.
posted by tel3path at 3:01 PM on September 16, 2014

I have eye sensitivity issues as well and have to be really careful about the cosmetics I buy. (I had to switch night creams because the last one gave me pink eye). Urban Decay's Lush Lash has been working really well for me. It's not aggravating the eye sensitivities, hasn't been clumping, flaking or smudging, but is also not waterproof so it washes off easily. I use Lather's Ultra Mild Face Wash (with luke warm water) to remove all of my makeup. That does the job with zero sensitivity issues.

Last I checked, these products were also cruelty free, so bonus there if that's important to you.
posted by jazzbaby at 3:46 PM on September 16, 2014

Tube mascara, it's a must have!
posted by Youremyworld at 6:28 PM on September 16, 2014

Chiming in to agree with using an oil-based product to remove mascara. I just swipe a cotton pad over my big tub of Palmer's cocoa butter, rub gently over eyelids and then wash face as usual. Works great.
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 7:09 PM on September 16, 2014

The divine Lisa Eldridge recommends letting the remover do the work. That is, let it sit a bit. Soak a cotton pad with remover, and gently press it over your eyes (lashes). I do a fairly slow 30 count. It's like magic. (Check out her makeup removal tutorial. She's wearing soooo much eye makeup, including false lashes, and it practically falls off her face.)
posted by killy willy at 10:36 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I work in a dish room (hot, steamy!) have very sensitive skin/eyes, and I swear by Urban Decay's Perversity. It does not melt or run off when I work, but when I shower, it comes right off. I've never had the morning-after Alice Cooper look with Perversity.
posted by headspace at 7:07 AM on September 17, 2014

Tube! I like blinc.
posted by zepheria at 12:22 PM on September 17, 2014

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