Fashion & Beauty

Waterproof Mascara Decoded

June 12, 2014


Make Up For Ever mascara, Elemis and Bi-Facil eye makeup removers. WALKING TO THE OFFICE,  weeping at weddings – all these summertime situations call for waterproof mascara. You fear it, you say? Can’t get it off, you say?


I’ve been an unabashed lover since I started wearing contact lenses at sixteen and would get what I called eye attacks. Any particle that crept in between my eye and my contact – dust, stray makeup, whatever – would cause instant, massive tearing, which would then cause my otherwise flawlessly applied mascara to turn into one hot streaky mess.

That’s when I learned to embrace waterproof mascara and perfect its removal. Go ahead, take the plunge. Sweat. Cry. Nothing will happen.

  • Start by curling your lashes. Even with mascaras that claim to curl, there’s no substitute for this step. It opens your eyes like rays of the sun. Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler ($20) has been and will always be droopy lashes’ best friend.
  • For waterproof virgins, Chanel’s Reflets D’Ete de Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel in 10 Noir ($30) is the most elegant and least scary. It’s waxy in a nice way:  beeswax for conditioning and polishing; carnauba wax for lengthening; and rice wax for subtle volume. The wand and brush are sleek, so you have control. The stuff even smells good.
  •  For anorexic lashes, choose Lancôme’s Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Instant Full Body Volume Mascara ($27.50). Don’t let the S-shaped caterpillar brush throw you; twist it around to reach even the teeniest lashes and watch how fat, yet unclumpy, they instantly get.
  • For the fearless (like moi), who crave the kind of Bambi length that will make lashes crash into  sunglasses, nothing beats Make Up For Ever’s new Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara ($24). The conic brush glides across every last lash root to tip; its 580 bristles ensure complete coverage, separation and zero escapees. Oh, and the color. The color. It’s the richest, blackest black you’ve ever seen. Like midnight black, but blacker.

The key phrase in effective waterproof eye makeup removers is dual- or bi-phase. This turf ʼnʽsurf formula looks like oil and water in the bottle because that’s essentially what it is. Refined oils dissolve the hardest of the hardcore waterproof; water calms and refreshes. Just remember to shake well before using.

These three variations on the bi- theme, work well.

With these eye makeup removers, use Swisspers, not cotton balls, whose fibers can get tangled up in lashes and eyes. Lightly wet the pad with remover, close your eyes and gently press against your lashes for a few seconds. Don’t windshield wipe or pinch down; that’s how you lose lashes and get irritation. Sweep down and away. Next, turn the pad over to the clean side, open your eyes wide, and press underneath your lashes. Dab off any residue with a tissue. Wash your face and call it a summer day.

— Gigi Anders
Gigi Anders is a freelance writer living in the New York City area. 

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