How Do I Choose the Best Washable Mascara?

Nicky Sutton

The best washable mascara is easy to remove with standard makeup remover. It should not run down your face with only a few tears, and must be easy to repair in a hurry if running does occur. Mascara should be kind to your lashes and not cause breakage. It should not irritate your eyes or cause them to water.

A woman wearing washable mascara.
A woman wearing washable mascara.

Washable mascara is often preferred over waterproof mascara because it is easier to remove and there is less rubbing required of the delicate eye area. A wider range of regular strength makeup removers can be used to easily remove it. Choose mascara that comes off with only few wipes of your favorite makeup remover.

A woman applying mascara to her eyelashes.
A woman applying mascara to her eyelashes.

Running can occur with some washable mascara. Choose mascara that does not run down your face with only a few tears. A windy day can cause your tear ducts to release some tears and these should not trigger your mascara to produce black streaks on your face. Your washable mascara should not smudge if you accidentally rub your eyes or perspire a little in the gym. It needs to stay put during normal daily activities.

Stinging and irritation should not be a side effect of applying washable mascara. If it runs slightly, it should not cause your eyes to start watering. Your mascara should not flake once it has dried. The best mascara is supplied sealed in plastic, so that you know it is free of contamination and has not had a chance to dry out.

Mascara should apply smoothly and easily without clumps. It tends to dry slower than waterproof mascara, so more coats can be applied before it fully dries. Make sure your mascara does not dry too quickly, so that you are able to apply the number of coats you require.

Expect a well-designed mascara wand. The brush on the wand should separate eyelashes so that they do not stick together. Good brushes also hold the right amount of mascara to evenly coat lashes. Too much, and you risk overly made up eyes, and too little, and you will spend a lot of time applying mascara.

The best washable mascara lives up to its product claims. Whether it is lengthening, plumping or volumizing mascara, ensure that it satisfies your reasons for buying it. Choose washable mascara containing conditioners and proteins to nourish your lashes, and avoid mascara that causes lashes to break or fall out.

Washable mascara should be able to withstand a few tears.
Washable mascara should be able to withstand a few tears.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- Yes, waterproof mascara is washable, but you do not necessarily need to use a makeup remover to clean it from your eyelashes. A mild soap and warm water will do the trick. Though it is more difficult to remove that regular mascara, it is not permanent and should not cause you any difficulties when it comes time to take it off your eyelashes.


I have heard that most waterproof mascaras are also washable, but that it takes a special makeup remover to get it off your eyelashes. Does anyone have experience using waterproof mascara, and if so, is it really washable?

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