The Mascara Removal Trick You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Whether you come home from a fun night out or a long day of work, taking off your mascara often feels like a tedious task. You wipe and wipe, and it seems like an endless amount of black smudges on your makeup wipe. There are lots of tips to help make your mascara last, like trying out the mascara cocktailing trend or using tubing mascara. But what about when it comes time to take it off? It's always good to have a few simple tricks and tips up your sleeve to give yourself a break.

That being said, we have an expert-approved mascara removal tip to share, and it actually involves the way you apply the mascara itself. It's especially helpful if you use waterproof mascara that's built to cling to your lashes for hours on end, the kind that's tricky to remove. All you need is a dry spoolie brush, along with your makeup remover. 

Use a dry spoolie to brush off excess mascara

A spoolie is a small brush that closely resembles a mascara wand, only it's not meant to be dipped in a product. While spoolies are often used to brush and shape eyebrows, skin and makeup experts at Byrdie recommend also using them while applying your mascara as they can help eliminate clumps and extra product.

After you apply mascara, take a dry spoolie and give your lashes an extra brush through. Wiggle the spoolie along your lashes while the mascara is still wet, and this will remove some of the excess gunk. The end result is mascara that will look more even, leaving your lashes as luscious as ever. The more mascara you put on, the more difficult it can be to take off, so this tip can certainly help you later on when you go to take it off. 

It's important to make sure your spoolie is clean and dry. There are disposable spoolies you can buy, but if you have a reusable one, wash it after each use with makeup remover or some soap and water. Like all makeup tools, spoolie brushes should be regularly cleaned to protect your skin and eyes from any bacteria that lingers.

Wipe off mascara in the direction of the lashes

After incorporating a spoolie into your mascara routine, you'll not only notice a more even application, but also, a quicker removal time. However, when it does come time to take off your makeup, it's still important to be gentle with your eyes to avoid irritation. 

According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, dermatologist and director of Mount Sinai Hospital's cosmetic and clinical research, it's best to remove your mascara in the direction of lash growth. "Work from the inside out to minimize the chances of mascara and bacteria getting trapped in the eyes," Zeichner tells Real Simple. You might be tempted to rub your eyes in circles, but doing this will only risk getting the product in your eyes without really removing it. Close your eyes, press a cotton pad soaked with makeup remover or micellar water against the lashes. Let it soak in for a few seconds and then swipe with the lashes, rather than in circular motions.