The mark of a great eyeliner is one that glides on effortlessly and lasts all day without smudging or creating black shadows under your eyes during an afternoon meeting. Unfortunately, that same tenacious eyeliner is probably also going to give you a headache at night when all you want to do is remove it before bed without also removing all of your eyelashes.
If you’ve found the gel eyeliner of your dreams, congratulations; that was no easy feat. Now put down your soap cleanser and take the advice of pro makeup artist and beauty expert Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup, who offers 3 foolproof ways to remove even the most stubborn eyeliner.
1. Use makeup wipes. If you think makeup wipes and cleansers are interchangeable, think again. Ordinary soap just isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to remove eye makeup. “I’m a huge fan of makeup wipes for quick and easy makeup removal prior to cleansing,” Trotter says. “Plus, it prevents all your towels from getting ruined with makeup residue. I like Garnier The Refreshing Remover for several reasons: they smell good (fresh, like it says), they remove eyeliner and mascara, they won’t sting sensitive eyes and they don’t leave residue.”
2. Use a magnifying mirror. A magnifying mirror is one beauty tool you may not have thought to add to your vanity, but it can contribute to a less frustrating makeup removal process. “A magnifying mirror is especially important if you have sensitive eyes or lash extensions,” Trotter says. “You’ll need to be much more deliberate and careful when removing your eyeliner so you don’t irritate, rub too hard or ruin your lashes. Use a magnifying mirror, a Q-tip, and a gentle makeup remover like Micellar water (I like Bioderma’s version). Being able to really see your lash line will allow you to carefully remove any leftover liner without damaging your lashes.”
3. Baby your eyes. If you’ve followed these steps and still have liner left, Trotter suggests trying a gentle cleanser like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Yep, you read that right. “It’s PH balanced and totally safe to use around your eyes,” she says. “Gently manipulate a bit into your lash line to dissolve any leftover liner and then rinse gently with warm water.”
For more beauty tips and advice, check out the best eye makeup remover for sensitive skin and the ultimate eyeliner hack: how to draw a straight line every time.