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No season tests the longevity of your makeup like summer. Between water-based activities and sweating from the heat, quality waterproof makeup is a must-have. Once you find the right products for your skin, it can feel like winning the beauty lottery. However, the real challenge comes when it's time to take it off.
Brittany Scott, Director of Education at Blushington Academy for Artist Advancement, has plenty of experience when it comes to removing long-lasting makeup.
"The most important part of the waterproof makeup removing process is to be nice and gentle to your skin," she told Shop TODAY.
To remove eye makeup, Scott recommends starting by soaking a cotton round in makeup remover and pressing it gently on and around closed eyes. Then, follow it with an oil-based cleanser to remove anything that may have been left behind. "Oil helps to easily lift all waterproof makeup gently, especially from the eye area, without causing any damage or pain," she explained.
You should also follow a similar process when it comes to taking off other types of makeup like lipstick or foundation, according to Scott. Though she finds that removing waterproof products is easier to do on the rest of your face compared to the eye area, she still uses an oil-based cleanser because it "works best to help gently lift products from the face without hurting the skin."
While your instinct might tell you to snag the strongest makeup remover on the shelf, Scott's best tip is simply to look for a product that's gentle around every part of your face, especially your eye area. "Anything that does not irritate the skin is best," she said.
To make removing your makeup as easy as applying it, we rounded up some of the best waterproof makeup removers on the market right now along with some expert-recommended picks.
Best waterproof makeup removers
This bestseller in Makeup Cleansing Water has a whopping 4.7-star average and over 20,000 five-star ratings. It's designed to remove makeup, cleanse and soothe sensitive skin. Scott regards this makeup remover as a favorite amongst both artists and customers at Blushington.
"Bioderma is the most lightweight remover and, because it is oil free, it works well for all skin types. This remover requires a bit more attention as it works best when it is gently maneuvered around the eye," she said.
Celebrity makeup artist Jeannia Robinette told Shop TODAY that this cleanser is the one thing she makes sure to stock up on. She likes this cleansing water for how gentle it is around the eyes, the formula that breaks down makeup and "attracts dirt like a magnet," and how it maintains the balance of the skin while other products strip the skin and irritate the area. "This is the only makeup remover Victoria Beckham ever uses when I do her makeup," she said.
This eye makeup remover is made with a plant-based formula that soothes and softens the skin around the area when applied. It's gentle enough for all skin types and even those who wear contacts. (Not having to worry about irritated eyes when taking off makeup is every contact wearer's dream!)
Sephora reviewers can't get enough of this gentle, oil-free eye makeup remover from Lancôme. It has a 4.7-star rating on the site and also comes highly recommended by Robinette! For her, the best part of using this makeup remover is that it doesn't leave any oily residue behind. She also notes that it doesn't leave your skin feeling tight or dry.
A key ingredient in this makeup remover is aloe leaf juice extract, which soothes and hydrates the skin while also acting as a protective layer. "The Beauty RX remover is the newest addition to our edit at Blushington. We love how gentle, non-irritant and easy to use it is," Scott told us.
This waterproof makeup remover from Smashbox is made with a nonirritating formula that is meant to leave skin feeling soft, clean and refreshed. One Amazon reviewer said this makeup remover made it easy to clean off her favorite waterproof mascara without tugging on their lashes, calling it a "no muss, no fuss removal."
If you're looking for a travel-friendly, on-the-go option, Robinette recommends these micellar wipes from Burt's Bees. These wipes cleanse, remove makeup and hydrate and nourish the skin all at once. Robinette keeps these in her car's glove compartment and describes them as "clean, fresh and easy."
This cleanser's key ingredients include papaya, pumpkin and sunflower oils, along with papain and papaya enzymes. The oils are meant to provide a non-stripping cleanse to leave your skin feeling silky smooth, while the fruit enzymes exfoliates pores and evens out skin tone.
"One Love Organics B Cleanser is always the last step in my makeup removing regimen and the first step in my facial routine. Because this cleanser is oil-based, it removes any makeup traces left behind while also cleansing and moisturizing your skin," Scott said.
This cleansing oil has a 4.6-star average on Amazon and is designed to cleanse and soften skin without clogging pores. Reviewers with all skin types are raving about how well it works and how easily it melts away even the most stubborn makeup. "My face is dry in patches and really needs daily cleansing with oil and a moisturizer with most brands, but I have found that this oil makes my face feel so nice, and I believe it has actually made a difference in the overall appearance of my skin," one reviewer wrote.
Formulated with aloe vera and antioxidants, this makeup remover simultaneously removes long-lasting makeup while hydrating your skin. It was specifically designed with sensitive skin in mind, taking into account delicate eyelashes and fragile skin around the eyes so as not to irritate it.
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