The best hack for waterproof mascara is to simply alter how you apply it: “First, swipe on a few coats of non-waterproof, and finish with a coat or two of waterproof,” celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno once told us. By layering a regular mascara option underneath, you’ll have a non-waterproof foundation on your lashes—which won’t have a death grip, so it makes removal a breeze at the end of the day. The waterproof on top, however, clings to the flutters and ensures the mascara won’t melt into raccoon-like streaks.
In terms of that bottom layer, you can choose any formula you please—some prefer a clear mascara if they don’t want to pile on tons of pigment, while others find doubling up on inky options makes the lashes even more spidery and dramatic. You can’t really go wrong, so long as you have some sort of primer between your eyelashes and the waterproof number. Try ILIA’s Limitless Lash Mascara for your base layer (a personal favorite) with a few coats of Milk Makeup’s KUSH Waterproof Mascara on top.
When you’re ready to remove all traces of makeup, simply soak a reusable cotton pad with makeup remover (here are a few natural options that put in the work), and press it onto closed lids for a few beats; let the solution seep into your lashes, and the pigment should lift right off. No scrubbing or tugging required.