How To Remove Eyeliner

by Degrees of Vanity Team
Published: Last Updated on
How to Remove Eyeliner

Whether you’re taking it off at the end of a long day, or you’ve had a mid-application mishap, it can be pretty tricky to remove eyeliner – especially when the product is often designed to be long-lasting.

More often than not, just wiping your liner off with water won’t do much in terms of getting rid of it, and over-scrubbing can leave your eyes feeling sore and sensitive. Luckily, there is more than one way you can wipe away your liner. 

We’ve compiled a list of four easy (and affordable) ways you can remove eyeliner, so you can find the best way for you. 

Micellar Water 

Micellar water is one of the most popular and favorite methods of removing makeup. The liquid contains micelle molecules which bond together to surround and lift away makeup off of the skin, without the need for rinsing or harsh scrubbing.  

It’s also one of the best methods to remove eyeliner that may have gone wrong during application and you want to start again without removing all of your makeup.

To remove only your eyeliner, simply dip a cotton bud into the micellar water, and wipe away the eyeliner. As there is no rinsing required, you can remove your eyeliner without worrying about washing away the rest of your makeup. 

If you want to use micellar water to completely remove all of your makeup, pour some of the micellar water over a cotton pad and start wiping away.

To remove eyeliner from your eyes, you may have to hold the micellar water soaked pad over your eye for a couple of seconds so it has a chance to break down the eyeliner. 

Micellar Water to Remove Eyeliner

Eye Makeup Remover 

It may sound like an obvious option, but it’s worth mentioning eye makeup remover. As most makeup removers are often generic, and created to remove any makeup product, they can often be unreliable, and you may struggle with products that are harder to budge. 

Eye makeup remover, however, has been specifically formulated to use on your eyes and has been tested and approved as safe by ophthalmologists. A lot of eye makeup removers are oil-based, as the oil helps dissolve eyeliner (specifically waterproof products) so your eyes are completely makeup free. 

To use, simply saturate a cotton pad with the product – do not use a cotton ball as they can leave behind fibers which may get stuck in your eye and cause irritation. Press the pad against your eye for 20 seconds. You can wiggle your pad to add some pressure, but don’t scrub. 

Leaving the pad for a couple of seconds will give the remover some time to break down the eyeliner so that it will come off easily and quickly. Use downwards strokes to wipe off your liner, being careful not to scrub or tug at your skin. 

You can also use eye makeup remover for any mid-application mishaps by using a cotton bud – follow the same directions which are noted above for micellar water. 

Eye Makeup Remover for Eyeliner

Makeup Wipes 

Like micellar water, makeup wipes are pretty popular, and are a convenient option for travelling and on-the-go removal as they can be easily stashed away in your bag. It’s better to opt for makeup wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free.

Although you can use sensitive baby wipes to clean your face, they’re not ideal for makeup removal as they’re not designed to lift makeup off of your face.

Also, the makeup wipes designed to remove an entire face of makeup may be too harsh for the sensitive skin around your eyes. You can get makeup wipes which are specifically designed to use on your eyes. 

To use your wipes, wipe along the upper lid with an outward motion – starting from the inner corner of your eye. Repeat under your lower eyelid, but make sure to use a new wpe for each eye to prevent transferring anything from eye to eye. 

Once you’ve used your wipes, rinse your face and use your regular cleanser. It’s important to do this step as removing your makeup isn’t the same as cleaning your skin. Always remove your makeup first and then wash your face. 

Makeup Wipes to Remove Eyeliner

Petroleum Jelly 

Petroleum jelly is a pretty effective method for removing eyeliner. Just make sure you use a trusted brand which is made up of highly refined petroleum jelly. It’s important to get high grade petroleum jelly as it’s a byproduct of oil, if it’s not properly purified it can contain harmful toxins. 

Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to a cotton swab, and then run the swab along the base of your eyelashes. Leave the petroleum jelly on your eyes for a few seconds as you wait for it to break down the eyeliner.

Wipe away the liner using the clean end of the swab. Use another clean swab if you don’t get all of the eyeliner off with the first one. 

Once you’ve removed your eyeliner – and the rest of your makeup – wash your face using a gentle cleanser. If you get any petroleum jelly in your eyes, rinse them immediately. 

Petroleum Jelly to Remove Eyeliner

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can You Use Oil To Remove Eyeliner? 

As most makeup removers designed to remove eye makeup use oils, you can in fact use oil to remove eyeliner. Oils such as coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil are probably the best to use as they’re natural products that don’t contain any harsh chemicals that can hurt your eyes. 

Not only will these oils dissolve the liner so that it can be easily wiped away, they will also condition your lashes and moisturize the skin around your eyes. 

Simply use your fingertips to massage the oils gently over close eyelids, making sure you run your finger along your lash line. Wait a couple of seconds before using a cotton pad to wipe the oil off.

Use downward strokes and be gentle with your movements, as any rough treatment will cause wrinkles and fine lines. Afterwards, rinse your eyes to remove any traces of oil or eyeliner. 

What Is The Best Way To Remove Waterproof Eyeliner? 

Using oils, or oil-based makeup remover products are the best option for removing waterproof eyeliner. This is because waterproof liners usually contain oils that repel water, which makes them last longer, but also makes them difficult to remove.

Using oil and oil-based products will help break down the ingredients in the waterproof eyeliner and make them easier to remove.

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