Seven ways to properly remove hard-to-budge mascara.

From not smudging when you absentmindedly rub your eye, to staying put during swimming, the staying power of waterproof or hard-to-budge mascara is brilliant – until you actually want to take it off.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to remove it, given up, gone to bed, then woken up with panda eyes and marked pillows. Not ideal.

Luckily users on Reddit have been sharing their tried-and-tested ways to remove even the most stubborn mascaras.

1. Jojoba oil.

Oil is great at removing stubborn makeup.

“It’s cheap and neutral. I wet my face, pour a few drops in my hands and rub the oil on my closed eyes for a bit. Then I wash my face with whatever soap I’m using at the time. This usually removes 80 per cent or more in no time flat.

Watch: Why do we all pull such hilarious faces when we put on mascara? Post continues after video.

“I personally hate using just makeup remover because I find I lose a lot of lashes. My oily hands on a wet face is nice and gentle and just seems to loosen it all up.”

2. Coconut oil.

Multiple users advocated the use of coconut oil.

“I rub it in before I wash my face and then clean up whatever is left afterwards with just eye makeup remover,” wrote mymantra.

Image: Supplied/Brittany Stewart

3. Baby oil, $5.69.

Continuing on the oil theme, others swore by baby oil as a cheap and effective option.

"Baby oil, super cheap, best eye make up remover ever," wrote xboxwidow.


To use, apply to a cotton ball or pad and starting from the bottom of your eyelashes, wipe them gently down in a single direction, taking care not to tug.

Baby shampoo can also be used - but like the oil, take care to ensure you don't get any actually in your eye, which can cause irritation or infection.

4. An oil cleanser.

"MAC, $37 and Shu Uemura, $48 have nice ones. Put a cotton pad under your lower lashes, close your eye, and use a cotton swab to apply/lightly rub with oil," suggested one user.

"Then you just have to rinse with water/use a makeup wipe, and you'll be all clean!" (Post continues after gallery.)

5. Garnier Micellar Water, $13.99.

It claims it removes waterproof mascara - and it does.

"I use a paper towel soaked with it, and I press it to the side of my eyelashes that gets coated with mascara, essentially removing the mascara the way I put it on, if that makes sense," wrote one user.

"I don't have to hold it there to soak, I just start moving the paper back and forth with hardly any pressure at all, and it comes right off in under a minute. I find this to be the best way to remove mascara without pulling out lashes or taking forever."

6. Ponds Cold Cream, $7.99

While oil, balms and micellar waters work well, ladyjopester always comes back to this.

"It takes off stubborn waterproof mascara and conditions the lashes," she wrote.

7. Vaseline, $2.59.

"I swear by Vaseline... stuff is amazing for removing makeup," wrote one user.

Take care with this one though - as with most things, getting petroleum jelly in your eyes is not advised as it can cause irritation or even infection.

As with everything you use around your eye area - proceed with caution and don't use if your eyes are sensitive.

Image: iStock.