Home Makeup Mascara Running Down Face – How To Fix It

Mascara Running Down Face – How To Fix It

by Gabbi

Mascara is a beginner-friendly makeup product that everyone can use. It’s the simplest introduction to makeup, and it can enhance your lashes in a flattering way. However, one of the most common makeup mishaps is smudged mascara.

Mascara isn’t transfer-proof, and it can end up all over your eyes if you aren’t too careful. One of our greatest fears is having our mascara run/smudge and ruin the rest of our makeup. Almost no one wants to have raccoon eyes.

Some people think that waterproof mascara is the answer to this problem, but in reality, waterproof mascara can be damaging to lashes when applied frequently, can still run, and is harder to remove. Most mascaras are extremely rich and pigmented, so running is very noticeable.

While mascara is simple to apply, it can be difficult to remove. Any leftover mascara can run on the face or ruin your next makeup look if it’s not removed correctly. Even when you find the perfect mascara and application method, you can still be prone to running.

So, how can you fix mascara running down your face? If your mascara is running and you don’t have makeup with you to fix it, let it dry and then use a Q-tip or toilet paper to gently buff it away. This is the best way to get rid of streams of mascara without ruining your makeup.

We have a few other tips and tricks up our sleeves that will help you next time you have a mascara mishap, so keep reading!

How To Pick The Right Mascara

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to mascara. With that being said, it’s crucial to analyze your needs and how you want to enhance your lashes. For example, are you looking for length, volume, or both?

There is a wide variety of mascaras on the market. It’s also important to consider the formula of your mascara, along with its brush size and shape. Taking the time to analyze your needs will help ensure you find the perfect match. 

1. Formula

As mentioned earlier, please stay clear of waterproof mascaras because they can still smudge when they come in contact with your natural oils and are much harder to remove. They are also drying and harsh towards your lashes.

A regular formula will do just fine. It will be up to your personal preference if you want a mascara that is cruelty-free, vegan, or clean. Double-check the ingredients list to ensure you aren’t applying anything you don’t want on your lashes.

2. Brush 

Next is finding the right formula with the right brush. Mascara wands or brushes can have fiber bristles, silicone bristles, fat, small, skinny, large, you name it. All these different bristles will offer a different finish or can add volume or length.

The mascara wand can also complement your eye shape. For example, you might not want a large or wide wand if your eyes are small or your lashes are short. A mascara wand should be able to reach and coat all your lashes evenly. 

3. Length Or Volume? 

Mascaras can offer varying finishes. There is a mascara marketed for almost every concern. Think of your desired result, and then search for the mascara you think will suit you the best. The two most common issues are length and volume.

Lengthening mascaras will build fibers up on your natural lashes to achieve a wispy effect and create the illusion that they are longer. Volumizing mascaras will add definition and create the illusion that your lashes are thicker and fuller. 

Some mascaras claim to do both.

How To Prevent Mascara From Running

Before we get into fixing your mascara mishaps, let’s go through some helpful tips that will hopefully prevent it from even happening in the first place. These guidelines will strengthen your application skills, and you’ll achieve beautiful lashes that last. 

1. Use A Gentle Formula

Using a gentle formula will ensure that your mascara doesn’t damage, dry out, or harm your natural lashes. A mascara with a mild formula will be great for sensitive or watery eyes. They will also be easy to remove at the end of the day. 

2. Always Start With Clean Lashes

Would you ever apply foundation to dirty skin? Definitely not. So, why apply mascara to dirty lashes? Our lashes protect our eyes from debris that can seep in or irritate the eyes. So, it’s crucial to give your lashes a gentle cleanse before applying mascara.

Just doing something as simple as wiping your eyelashes with micellar water will create a cleaner base for mascara. 

You’ll remove excess oils, dust, debris, and leftover eye makeup that could have potentially hindered your fresh coat of mascara.

3. Curl & Prime

Curling your lashes and adding a lash primer will create a beautiful base for the mascara to latch onto. A primer will ensure that your mascara lasts all day long.

4. Consider Your Eye Shape

Learning how to work with your eye shape will help you out in the long run. For example, if you have hooded eyes, it might be helpful to wait for your mascara to dry before relaxing the face. This will avoid automatic mascara transfer after you apply.

You can also use a spoon or mascara shield to avoid getting mascara on your eyelids. 

5. Keep The Eye Area Hydrated, Not Oily

Like how priming and cleansing the lashes will help with longevity, the same goes for your eye area. Cleanse your face and eyes gently, and keep them moisturized. You can even prime your eyes and set them with powder to avoid oiliness.

Our natural oil production can disrupt the mascara’s staying power, so starting with a hydrated and mattified base will help your mascara last in the long run.

6. Use A Light Hand

Next, you will want to apply thin and lightweight coats of mascara. Using too much product at once is a recipe for a smudging and running disaster. Keeping a light hand and applying thin coats will achieve even coverage. Less is more when applying a layer of mascara. 

How To Fix Mascara Mishaps

Finally, how can you salvage your makeup if your mascara already smudged or ran? Thankfully, we have a few creative tips, so you don’t have to stress over runny mascara ever again. 

1. Wait For It To Dry

Let’s say your mascara is running, or it’s smudged. Before you start panicking, just let your smudges dry. 

Once the runny mascara is thoroughly dried, get a q-tip and gently buff the mascara away. If you do this slowly, the mascara will come off with ease without ruining the rest of your makeup.

Patience will be your best friend in this situation. Usually, dried mascara that was runny or smudged can easily be removed with a Q-tip when dry.

2. Create A Smokey Eye 

Runny mascara can easily be transformed into a smokey eye. So no matter where around the eyes your mascara is moving, blend it out with some shadow and clean up the outer edges. Then, you should be left with a grungy and bold smokey eye.

A smokey eye can be any color you desire, and in some cases, smudged mascara in the lash line can actually help create the illusion that your lash line is fuller.

3. Use As Base For Eyeliner

So your mascara is running? Take an eyeliner brush or q-tip and swipe upwards toward the temples to create a guide for eyeliner. 

Eyeliner is challenging to get even on both eyes, so creating a guide will solve your mascara problem, and applying eyeliner will be a breeze. Excess mascara around the upper and lower lash line can be smudged into an eyeliner. 

Touch Up Must-Haves 

If you are out and about, you’ll want to have a few essential products in your bag to combat runny mascara no matter where you are. First is Q-tips; we mentioned earlier they are helpful to remove dried mascara without ruining the rest of your makeup.

Next, just in case you remove makeup, have a concealer, foundation, powder, and brush on hand to quickly touch up those areas. Then, you’ll be left with a seamless finish, and no one will even know you had a makeup malfunction in the first place!

Lastly, to avoid cake face, you’ll want to have a setting spray and a damp makeup sponge on hand. Chances are you will have to touch up more than once, and this trick will help you to avoid crepey makeup layers from building up on top of each other.

Setting spray will keep your touch-ups locked in, and a beauty sponge will remove any excess product sitting on the face. Mist the setting spray into the sponge to dampen it, and gently pat over the problem areas to remove excess product.

Don’t underestimate the power of having these touch-up products with you on the go. You never know when you’ll have a runny mascara problem.

Final Thoughts

Mascara is prone to transferring and using a waterproof formula for your lashes might harm their integrity in the long run. So, next time your mascara runs, don’t panic; it can be fixed.

Implement prevention steps to avoid large mascara mishaps. Lastly, keep touch-up products in your bag, so you are always prepared and never caught in a runny situation. Finally, it’s time to say hello to gorgeous lashes!

Up Next: Is It Bad To Sleep With Mascara On?

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