This is a question for the ages. Seriously, how do you remove eye makeup without losing lashes? The answer: very gently and with the right products. Whether you have natural lashes or lash extensions, be extra careful when removing makeup. We’ve got all the product recommendations, plus our favorite tried-and-true tips for leaving natural lashes in-tact when removing even the most stubborn eye makeup.

First things first. You always, always want to remove all your makeup before going to bed. In addition to ruining your sheets, leaving face makeup on overnight can cause clogged pores and dull skin, but leaving on eye makeup can lead to unsightly eye infections. We recommend removing your eye makeup first and then removing your face makeup afterwards, as you can use your cleanser to remove any leftover eye makeup.

  1.  Soak a cotton pad, like the Shiseido Facial Cotton, with eye makeup remover and then hold over the eye for up to ten seconds. This gives makeup a chance to dissolve.
  2.  Gently pat over the eye to remove makeup. Do not rub as that can cause lashes to fall out and it tugs on sensitive skin. Our favorite removers are the Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover and our own DIY recipe (featured at the end). However, if you have lash extensions, you’ll want to use something oil-free, as oil can degrade the lash glue.
  3.  If needed, follow-up with a small amount of facial cleanser to remove any last traces of eye makeup.

If you wear strip lashes, the same steps apply as above, though you may need to hold the saturated cotton pad on your eye for longer or repeat that step. If your lashes are still not easily removed, soak a cotton swab in the eye makeup remover and gently run it along the strip. Never, ever pull off the strip, as you can end up pulling out your own lashes. Gently peel it back. It should remove fairly easily after using eye makeup remover.

Like many of us, you are probably wondering how to strengthen and grow your lashes. Although there are plenty of options for lash growth serums, the most effective ones are slightly expensive and if you stop using them, the results disappear. However, there is a more common item you can use to help lashes (and brows) grow: castor oil. As we mentioned in our article on this renaissance oil, fatty acids can really help lashes grow longer and stronger. Use a pointed cotton swab to apply to the base of lashes and lightly massage in before bed. You can even use castor oil to remove eye makeup, giving your lashes an extra boost of growing power without compromising your current lashes.

As promised, here’s the DIY eye makeup remover recipe we love. This is a great way to save money, as you likely already have these ingredients at home. And while you can use just about any oil to remove eye makeup (coconut, castor, even olive oil), this quick mix is just a bit more powerful. The coconut oil dissolves eye makeup, witch hazel helps protect skin, and the jojoba oil soothes tired eyes.

DIY Eye Makeup Remover:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons witch hazel
  • 2-3 drops jojoba oil
  • Mix well and store in an airtight Mason jar

Try it out, and let us know what you think!