How To Prevent Mascara Running Down Face

Most women would agree that mascara is a fundamental part of their makeup routine. The fuller, darker brows make for a more powerful feminine look. However, you might not appreciate it once the mascara smudges and gives you an impromptu emo look. What can you do to prevent mascara running down face? We are here to tell you just that!

Mascara Running Down Face: Causes & Solutions

Cause Potential Fixes
Oily Skin Clean your face twice a day with an oil-free cleanser. Soak the excess natural oils from your face with oil-blotting sheets. Use oil-free face products.
High Humidity Use water-resistant mascara to keep the mascara from smudging in humid summer weather.
Improper Applications Avoid putting on too much mascara. Also, you need to wait at least half a minute between coats. Otherwise, the mascara will not dry.
Heavy Eye Cream Avoid using heavy eye creams before putting on mascara. It’s best to apply richer eye cream formulas at night.
You Don’t Prime Your Lid Use an eyeshadow primer before applying mascara.

How To Stop Mascara Running Down Face

Use Oil-Free Product

Oily skin is a mascara nightmare. It can break down the mascara formula and make it smudge. If your skin has too much natural oil, it would be difficult for any makeup to settle, and mascara is no exception. If you have oily skin, you need to make arrangements to compensate for the extra sebum.

You can use waterproof mascara for better longevity, but even that might not be enough in summer when the humidity is high. So, you need to manage the oiliness of the skin as a permanent solution. To do that, you must wash your face regularly with oil-free cleansers. We recommend doing this twice a day. 

That said, we must also remind you to wash your face in moderation. Too much washing will not make oily skin go away faster. Rather, it could trigger extra oil production. When you wash the face excessively, it strips the face of essential oils. Therefore, your sebaceous glands start to produce even more sebum to make up for the dryness of your skin. 

So, you need to maintain a minimal level of moisture in your facial skin. You should use no-oil moisturizers for proper hydration. You can occasionally use oil blotting sheets to make your face appear less oily. However, we would advise against doing this regularly as oil blotting sheets can make the skin too dry. And it can lead to even more oil production.

Use Toners

Toners are quite effective in removing dirt and grime from the skin and freeing up the spores. Clogged pores themselves don’t lead to increased sebum oil production, but it does indicate an excess buildup of oil on the skin. So, toners could be a big help in fighting oily skin. It would be best if you go for oily skin-specific toners. 

Don’t Forget To Prime The Eyelids Before Applying Mascara

Beauty experts advise priming the eyelids before putting on mascara. Primers are the real-life equivalents of Photoshop touchup. Need to fix a spot that sticks out like a sore thumb? Primers are the go-to products for making that problem disappear. On top of that, they can serve as a barrier between the mascara and your oily skin. Therefore, the mascara should survive longer.

Wear Waterproof Mascara

Waterproof mascara sounds like the perfect solution to smearing and smudging mascara. You can wear it in all weather conditions. Your mascara work will remain unscathed after a heavy workout or in sweating heat. You can even take a dip in the pool wearing them. So, what’s not to like?   

Unfortunately, waterproof mascara is not the ideal remedy for many because it’s too difficult to get off. You are going to have to spend some time in front of the mirror after returning home. We are sure that not a lot of people would look forward to that. Also, it can irritate sensitive skin. So, make sure you are okay with the baggage these mascaras come with before use. 

Go For Light Powdering Over Baking

One of the worst things you can do to keep your mascara from smudging is to put too much concealer and powder around your eyes. Not only does it make your panda eyes look more dramatic, but it’s also as far from natural makeup as you can get. So even though some beauticians advise their clients to bake before applying mascara, we discourage that. 

As the name suggests, baking dehydrates the skin and makes it look older. It used to be a popular pre-makeup ritual in the past, but there are far better alternatives available at the moment. Applying a small amount of powder would be enough to prep your eyelids for a mascara makeover.

Wait For The Mascara To Dry

Be patient when you are applying multiple layers of mascara. You need to wait for at least 30 to 45 seconds between each coat. The mascara needs this time to settle on your skin. If you don’t put on a new coat before the first one dries, the mascara is guaranteed to smear. Don’t wait too long, however. It could result in spidery lashes.

Stop Wearing Too Much Mascara

Wearing too much mascara is the biggest mascara blunder you could make. Besides ruining your overall appearance, this involves a high risk of smearing, and it could happen within hours of application. It would be ideal if you limit your mascara habit to one to three coats per session.

Avoid Heavy Eye Cream Before Applying Mascara

Eye creams can help us get rid of dark circles and puffy eyes. But thick eye creams can prevent the mascara from settling in and make it run down the face. So, you should not wear heavy eye creams before wearing mascara. Thinner eye creams should be fine, though. We would recommend using heavy eye cream before bedtime.

Final Words

If you have been experiencing mascara running down face frequently, oily skin is the prime suspect. So, it’s essential to address the oiliness issue to prolong the wear time of your mascara. A diligent approach can help you say goodbye to those raccoon eyes and keep your mascara game impeccable all day long. 


My name is Maria and I am a beauty blogger and writer. I am passionate about all things beauty, from skincare to makeup. On my blog, I share product reviews, tips, and tricks to help others feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. I strive to create a positive and inclusive space for everyone. Join me on my journey as I discover my unique beauty brand and share it with you.

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