How to Remove Eyeliner

By Stacey Kole

Finding an eyeliner with hours-long staying power can seem like a veritable beauty coup. But if it manages to stick around without fading or smudging, chances are, it may also take a little diligence to remove it. So whether you're cleaning your face at the end of the day, or attempting to fix a wayward stroke of the eyeliner pen, snag the right products and follow makeup-artist tips to get your liner off in a snap.

Removing makeup
credit: Marko Marcello/iStock/Getty Images
A woman using a cotton pad to remove eye makeup.

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Oil-Based Options

Tackle stubborn liquid liners or waterproof formulas with an oil-and-water-based remover. Look for hypoallergenic formulas that are gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. Swipe the product over your closed eyes with a saturated cotton pad, or use a cotton swab to pinpoint a specific area. Natural alternatives, such as coconut or almond oil, also can do the trick.

Wondrous Wipes

If your skin is a bit oily, use makeup-removing wipes that combine cleanser and moisturizing elements to gently wipe away eyeliner. These premoistened cloths not only save you a step, they also help keep cotton fibers out of your lash line. Try wrapping a cotton swab in a wipe if you need a more targeted approach, or use the wipes all over your eyes -- and even your face -- to take off other makeup. Follow with a splash of water if any traces of the product are left behind.