Winter Mascara Woes


Last week, we received a reader query/conundrum that read: " COLD northern temperatures = frosty hair and eyelashes- frosty eyelashes that will eventually melt. Goodbye, mascara! Hello, blackened tears. (All of this from a supposedly waterproof product.)"

Not knowing how to help (but desperately wanting to!), we shot off an email to our makeup-artist pal Jeanine Lobell, asking for guidance. She got back to us right away with some tips:

"Wow! This is a tough one. A couple ideas:

1) Forgo mascara this winter. Instead, try dyeing your lashes—find a reputable salon to dye them and then experiment with clear mascara applied after lash-curling to get a 'stiffer,' more done look. If you take this route, you can also apply a black gel liner in the upper rim of the eye to fake a thicker lash line.

2) My favorite waterproof mascara is Make Up For Ever's Aqua Smoky Lash. I swear that stuff won't budge, but doesn't tear out all my lashes when I'm trying to get it off. And, on that note, Lancôme Bi-Facil makeup remover is the best for waterproof products.

3) Lastly, try only wearing mascara on the top lashes! Sometimes that helps."

Let us know how it goes!

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

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  • beetlebum

    make up for ever mascaras are my favourite, i have tried loads of mascaras and i can guarantee you this is the best one ever!

  • Lucy Apted

    So helpful, thank you!

  • Nomadic D.

    My favorite is Maybelline's Full 'N Soft:

    and I know they make a waterproof version of it as well, though I can't honestly vouch for that version. But at drugstore prices I bet it's worth a shot!

  • fourtinefork

    Clarins Double Fix turns any mascara into a waterproof mascara: I've worn it to the Russian baths (into the hot room where burly Russian men will dump buckets of ice-cold water over your head) and my mascara has emerged in pristine condition.

  • Jolanda van Wingerden

    Try eyelash extensions :)

  • Céline from Provence

    YSL False Lashes Effect is also great even if "waterproof" is not written on the tube (good for those like me who don't like waterproof mascaras because of their texture)
    I spent the whole summer with the classic one (the radial one also works just great) and even after a swim with my head under water (pool and sea), my mascara was still on perfectly.
    So it might be the same when the temperature goes down (sorry, I don't really know because it's not that cold where I live).

  • Kassandra Fairhall

    This happens to me all the time, its annoying but I find if you just apply one layer or mascara rather then 3 it's not so bad.

  • vvn

    Tube mascara! Washes off with TONS of water so frost won't melt them. I'm a NE'er, I know from experience ;) Kevin Aucoin's are my favourite so far

  • Blij Vrouw

    Black tears are the truth... Canadian here. The lash dye is a good idea. Personally, I like to carry around a couple q-tips, small bottle of Bioderma, and a click-style concealer to fix it once I fall down somewhere warm.

  • Neelie

    Try wearing sunglasses when you head out. They block the wind, which cuts down on tearing up, as well as cutting glare and I swear they keep your eyes warmer!

  • AK

    Try tube mascara! D.J.V is supposed to be great. It creates a tube around each lash so it doesn't smudge, but it's easy to remove at night.

  • Malena
  • Annika

    Sensai 38, nothing else makes sense. Wearing mascara only on top lashes won't help, they get frosty and melt, too. Greeting from Finland!

  • ava

    What about Kanebo's 38°?

    Been faithful to that for ages, takes me through swimming, sauna - and the rain of course!

  • giulietta

    what about writing something on how to get black kohl/eyeliner on the inner rim to not turn into a gross, smudgy mess? (gross is the keyword there- i like the smudge but after about an hour, it's traveled under my eyes and I look raccoon-ish, not sleepily kohled (sp?) and chic...

    • Izzy Cole

      −Laura Mercier flatliner cake eyeliner with the flat brush. You splash the brush lightly with water and swipe/dab it in the cake liner pot. Then paint/dab your upper inner eye rim. Big, beautiful eyes ensue.

    • Sarah

      set the kohl with a black powder eyeshadow. that's the only thing that works for me. a tiny amount of a loose mineral based one shouldn't cause any irritation.

  • skimz9

    ModelCo FIBRE LASHXTEND Lengthening Mascara

    Try it. It looks natural and stays on all day with no smudging or clumping. Plus, it comes off easily with water. No eye makeup remover required.

    Those Aussies are onto something!

  • JennySueMakeup

    Lancome's BiFacil is the ONLY waterproof eye makeup I use. I don't have to tug at my aging eyes to get the waterproof stuff off, it just slides off without effort. I have yet to find a cheaper replacement that works just as well.

  • Izzy Cole

    Laura Mercier flatliner cake eyeliner with the flat brush. You splash the brush lightly with water and swipe/dab it in the cake liner pot. Then paint/dab your upper inner eye rim. Big, beautiful eyes ensue.

  • Mouthful of Style

    Mascara on top lashes - what a good idea!

    Style insights and luxury fashion business learnings:

  • anderswrong

    Thank you! I am FOR SURE going to get on the gel liner. Everyone seems to be going wild for this bobbi brown stuff, and it's time I hopped on that train. Will report back.

  • bruna Marx

    Urban decay cannonball is THE BEST waterproof ever. Rain, shine, beach, snow. Stay put and wont budge at all.

  • Sonya

    THANK YOU both Jeanine and ITG

  • Peggie74

    Have the same problem. Northern climates can work a number on your eyes.
    I only apply mascara to my top lashes, and it's running an burning my eyes by the time I've walked to the corner! I figured I was doing myself a favor by buying Physicians Formula Organic mascara (Organic wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara), but it either doesn't set properly or runs at the worst moments.
    Had an old tube of Avon mascara that I didn't have this problem with... maybe because it was a bit dried-out, I don't know.

    Still searching for the right mascara that will survive -30C.

  • Sarah

    FDA doesn't recommend lash tints or dyes...


MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Smoky Lash
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Black Ink
Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover