why does my mascara get wet in the cold

Why Does My Mascara Get Wet In The Cold? How to Avoid It?

You might wonder, ‘why does my mascara get wet in the cold?’. Some of you may notice that spending time outside in winter can affect your mascara, and it can definitely get wet. Yes, girls, cold weather triggers smudging and clumping mascara on your eyelashes. So, choosing the right product is very crucial. I totally recommend that you all learn how to prevent such an annoying situation!

I believe that you don’t want to experience something embarrassing with your eyes, do you? Especially when you have to meet your friends outdoors. In this article, I shall provide you with some insights on the best mascara products, ideal for winter, which you can choose to meet your make-up needs. Let’s check them out!

Why does My Mascara Get Wet in the Cold?

Your mascara can get wet in the cold because when you are outside, technically, your eyes are in a dry condition. Dry and cold weather can dehydrate our eyes, which stimulates them to work harder to produce lubricant to maintain their performance. 

Consequently, this condition makes your tears come out continuously. Therefore, when you put on mascara in the cold, your eyelashes will easily get wet. In my experience, the colder the weather is, the easier it is for your eyes to get teary.

But of course, there are other factors. I believe these are the main reasons why your mascara gets wet in the cold:

  • Warmer air from your breath. When you breathe in cold weather, the air that comes out of your mouth is warmer than the actual air outside. So, the mascara will immediately get wet because the cool air holds less moisture than hot air. In addition, your breath will bring more water outside. The warm breath will condense anything on the surface over your nose, which includes your mascara.
  • Cold air. As I’ve explained above, cold air around you will make your eyes super dry. When you apply mascara on your lashes, the cold and dry air dehydrates your eyes. This condition forces your eyes to re-lubricate. Moreover, cold air with less humidity will also make your eyes become more sensitive. Thus, it will make your mascara become wet easily in the cold.
  • Mascara contains water. Most mascara in the market also consists of water as one of the ingredients. In cold weather, water will freeze partially. In this situation, the ingredients of the mascara would react. The freezing conditions may change the components in the mascara, making them wet. This is why I recommend a certain mascara product, which I shall discuss below, to minimize this problem.
  • Strong wind. Strong wind in the cold makes the mascara become wet easily. The snow during the winter can also become an enemy for mascara wearers. Those combinations will make your eyes tear up. So, if you apply mascara, it will ruin your makeup because it causes smudge and clump.

Products You Can Apply to Avoid Mascara Get Wet in the Cold

In order to avoid mascara from getting wet in the cold, you need to choose the right product. There are certain mascaras you can wear to make you look stunning on any occasion, especially in winter. I believe you can separate them into three categories.

  • Waterproof mascara. The usage of regular mascara only lasts longer in normal weather. However, if you face cold air or winter, it is useless to use regular mascara because it will most likely get wet in the cold. To solve this problem, I highly recommend that you choose waterproof mascara. This type of mascara can resist moisture, which will remain spot-on in the cold or when you are exposed to water. This type of mascara is my preferred kind.
  • Volumizing mascara. Volumizing mascara has a design that can reach the smallest lashes at once. In addition, this kind of mascara also has a long-lasting formula, so I can assure you that it will prevent your mascara from getting wet quickly in the cold. Furthermore, this kind of mascara can also help in separating each of your eyelashes, too. I believe this product can optimally lift the eyelashes from the base and then thicken and curl them instantly. 
  • Clump and smudge-free mascara. If you have dense, thick eyelashes, and it looks close to each other, then putting on regular mascara can come as a disaster because they can stick to one another. In order to avoid this kind of disaster, I believe you will need clump and smudge-free mascara. Based on my knowledge, this product has a formula that consists of certain ingredients, such as silk extract or glycerin, as well as a silicone mascara brush that can prevent clumping of your eyelashes, especially in the cold.

Keeping Your Mascara from Freezing

As discussed in this article, cold weather can be your worst enemy if you wear mascara. It makes your eye makeup smudgy, flaky, and clumpy. Since every winter is getting colder nowadays, I shall share my tips on winterproofing your mascara!

1. Clean your eyelashes

First, you will need to ensure that your eyelashes are clean. If you have used mascara before, make sure that you wash them thoroughly. Some specialized makeup removers will be excellent for this task, depending on the type of your mascara. For example, you may use Garnier Micellar water to remove residual mascara on your eyelashes. I really recommend that you start from zero!

2. Avoid excess oil

Then, make sure that your eyelashes are not oily! If your skin is delicate and produces more oil, you will need extra other makeup that can inhibit the excretion. Hence, I also recommend that you avoid oil-based mascara in the winter. Cold weather and oil do not mix well. I do mention that the warm moisture from your breath can cause condensation on your eyelashes. That can be bad for your mascara. So, I suggest that you wear a mask when it is freezing outside. The mask will catch the moisture!

3. Layering your mascara

And lastly, you should try mixing your mascara. The layering formula will ensure that the mascara stays stronger and won’t smudge as easily. Top the layer with waterproof mascara for good measure. This way, winter will not be able to defeat you from having beautiful eyelashes!

Preventing Mascara from Smudging

Depending on the weather, mascara can smudge more easily. Now I shall tell you how to make sure that your mascara stays on!

#1 Deep cleansing your eyelashes

As I’ve mentioned before, residual chemicals from eye makeup may react badly with the low temperature, preventing your mascara from working properly. This is why I recommend that you keep your eyelashes clean all the time. Use specialized makeup remover to do this job properly. Alternatively, use coconut cream to do it. This method will promote thicker eyelash growth!

#2 Use primer before you apply mascara

A lot of beginners end up with clumpy mascara because they do not use primer adequately! If the skin around your eyes is oily, primer can help tame the excretion. But of course, do not let it be too dry, either. Some beauty oil can adequately moisturize your skin without making it too wet.

#3 Use locking mascara formula

Some brands offer mascara that contains a locking formula. This type of mascara can grip your eyelashes strongly, so it minimalizes the chance of smudging. For instance, I believe that RMS Beauty offers a volumizing mascara that incorporates a tri-locking mechanism. This mascara can last up to 12 hours and they claim that the formula won’t damage your eyelashes. I think it is worth a try!

#4 Do not apply too much concealer and power under the eyes!

Dusting the area under your eyes is good to anticipate smudgy mascara. If the mascara smear, you can just dust it to conceal it botched area. However, too much dusting will be bad too! Never ever overapply concealer and powder! I recommend that you only lightly dust the area so it won’t dry. If you do it too much, it may irritate the skin and trigger the exertion of oil, making your mascara smudgy again.

#5 Periodically wipe the area under the eyes

I recommend that you wipe the area under the eyes every now and then. This way, you can remove the mascara smudges and blot before they get uncontrollable. It also removes excess oil from the skin. I also recommend that you carefully wipe the area under your brow. Make sure that you do this super gently. Just a light dab will do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need mascara?

Mascara is part of my essential makeup supply because it can effortlessly beautify the appearance of the eyes. It can put emphasis on the lashes, so it is especially important if you have thin and short eyelashes. Perfectly-shaped eyelashes with layers will give your eyes a more striking appearance. I use high-quality mascara to curl and make the eyelashes look thicker, longer, and darker, so you can try this method too. Even if you have long eyelashes, applying mascara can make your eyes look stunning.

Should you wear mascara?

Yes, you should wear mascara if you like to have an attractive look for your eyes and make them look bigger. In my honest opinion, applying mascara can enhance your appearance and make you feel confident to socialize with others. Therefore, I highly recommend that you pick the right product in order to keep your eyelashes healthy and avoid side effects.

Is it OK to wear eyeliner without mascara?

Yes, I believe it is OK to wear eyeliner without mascara. I usually prefer to be flexible when it comes to applying makeup like mascara. After all, it completely depends on your style and what appearance you are looking for. You can apply eyeliner only if you want to create an edgy look. Wearing only eyeliner is also popular and you can do it easily. 

What is a good winter-proof mascara?

Nowadays, most top-of-the-line makeup brands have produced their own winter-proof mascara. However, I believe Lancome Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara is a good choice if you live in a cold area. As I’ve said before, volumizing mascaras are ideal for a colder climate.If the temperature in your area is in single digit, I believe mascaras like Black Radiance Fiber and Maybellin Sky High would aslo work.  Loreal’s waterproof mascaras are also an excellent alternative. 


In conclusion, the cold air is the main reason your mascara gets wet in the winter. The low temperature will dry your eyes quickly, making them teary and creating smudges around the eyelashes. To avoid this condition, I recommend applying a specific mascara product that can handle cold weather. I also strongly suggest that you choose based on the characteristic of your eyelashes and the style that you are aiming for!

Now that you know the answer to ‘why does my mascara get wet in the cold?’, you will probably want to learn more about makeup. If so, please stay tuned to my website! There will be more fun tips to come!

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