The Scientist: YouBeauty Cosmetic Chemistry Expert, Ni’Kita Wilson
This is a pretty natural process, and it makes sense, though realistically, a decent mascara formulation should hold onto the lash until you’re ready to clean it off. A waterproof mascara, for instance, has film formers that stick to your lashes, with ingredients that are meant to prevent sweat from running the color down your face. If you’re fond of volumizing types, however, you might notice that raccoon look a little more, because these mascaras are heavy and weigh the lashes down.
Picture your top lashes. They curl up a bit, must mostly stick outward. Now picture your lower lashes. They curl down, toward your under-eye area. And they’re quite close to the skin there. As gravity pulls down on the lashes, it also pulls down on the makeup that’s coating them, which drags the pigment down onto your lower lid, where it contrasts against your skin, making the migration pretty noticeable. Compare that to what’s going on with your upper lashes. Gravity is just as strong up there, but it’s dragging the mascara away from the skin on your lid—and landing it either along the lash line, where it might look like liner, or right into your eye.
Your best bet for prevention is probably to use less product. Stick to one or two coats max. This way, your lashes will be weighed down less. Plus, mascara is cohesive at one or two coats, meaning it sticks well to the lashes, but the more you layer, the less the mascara can hold itself in place. If that doesn’t help—or if you just can’t stop yourself from building for a dramatic effect—try a good waterproof formula and see if that does the trick. Otherwise, try to enjoy the perfectly imperfect smokey-smudgy look and rock it like you meant it.