Never drink more than one color of Gatorade before watching a Tear Jerker
: You weren't even wearing mascara. How is it running? JesuOtaku
: (confused) I don't know!
When someone is wearing heavy makeup they run the risk that it get smudged, this is especially true if they start crying or otherwise get their face wet. Their makeup will start to run down their face in heavy, inky and colorful rivers; mascara especially. The black lines streaming down the face are very striking visually and make a very visible sign of sadness. A Sub-Trope
of Inelegant Blubbering
Some characters may purposely invoke this effect
by applying makeup in this way as a sign of continued grief, kind of like wearing black to a funeral. Be very
careful, because these characters are generally carrying their sadness with an equal yearning for bitter revenge.
May sometimes overlap with Cosmetic Catastrophe
, especially if it happens during a production. May wind up being the result of Guyliner
if it happens to a male character. See also Make Up Is Evil
and Excessive Evil Eyeshadow
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Anime and Manga
- Alice in Batwoman has this happen to her twice, in both cases showing one of the drawbacks of such elaborate makeup.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Dylan Moran describes gin as 'mascara thinner' for 40-something women, in his show 'Monster'.
- This is how Mimi made fun of Peach before one of their fights during Super Paper Mario: "Better not cry, or all your pretty makeup will run!"
- Mass Effect 2 has this happen when you romance Jack/Subject Zero. During her romance scene she will begin to cry and her black eye makeup will run down her face which you can fully enjoy here.
- In Batman: Arkham Asylum Dr. Young's mascara is ruined when she starts crying after she's nearly killed by Zsasz.
- Resonance of Fate: Leanne exploits this trope, mentioning at one point that she wears makeup as a reminder to stay strong because if she cries, she'll ruin the makeup.
- This was something of a trademark of Tammy Faye Bakker, wife of televangelist Jim Bakker. There is a story that she was once asked why she wore such heavy make-up, since it invariably ran when she (invariably) wept; she is supposed to have replied that it was so that people could see her cry.