When the eyes water, the tear glands secrete a liquid that serves to protect them from irritants. Your eyes may also fill with tears as a result of intense emotion or physical pain. If you learn to make your eyes water, this skill can come in handy when you need to act or want to activate your crocodile tears. If you need your eyes to water (regardless of the reason), you do not need to burst into tears, you just need to inform yourself a little to learn the proper techniques.
Method 1 of 3: Use tear agents
Step 1. Chop up some onions
These vegetables absorb sulfur from the soil as they grow. Chopping them breaks open cells in the onions and releases the enzymes that mix with the sulfur. This combination generates an invisible gas that produces a burning sensation in the eyes, which causes the urge to cry.
- Chop up some onions and stay with them for a while. Some people are more sensitive than others. You may only need to chop the onions a bit, or you may need to spend more time with them.
- Cooked onions do not produce this effect.
- Chilled onions won't make you cry. They also won't make you cry if you spray them with water when cutting them.
- Sweet onions (such as Vidalia's) often don't produce as intense a tearful effect on the eyes as white or yellow ones.
Step 2. Smear some toothpaste under the eyes
You should be careful when doing this, as applying toothpaste directly to the eyes will sting. However, if you rub a small amount on your lower eyelid, your eyes will try to rinse the toothpaste with tears.
- You may have to wait a few moments before your eyes react to the toothpaste application.
- The most common toothpastes should work to make your eyes water, as most contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a known eye irritant.
- All natural toothpastes, or those that do not contain this ingredient, may not work as well to make your eyes water.
Step 3. Cause a tear reaction with peppermint oil
Products that contain peppermint can cause a stinging sensation in your eyes, causing them to water. Take a small amount and apply it under one eye for a watery effect.
- You must try the peppermint oil that you use. Some people are more sensitive to this product than others.
- Avoid getting the oil in your eyes, as it can cause stinging, redness, and discomfort.
Step 4. Apply a peppermint cream or wax
Menthol (or peppermint-containing compounds) is widely available in drug stores and is generally inexpensive. You can smear a small amount of peppermint cream under your eyes to cause them to water.
You can also use menthol stick, which is very similar to a lip balm with menthol and camphor that works to make the eyes water. Simply smear a small amount under each eye to feel its effects
Step 5. Use eucalyptus
Compounds in eucalyptus have a toning effect on the body, dilating the sinuses, cooling the lungs, and even unloading the eyes. A common trick that some actors use to make their eyes water at the beginning of a scene involves other actors gently blowing eucalyptus vapor onto their face. This could work for you too.
Step 6. Use eye drops or a saline solution
Although this technique will not make your eyes water too much, it is a very effective measure in the short term. If you can keep the movement out of the view of onlookers to apply eye drops or saline to your eyes, the excess solution will make it look like you're crying when you turn around.
- Saline solution is a liquid formulated to simulate tears that moisten the eyes, making this a safe and practical method of making eyes watery.
- You can find saline and eye drops at most drug stores.
Method 2 of 3: Use physical media
Step 1. Gently rub the area under the eyes
Make sure you don't overdo this technique. Your eyes are made up of many delicate parts, and you can hurt them if you rub them very hard, especially if you rub them for a long time.
- Be aware that this trick generates a chain reaction that can sting you and create the appearance of bloodshot eyes.
- You should only carry out this procedure with clean hands to avoid inserting germs into your eyes.
Step 2. Dry your eyes with a fixed gaze
The natural response of the eyes to dryness is to water to rehydrate and protect itself. By keeping your eyes open for a long period of time, they will dry out and start to get moist. You can even play with a friend and host a staring contest.
Step 3. Hold your upper and lower lids by the lashes and pull them up
The stinging sensation you get from pulling your lashes should make your eyes water a lot. Although you shouldn't intentionally remove your lashes, don't worry if this happens. Contrary to popular belief, eyelashes grow back.
Step 4. Yawn
When yawning, the tension in the muscles of the eyes and face causes the tear ducts to close in the process. This procedure generates a slight increase in fluid (tears) once you are done and the muscles relax. If you cause a yawn, your eyes will likely start to water.
Step 5. Stare at the lights
Although you shouldn't look at bright lights for long periods of time, as this can be detrimental to your vision, some actors have used this technique to make their eyes water. A famous example is actor Henry Fonda, who often stared at bright lights when he needed to cry on stage.
Method 3 of 3: Employing Psychological Techniques
Step 1. Imagine things that you find sad
If the goal is to make your eyes water, you may need to explore your imagination. Usually there is at least one problem (such as animal abuse or poor children) that you can't help but be saddened by. You can use it to make yourself cry. Other ideas that could lead to tears also include the following:
- the famine
- The diseases
Step 2. Use muscle memory to trigger watery eyes
Try to assume the position you were in at a time when your eyes were watery for some reason. Then try to mimic the movements, breathing rate, and noises that you made at the time. Although this may seem a bit uncomfortable, with practice you will be able to train your body's muscle memory to activate the tear glands and make your eyes water.
Step 3. Play a character with watery eyes
You don't have to be an actor to use some acting tricks. By identifying with a character (be it an imaginary one or a live-action one you've seen on television), you can become sentimental.
Try to choose the situation of a character with whom you can relate. Being close to certain characters makes it easier for you to adopt their mentality and, from there, you can start a tearful reaction
Step 4. Find a powerful phrase
There are some phrases that have the ability to break you down. Professional actors and theater teachers refer to these as "powerful phrases" due to the fact that they can be used to intensify emotions. Just repeat a phrase until you feel your eyes start to water. Some examples of powerful phrases include the following:
- "I'm not good enough."
- "No one will ever love me."
- "I can't do anything right."
- "Why is everyone abandoning me?"
Step 5. Think sad music
Music can evoke a powerful emotional response within you, both negatively and positively. Think of a song that is especially depressing for you and keep it in your head. You may also want to think about things that are sad or depressing to you as the music plays in your head.
- To help you feel like crying, you can use headphones and a music player to listen to the sad song before you have to cry.
- When it's time to cry, take off your headphones and continue playing the song in your head until your tear glands begin to activate.
- You should avoid the use of sand or dust, since both elements can cause damage to the eyes. Never use abrasive, sharp or pointed devices or items.
- Avoid doing it too often. You never know when your eyes can become infected.
- Avoid directly irritating your eyes, as you could damage their delicate parts.