Types of Makeup Removers

Hey, girls!

I’m sure many of you would agree with me when I say that the worst part of makeup is taking it off. There are so many different kinds of products that claim to be the all-in-one miracle that will magically get everything off your face with just one swipe, but the truth is you have to experiment with lots of different brands and combinations until you find something that works for you. I’m going to talk about the different kinds of makeup removers out there and which ones have worked best for me so far.


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Cleansing wipes are super popular because they’re easy to use—you just wipe it over your face and your makeup is off. This was the first kind of product I used to get my makeup off when I started wearing makeup. I never liked the idea of taking off my makeup and washing my face at the same time, so this was the perfect start for me as I started to figure out what would work best for me and the kinds of products I use on a daily basis.

I happened to have a pack of the Neutrogena wipes on me, so that’s why this particular brand and type is pictured, but I’ve used many different brands of these face wipes (I’ve also heard of some girls using baby wipes, too). Some are more dry or wet than others, some are targeted toward a certain kind of skin type, etc. But the overall trend to me is that these aren’t quite enough when it comes to getting my eye makeup off. They’re handy for late nights, though, when all you want to do is just get to bed and deal with the rest in the morning!

Cleansing creams/lotions

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The only cleansing lotion I’ve used is this Maybelline cleansing lotion, pictured above. I came across it at my grocery store’s pharmacy when I saw they had $1 off all Maybelline products. This product advertises a 3-in-1 action: it removes makeup, deeply cleanses, and moisturizes. It’s hard to say if it does the first two because it’s impossible to see the product working. It goes on as a white lotion and becomes clear when you rub it in, so I can’t confidently say if it does much. I don’t think it’s the best option for eye makeup, so I focus this on the rest of my face. It definitely moisturizes the skin, and I’ve used it to remove swatches and my skin feels really soft after using it. I think this product is supposed to be a one-step cleansing and moisturizing product, but I wouldn’t use it that way unless I didn’t have anything else with me.

(Ignore the brushes in the photo – this is the only photo I have of the cold cream!) Cream cleansers feel nice on the skin because they’re more substantial than wipes and can get into spots that are tough to reach. I feel that creams and lotions give you a little more time to ease eye makeup off. However, I did have a couple of problems with this particular cream cleanser. The scent is very strong, and I don’t like using perfumes on my sensitive skin. I also felt like I spent a lot of time trying to rub my mascara off, when there are more effective methods out there.

Overall, I think lotion and cream cleansers work well when combined with other products, and are perfect for getting heavy foundation, concealer, and brow makeup off.

Cleansing waters

Micellar waters seem to be the most popular type of cleansing waters, however it’s difficult finding these in the US. Bioderma isn’t sold in stores out here, and I’m waiting for that L’Oreal Micellar water to make its way over as well. In the meantime, I’ve had to improvise!

You may remember my review of the Boots cleansing water. This wasn’t a great product for me personally because my skin is very sensitive and I thought the fragrance was too strong. I could only use it in quick swipes on a cotton pad; whenever I tried to rub it in with my fingers, my face would turn red and sting.

Once I get my hands on some other cleansing waters like L’Oreal or Caudalie, I’ll be able to talk more about these. I just didn’t want to leave them out because a lot of bloggers talk about them, and I know a lot of girls love these.

Eye makeup removers

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I’ve only used one solid eye makeup remover, so I’ll talk specifically about my experiences with it. Last time The Balm was on Hautelook, I decided to try their eye makeup remover. The product is a creamy waxy substance that “breaks up” your eye makeup and makes it easy to wipe off. The directions say to rub it over your closed eye for thirty seconds before wiping it away with a tissue. It really feels soft on the skin and there are no fragrance or harsh chemicals, so I feel completely comfortable using it in places that can easily get neglected, like between lashes and in the waterline. But be warned: this product is a bit messy! You’ll end up with raccoon eyes before you wipe it away (same goes for cleansing lotions and creams too, now that I think about it).

Liquid eye makeup removers are more common. There are some that come in a bottle and don’t need to be shaken or anything to use them, but oil-based versions will have two layers that need to be mixed together really well before using it. Oil-based removers work best on waterproof or long-wearing makeup like eyeliner and mascara. My all-time favorite of these is Clinique’s “Take the Day Off” remover, which can also be used all over the face (I especially like it for lipstick, too). I’ve also used Lancome’s eye makeup remover, and I really like that as well.

Thanks for reading this week’s Spotlight! How do YOU get your makeup off? Do you choose one product or mix and match?

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