Makeup Remover 101: Find Your Perfect Formula

How to Pick a Makeup Remover

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Whether you’re the kind of gal that sports a smokey-eye on the regular, or a makeup minimalist, one thing remains the same for all of us. We all should be going to bed with a fresh, clean face. When it comes to bidding your lipstick and eyeliner adieu at the end of the day, there are quite a few options on the market for getting the job done. However, not all makeup removers are created equal, and some will inevitably be doomed to failure if used in the wrong situation. Need help figuring out what kind of formula belongs in your cabinet? Check out these four makeup removers and when I like to use them.

When I’m Rocking a Super Glam Eye Look

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($15)

This stuff has been my holy grail of makeup removers for the past 7 or 8 years. It breaks down the toughest waterproof and heavy black makeup with ease without being irritating or drying to the eyes. While it is an oil-free formula, I find that it does leave a bit of a greasy feeling residue behind. My recommendation is to use this before washing your face to remove the majority of your makeup, then cleansing to remove any traces of anything left behind.

When I’m Rocking a Bold Lip and Winged Liner

LUSH Ultrabland Facial Cleanser ($16.95 for 1.5 oz)

If removing red lip color has ever been a nightmare for you, this cleansing cream may be your new best friend. Its rich blend of plant oils and beeswax will break down the brightest of pigments, letting you swipe them away with ease. While it’s an incredibly gentle and moisturizing way to remove makeup, the feel may take some getting used to, as it does leave your skin feeling a bit greasy. If using it as an all-over facial cleanser weirds you out, you can always stick to using this on targeted areas prior to your normal cleanser. Sidenote, if you’re a blogger, do yourself a favor and buy a pot of this stuff. When I’ve swatched an armful of red lipsticks or glittery eyeshadows, Ultrabland is a serious lifesaver!

When I’m Keeping it Everyday Easy

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover ($15.50)

Day to day I keep my eye makeup pretty simple. Maybe some soft neutral shadow, a few swipes of mascara, and a taupe or brown eyeliner. This watery formula does a very decent job of breaking it all down prior to washing my face. Personally I’m a little dubious of the “gentle” claim because I actually find the formula to be ever so slightly drying to the eyes, which may be irritating to some. There is also a waterproof version of this formula that I’m thinking I might like to try next and could very well be a more versatile alternative.

When I’m Keeping it Natural

Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water ($28)

The more I try Caudalie products, the more I fall in love with them. This cleansing water is so lovely and gentle, and is not in the least bit irritating to the skin. That being said, I really don’t think this particular product stands a chance against heavy duty or waterproof makeup. Considering this is pricey stuff, I’d rather not use a quarter of a bottle trying to get my mascara off. On days when I’m keeping my makeup minimal this works wonderfully. It can also come in particularly handy for heavy makeup days by removing any residual eyeliner or mascara post-cleansing. Cause let’s face it, we’ve all had those moments where you swear you’ve washed your face to a pristine state, but you look in the mirror and there’s STILL BLACK UNDER YOUR EYES. Seriously, where does it keep coming from?!