The Best Makeup Removers - Reader Review

Makeup removal: necessary evil or pampering ritual? When it comes to cleansing, Beauticater Julie Wakely - who is also a former beauty therapist and blogger at Me, My Best and I - found herself torn. Amidst the internal dispute of 'to love' or 'to loathe' she tried and tested the best cleansers to finally land on an answer. Suffice to say, between the luxurious creamy lathers, the hard-working wipes and the enriching oils, she had the cleanest skin and clearest verdict: makeup removers can be coveted, not put on the chore-list.



Best for: Cutting through heavy makeup removal

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover

“Not one for fragranced products near my eyes, I make an allowance for the delicately girly & sweet floral scent of this remover. It is a subtle homage to the organic floral water ingredients of rose and cornflower – which are soothing and as easy on my delicate eyes as they are to my nose. After a quick shake of the double layer formula I work the pad gently through my eye makeup with ease; this was with minimal messiness of dissolving pigments and probably the least trace of oily residue from the bunch.” 


Best for: Sensitive eyes

Lancôme Bi-Facil Instant Cleanser 

“Another bi-phasic formula that needs a good shake before you are good to go. This feels instantly soothing on my hot, tired eyes and does a great job at breaking down layers of mascara quickly and effectively. The pale blue lotion is faintly scented and makes me think of honeysuckle and sweet rose. I can report that this remover made it easy to remove the stain of a deep red long-wear lipstick, too. While the bottle says ‘non-oily’ I still find this leaves a very light residue but not adversely so.”


“The more budget-friendly option, this remover is also double layered and holds its own against my heavy make-up. It probably takes a little more elbow work that the others but, with some pressure of the makeup remover pad, it is very effective and quick, ensuing in a clean eye and lip. If scent is a deal-breaker for you than this formula is akin to water in the that department and also feels really fresh and light to use.”


Best for: Long-stay makeup removal

Bobbi Brown Instant Long Wear Makeup Remover

“The oiliest formula on application, even after a good shake to mix the two layers, the payoff is in the formula’s hard-hitting and fast break down of makeup pigments. Interestingly, the oily sensation seems to evaporate during use and my skin absorbed the remnants with ease. I’d prefer the dispenser hole to to be smaller as I find myself clumsily wasting too much liquid by over-saturating my cotton pad. So, dispense with caution and more delicately than I did.”


Best for: Making a little go a long way

SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil

“One tiny pump of this unscented oil into the palm of your hand is all you need. I worked the oil in a massage-fashion over my whole face, including my eyes, dissolving all traces of make-up, grease and grime as I went. The texture of this clear oil transforms when I worked a handful of warm water over my efforts – it thickens and gets a little sticky before liquefying onto a thin white emulsion. A few more handfuls of water, a warm flannel to dab and the oil rinses clean away, leaving nothing but a perfectly soft, comfortable and sparkling clean face behind. I feel one step closer to a Cate-like complexion.”


“A no-fuss cleansing oil that is thin, clear and unscented, I found Clinique’s offering so easy to mobilise all around the face. After rendering it to a milky fluid with a handful of water it rinses with ease, cleaning away the day’s build-up. It was such a simple, effective way to clean my face, including the eyes, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a laborious three-step cleansing routine again.”


Best for: The bargain buyer

WOTNOT Facial Wipes 

“The 100% natural fibres make these the softest wipe I’ve ever used. Nothing scratchy, scented or astringent about WOTNOT’s natural and eco-conscious product – harshness on my sensitive skin is what often makes me shy away from using wipes. The cloth is generously soaked in a pampering cocktail of some of my most favourite skin ingredients; certified organic sweet almond, rosehip oils and aloe vera. I take comfort in the fact these wipes feel kind and nourishing yet still do a sterling job at sweeping away my eye makeup without any of that scratchiness I loathe near me eyes.”


Best for: A skin-balancing clean

Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Wipes

“A micellar cleansing enthusiast from way back, I rejoice that Garnier have had the smarts to take the sedulous micelle molecule to the next level in wipe form. These generously soaked wipes power through my day’s face with the upmost ease and it really feels like they are lifting the dirt, as opposed to just moving it around. This is made evident in the grime the cloth seems to have absorbed. My face is left feeling the cleanest it has ever felt after using a wipe – cleansed, balanced and fresh.”


Best for: A double-duty approach

ModelCo Double Sided Facial Wipes