11 best makeup removers reviewed
From micellar waters to facial wipes and fibre cloths
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / July 01 2020
Cleansers are such a vital product in your skin care routine, but sometimes they need a helping hand to get rid of all that makeup first. By using a makeup remover before your cleanser, you’re able to get rid of that top layer of makeup residue to allow your cleanser to do the job it actually came to do - which is rid your complexion of excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells. Together your cleanser and makeup remover are the perfect grime-fighting duo for clear, healthy skin.
When it comes to makeup removers, you have a few options to choose from. You can use a classic liquid cleansing formula (gel, oil or cream), facial wipes (keep them in your handbag or bedside for speedy removal when you are on the go...or super tired), micellar water (for a rinse-free option) and nowadays, there are even cloths and pads that wipe away makeup with just the help of water (very eco-friendly and budget-friendly).
If you’re on the hunt for the best makeup remover for you, read these reviews for 11 of our favourites.
#11 / L’Oréal Paris Eye Make-Up Remover for Eyes and Lips
This makeup-removing lotion dissolves makeup, then with a quick wipe of a cotton pad, all traces are gone. Gentle enough to use on your eyes and lips, even stubborn waterproof, smudge-proof formulas will melt in its wake.
The review: “This gentle and non-irritating eye makeup remover is perfect for me to use every day. It removes my mascara and eyeliner and doesn't pull or irritate my skin. It also removes all traces of any long-wearing lipsticks and lip balms without flaking or drying my lips. This is the product I depend on after a day of full makeup and I just want a clean face.” Sarah, SUPERcrew member
#10 / Neutrogena Hydro Boost Wipes
If you love the handiness of wipes - you know, for late night makeup removals when you just want to get into bed, stat - then these fit the bill, and then some. Our Review Crew® awarded these makeup wipes four stars, raving about how all it took was one wipe to remove a full face of makeup and how gentle and soft the wipes’ formula felt on their skin, leaving their complexion looking clean and glowing.
The review: “I love these wipes! They are so hydrating and removed all my makeup without going dry. They also absorbed quickly enough for me to continue my skin care routine promptly. The fragrance wasn’t overwhelming and I liked the fact that one wipe would easily remove a face of makeup. I don’t have time for complicated routines with 3 kids under 5 so this was a perfect fit for me!” Merrill, Beauty Crew member
#9 / Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover
Waterproof makeup is not easy to remove, especially when it comes to mascaras. But this makeup remover doesn’t just do a great job, it leaves your lashes feeling conditioned and better than before. It’s not just eye makeup that this formula removes; you can use it all over your face.
The review: “This oil-based solution can easily and effectively remove waterproof makeup without stripping skin of moisture, which is why I’ve gone through at least four jumbo-sized bottles of the stuff in my lifetime.” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Editor
#8 / Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover
A non-irritating and non-stinging lotion, this makeup remover gets rid of all traces of mascara, eye makeup and lip products, as well as your foundation. No rubbing required. We also love that it’s free from parabens, phthalates and fragrance.
The review: “Removes tough waterproof eye makeup easily with 2 wipes without pulling and rubbing my eye areas. Also, the remover doesn't irritate my eyes at all.” Helen, SUPERcrew member
#7 / NIVEA Daily Essentials 3-in-1 Waterproof Make-Up Remover
This waterproof makeup remover is so gentle, even on sensitive eyes (thanks to chamomile extract and provitamin B5), as well as being conditioning on the surrounding eye area. There’s no need for rubbing as it easily wipes away all makeup, including waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipsticks. Also good to know: the formula is dermatologically and ophthalmologically approved.
The review: “This milky makeup remover feels so soft on skin and it works extremely well to remove even the hardest-wearing makeup formulas. I am SO impressed with how effectively it removes budge-proof lipsticks: With a single sweep all lip colour completely wipes away, leaving my lips clean and feeling conditioned. Same goes for my mascara.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
#6 / Santé by Enjo Makeup Remover Set
These genius reusable makeup removing discs clear your complexion of makeup without the need for an actual makeup removing formula. Just add water. It’s quick, easy and works a treat.
The review: “Truthfully I was incredibly skeptical about these little micro-fibre discs and how well they’d work to remove a full face of makeup with just water. After a few swipes it was clear how effective the wet disc was at removing my foundation, bronzer, highlighter and even red lipstick. I did find mascara a bit trickier, but a bit of coconut oil on the pad was enough to dislodge and remove it. Besides the fact that I love how gentle these are to use, I like that there’s no dry or tingling feeling after use, and that I can wash and re-use them.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#5 / Lancôme Bi Facil
No matter what kind of eye makeup you have on, this makeup remover is up for the job. The formula has an oil phase and water phase to freshen and condition skin while it works hard to remove all traces of makeup from the eyes, including waterproof mascara. It doesn’t leave behind any oily residue and our members who have sensitive eyes found that it’s non-irritating, too.
The review: “The best eye makeup remover is the Lancôme Bi Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser Sensitive Eyes. A little shake just before use to mix the two formulas into an emulsion and it's ready to be used. I especially love to use this just before I get into the shower at night because I can then use my regular face cleanser for the rest of my face, knowing that my eyes are already cleansed thoroughly (and gently!). It has a lovely faint scent of soft roses too!” Vanessa, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water
Micellar water is the lazy girl’s way to remove your makeup every day of the week, and this one is the perfect time-saver and skin cleanser in one. It’s powerful yet gentle, even for sensitive skin. SUPERcrew member Shannon says this product was a game-changer for her sensitive skin: “Most makeup removers irritate my eyes, leaving them red and puffy, but this product removes my makeup well without any irritation”.
The review: “My favourite makeup remover would have to be Garnier Micellar Water All in 1 for Normal to Sensitive Skin mostly because it removes that last bit of mascara residue that creates panda eyes the next morning and all without irritating my eyes.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
#3 / Dermalogica Precleanse
This oil-to-emulsion cleanser focuses on removing makeup and excess oil to clear the path for your cleanser. It contains olive oil and kukui oil to dissolve even the most stubborn of makeup (that would be your waterproof mascara and long-lasting formulas) while rice bran and vitamin E oils leave your skin feeling lovely and conditioned. It’s the perfect first step for any double cleansing fan. If you’re not into oil formulas, the Precleanse also comes in a balm.
The review: “Dermalogica Precleanse is my favourite cleanser for removing makeup, as it quickly dissolves heavy, long-wearing makeup without irritating my skin or eye area. Although it's a bit pricey, I find a little goes a long way and it contains beautiful nourishing oils that leave my skin soft without an oily residue.” Dina, SUPERcrew member
#2 / Face Halo
Another formula-free way to remove your makeup, these cloth discs get down deep into your pores to remove and trap makeup in its fibres, leaving you with practically-spotless skin. We love how eco-friendly they are, too.
The review: “I have been using these for a year now and have not looked back. I wanted [something] easy and this Face Halo pad is fantastic. I can take my whole make-up and eye make-up off so easily and with not a great deal of effort. One pad cleans my whole face by just using warm water. The pads are soft on your skin, removes all traces of make-up and is easy to clean straight away.” Amanda, SUPERcrew member
#1 / Bioderma Sensibio H20
THE first micellar water - which was a cult favourite long before micellar water even took off-, Bioderma continues to be a French pharmacy top-seller to this day. A bottle of it is sold every six seconds around the world. The oil-free makeup remover is beloved by celebs like Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Gwyneth Paltrow, who professed her love for it on her website Goop: “The BEST makeup remover. It’s unscented, doesn’t dry your skin or sting, and gets rid of all your makeup with a few swipes. You’re left with soft, clean skin.”
The review: “My favourite makeup remover is Bioderma Micellar Water. It may be slightly more expensive than the many others, but it works THE best. It refreshes and cleans the dirt and grime off my face so easily. My eyes can be very sensitive, so I need a gentle but effective eye makeup remover and Bioderma Micellar Water is the best. It is so gentle on my eyes that it really feels like I am using water! Definitely worth the price!” Sarrah, SUPERcrew member
If you want to try a DIY makeup remover, try Olivia Palermo’s beauty hack.
What's your favourite way to remove makeup? Do you have a makeup remover you love? Please share with us below.
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.