Gone are the days when Lancôme’s Bifacil was the only makeup remover you had in your bathroom. Remember gazing at the swirly blue bottle with tiny bubbles and pouring just a little on a cleansing pad to smooth all over your eyes? And, let’s be honest, Lancôme’s Bifacil is one of the finest of its kind, with a bi-phase formula containing a lipid and a water stage to gently clean the eye completely of makeup. The idea behind Lancôme’s cult following was, of course, that Bifacil was extremely effective, leaving the eyes refreshed and without any greasy residue (and we know how stubborn eye makeup can be).
But this is 2013, after all, and makeup removers have come a long, long way. Here are some of our current favorites, and why.
Makeup Removing Towelettes
Makeup artist Christina Farrell is a big fan of towelettes. “For busy moms, and the working woman who doesn’t have time to wash off their makeup every night, I suggest keeping makeup remover wipes on your nightstand,” she says. “These wipes are super hydrating, and remove every last trace of makeup.”
Photo Credit: burtsbees.com
For your face, a good sensitive skin friendly makeup removing wipes is Burt’s Bees Sensitive Cleaning Towelettes with Cotton Extract ($6), which contain cotton extract to soften your skin, rice extract to moisturize, and aloe to soothe. It’s also excellent at giving your face a burst of moisture.
Photo Credit: simpleskincare.com
For those with highly sensitive skin, Simple Eye Make Up Remover Pads contain cleansers and vitamins, which work to remove even the stubbornest makeup (think several layers of Covergirl’s Lashblast ClumpCrusher Mascara, and you get an idea). Vitamins include Provitamin B4 and Vitamin E, so you know it’s good for your skin.
Photo Credit: ponds.com
If your skin is thirsty and needs an extra dose of moisture, Ponds’ new Luminous Cleansing Towelettes ($4.69) are just the thing. Kaolin clay draws out impurities while glycerin truly moisturizes the skin—the Evening Soothe version also contains chamomile to soothe skin. I haven’t seen makeup towelettes this luxurious in a long time, and at a loveable price. If you don’t like the towelette option, try the Creamy Cleanser version—both take off makeup beautifully and never strip your face.
Cleansing oils are absolutely vital to your makeup cabinet especially if you have thirsty skin that doesn’t settle for towelettes or toners. Cleansing oils dissolve makeup without stripping the skin, and are generally a great idea in the winter. Our hands down favorite is Patyka Remarquable Cleansing Oil ($75), which is a miracle worker when it comes to gently removing makeup while soothing and moisturizing your skin. This oil is good for all skin types, and for all types of makeup, even the stubbornest mascara. Best of all, it leaves your skin soft as a baby’s behind, and doesn’t cause any breakouts. An A-plus!
Another makeup removing option we love is cleansing milk, and Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate ($28) is an excellent performer, especially in the harsher winter months. It’s considered a 24 Hour Miracle Cream for its ability to perform so many tasks: cleansing, removing makeup (even eye makeup and mascara); and you can also use it as an after-shave cream to calm and soothe skin. It respects the skin’s PH and increases hydration. If you have more mature skin, you will want an oil or cleansing milk rather than a gel cleanser.
Liquid Makeup Remover
Like Lancôme’s Bifacil, there are several liquid makeup removers that do an excellent job, and many veer towards the specialized these days. We love the consistency of H2O Plus Aqualibrium Dual-Action Eye Makeup Remover ($19), which is oil free an features a Sea Mineral Complex that enriches the skin. The Complex ensures that vitamins are absorbed at the cellular level in the delicate under eye area. It also comes in a handy towelette version.
MAC Cosmetics also makes an excellent Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover ($20) that does the trick, and if you want one for the face, we suggest the Cleanse Off Oil ($28), which no makeup bag should be without.