I am a fanatic about washing my face every night in order to remove my make-up before going to bed. However, when I just use my Purity Made Simple, I find that remnants of my eyeliner or mascara just won't wash away.
So, in order to clear things up, I thought I would test out some make-up removers to see which is the most effective. I applied eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara with an extremely heavy hand and then used a make-up removing product on each eye. My battles were "head to head," if you pardon my very unfunny pun. Then, to really test their effectiveness, I also tried each product as a lipstick remover, having smeared my lips with the thickest coat of ultra red lipstick I could stand. (Yes, I did resemble that horrid woman from the Drew Carey Show, thank you very much!)
Here are my findings.
Round 1: Battle of the kitchen products, aka Milk vs. Olive Oil
- Milk: Yes, milk. I know this sounds really strange, but I read somewhere that milk is a good make-up remover. I had my doubts, but thought I would test it out anyway. PROS: it's cheap and almost always in the fridge. It was surprising effective at removing eyeshadow, and even removed mascara and liner with just a little effort. CONS: Wow--applying milk to your skin is a cold task. I never even thought about the temperature problem until I was wiping a milk-soaked cotton pad over my unsuspecting lid. Milk only managed to slide the lipstick from my lips to my chin, but I was shocked at how well it tackled eye make-up.
- Olive Oil: There are some who swear by olive oil. They rave about the way it makes their skin glow and at how moisturizing and good at removing make-up it is. PROS: It did remove my eyeshadow and smudged around my liner and mascara. It did a fair job on my lips, though I did notice a good amount of smearing instead of actual removing. CONS: To me, olive oil seemed really heavy and messy on my skin. Even though I only used a small amount of olive oil on my cotton pad, I still felt like I was using too much. Everything on my face seemed covered in oil. And, while the scent of olive oil is extremely pleasant in the culinary world, I found it almost revolting when rubbed over my face.
- ROUND 1 GOES TO: MILK! Shocking, but true. When you factor in effectiveness, price, and the overall feel of the product, I would go for the milk every time.
While both of these products are very similar and they both seem like good candidates for the job of removing make-up, they are very different.
- Baby Oil: It's cheap (about $2.50 for 20 oz) and has a zillion uses (hell, it's like the liquid version of Vaseline). PROS: It effectively removed all my make-up, leaving only a few traces of mascara and liner behind. It removed my lipstick with minimal smearing, though (oddly enough) it left my lips feeling parched. CONS: I hate the way baby oil smells. It has that diapery-powdery-baby smell that I strongly dislike. The bottle of baby oil I used was very large and hard to pour without spilling. Because it's oil based, it made my skin feel overly coated and even seemed to goop up my eye a bit.
- Mineral Oil: Again, very cheap ($1.75 for 16 oz) and readily available. PROS: Mineral oil did a nice job of removing eye make-up. Mascara and liner seemed to be no match for it, and it even removed my lipstick without smearing. As an added bonus, it left my lips feeling conditioned. Mineral oil has a slightly medicinal, witch hazel smell which I quite liked. CONS: Again, since this is an oil based product, it does make the skin a little too slick and required extra attention when washing my face.
- ROUND 2 GOES TO: MINERAL OIL. It seemed lighter than baby oil and didn't have that awful smell.
Since almost every cosmetics company has its own eye make-up remover on the market, I wanted to see if a higher price meant a superior product. For this I chose a drug store brand and a department store brand.
- Maybelline: I used their Expert Eyes Eye Make-up Remover. This is very affordable, costing approximately $4.00 for 2.3 oz. and available at places like Target, Ulta, etc. PROS: This product is almost fragrance free, which is nice. It did an excellent job of ploughing through layers of make-up, and even managed to get off the toughest liner and mascara. Since it's not oil based, it left my skin feeling clean, not greasy. CONS: None, except the packaging is a bit generic.
- Clinique: I was lucky enough to have a sample of their Rinse-off Eye Make-up Remover Solvent, which costs $15 for 4.2 oz. PROS: Just like the Maybelline remover, this was extremely effective and easy to use. Again, because of it's oil-free nature, it was easy to rinse off with just a little water and cleaning product. CONS: The price. $15 for 4.2 oz!! That's pretty steep--again, I am so glad I had a free sample to work with!
- ROUND 3 GOES TO: MAYBELLINE. Both products are fantastic, but I'm giving Maybelline the edge because it costs a lot less than the Clinique product.
While all three of these products were effective at removing make-up, I have to give the title of Eye Make-up Remover Champion to Maybelline. Milk is a bit odd, but does have its place. Mineral oil is a budget-friendly workhorse that is worth having around, but Maybelline is by far a superior eye make-up remover.
Final Thoughts (oh god, does Jerry Springer say that?)
The most important thing to take away from all my testing is that it is preferable to use a dedicated make-up remover instead of a product intended for consumption (milk) or constipation relief (mineral oil). Unlike nail polish remover, I don't think price is a huge indicator of quality. As long as you are washing your face and taking time to remove your make-up, you'll be on the right track.