PSA: These Are The Best Makeup Removers We’ve Ever Tried

When it comes to taking your face off, you want a formula that works hard with minimal faff, right? No one wants a soggy dressing gown sleeve.

If it requires rubbing, scrubbing or excessive tugging you can count us out! Our eyelids are thin and delicate facial canopies, prone to damage. We want to keep them happy and perky for as long as possible, thank you please. Protect that eyeball awning at all costs.

Find out which ones will make your stubborn mascara and contour quake in their boots.

Balms, oils, cult jellies and fragrance-free micellar water – we’ve tried and tested a whole bunch of them to find out which ones will make your stubborn mascara and contour quake in their boots.

Check out the makeup removers that made the cut!

Lareese’s Favourites

I’ve got insanely weepy eyes – so much so, the slightest gust of wind, air-con or a soppy advert will rub them up the wrong way.

I’ve been using the *Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for years now. Its gentle, fragrance-free formula is not only soothing and hydrating on the eye area but also effective for lifting stubborn mascara. It’s a great, budget-friendly all-purpose cleanser that’s particularly good for sensitive souls like me. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

For a more luxurious cleansing ritual, I go in with the *Elemis Cleansing Balm and hot cloth. It’s like a spa in a tub! I still remove my eye makeup with the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water first and then I use this beauty icon to give the rest of my skin a jolly good clean.

Believe the hype – this one’s a keeper!Lareese

The nourishing balm formula dissolves every trace of makeup and grime without stripping the skin. Believe the hype – this one’s a keeper!

Zoe’s Favourites

When it comes to makeup remover, I generally tend to gravitate towards a cream, an oil or a balm!

I then make sure to do a second cleanse so my skin gets the ultimate clean.Zoe

I have three from each of these categories that I use religiously, on a dry face followed by a warm damp flannel. I then make sure to do a second cleanse so my skin gets the ultimate clean as well as just the removal of makeup.

*Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish – This cream cleanser is my absolute holy grail in terms of skincare. I’ve used for years and years and I would never stray away from it. It removes every bit of my makeup in a couple of motions and is so gently on my skin at the same time.

*Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – This balm is packed full of essential oils and smells heavenly. It’s such a lovely and super-efficient way of removing makeup whilst conditioning, cleansing and helping to replenish your cells’ reservoirs. A jar of this will last you a long time, so although it’s a little more pricey, it’s 100% worth it! 

*Keihls cleansing oil – I actually became aware of this product when a friend left it at my house and I used it thinking it was something else. It’s so silky and beautiful to use. Enriched with squalane, evening primrose oil and lavender essential oil, this do-it-all formula effectively removes make-up while leaving skin feeling soft and ready for your night time products! 

Maddie’s Favourites

I have quite sensitive skin so I try and use products that are going to be as gentle as possible, especially when removing long-wear makeup where you can get a little overzealous if you’re not careful.

To remove the bulk of my makeup I’ll start by using a simple micellar water, I love the *La Roche Posay or *Bioderma which are both formulated for sensitive skin.

I’ll then do a second cleanse with my *bareMinerals Oil cleanser, it’s amazing at taking away every last bit of dirt and you can rinse it away with warm water rather than using a towel so it’s again really gentle on my skin.

Darcey’s Favourites

My go-to everyday make-up remover is the *Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. This is a great make-up remover, especially removing mascara and more stubborn makeup!

I love how clean and oil-free it makes my skin feel.Darcey

It’s also good for using before cleansing, even if I’m not wearing makeup, but I love how clean and oil-free it makes my skin feel. I find that it’s so gentle on my skin and doesn’t irritate it like makeup wipes can.

If I’ve been wearing a full face of makeup, I’ll go in first with the *Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. This product literally melts away your makeup, I then use a cloth or one of my reusable makeup pads and some warm water to wash it all off my face. Then I’ll go in with the micellar water to remove any remaining makeup.

After removing my makeup I always use *The Ordinary Squalene Cleanser, as it’s great to do a second cleanse when wearing makeup to get it all out of your pores!

Charlotte’s Favourites

I’m a double cleanse gal through and through which means my routine can sometimes be a bit spenny! Having previously had acne though I’m taking no chances in relying on my skin to look good without the effort of a tip-top routine.

I start by removing the bulk of my makeup with the *Garnier Micellar Water on some reusable cotton pads (a dream both for the environment and your bank balance!).

I then trot off to the bathroom and apply a couple of pumps of the *Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser to dry skin and massage into the face until I feel satisfied with my at-home facial efforts. I grab a damp, hot flannel and wipe away the last dregs of makeup, pollution and grubbiness from the day and finish my routine feeling as fresh as a daisy.

*The Botanics Hot Cloth Cleanser from Boots is also a firm fave of mine for a really thorough end of day cleanse. It reminds me of a cross between the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm and the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel which are both on the pricier side making this drugstore find a winner in my eyes!

Lauren Favourites

I love taking my makeup off, heck I love a cleanse when it’s a no-makeup day too, and I’m a big advocate for the double cleanse.

Makeup removal is a dream.Lauren

I’ve used both of Pai’s cleansers for the past year and they make my skin so soft and clean that makeup removal is a dream.

*The Light Works Oil contains Rosehip and is really nourishing but breaks down all the products to get every scrap of makeup off in one swipe. I use about 2-3 pumps and I find this gets everything including waterproof mascara off with ease, no irritation insight (pun intended).

I then use the *Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Cleanser to properly wash and balance my skin, and it’s so creamy that it practically melts into the skin without leaving residue. You can feel and see how fresh and clean your skin is after, and it always feels calm post scrubbing too!

Holly’s Favourites

In the past, I have been guilty of using makeup wipes but you really can feel the difference when using a cleanser rather than a wipe. If I’m feeling good I’ll use the *Glow Recipe Blueberry bounce gentle cleanser.

It’s super refreshing and doesn’t damage my eyes.Holly

I have such sensitive eyes that I’ll get a tiny bit of fragrance in them I can’t see for about 20 minutes. So the Blueberry Bounce is perfect. It’s super refreshing and doesn’t damage my eyes.

Then if I’m feeling extra fancy, I’ll double cleanse using the *Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser. It is an absolute DELIGHT to behold and makeup literally melts off. I make sure I use a fresh flannel every night because I’m terrified of break out and switching my routine and fingers crossed we’re doing well so far!

Danielle’s Favourite’s

I recently invested in the *Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser and I have to say it’s flipping wonderful. Definitely the perfect pick if you wear a lot of high coverage makeup as this absolutely melts it away. At a price of £29 it’s definitely at the top of my budget but my god is it a joy a to use.

*Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is my favourite cleanser for so many reasons, I apply to a dry face and rub it into the areas that need the makeup melting off – usually eyes – you can literally rub this straight into your eyeballs and feel no stinging sensation whatsoever.

Have I spoken about this cleanser a million times before? Yes. Am I going to blast on about how good it is again? Absolutely!Danielle

I believe this is because one of the ingredients is contact lens solution but don’t quote me on that. Basically this cleanser can pretty much get rid of any makeup on your face as long as your work it in properly. It doesn’t have a really strong scent (which is great for skincare) and it leaves my skin feeling super soft, clean and not tight.

I also love this *Beauty Pie Japanfusion cleanser, which again goes best on to dry skin, then I add water which turns the formula into more of a milky consistency. I find the oily formula perfect for breaking down stubborn make-up and leaving my skin feeling lovely and not stripped of all its moisture.

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What’s your favourite product to take your makeup with?