The Best Makeup Removers, Tried & Tested

What goes up, must come down. And if putting a face of makeup on is the up, taking it off at the end of the day is the very dramatic down. 

While taking your makeup off at the end of a regular day might be fine, something you always do without question, there’s no denying that when it comes to taking makeup off after a night out we can all be a little guilty of being lazy. Hey, even after a long day at work, sometimes making the effort to remove makeup properly can feel like too much. 

There is no judgement here, but unfortunately, your skin isn’t as forgiving and won’t be happy or in the best state if you keep subjecting it to 12+ hours of being smothered in foundation. We know it’s a massive effort, but if you are removing your makeup, you at least want to be doing it properly and with the best and most efficient makeup removers

We have all the best ways to remove makeup right here, including some products you shouldn’t be without. Trust us, using the right removers makes the process a whole lot easier.

How to Remove Makeup Properly

If you are wondering how to remove makeup, the answer is not a quick wipe over with some makeup wipes, that is for sure. The best way to remove makeup is by following a double cleanse routine, tailoring your cleanser choices to makeup removal, and potentially adding in some extra products and care for eye and lip makeup removal. 

As much as you may be hoping for a quick process, the secret to removing makeup thoroughly is taking extra time and care. 

The Best Way to Remove Makeup

Step One: Tie Hair Back Out of Face – You could use a satin scrunchie, a hair claw, or a headband of some sort. Whatever you use, you just want to make sure your hair is pushed back and out of the way – this is so you can properly clean your whole face including your hairline. It’s easy to stop short of your hairline when removing makeup, but allowing a build-up of unremoved makeup to occur here will result in unwanted spots. Hair out of the way means you can carry out thorough makeup removal. 

Step Two: Let Your Makeup Remover Do Its Job – You’re going to want to first use a cleansing balm, cleansing milk, or cleansing oil. Rather than a quick wash, you should gently massage the makeup remover into the face using circular upward motions and leave it for a couple of minutes before washing off. This will allow the remover to work its magic and break down any stubborn makeup (long wear foundation and waterproof mascara we are looking at you), making removal a lot easier. 

Step Three: Remove that Makeup – Now it’s time to remove the cleanser, gently and with a flannel soaked in warm water. Avoid scrubbing your face, especially around your eyes, as this can lead to damage and irritation.

Step Four: Second Cleanse Time – We understand if you think ‘absolutely not’ to going in for a second cleanse after a big night out. But if you can make yourself, we promise it’s worth it – your skin will be deeply cleaned, not just on a surface level. Meaning makeup will be removed and pores will be happily unclogged. For a second cleanse, use your regular face wash or cleanser as usual. 

Step Five: Removing Eye Makeup – Just because you have done two cleanses doesn’t mean your eye makeup is completely gone. The eyelid edge is a commonly neglected area prone to build-up of eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara. It’s important to take the time to remove makeup specifically from this area to avoid eyelash breakage and skin irritation. To do this, use a cotton pad soaked in eye makeup remover or micellar water, and hold it to your closed eye before gently wiping downwards. To be thorough if you wear heavy eye makeup, you could even use a cotton swap and remover and sweep along the lashline too. 

Step Six: Finish Off Your Skincare Routine – Now your face is makeup-free it’s time to finish off your skincare routine. We recommend using a toner for one final clean sweep before going in with the all-important hydrating serums and moisturisers

The Best Makeup Removers

Now you have all the details of how to carry out the most thorough makeup removal of your life, it’s time to make sure you are stocked up on all the best makeup removers.

The Best Cleansers to Remove Makeup

By BEAUTY BAY Cleansing Balm

This cleansing balm went TikTok viral for a reason, it’s great at melting makeup away. Use this gentle cleansing balm as your first cleanse, massage it into your face, and wipe it away with the By BEAUTY BAY facial cleansing pads. A real gem that makes taking makeup off a treat. 

Clinique All-in-One Makeup Remover

This cleansing milk and micellar water hybrid is a specially designed makeup remover that works wonders, removing the most stubborn of makeup. Its gentle formulation is kind on the skin, hydrating it whilst working hard at makeup removal. 

Dermalogica Precleanse

If you’ve heard about the benefits of cleansing oils, and how great they are at breaking down makeup, then you need to try this one. It works brilliantly at removing makeup, pollutants, and sunscreen build-up, unclogging pores, and preventing breakouts. What more could you want from a makeup remover?

Cleansers for Your Second Wash

Laneige Hyaluronic Cleansing Foam

This lovely foam cleanser will help to further remove makeup whilst also dosing your skin up with hyaluronic acid, which will draw moisture into the skin and help keep it hydrated. Important after a full day of wearing makeup. 

Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash

As the name suggests, this face wash is a great option for your second cleanse if you have acne-prone skin. It will help to further remove makeup and build-up whilst deep cleaning your pores using salicylic acid

The Best Eye Makeup Removers

Florence by Mills Eye Makeup Remover

This specialist eye makeup remover uses oil and water to break down stubborn eye makeup, allowing you to gently and easily remove it, without causing damage to your delicate eye area. 

Avène Micellar Water

If you like your makeup removers multi-purpose, then this micellar water is for you. It’s gentle enough to use as an eye makeup remover, whilst also being a trusty option for when you’re looking to just do a quick once over to remove makeup – we’ve all been there. 

If you’re not already, try and stick to a good makeup-removing routine, you’ll be amazed at the difference it will make to your skin. Stock up on all the essential makeup removers now so you can have happy makeup-free skin every eve.