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Eye makeup is notoriously stubborn and difficult to remove, so you need a good, safe makeup remover in your arsenal.
The Garnier SkinActive Waterproof Micellar Cleansing Water is our top pick because it is a gentle but powerful one-step eye makeup remover that removes even the heaviest eye makeup easily.
Everyone knows that not removing your eye makeup at the end of each day is a big faux pas — unless you want wrinkles and premature crows feet. However, when you do come to taking off your eye makeup, the last thing you want is to have to rub until your eyes are red, be left with an unpleasant greasy residue, or end up with panda eyes.
The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate so it’s important to use a good eye makeup remover that will pamper your peepers. It needs to be gentle but powerful enough to take off all your makeup quickly and effectively without tugging the delicate skin around your eyes, which can create unwanted fine lines and wrinkles.
One important point to realize is that you really don’t need to spend a fortune to get a decent eye makeup remover.
When you’re choosing your eye makeup remover, you should watch out for added fragrance. Companies don’t need to declare what chemicals they use to make products smell nice so you don’t want potentially toxic ingredients anywhere near your eyes. You should avoid simple alcohols, referred to as isopropyl and ethanol, as these will dry out the skin around your eyes as well as your eyelashes.
The best way to remove your eye makeup is to soak a cotton pad with the liquid eye makeup remover and hold it against each eye for a few seconds before gently wiping it over your eye. This gives the formula time to loosen your makeup.
To save you time and trouble, we have researched and tested the best eye makeup removers on the market according to consumers and experts, to come up with the best of the best. Only ophthalmologist-tested eye makeup removers are featured in this guide.
Here are the best eye makeup removers you can buy:
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best eye makeup remover overall
Why you’ll love it: Garnier SkinActive Waterproof Micellar Cleansing Water is quick, effective, and even works on waterproof mascara.
Our top pick, an all-in-one, no-rinse makeup remover that can be used on the face and lips too, is actually found in drugstores. It performs as well as — if not better than — more expensive brands and makes removing eye makeup including waterproof mascara a breeze.
Garnier SkinActive Waterproof Micellar Cleansing Water is formulated with micelles. Although it has has been around for a while, micellar water is the latest trend in makeup removers. It is made up of tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules known as micelles that act like magnets, lifting away dirt, oil, and makeup without harsh rubbing, leaving skin clean and refreshed without over-drying.
The multi-purpose product can and can also be used as a facial wash, makeup remover, and moisturizer. This makes it the ideal addition to your beauty arsenal when you’re on the go or on vacation. It comes in a handy travel size, too.
In testing, all my eye makeup, including my waterproof mascara, came off in just three swipes of a cotton pad. There was no need to rinse and no greasy residue. If like me, you have zero patience for products that don’t provide instant results you’ll love this one-step eye makeup remover.
It’s not just me who loves Garnier SkinActive Waterproof Micellar Cleansing Water as an eye makeup remover, beauty junkies, editors and experts swear by it. It is highly rated on Rank and Style and Byrdie, plus Amazon reviewers give it a big thumbs up.
Although I prefer the waterproof version for removing my eye makeup, it comes in a non-waterproof version, too.
Pros: No-rinse formula, suitable for eyes, lips, and face, free from sulphates, parabens, and phthalates, fragrance-free, no greasy residue, suitable for all skin types even sensitive skin, effective on heavy makeup and waterproof mascara
The best eye makeup remover pads
Why you’ll love them: If you’re looking for an easy way to remove your eye makeup at home or on the go, try Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup remover pads.
These travel-friendly eye makeup remover pads are gentle but effective. They’re also very affordable. Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads are designed specifically for eyes and are shaped to reach every corner.
The moisturizing, no-rinse formula contains 99.5% natural ingredients including kiwi extract to hydrate and nourish the skin around the eyes without leaving an oily residue. There are no harsh chemicals that might irritate your eyes and the pads are fragrance free. This makes the pads ideal for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
In testing, I found that my eye makeup came off easily. The pads were fairly thick, well saturated, and the liquid absorbed into my skin without leaving a greasy residue. However, they didn’t work as well on waterproof mascara. Still, these pads are a great beauty accessory when you’re traveling or on the go.
I’m not the only one who thinks Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads are wonderful. They are recommended by sites such as Byrdie and Total Beauty, and get great reviews on Walmart, with one happy customer saying, “I’ve had a hard time finding an eye makeup remover that doesn’t irritate my highly sensitive eyes AND removes all the makeup easily…this stuff does it all!”
Pros: Suitable for sensitive eyes, safe for contact lens wearers, no need to rinse, No added fragrance, free of parabens, phthalates, and SLS, great for travel
Cons: Not as effective on waterproof mascara
The best eye makeup remover to splurge on
Why you’ll love it: If you’re looking for a superior eye makeup remover that removes every trace of eyeliner, eye shadow, and waterproof mascara, Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense Gentle Bi-phase Eye Makeup Remover is the crème-de-la-crème.
Chanel’s luxury eye makeup remover is a favorite with celebrities and makeup artists alike. The dual-phase formula is activated by shaking the bottle. Whereas many bi-phase eye makeup removers are silicon-based, this one is oil-based.
The light blue lower phase contains cornflower extract and rose extract to soothe and soften the vulnerable eye area. Oils in the transparent upper layer erase all types of makeup. As it’s so gentle, Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
In testing, after soaking a cotton pad with the liquid, it quickly erased all my heavy eye makeup and even my waterproof mascara, and it felt nice and refreshing on my skin. I used one side to remove my eye makeup and the other to remove the oily residue and any last traces of makeup. You do need to rinse it off with warm water. A little goes a long way and this remover is definitely worth the money.
Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover is highly recommended by sites such as Harpers Bazaar and Rank and Style. NYC-based makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor said on Instyle, “I love this product as it removes waterproof mascara without leaving a greasy residue.”
Pros: Suitable for all skin types, good for sensitive eyes, fragrance-free, great for heavy makeup and waterproof mascara
Cons: Expensive, but you only need to use a small amount, need to rinse
The best eye makeup remover for sensitive eyes
Why you’ll love it: Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower Water is a gentle but effective eye makeup remover that is suitable for even the most sensitive eyes.
Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower Water is enriched with soothing cornflower water that promises to erase all traces of eye makeup, leaving the delicate skin around your eyes feeling clean and fresh. It has been designed for even the most sensitive eyes and is ideal for contact lens wearers.
This is another product that uses micellar technology and can be used on your face and lips too. The gentle flower water also acts as a 3-in-1 cleanser, toner, and makeup remover. The upside to all this is you can simplify your skincare routine by reducing the number of products you use.
In testing, I liked the subtle, flowery smell. I found it easily removed all my eye makeup without irritating or stinging my eyes. If felt very gentle and there’s no need to rinse. However, it wasn’t as effective on waterproof mascara.
As well as getting a whopping 10 out of 10 on the Good Guide, Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower Water gets great reviews from Amazon shoppers.
One delighted buyer said, “Klorane has the nice, clean texture of a simple floral water. Virtually scentless. Removes makeup quite effectively, including eyeliner and does not leave an oily residue behind as most eye makeup removers can.”
Pros: Hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free
Cons: On the expensive side, not as effective on waterproof mascara
The best eye makeup remover for heavy makeup
Why you’ll love it: Neutrogena Oil Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover erases even the heaviest eye makeup and waterproof mascara in an instant, and it’s affordable, too.
Neutrogena Oil Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover is a classic with a huge fan base. The fabulous oil-free formula makes light work of removing stubborn eye makeup and even waterproof mascara, outperforming many of the more expensive products.
Although it can be used any time, it is the perfect eye makeup remover to use after a night out. It just goes to show, you don’t always have to spend money to find the best products.
This eye makeup remover comes in a dual-phase, oil-free formula that is activated by shaking by bottle. It contains aloe and cucumber extracts to soothe your skin. Oil-based formulas can often ruin your contacts and irritate your skin, but this remover is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, too.
I have used this eye makeup remover for years. It takes less than four swipes of a cotton pad with no pulling the delicate skin around your eyes to every trace of my makeup and works magically on smoky eyes and thick lashes. You do need to give it a quick rinse with warm water.
It also gets rave reviews on Walmart with one happy customer saying, “It is one of the best I have ever used and removes every drop of waterproof mascara. Love it!” Although it is oil-free, some customers reported the eye area felt a bit greasy after using it.
Pros: Oil-free, safe for contact lens wearers, suitable for sensitive eyes, great for waterproof makeup and lipstick too
Cons: Although it’s oil-free some might find it feels greasy, needs rinsing with water
Check out our other skincare buying guides
Whether you’re new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skincare pro, Glossier’s Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow.
Everyone wants healthy, smooth, and soft skin. Dry skin not only looks dull and flaky, it also feels tight and itchy. The solution? A good moisturizer. Our favorite moisturizer for both face and body is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.
You might also like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat, the Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream, the Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion, the Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, and the Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Hand Cream.
Daily use of a good sunscreen like the Coppertone Ultraguard SPF 70 or the Goddess Garden Organics’ Everyday SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen will fend off sunburns today, and help prevent the skin damage that leads to aged, wrinkled, blotchy skin later on in life. Here are our top picks for the best sunscreen you can buy:
Eye creams and serums are likely the product you know you should be using but have no idea how to actually shop for. If you’re unsure of where to start, reach for the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Serum. Buyers and experts agree that this is the cream of the crop when it comes to treating under eye circles.
You’ll also love the Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Cream, the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream, the Uma Absolute Aging Eye Oil, and the Lancôme Vissionaire Yeux.
Clay masks are an easy and cost-effective way to give your skin a boost without hitting the spa. Our top pick is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask because it is a super affordable all-natural mask that deep cleans your pores.
If smooth, supple skin is what you’re looking for, then the Fresh Sugar Ultra-Nourishing Body Oil is the bottle you want to reach for.
If you’re one of those people whose face feels flaky whether it’s December or August, finding the right face cream can be difficult. But if full-on hydration and protection are what you’re after, Dr. Jart+ Ceramindin Cream is your best bet.
You should also consider the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, and the Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Cream.
Check out our makeup buying guides
When it comes to natural makeup, it’s hard to know which brands you can actually trust. Many products claim to be natural but contain potentially harmful synthetic ingredients.
For a high-performance makeup range that’s formulated from natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients, Jane Iredale is our top pick. You might also like RMS Beauty, Mineral Fusion, Ilia Beauty, and Burt’s Bees.
If there’s one thing many women never leave home without, it’s mascara. It makes your eyes pop and brightens up your face in an instant. We tested dozens of mascaras to find the best, and Chanel Le Volume Mascara is our top choice because it delivers long, lush lashes that last all day.
Picking the right foundation makeup for your skin type and skin tone can be a real hassle, but once you find the best one for you, you’ve got it made. We’ve done the research to find some of the highest-rated foundations you can buy, and the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is a real winner.
You should also consider the L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, the Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, and the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint.
After your eyes, your lips are probably the most expressive part of your face, and they stay busy all day long – emoting, eating, talking, kissing – so it’s no surprise that most women like to attract a bit of attention to their lips with lipstick. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better creamy, satiny lipstick than L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipcolour.
A bronzed glow can make you look healthier and feel more confident, but we all know how damaging sunbathing can be. Faking it with a bronzer is a much safer option. For the ultimate sun-kissed glow in an instant, Becca’s Sunlit Bronzers are our top pick.