We’ve all been there. You’re tired, it’s been a long day and a late night and you really just don’t have the energy to take off your eye makeup. Fast forward to the morning and not only do wake to puffy panda eyes but your pillow is smeared with mascara marks until sheet change day. It’s not ideal.
But it needn’t feel like a chore. To simplify the process, we present a collection of hard-working eye makeup removers that make it easier than ever to remove stubborn, even waterproof formulas.
The periocular area is actually 10 times thinner than the skin on the face. As we age, it becomes increasingly so - while exposure to environmental aggressors, allergies and dehydration can enhance this even further.
From designated creams, to effectively removing every last streak of your warpaint, it is critical to care for this area and prevent excessive rubbing and tugging that will stretch the skin and create fine lines or crow’s feet.
Melt away your liner, shadow and mascara in a matter of seconds with innovative formulas that are free from harsh ingredients and won’t cause burning, itching and stinging on sensitive skin. While gently removing the product, they also get to work hydrating and nourishing your peepers at the same time. Easy.
Top tip: for the most gentle way to remove makeup, simply soak a cotton pad with the formulas and hold against your closed eyes for a few seconds. It’s effortless, allows the formula to soak in, and removes it all in one fell swoop.
See our pick of the best below
Lancôme Bi Facil Waterproof Eye Make Up Remover
Douse a few drops of this cult product onto a cotton wool pad and hold against lashes to make light work of removing stubborn eye makeup. There’s a reason this formula has stood the test of time: it works. It is made up of two liquids so don’t panic if it looks like they’ve separated, simply shake the bi-phase formula before use to more effectively remove traces, grim and dirt. This remover can be used by those with sensitive skin, contact lens wearers and just about anyone. It’s gentle, oil-free and will thoroughly remove stubborn waterproof products.
La Roche-Posay Eye Make-Up Remover
For those who have suffered stinging, redness or itchiness from eye products, La Roche-Posay’s super gentle formula will be your white knight. It doesn’t contain any nasties that may cause irritation - no soap, parabens, alcohol or colourants. The formula is non-comedogenic and is crafted with the brand’s signature hydrating Thermal Spring Water. It’s gentle but effective.
Sisley-Paris Eau Efficace Gentle Make-Up Remover
Bring a touch of Parisian luxury to your everyday skincare routine with this makeup remover from Sisley. Three for the price of one, it packs a makeup remover, cleanser and toner into one formula to treat your delicate peepers to the care that they deserve. It is made up of linden blossom water and neroli extract that remove tough products with ease as well as dirt and pollution. Perfect for those with dry skin, the makeup remover has impressive nourishing effects with no pulling at the eye necessary.
Aesop Remove Eye Makeup Remover
Not just a pretty face or a stylish glass bottle to have on your shelfie, the Aesop Remove Eye packs a punch. Expect the same herbaceous fragrance that you’ll find in the rest of the range as well as an oil-based formula with the likes of Blue Chamomile and Grape Seed Oil that won’t just remove makeup but will nourish the area around your eyes at the same time. Blue Chamomile in particular is super soothing for those with sensitivities.
Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
This eye makeup remover from Clinique is another iconic product that has stood the test of time and solidified its status as a Holy Grail beauty item. Dubbed by the brand as the “gentlest ever”, it effectively removes all remnants of makeup in just a few swipes without forcing you to rub or tug at the skin.
Estée Lauder Take It Away Gentle Eye and Lip Longwear Makeup Remover
This product from Estée Lauder uses a dual-phase formula to tackle every last trace of your hard-working makeup. Whether it’s waterproof or designed for long-time wear, no product stands a chance against this bad boy. Even so, it has a lovely feel on the skin so you can be generous without worrying about drying out your complexion. Contents include Aloe Vera and botanical ingredients to help sooth skin and leave it soft and supple. It doesn’t leave an oily residue and can be used on sensitive skin.
CHANEL Démaquillant Yeux Intense Intense Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover
Who can resist the thrill of unboxing the perennial chic products from Chanel? Once that excitement subsides, you get the everyday joy of using this gentle but diligent formula to soothe the periorbital area as you remove grime and dirt from the day. The two-phase product is made up of hydrating, cooling water and highly purified lipidic so that it leaves no oily streaks - just fresh, clean skin. Shake the bottle before use to combine the two and maximise the soothing effects.
Laura Mercier Soothing Eye Makeup Remover
Laura Mercier may already be your go-to for makeup but it’s here for your end-of-day face paint removal too. The water-based bi-phase formula is enriched with oils to make it swift and easy eliminating makeup, dirt and grime with cornflower that has soothing benefits. As with the Chanel product mentioned, you’ll have to give it a quick shake to wake the goodness. Will it does well to elimate makeup, this one may not be the best option for sensitive eyes.
MAC Gently Off Eye And Lip Makeup Remover
Melt away your worries, cares and kohl-ringed smokey eyes with this no-rinse product from MAC. Channel your inner mixologist and shake the product to combine the water and oil dual-phase formula and apply direct to eyes or lips. It’s soothes and calms the skin with the combination of cucumber extract and Damask rose flower water that is as refreshing as it sounds.
Avène Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Skin
French pharmacy label Avène has got the sensitive skin category nailed with its gentle products and this makeup remover is no different. The formula - that includes the brand’s Thermal Spring Water - is so easily tolerated that it won’t sting or irritate your eyes if accidents arise - a welcomed thought to the clumsy or contact lens wearers. It can be used on any and all skin types and to suit all concerns.
Charlotte Tilbury Take It All Off Genius Eye Makeup Remover
Tenacious, heavy makeup application is no match for this Charlotte Tilbury formula. The answer to your end of the day admin, simply shake, douse a cotton wool pad and maximise the benefits of the lovely combination of soothing cornflower water and regenerating Veronica Extract. You only need a couple of pumps to tackle your lid and undereye area with effective results. You won’t believe your eyes.
Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion
After a day staring at screens, Liz Earle’s eye lotion formula is a real treat to your peepers. With a spa-like aroma, it combines aloe vera, witch hazel, cornflower extract and eyebright extract that work in tandem to calm and cool. As well as removing makeup, we recommend applying a generous amount of the formula onto two cotton wool pads and placing them over the eyes for a couple of minutes to reduce puffiness and dark circles.
Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover
Press down a few drops of this product onto your full eye look and leave for a matter of seconds before effortlessly swiping away all traces of your liner, shadow and mascara. It has a bi-phase lotion that needs to be shaken before application and then gets to work nourishing the delicate eye area as it goes.
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover
The essentials don’t need to cost an arm and a leg to be effective as proven by Simple and its beloved range. The formula is free from any harsh chemicals, perfumes, mineral oils and animal derivatives. It may not be the most hard-working product on the list and may have a tougher time of waterproof and long-wearing formulas but for everyday, it does the job, while feeling cool and refreshing on application.
For gentleness, skin-feel and effectiveness combined, Lancôme’s Bi Facil Waterproof Eye Make Up Remover is hard to beat - turning an everyday essential into a luxurious experience.