What goes up must come down, and what’s put on must come off. This wisdom is regularly shared by people interviewed on this site when it comes to makeup, albeit with varying levels of intensity. From the dogmatic Jaime King (“My approach to skincare is to always wash your face before bed…I don’t care how tired you are or how long your day has been. I don’t care what you’ve consumed that evening—just do it.”) to the know-thyself style of Malgosia Bela (“I don’t wear mascara because if I’m wearing makeup, that usually means I’ll be out late, and I hate taking mascara off when I get back. I’m just lazy.”), between the two extremes lies countless methods and materials for makeup removal.
And so, for your clear-eyed/full-hearted pleasure, we collected a few reader-favorites that really can’t lose.
The Other Balm
The most ecstatic responses were in favor of Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm for its gentle-yet-luxe feel. It also keeps you coming back for more; according to reader Gisele, “The balm is the absolute best! It works instantaneously and thorough…I'm on my 3rd tub now.”
Calm Me Down, Chamomile
Hot on Clinique’s tail was a soothing sleeper combo from The Body Shop: their Silky Cleansing Oil and Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. Both smell as good as they work, and Miss Y championed the portability of the latter: “I especially like the balm/butter when I go on holiday as it's easy to fit in your bag and doesn't leak.”
Micellar waters might smack of overblown (and potentially expensive) Francophilia, but it looks like they really are effective. Quick micelle cheat sheet: these liquid molecules trap the oil/grease in makeup, making it easier to remove. The reigning queen is, of course, Bioderma, but a bevy of other cleansers were deemed trés bien by the community including: Garnier, Caudalie, Lancôme, Nivea, Simple, and even our old American pal, Trader Joe!
Mother, Grandmother, or Supermodel knows best
A past rec of Karlie Kloss, who doubtless has done more démaquillanting than the average bear, Pond’s Cold Cream is the economical, evergreen (it’s been around since 1846) choice for many members of the ITG community including the very emphatic Soleil who had the following to say: “PONDS. COLD. CREAM. PERIOD.” End-stop.
But Mother Nature is pretty good, too
Plant-based oils—jojoba, coconut, sweet almond, and peach seed—received a lot of nods for being cheap and easy to source. Surprisingly, the pantry-staple olive oil made several appearances; Eileen Astrid takes it straight from the bottle to dissolve eye makeup, while Circe07 prefers the form of Innisfree’s Olive Real Cleansing Tissues.