Review

The Gloss Report: eye makeup removers tried and tested

Ayesha Muttucumaru 23 October 2015

1 / 12

The Gloss Report: eye makeup removers tried and tested

Come smokey eye or cat eye, which eye makeup removers follow through on their promises to get rid of every scrap of eyeliner, eyeshadow and waterproof mascara?

To see which ones are really worth spending your money on, the Glossy Posse has been reviewing a roster of high street and high end macquillage eliminators this week to see which ones are truly tough enough to make panda eyes a thing of the past. Click through our gallery to find out which are the best eye makeup removers around...

2 / 12

Benefit They're Real! Remover

Price: £14.50 for 50ml

Buy online

Feedback: “‘Scary, creepy, menacing’...are just some of the adjectives my partner uses to describe my morning after eye makeup ‘look’ - to which I usually scowl and demand for a coffee refill. I really have tried everything when it comes to eye makeup removers, to the point where I've even tried not wearing any so that I don't have to remove the blinking stuff. So the Benefit ‘They're Real’ remover came as a welcome change from the the oil-slick alternatives I've become accustomed to.

“The consistency is more that of a primer so you don't get that residue post-application, which usually makes you even more bleary eyed. A 20p coin sized amount applied onto a cotton pad is plenty for both eyes. My only concern would be how long it will last as it only comes in a 50ml tube. Nevertheless, pleasingly easy to use and a nice alternative to the oilier ones out there.”

Reviewer: AEM

Score: 7/10

3 / 12

Charlotte Tilbury Take It All Off Eye Makeup Remover

Price: £24

Buy online

Feedback: “First things first, if you haven’t tried any of Charlotte’s eye makeup offerings, you’re seriously missing out. Her eye pencils are out of this world brilliant. The BEST. I think I went into this Gloss Report expecting groundbreaking, phenomenal makeup melting of CT’s eye makeup remover by default, but unfortunately ‘Take it All Off’ didn’t quite...umm...take it all off. Or at least, I had to work a bit harder than presumed to erase every trace of liner and morsel of mascara.

“That being said, the formula is extremely gentle, so I didn’t experience any stinging, irritation or red eye, and the packaging is both pretty and practical - simply pump the liquid onto a cotton pad and get started without the risk of spillage (although it will shoot ALL over your bathroom if you press it down by accident...user error on my part). In short this eye makeup remover is innovative, soothing and easy to use, but the price to performance comparison leaves it coming up a little short for me.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 7/10

4 / 12

Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Micelle Solution

Price: £10.20

Buy online

Feedback: “Gentle yet effective, this eye makeup remover made short work of my Saturday night smokey eye. A non-rinse formula for the entire face which just requires you to pop a splash onto a cotton pad, swipe and sleep in express time (a welcomed simplistic evening ritual at the end of the occasional long night out), no rubbing was needed for the remnants of my eye makeup to be swept away and the following morning, I was left with zero flakes as well. Whatever the French is for, ‘late night essential,’ it has it written all over it.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 10/10

5 / 12

L'Oreal Paris Absolute Eye & Lip Make Up Remover

Price: £5.99

Buy online

Feedback: “I am 100% dedicated to the Clarins eye makeup remover so it’s going to be a tough ask to make me switch. I always use a waterproof black mascara and a quite deep black eyeliner and it’s been the only product that has managed to shift this at the end of the night! However, this L'Oreal Paris gentle eye makeup remover is so much cheaper that I could buy five of these bottles for the price of one Clarins bottle - it has to be worth it.

“Gentle, non-irritable and suitable for sensitive eyes, it has a lightweight and non-greasy dual-formula that uses the oil for dissolving makeup and the lotion to remove and refresh the skin. I think this would be great for those who don't wear waterproof, or have very minimal eye makeup, as it doesn't budge a night-time face of black eyeliner and mascara - leaving my eyes of the rather panda-esq variety. Sorry L'Oreal, I love your price tag and the gentle lotion but I need the harder stuff!”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 6/10

6 / 12

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover

Price: £3.39

Buy online

Feedback: “At under £4, this eye makeup remover comes in at great value. Its biggest selling point for me lay in its non-greasy formula which worked pretty effectively against both eyeliner and mascara at the end of a long day. The next morning though, my eyes did feel slightly congested when compared to the way they felt after using others in this Gloss Report.

“In terms of price point, it definitely gives others in its category a run for their money in my opinion however, in terms of results I found that others were more effective at removing all traces of eye makeup more thoroughly.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 7/10

7 / 12

Vichy Pureté Thermale Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

Price: £11

Buy online

Feedback: “This product left me pleasantly surprised in more ways than one. Firstly, I often find Vichy’s products a little harsh on my sensitive skin despite the spring water element; I have to look out for fragrances and patch test to be sure. However, a quick glance at the short ingredients list had me intrigued - no ‘parfum’ to be seen (note to Vichy - that’s a huge selling point! Put it on the front of the bottle). Next, I expected it to be greasy - it has that kind of oily texture which sinks into your cotton pad and almost feels dry to the touch before you’ve even started, but yet again I was proven wrong; it swept every speck of makeup, including waterproof mascara, quickly away with minimal effort and no grease or residue. It also claims to protect eyelashes - I can’t confirm on that one but they did feel softer after use, given the soft and oil-like formula. Best of all, the price is more than reasonable for a product that performs and looks as good as a premium counterpart - I may just swap my daily micellar for a regular bottle of this.”

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 10/10

8 / 12

Institut Esthederm Osmoclean High Tolerance Make-Up Remover

Price: £19.80

Buy online

Feedback: “I feel like this makeup remover was made for me. It’s fragrance-free, non-oily and specially formulated for contact lens wearers, sensitive skin and dry, chapped lips. Just shake it to wake it and pour a few drops onto a cotton disc and you’re away.

“It removed all my eye makeup in a couple of sweeps without leaving any of the grey-tinged smears normal removers create. I also tested it on a bold red lip and it performed admirably, leaving my lips soft and only faintly stained. It’s expensive, but the dispenser is angled in such a way that you never waste product, so one bottle will last you for ages. Maybe I’m justifying spending almost £20 on eye makeup remover, but as it’s safe for use on lips too, it’s practically a bargainous 2-for-1 product!”

Reviewer: IB

Score: 9/10

9 / 12

Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover

Price: £3.89

Buy online

Feedback: “A bargain bi-phase makeup magic-awayer that actually works, Double Effect has been on my radar for quite some time, and at this price, it’s staying there, until something comes along that zaps shadow and smoothes out crow’s feet at the same time (I’m sure they’re working on it).

“It’s slick without being too oily, doesn’t irritate eyes and whisks away waterproof makeup with relative ease. The formula claims to nourish eyelashes and it definitely feels fortifying, especially after a day of hard, spindly mascara. The new packaging features a screw on lid rather than a flip one, which makes in-transit spillage less likely too. All in all, I can’t fault it.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 10/10

10 / 12

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover

Price: £19

Buy online

Feedback: “Since I’ve weaned myself off my makeup wipes addiction and onto micellar water, my skin has been a lot happier. I’ve also woken up with panda eyes more times than I can count. I love lashings of liquid liner and mascara and I can be a tiny bit lazy when it comes to removing every last scrap before bed. This highly effective eye makeup remover takes it all off in one fell swoop of a cotton ball.

“I can’t quibble with Clarins’ claim it works in an instant, but I didn’t like putting a product so heavily fragranced close to my eyes. The solution feels oily and too heavy to be used on particularly delicate skin. I can see why Sarah raves about it being the best on the market, but for those of us who rely on contact lenses and a cocktail of allergy medications I’d go for something more specialised.”

Reviewer: IB

Score: 7/10

11 / 12

La Roche Posay Micellar Make-Up Removal Gel

Price: £12.50

Buy online

Feedback: “This is a great makeup remover for those with more sensitive skin. It is extremely gentle on the skin yet is also effective at removing the traces of day-long makeup. Containing hydrating and soothing ingredients combined with thermal spring water, its gel-like consistency is really refreshing on the skin and it doesn't feel drying.

“I loved the pump action on this bottle; it’s super easy to use when trying to get the product onto a cotton pad. Although my skin felt clean and purified, I did need to double cleanse so if you’re looking to remove waterproof makeup, I think there are more effective removers out there.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 6/10

12 / 12

Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense Gentle Bi-phase Eye Make-up Remover

Price: £22

Buy online

Feedback: “At £22, this particular eye makeup remover is far from the cheapest in the bunch. However, did it deliver bang for my buck? You know what - it actually did. It was bloody brilliant! It’s quite hard to find a makeup remover that isn’t drying, but also doesn’t leave a greasy film behind, but this one pretty much has it nailed.

“It left my delicate eye area soft and supremely cleansed - with all traces of eye makeup removed and zero flakes remaining in the morning. Perhaps a dangerously more expensive habit to get used to if like me, you get through your eye makeup removers pretty quickly - but it actually delivered on its claims and is one of the best I’ve tried; so in terms of efficacy, it’s only right that it scores full points from that perspective.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 9/10