Being a gal who wears a full face of long wearing makeup on a daily basis (besides the occasional day off), I really need a heavy duty makeup remover in my bathroom. When I first started wearing a full face of makeup I thought the best way to remove it was by using a harsh cleaner or scrub - WRONG! That's a recipe for disaster as it will strip your skin of oils. The best way to remove makeup, especially stubborn makeup, like a matte lipstick or waterproof mascara, is an oil based cleanser. Oil based cleansers dissolve makeup (even waterproof makeup) and the makeup will glide off. This is also a good option for people who have dry skin and really worry about makeup removers that dry out the skin or contain alcohol.
As far as I am concerned there are three main types of oil based cleansers on the market. The first is the good old half oil and half water/toner type of makeup remover which you need to shake up and then apply to a cotton pad to remove your makeup. Now I am not opposed to using them, in fact I went though bottles and bottles of the Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Waterproof Face and Eye Makeup Remover (my personal favourite) before deciding that I prefer to use a straight up cleansing oil. I won't be showing any of these types of makeup removers in this post today because I haven't used one in years.
The second type of oil based makeup remover is a cleansing oil. The two that I currently own are the Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil and the Innoxa Restore Hydrating Facial Cleansing Oil. Now this is my preferred way of removing my makeup. There is nothing more satisfying than smearing oiling onto your makeup caked face, jumping in the shower and coming out looking completely bare faced and clean.
The Shu Uemura Cleaning Oils are my holy grail of all holy grail makeup removers. Even though the large 450ml bottles are quite expensive (AU$96 - $125 in David Jones depending on which one you get), a large bottle will last me close to a year of daily use so it's worth the spend. They also come in six different types of oils for different skin types or concerns, and each come in smaller 150ml bottles (AU$39 - $56) if you didn't want to invest in the large bottle. What I love most about this oil, and the reason why I have been using these oils for the last 4 years, is that the oil is very watery and it emulsifies as soon as it mixes with water. What this means is that once you have dissolved your makeup, you wash it off the oil with warm water and it leaves no race of an oily residue. This is the only cleansing oil that I have used that doesn't have any residue.
If the price of the Shu Uemura cleansing oil concerns you then a good drugstore alternative is the Innoxa Restore Hydrating Facial Cleansing Oil. This retails for around $18 for 150ml from Priceline, but you can often find it on sale. This contains argan oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, soy bean oil, camellia oil, rosehip oil and orange oil. The oil has a soft sweet orange oil scent and it does emulsify when mixed with warm water, but it does leave a light oily residue on the skin. The residue could work to soften and hydrate the skin, but I personally like to cleanse the residue off with a gel cleanser.
Then the last category is the cleansing balms. These still freak me out a little, but they are a very effective way at removing makeup. The two that I have are the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm and the Trilogy Make Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm. I was send these for review and I thought I would point out that Pixi is very difficult to get in Australia. Of course Pixi is easily accessible in the UK, but they recently introduced the line into Target in the US. For all the Aussie and international readers - the UK site does ship internationally! So check out all things Pixi here http://www.pixibeauty.co.uk/. Otherwise if you are after free shipping, both ASOS and Beauty Bay sell limited Pixi products.
Both of these are thick oily balms that you warm up in your hands and work into your face to remove your makeup. The Trilogy Make Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm contains 80ml of product and retails for $36.90. You only need to use 1/4 teaspoon per application so this will last quite some time. This also comes with a cloth and the instructions say to use the cloth and warm water to remove the balm. If you have dry skin then you could use the cloth to remove the excess but leave the residue to moisturise the skin, if you don't like a greasy residue then you would need to follow this up with a second cleanse. This balm has a nice faint sweet floral scent and contains mango butter, sunflower oil, olive oil, coconut oil and rosehip oil.
The Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm looks a lot larger, but contains 90g of product and retails for
£18.00. Instead of being a firm dense balm like the Trilogy one, this one is more fluffy and has almost granulated beads of butter in it. This also recommends to remove it with a damp cloth but it doesn't with one. This contain sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and Vitamin E and has a soft floral and shea butter scent.
If you wear hard to budge makeup and struggle removing your makeup on a daily basis then I HIGHLY recommend trying a cleansing oil or cleansing balm.
Have you tried any cleansing oils or balms? What are your favourites?