Which Makeup Remover Reigns Supreme? We Put 4 To The Test

Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
After a super-long day at work or a wild night out, the last thing you want to be bothered with is cleaning your face — let alone properly removing your makeup. We get that the process can be pretty arduous, but it's an absolutely necessary step in order to keep your skin at its cleanest and, as a result, blemish-free.

To find out which makeup remover truly deserves your dinero, we asked four staff members to test out various versions. From on-the-go wipes to coconut oil, find out which cleansing method came out victorious.
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
Who: Gina Marinelli, fashion editor, brand experiences
Makeup Remover: Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Skin Type: Normal
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"My skin is normal, but as of late, it has been especially sensitive to anything that can cause a pimple. If I’m stressed or eat anything a little too indulgent, I notice blemishes almost instantly. With this in mind, I’ve been extra diligent about my skin-care habits. This includes removing all my makeup every night with either Boscia’s Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil or, an old favorite, Lancôme Bi-Facil.

"Truthfully, I was a little skeptical about switching to the Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes. I’ve used these kinds of disposable wipes before and my face never really felt clean afterward. My experience this time wasn’t very different. The first time I used the wipes, they seemed to easily remove my lipstick, the small amount of face makeup I wear each day — some concealer and bronzer, and the majority of my cat-eye, but there was a lot left over [on my face]. It took some serious scrubbing and a couple of sheets to fully remove all of my eyeliner and mascara, neither of which are waterproof. But, thankfully, no skin breakouts."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"After my initial experience, I continued to give the sheets a try throughout the week, but found that they never completely got the job done. The proof was in the two black lashline marks that showed up on my bathroom towels. I needed to supplement with another makeup remover, and found myself adding extra steps and time to my nighttime routine. I wasn't thrilled.

"While this is not a product I would use as a part of my everyday regimen, I do see the benefit of carrying these around in your gym bag so you can wipe off the majority of your makeup before you break a sweat. Otherwise, I'm going back to my old routine."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
Who: Everdeen Mason, audience development editor
Makeup Remover: Phytomer Visage Toning Cleansing Lotion
Skin Type: Normal, with an occasionally oily T-zone
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"Even though I know I'm supposed to have a skin-care regimen by now — I'm nearly 27 — I'm incredibly lazy when it comes to skin care. I only wash with face wash once a day, and I never take off my makeup, the ultimate sin. To be fair, I don't wear any foundation or face makeup — usually just eyeliner, mascara, and maybe lipstick — so I like to believe I'm not doing too much damage. I upped the ante for this experiment, though, and applied a cream blush, lots of glittery eyeshadow, and a heavy mascara.

"Because I'm lazy, a makeup remover that doubles as a skin-enhancing agent is a good thing, although I must admit I don't quite understand what toner is supposed to do. I dabbed some of it on a cotton ball and gently wiped it over my skin. At first, I didn't like its astringent smell or the way it left my skin feeling slightly sticky. However, that feeling goes away pretty quickly."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"That being said, I'm not convinced of its power as a makeup remover. Instead of completely removing my eye makeup, it just spread glitter all over my face. And since the instructions say not to rinse with water, I spent the rest of the day sparkling in sunlight like Edward Cullen. More than one person asked me why there was glitter all over my face. Subsequent uses showed it wasn't very effective against a stubborn lip stain, either. However, it did leave my skin feeling smooth, soothed, and almost cool to the touch.

"I'll probably keep using it since I already have it, but mainly because it makes me feel fancy. Once it runs out, I probably won't buy another bottle."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
Who: Megan McIntyre, beauty director
Makeup Remover: Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt Gel-To-Oil Cleanser
Skin Type: Combination/acne-prone
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"As someone who suffers from combination skin and breakouts, I need a cleanser that both hydrates my skin and minimizes my acne, not to mention takes off every last speck of long-wear mascara. For me, that means double-cleansing. But that's not really portable, and it extends my nighttime routine pretty drastically. So I was more than game to give Bliss' new gel-to-oil cleanser a try. The day of my test, I applied concealer, BB cream, brow pencil, three eyeshadows, an eyeliner, mascara, illuminator, and a bright lip gel. I was going to put this stuff through its paces.

"The first thing I noticed was that 'gel' was a bit of a misnomer. The cleanser had more of a jelly texture, not the light slip of a gel. I dutifully rubbed it onto my dry face and enjoyed how it glided across my skin. In order to transform it into an oil, though, you really have to work it into your face. It's the constant rubbing sensation that breaks down the texture, and it took several minutes to get it to that point. This is actually a plus, because most of us don't spend enough time working our cleansers into our skin, which can lead to clogged pores. However, the massaging posed a bit of a problem around the eye area; I found rubbing my fingers over my eyelids to be a bit annoying, and it left a waxy, Vaseline-like film over my eyes when I opened them."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"I splashed some water on my face and got the familiar, milky effect that washing off a cleansing oil creates. After patting dry, I checked to see how the cleanser had done. Save for a tiny bit of mascara residue under my eyes (which was easily wiped away with a tissue) and some lingering brown liner on my waterline, my makeup was completely gone. I was pleased to note that there was no oily residue on my skin, a problem I've had when using cleansing oils alone. Instead, my skin was soft to the touch and felt clean, not dry or itchy. And there were no out-of-the-ordinary breakouts to be seen in the following days.

"I think this is a great cleansing option for anyone who uses multiple-step cleansers, or just anyone who wears a good amount of makeup. I would, however, recommend using an eye-specific makeup remover before applying this cleanser in order to avoid the extra eye-rubbing. In general, though, I consider myself a fan. While it may not replace my regular double-cleanse, it's a good option to have when I'm traveling or just feeling too tired or lazy to go through my usual routine."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
Who: Courtney Yates, first impressionist
Makeup Remover: Cocovit Coconut Oil
Skin Type: Combination
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"I don’t even know how to describe my skin anymore — it's been oily, dry, normal, completely acne-free, and breakout-ridden. But I’ve always been one to moisturize like a madwoman, so this coconut oil was right up my alley. I’ve used coconut oil many times before, but never as a makeup remover. I usually don’t use a separate makeup remover unless I’m wearing heavy eye makeup, in which case I’ll use Clinique’s Take The Day Off. But this time, I used Cocovít coconut oil. It's sold as a cosmetic product and lists its potential uses as a moisturizer, makeup remover, hair mask, and wrinkle reducer.

"First, I’ll say that using coconut oil as a makeup remover is a commitment. I would only do it before bed, when I know I won't be applying any more makeup for several hours. This stuff takes off your makeup, but leaves skin way too slick. I love it because it gives you unreal, baby-soft skin and has wrinkle-fighting effects. That being said, after applying the oil and working it into my skin and eyes to get my makeup off, I had to wash my face with soap to remove the residue — essentially reversing the moisturizing effects. I had no problem with applying a couple drops as a moisturizer, though, and it helps to eliminate the amount of products clogging up my bathroom shelves. I was also frustrated that it ran into my eyes and gave me hazy vision, but that effect went away…eventually."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
"Overall, I would absolutely recommend that everyone have this product in his or her bathroom. I used it all the time: in my hair, as a body moisturizer, and to add a little extra hydration around my eyes before bed. As a makeup remover, I would suggest using it for occasions when you wear heavy makeup and need something to really cut through it, and leave you feeling refreshed and healthy. However, I don’t know that I would recommend it as an everyday remover."
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Photographed by Savanna Ruedy.
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