Sali Hughes

The Guardian - Weekend - - Starters Contents -

Irarely use eye makeup re­movers. One step, with a good balm cleanser and wet flan­nel, gen­er­ally does the job of re­mov­ing any shadow, liner and mas­cara, but I con­cede there are ad­van­tages to sweep­ing every­thing away be­fore get­ting down to busi­ness on the face. I was re­minded of this last month, when I cleaned off black liq­uid flicks and smoky shadow, and ended up with a filthy face­cloth that looked as though I’d just used it to change a tyre. So I tried two dozen ded­i­cated re­movers that I’d had ly­ing around for months.

I was sur­prised, but re­as­sured, to find those that per­formed best were not new and ex­cit­ing launches, but some old, oft-for­got­ten favourites, each with slightly dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics. Lancôme Bi-Facil (£21.50) re­mains the gold stan­dard in terms of gently re­mov­ing ev­ery last trace of colour (in­clud­ing water­proof mas­cara) with­out dry­ing the skin or leav­ing be­hind a vi­sion­blur­ring film of grease. As is com­mon with French brands, there’s some un­nec­es­sary fra­grance, but it doesn’t st­ing un­less you’re very sen­si­tive.

If you are, look no fur­ther than Nat­u­rally Gen­tle Eye Makeup Re­mover (£17), one of the many ge­nius Clin­ique prod­ucts the brand in­ex­pli­ca­bly ig­nores. It’s a creamy, non-oily gel for­mula that can be mas­saged care­lessly into the eye area with­out any ir­ri­ta­tion, then tis­sued away with ev­ery last scrap of makeup. It lasts for months and agrees with all skin types, how­ever ir­ri­ta­ble, as well as con­tact lens wear­ers.

Also grease-free is the Body Shop’s stu­pen­dous Camomile Gen­tle Eye Makeup Re­mover (£3). I be­gan us­ing this prod­uct when I was 13, and I’ve kept a bot­tle in ev­ery squat, flat and house I’ve lived in since. Apart from wip­ing off all eye makeup, it’s a bril­liantly ef­fec­tive stain re­mover for car­pets, up­hol­stery and del­i­cates ( just don’t con­fuse it with its oil-based sis­ter prod­uct). It does cause mild sting­ing in some women, how­ever, so if you’re es­pe­cially sen­si­tive, opt in­stead for Sim­ple’s Kind To Eyes (£3.79), which re­moves makeup and stains al­most as well, mi­nus any ir­ri­ta­tion.

My other en­thu­si­as­tic bar­gain rec­om­men­da­tion is Nivea’s Daily Es­sen­tials Dou­ble Ef­fect (£3.89), which re­moves every­thing but the kitchen sink at light­ning speed, leav­ing skin moist and com­fort­able (oily skins may find it too much). Just keep this one, and all other oil-based re­movers, away from the soft fur­nish­ings.

Try these 3 1 Sim­ple Kind To Eyes, £3.79, su­per­drug.com

2 Lancôme Bi-Facil, £21.50, boots.com 3 Camomile Gen­tle Eye Make­u­peup Re­mover, £3, the­bodyshop.co­mom @sal­i­hughes

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