How and When Do You Usually Remove Your Makeup?

Published in: Just For Fun

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser and MAC Cleanse Off Oil

A couple of makeup removal faves, Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser and MAC Cleanse Off Oil… Please excuse the glasses and puffy eyes (I’ve been crying).

Cleansers, cleansing oils, cleansing waters, wipes, soaps, balms… Seriously, there are so many different ways to remove makeup.

I use pretty much all of the above, depending on the day and what kind of makeup I’m wearing, like if I went with bold, rich colors or if I’m wearing long-wearing and/or waterproof stuff.


For quick changes or when I’m too tired to do more, I love makeup wipes. Right now I’m using Pacifica’s Purify Coconut Water ones, which I like. They smell yummy to me and remove just about everything.

MAC’s wipes are also high up on my list, as are Kirkland’s Daily Facial Cleansing Towelettes (which are also easy on the budget).

At night before bed, I usually use MAC Cleanse Off Oil or Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, but it really depends on what I’m wearing. When it’s a lot of long-wearing, waterproof stuff, I’ll wash with MAC Cleanse Off, rinse, and then follow that with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser to finish the job.

But when I’m not wearing that much, like on my minimal makeup days (maybe concealer, tinted moisturizer, brows and mascara), then I can usually get away with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser by itself.

Your turn, babe. How and when do you usually remove your makeup? And what products do you like?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Guess what? TGIF! πŸ™‚


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  1. Nice routine, Karen! I either take my make-up off right before I go to bed (using almost the same kind of products you use) or if I take a shower in the evening I do it then.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Nail polish spotlight | Pupa Cherry Pink Chrome Nail Polish & Bourjois 1980 Cobalt Blue Mini Nail Polish

  2. Budziak says:

    Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (although I picked up the Grapefruit one this past time) or Olay Total Effects Cream Cleanser. Coincidently, I just used my last Boots No7 wipe this morning!

  3. I always read your posts but rarely comment Karen. I’m sad to read you’ve been crying and I really hope you’ll get better soon.
    I usually remove my makeup before going to sleep, lately I’ve been using pure coconut oil. x

  4. Brianna says:

    Aww, Karen. You’re so beautiful inside and out, regardless of your glasses and unnoticeable puffy eyes! I hope your heart heals soon.

    On another note, I too love the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser! That and the Gentle Daily Cleanser( ?? in the blue bottle) are the best!

  5. Sidney says:

    Excellent routine, I wish I were that good about taking off my makeup. Usually I’ll wash my face with Simple gentle cleanser and my powered face brush from Ulta. If I have anything waterproof on I’ll reach for the Ponds cold cream. On my super lazy days I’ll skip the primer and just hope that most of my makeup has worn off by the time I hit my bed.

  6. Rachel says:

    I used the MAC makeup wipes for a long time. I need to find something a lil cheaper that work. Where do you find the kirklands makeup wipes? Is Kirkland a part of King Soopers grocery store?

  7. Please tell me you’re not serious about the crying part?!
    Anyways I love oil based cleansers as I normally use waterproof mascara. The Body Shop Shiso cleansing oil works wonders but my eyes get uncomfortable with it. But for a couple of days I’ve been using Bioderma which is actually pretty good inspite of being water based.
    Tshering Yangzom recently posted … Mac Cream Colour Base in Pearl

  8. Shannon says:

    Aw, Karen! Hugs for those tears. (If I could reach through the screen, I’d lend you some of my Benefit Depuffing Action Eye Gel, which works miracles for crying-puffiness…though I agree with Brianna – your puffy eyes are pretty darn low-key!)

    I’m usually bad and don’t take my makeup off at night, but there’s always something hangin’ around in the morning to remove. If I’m going to shower/wash my hair, I use jojoba oil to cleanse my face and get off all the little stubborn bits of mascara and eyeliner before I jump in the shower, where I wipe off the oiliness with a washcloth. That tends to get my most stubborn makeup off.
    If I’m in more of a rush (aka when I’m too lazy to actually clean mahself), I like to use the Kirkland Signature facewipes. So affordable, and they don’t break me out, hooray! If I have a lot of eye makeup on and it’s a “no-shower” day, I’ll sometimes throw some jojoba oil on a cotton ball and go at my eyes before I take a wipe to my face, just to get some of the heavy stuff out of the way.

  9. Katherine M says:

    You are beautiful no matter what – whether you are sporting a cool new makeup look, or showing us that you are a real and accessible blogger/friend πŸ™‚

    I take off my makeup using pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Lately I’ve been using Rimmel eye makeup remover (it does ok…it stings a little though) and I love Pond’s Morning Refresh cleansing wipes (they work well if the makeup is not waterproof – if it’s waterproof I need special eye makeup remover). I also love Cetaphil for getting the dirt and grime off.

  10. Agata says:

    I normally use Neutrogena cleansing wipes, to take off my face make up and foundation, followed by Neutorgena Oil Free make up remover- this is the only product that removes my waterproof mascara. Does the Mac Cleanse Off Oil remove a waterproof mascara? I might try that!

  11. Kim says:

    TGIF, is right! I hope you’ll be able to do something fun this weekend and lift your spirits a bit. Hopefully Tabs and El Hub will be around to snuggle with you. πŸ™‚

    I take off my makeup at night with CeraVe cleanser, just by washing my face. I have to spend extra time scrubbing to remove the UD liner and YSL mascara but it usually works. If I miss any (under my eyes), I’ll generally wipe it off with a Qtip. I know I’d be better off using a cleansing oil but I find they all make my eyes a bit cloudy – and most nights I just don’t want to bother with the extra step. I know, my wrinkles are not thanking me.

  12. On days when I’m feeling lazy or wearing very light makeup, I use my Caudalie Cleansing water. For heavy duty makeup, I use the Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Balm which has got me hooked to the cleansing oil/balm routine!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer Lipstick RD 304 Hibiscus : Review, Swatch, FOTD

    • Catalina says:

      I love Caudalie’s micellar cleansing water! Takes off all my eye make up (and anything I have on my face, if I choose to use it for that) and leaves my eyes/skin feeling great – not dry or sticky.
      I’m pretty active during the day and hate getting into bed “with the day still on me,” so I take a shower every night. I use Caudalie’s cleansing water to remove eye make up before getting in the shower and then lately I’ve been using Tata Harper’s skincare line, so I will use her cleanser in the shower.. sometimes with a konjac sponge. Although Tata products have wonderful, organic, luxurious ingredients I’m not convinced that all of the products are practical (or worth what they cost). After I finish up what I have, I will probably switch back to my old natural fav.. Arcona, with their white tea cleanser or the berry fruit bar. Both products smell great, are gentle and effective!

      • Catalina says:

        Oh! And when I use wipes – I love Ole Henriksen’s Truth to Go wipes – they are the best, most natural, most cost effective I have found. I was excited about these Pacifica wipes because they are about $9 less expensive then OH, but not being able to use them on the eyes is a total dealbreaker for me πŸ™ Too bad because I love 99% of the ingredients and the fact that they are cruelty free and biodegradable!

      • Stephanie says:

        I use Caudalie Cleansing Water as well to take off all my makeup. Works great, removes everything and doesn’t irritate my skin. Then I usually use my Clarisonic Plus with Clinique Mild Liquid Soap to wash my face. If I’m feeling exceptionally lazy, I have the Pond’s Makeup Removing Wipes to get the makeup and grime off.

  13. Myriam says:

    Hey! I love your blog,
    it’s different then the others,yours combine three of my fave things: MAKEUP, humor and Cats..
    What’s not to love!
    I’m sorry for your loss, I went through a similar thing last summer around the same time, it sure is tough but it will all heel.
    I myself remove my makeup with baby oil, it works miracle even waterproof! Then I wash my face with biotherm aqua source.

  14. Maja says:

    I like to use cleansers because it is the easiest way to get all the make up out of my face, and I am sure that nothing is anymore on my face! And I feel refreshed πŸ˜€ Now I am using garnier pureactiv 2in1 cleanser for makeup removing, It’s ok! πŸ™‚

  15. Alison M says:

    I really love the Boscia cleansing oil. It manages to get all my makeup off without drying me out. When the makeup is gone, I follow up with Tea Tree Oil cleanser to do the cleaning. There is a new cleansing oil from The Body Shop that I just ordered today. I hope it works as well as Boscia because it will save me a pretty penny!

    I hope the crying phase of your grief doesn’t last too long and that the happy memories of Shauna will move to the forefront soon <3
    Alison M recently posted … Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Eye Cream With Mimosa

  16. I usually use some form of drugstore wipe (still living on that University style budget even though I’m a teacher!) Right now I have walmart ones, then if my face is super dry I use olive oil & my Olay Pro face brush, or an acne cleanser and that usually gets all the makeup off & ready to tone & moisturize!

  17. Ashley says:

    I use Trader Joe’s cleanser, which is surprisingly good quality. I’m rather lazy, so I just wash my face right before I go to bed, and if I have particularly stubborn eye make up on I’ll break out my Estee Lauder eye makeup remover.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Where did you get the scarf you are wearing? GORGEOUS! I want one.

  19. Mary says:

    Hey Karen. I remove my makeup and wash my face every night before bed. I use Maybelline Flash Clean makeup removing lotion (it works great for waterproof mascara!) and Clinique facial soap and clarifying lotion for oily skin.

  20. Katrina says:

    Why have u been crying? I hope you’re doing fine. πŸ™

    I love mac cleanse off oil. It easily removes my makeup. I havent tried mac wipes but when i’m too lazy i use loreal wipes.
    Katrina recently posted … Magnifibres: Brush On False Lashes

  21. NeenaJ says:

    Mostly, I wait til before bedtime to wash my face using Tatcha Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup and 2nd cleanse with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. Neither do a great job of removing all my waterproof eye makeup, though. So, I also end up using Neutrogena’s bi-phase eye make up remover, too.

    For those days when the makeup, I use Epielle Green Tea Cleansing Tissues (from Big Lots) to wipe off my face. Then, later in the evening, I follow the steps above.

    Caroline Hirons just endorsed the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm so, I’m excited to try that when I run out of the Tatcha.

  22. Kristen says:

    I use Neutrogena Oil free eye makeup remover on a Neutrogena Makeup remover wipe and clean my eyes. Then I use the Michael Todd Charcoal Detox to remove my makeup with my Clarisonic. I usually wear a full face of makeup. If its a minimal makeup day, I just use my hands to remove and skip the clarisonic all together. Taking my makeup off is my favorite part of the evening.

  23. Denise S. says:

    I use cotton pads that I soak with Lacome’s Bi-facil eye makeup remover.I brought the twin pack during a Sephora sale. Before that I tried Clinique’s Take the day off make up remover. Both of these are very good. Would use wipes but they tend to burn my eyes might be the alcohol or preservatives. Haven’t found a good drug store remover yet,most are irritating to my eyes and skin. I wash with Avveno bright complexion cleanser and my Claisonic brush. Hope you have a good weekend Karen that is focused on love not loss, hugs!!

  24. Karen loved your review

    I usually use the makeup remover sephora blue.

    I was curious in MAC Cleanse Off Oil, today he wanted to buy.

    Now that you approve, I’ll want too, love all you forehead.

    A big kiss!

  25. rose says:

    I stick to the same routine now: first I use a cleansing oil and rinse off, then I follow up with my Clarisonic and Purity Made Simple. Regardless if it’s a low-makeup day or a full-face day. I figure no matter how much makeup I’m wearing, I always have on a broad spectrum spf. It grosses me out to think about leaving it on my skin overnight.

  26. Laneski says:

    I use NOW apricot kernel oil to remove my face make-up, Neutrogena eye make-up remover for the eyes, and sometimes follow up with a rose water toner. The rose water is magnetized, not sure what that means benefit wise, but it smells lovely. The apricot oil has saved my face from being stripped of its moisture.
    I do like your lip color! πŸ™‚ Happy Friday!

  27. Joy says:

    Don’t know why you’ve been crying but nothing is more important than you being okay. Hope everything is on the up and up! ((((( HUGS & SUPPORT )))))

  28. Heidi says:

    Girl, I should look so adorable after some major crying!

    I’m pretty diligent about cleaning my face every night. If I’ve just got light makeup on I use Nuance’s eye makeup remover and Nuance’s Oxygen Cleanser (LOVING this stuff). If I’ve gone more heavy duty with the makeup I’ll use some jojoba oil that I pick up from Trader Joe’s to melt down the makeup first, and then follow up with the Oxygen Cleanser.

  29. ChicTrends says:

    Hello dear! Hope your pretty eyes aren’t crying anymore πŸ™‚

    I always double cleanse. I remove all of my makeup with the Shu Uemura cleansing oil and after that I use Shiseido’s Perfect Whip cleanser. If the Shu’s cleansing oil doesn’t remove all my makeup I use Bioderma’s crealine lait to remove the rest. They all work pretty well!

    Best, x

  30. Ruchita says:

    I’ve started removing my makeup right when I get home from work. I am so lazy and when it gets late, all I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep. I usually use makeup remover wipes and then my Clarisonic. I even do my nighttime skin care routine then, b/c I rarely leave the house once I’m home from work.

    Sending hugs and kitty purrs your way. Hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend. πŸ™‚

  31. Amber says:

    I have a sample of Dermalogica Precleanse that I’ve been using and then I follow that up with LA Fresh makeup remover wipes then I use Philosophy Purity cleanser, whew! That’s only when I’m wearing heavy makeup though. Usually, I just use a wipe then whatever cleanser I’m sampling at the moment.

  32. Iris says:

    I use eye makeup remover and a basic skin cleanser to remove my makeup at the end of the day before I shower. I don’t have a favourite brand as I like to try new ones all the time.

    Take care of yourself.

  33. Christine says:

    You look great in glasses! Crying is part of the healing process, let it out and let the healing in.

    For my makeup removal, I rely on my nighttime washing routine — I use the oil-cleanse method with a combo of castor/olive oils. That, plus a hot wash cloth, gets everything off my skin and gets rid of even the most stubborn eye liner and mascara.

  34. Vanessa says:

    MAC cleanse off oil (too). I’m thinking about trying the DHC cleansing oil…

  35. camille says:

    Kare Bear! I tried looking for the Ultra Gentle Neutrogena Cleanser at my local (favourite) Ulta, but no dice. πŸ™ I forgot to check at Target. Booo, me!

    I guess it’s meant to be. I need to finish the cleanser I just bought. I usually hate washing my face before bed, because I’d rather take a shower and make everything else clean. (Is that just me, or do other people have the same thought process? LoL) So I’m trying to use up my Morning Burst Cleanser. It’s really good, and I like it, but I want to try the Neutrogena. πŸ™‚

    When I’m SUPER lazy, I’ll use the Pond’s face wipes in citrus scent. (yummy!) And slap on some moisturizer and eye cream. I try to clean up and “get ready for bed” around 6. Yeah, I get kinda lazy, so I might as well do it early so I don’t put it off when I’m sleepy.

  36. Wendy Lange says:

    I like using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Make-Up Remover Wipe every night before bed as they are soothing and gentle on sensitive skin.

    In the morning I use the Vitamin E Cleanser.

    New to the site ~ love your site design. Take care.

  37. Gina says:

    Unfortunately the Neutrogena cleanser that you use doesn’t work for me, it left a film on my skin & broke it out. Well, at least it didn’t irritate my skin! I stick with Ole Henrickson red tea cleanser and my Clarisonic Mia. On rare occasion I’ll use my liquid Almay makeup remover first (if I wear lashes)but it doesn’t work well for me.

  38. Ami S. says:

    I always go for Shiseido’s Ultimate Cleansing Oil to take off my makeup first, then use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap and a little silicone scrubber thingy. About 2-3 times a week I reach for my Clarisonic and La Roche Posay Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cleanser after using the cleansing oil. After all that I use SK’s Remove Eye Makeup Remover to get off those last traces of mascara and I’m done. πŸ™‚

  39. Angelique says:

    I love your posts. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I use Loreal Re-Nourish Cleansing Wipes when I’m just wearing light makeup.

  40. Chelsea says:

    I’m addicted to the BioDerma Crealine Cleansing Water! Takes off all my makeup, even mascara, with no tugging, and it doesn’t irritate my skin. I follow with cleanser (I’m rotating between a couple right now – CeraVe, First Aid Beauty, and an olive oil bar soap).

  41. Angel says:

    I usually don’t need makeup remover because I use an oil cleanser (I make my own). It cuts through the makeup and leaves my skin clean in one step. On days when I’m wearing gobs of eye makeup, I just use grapeseed oil. It’s natural and cheap, plus a bottle will last forever. I usually wash my face at night except in the summer when it’s hot and gross. Then I wash it off as soon as I get home.

  42. Emme says:

    I remove my make-up as soon as I get home. I use grapeseed oil to remove my eye makeup. Then Equate Naturally Gentle wipes from Walmart. I finish cleansing with my Clarisonic Mia and Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin. I have oily, acne-prone, sensitive skin.

  43. Leslie Alley says:

    I adore washing my makeup off at night, along with the day! I have sensitive skin…. But didn’t figure that out until a series of trial and error purchases from the makeup counters all left my eyes red, puffy and burning!! Then one day, my dreams came true! (Haha) I worked for a store that sold a huge selection of wonderful companies. I discovered that Fresh Soy Face & Eye cleanser was my answer. I think it has cucumber extract and chamomile as well, to soothe the skin around the eyes, and other natural ingredients to nourish the lashes as well. Plus you can wash your face and eyes in one step. I love that it is a cream-gel! Not too drying, yet not too greasy! I always like to follow up with serums and creams.

    With or without tears, my ritual seems to consistently refresh my spirit… And make me feel better before sweet dreams…

  44. Sarah says:

    I’ve only been using facewash these days. Yeah – I know.

    PrettyGloss Γ’β„’Β₯ beauty, makeup & a lil bit life
    Sarah recently posted … Tango Red or Pearl Nude?

  45. Erica says:

    I love the Neutrogena! I’m on my second bottle, it’s fantastic. It did take my skin about 2 weeks to adjust (I switched from the Clinique foaming cleanser in the pink tube-budget cuts, haha!) but now it’s awesome. I found the Pacifica wipes WAY too harsh for my super sensitive skin πŸ™
    Feel better!

  46. Nicole says:

    Awww Karen, I’m so sorry to hear your news πŸ™

    I take my makeup off after work on the way to the gym, and I use the new Maybelline Clean Express wipes…they’re awesome!

  47. Maggie says:

    I have not had good luck with Neutrogena’s cleansers (several make my face turn red and almost stings) but every time someone mentions this particular one I want to try.

    I have very sensitive skin that is also prone to oil, flakiness, eczema and acne. It’s difficult to find products that balance all of these so I have a WHOLE system.

    For eye makeup, I have Bliss Lid+Lash or MUFE Sens’ Eyes to fix mistakes with q-tips. I can reapply makeup right over. However, these are too harsh to use daily all over my eyelids so to get rid of stubborn waterproof mascara I use the Milani makeup remover. If I develop some rash from an eye product, I use the Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover or DHC Cleansing Oil.

    For the rest of the face–it’s more simple. If I’m wearing makeup, I start with DHC Cleansing Milk and then double-cleanse with Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. I’m also experimenting with other cleansers but that’s the system I have so far.

  48. Monica P says:

    I use Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse .. it’s an oil based cleanser that takes off everything – including waterproof mascara. However, the oil remains so that I just another cleanser (Neutrogena) to make sure my face is clean.

    Monica P recently posted … Casual dinner in the desert

  49. Sun says:

    Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil to remove stubborn makeup, followed by Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser.

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