What’s Your General Makeup Removal Process?

Published in: Just For Fun

Let's get ready to moisturize and prime!

Bare skin, yo!

Nothing fancy. I start with an oil-based cleanser like DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which is basically great and pretty much removes everything, including my eye makeup (but I also like this one by Dolce & Gabbana, mostly because of the rosy scent…but it’s $50!), and then followup with something like Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Formula for deeper cleansing and to take care of anything that the oil-based cleanser missed.

How about you?


Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 41 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sarah says:

    I am the exact same! I use extra virgin coconut oil to remove all my makeup. I spend about 60 seconds just rubbing it into my skin. Rinse. Then I follow up with a exfoliating wash from Clarins to get anything left behind.

  2. Tulipthecat says:

    Hi Karen!
    I usually start of by using the Sephora Black Magic Makeup Remover cloths to remove my makeup and then use the Clarins foamy face wash with my Clarisonic. If I’m lazy I don’t use the Clarisonic and if I’m going to the gym I just use the Costco brand makeup remover wipes.

    I was thinking of buying the DHC Cleansing oil when I saw it at a pop up DHC store. I haven’t had the best luck with cleansing oils. I feel like my face gets too oily and it freaks me out.

  3. breyerchic04 says:

    Somedays I start with Banila Cleanse it Zero sherbet cleanser and follow up with cetaphil, others I just use simple micellar water and hope I got it.

  4. Amanda says:

    I don’t know if oil cleansers are for me. I do believe, however, that you need to follow it up with another cream or foam cleanser. I splurged on the Tatcha Camelia Cleansing Oil, and oh boy, it messed up my face. I had a long run with clear skin… then after the four-week mark of using the Tatcha oil, I got three huge meanies on my chin and around my mouth. I’m sticking with my Philosophy Purity cleanser, followed by exfoliation. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, I guess…

  5. Tatiana says:

    I use a cleansing oil followed by Shu Uemura Porefinist cleanser. I have cleansing oils by Tatcha, Shu Uemura, MAC, and Bobbi Brown. My favorite is the Tatcha, but I’d rather not spend that much if I can help it. Every now and then if I’m wearing really heavy makeup I’ll use Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm instead, as my first step.

  6. Jean says:

    I just wash my face with soap. I usually use Aveeno. It washes out makeup just fine. What’s the big fuss? All that makeup remover stuff is just to get money off you.

  7. kellly says:

    I use Garnier cleansing oil (discontinued, but I’m hoarding it now that it’s on sale!) to get all my eye makeup off. Rinse that off and then wash my face using baby shampoo. Then I put on my night (heavy) mositurizers/oils. I’ve been using this routine for years and am satisfied that I get everything removed cleanly. I’ve never been comfortable going to bed with makeup on.

    • Tara says:

      Hey Kelly!

      May I ask where you have you been able to find the Garnier cleansing oil on sale? I’ve been looking in stores everywhere and can’t even find one bottle!! People on ebay are asking upwards of $25 a bottle now that it’s discontinued and I’d REALLY rather not pay that (even though it is liquid gold to me). Thanks 🙂

  8. Same here. An oil or balm cleanser and then a more thorough cleanser as a follow up. If I wear certain makeup thinks like the Lancôme Grandiose mascara, I need to use an eye makeup-remover as well, my current oil doesn’t remove al of it.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser – Is natural always better?

  9. Lulle says:

    I do a 2-step cleansing if I was wearing a full face of makeup with cream/liquid foundation, starting with cleansing balm (I prefer them to oils, I’m still working on my Cinq Mondes Flower Balm) then either micellar water or foaming cleanser depending on my mood.
    If I was only wearing light makeup with powder foundation, I use a bi-phase eye makeup remover for, well, the eye makeup, and then micellar water for the rest. But sometimes I’ll use my balm if I feel like it.
    I realize I have no clear rules, lol!
    Lulle recently posted … Review: VIIcode O2M Eye Mask

  10. Christine says:

    Coconut oil massage to remove all makeup, followed by gentle scrub with diluted Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap with washcloth. Once a week exfoliation with coconut oil & baking soda.

  11. Kat says:

    Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover followed by Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil then wash with La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser. I use Pond’s Cold Cream when traveling. When my chin gives me trouble I’ll use LRP Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream in that area only.

    I switched from Garnier Cleansing Oil when I realized my skin was reacting to its fragrance.

  12. denise S says:

    I don’t wear foundation so I mainly need products to remove eye makeup. Recently started using petroleum jelly to remove my eye makeup because I read it’s good for you’re lashes. I’m also using Sephora’s makeup remover and it’s pretty good. I’ll use it after the petroleum jelly.Then I use my Clarisonic brush with Avveno brightening facial cleanser to wash my face.

  13. Sakura says:

    I wear it all. My make up removal process starts with a pre-wash with Olay Foaming Face wash for sensitive skin. Then, I use the same face wash with my Clarisonic. After, I wipe my skin Lancôme Eau Fraîche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water. Then I spray on some toner either Lumene Radiant Touch Refreshing Toner or Algenist Hydrating Water toner. I am transitioning to the later because is does not have any scent.

  14. Jennifae says:

    I usually start with my Makeup Eraser to remove most of my makeup, followed by MAC Lightful Cleanser with my Clarisonic Mia.
    Jennifae recently posted … Win RiRi Hearts MAC Heaux Lipstick!

  15. Allison C says:

    It was so interesting, Karen, to read all the comments above after reading your post. Everyone has such a different and unique method. Because I’m always testing new stuff, it varies. But lately my routine is fairly complex: Almay Eye Makeup Remover, Simple Micellar Water, MyChelle Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser with Foreo Luna, and rosewater toner. Yikes.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I normally use a 2-step cleansing process at night; CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash (works great) after using Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm. This stuff removes all traces of makeup for face/eye. It may be expensive but it does a beautiful job and lasts a long time. A little dab will do!
    My morning ritual is Bioderma Sensible H20 Solution on cotton pads and Paula’s Choice
    Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser to start my day!

  17. tirurit says:

    Depends on how fancy I am feeling that day, but I tend to alternate the The Body Shop Chamomile cleansing butter and the bioderma face wash. After that it is time for micellar water (really liking the garnier one) and biphase eye makeup remover (also garnier). Plus, as I love layering two or three toners, if there is any tiny smidge of make up on my face, the cotton with the toner will get it!

  18. Bernadette says:

    I was doing Sunday Riley ceramic slip cleanser followed by Bioderma or Nuxe Micellar water to remove the rest of my eye makeup, but I recently started using Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser as my evening face wash because it gets off ALL my makeup – which consists of mostly heaps of eyeliner and mascara! I barely have to use any micellar water to get any remaining eye makeup off. Now I use the Nuxe micellar as a toner and follow with serums and moisturizer.
    Bernadette recently posted … feliz navidad: tamale time. {mexico}

  19. India says:

    I’m a little in depth when it comes to makeup removal. First I try to get everything I can off with a makeup wipe. Then, I go in with the Clinique take the day off remover. Then I go in with the lancome makeup remover that gets everything off. Then I cleanse with the Biore charcoal cleanser to get the oil off. Lastly, I take this really weird lancome face cleanser that you only need a pea size of to cleanse
    India recently posted … Mini Sephora haul?

  20. Fran says:

    When I’m lazy, I’ll start while I’m lying down — with makeup remover wipes from Aveeno or Josie Maran. If I’m standing up, in winter I start with coconut oil, in summer with a cotton pad and 1. Sephora Triple-Action Cleansing Water followed by 2. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Makeup Remover on eyes and lips. Since I wear really tenacious makeup, I then use either Josie Maran Cleansing Oil (winter) or Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (summer), followed by washing my face with First Aid Beauty facial cleanser. Whew! In the AM I just wash off skin care with CeraVe Moisturizing Cleansing Lotion.

  21. Chelsea says:

    Bioderma Sensibio on cotton pads to remove makeup and sunscreen, followed with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to actually cleanse. I’ve tried doing just micellar water or just a cleanser, and I get breakouts either way. I follow with a basic toner (currently using one by Boots, I also have just plain aloe vera juice) to really make sure there’s no residue and prep my skin for serums and moisturizers.

    I picked up the Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser, and it’s great at removing makeup, but rose water (and other floral ingredients) just do not like my skin.

  22. Rachel R. says:

    I use bhCosmetics Eye & Lip Makeup Remover on cotton pads to soak off eyemakeup and any staining lipsicks. I go over my face with a wipe to get the melted eyemakup off and the top layer of my face makeup. Wash with NuSkin 180° Face Wash. Follow with toner.

  23. Efrain says:

    It takes a village I tell you well not really but I apply a cleansing oil (I’m going to change to balms since they aren’t drying) then use a hot cloth to remove it, I pass it once on my face then rinse it and repeat; after I use a non-foaming cleanser like Neutrogena Extra gentle cleanser which seems now discontinued in the US (which makes me think about stockpiling it) and do the same process with the hot cloth.
    Efrain recently posted … Sleek Blush By 3 in Californ.I.A. review

  24. Erin says:

    Right now, I’m using the Milky Jelly from Glossier. It takes off light makeup and doesn’t leave any residue. When I go all out I use: a cleansing water, oil or balm, and then a gel/milk. I get really freaking clogged easily so if I’ve been wearing long wear products I have to clean very well.

    As for Milky Jelly, I’m only wearing a lippie, mineral powder and a swipe of mascara most days I wear makeup so there isn’t much to remove.
    Erin recently posted … Painted Passage 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

  25. Grace says:

    If I’m wearing eye makeup (liquid liner and mascara), I’ll remove that first with an oil remover like Shu. Since I’m trying to empty my facial wash before hoarding another, I switch between either First Aid Beauty face wash, or Josie Maran oil cleanser followed by Philosophy Purity. I find Purity doesn’t completely remove makeup very well on its own, and Maran leaves a film behind on its own so the combo works great.

    Karen, I wonder what you use to follow up after the washing? Like exfoliaters or toners etc. I think we’re both in the same age range, and I feel that I should incorporate AHAs or BHAs or whatever HAHA’s :p to keep our skin supple but not sure what.

  26. Jojo says:

    Well, after reading this, I am switching from Bobbi Brown’s Soothing Cleansing Oil to DHC. For 6.7 oz, BB is $44, compared to DHC $28, but it is on sale for $23.50 until 3/31! Then I follow with Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. Good stuff!

  27. Heather L says:

    I use Formula Wipe Your Face Off makeup remover wipes first. I follow that up with my Clairsonic and either one of my GlamGlow or Bliss cleansers. If the wipe didn’t get all my eye makeup, I use my Clinique eye makeup remover. I follow up with a serum and moisturizer – Ahava and Ole Henricksen on my eyes and Peter Thomas Roth and either Shu Uemera or Murad on my face. I love wearing makeup but after many hours and that greasy melting feeling it’s a relief to get it off!

  28. Paula says:

    I used to use Lancome foaming cleanser but have recently switched to Olay total effects. I then either use Lancome Regenre Night or NYX BB Cream. Pretty basic.

  29. Karen says:

    I use Artistry eye and lip makeup remover and just make sure my cotton round is well saturated before starting. Then I take a q-tip for any small areas I missed. Follow that up with Artistry Balancing Face Wash (at night). In the mornings, I use the same or (lately) the Boscia detoxifying black cleanser. I love that it warms up while I use it! Crazy!

  30. Jen says:

    Recently, I’ve been starting with Boscia Make Up Break Up cleansing oil, then following with Murad AHA/BHA Cleanser and my Clairsonic. Any remaining eye makeup comes off with Sephora Collection Cleansing Water and I finish with a rosewater toner (couldn’t tell you the brand but I got it at Whole Foods).

  31. Megan says:

    I do an oil cleanse with jojoba, and maybe a little coconut on my eyes if needed (coconut oil just blasts away eye makeup like no other). Then I follow up with a second cleanser, which varies. My favorite right now is Mychelle Fruit Enzyme cleanser. Very effective but low lather and not too drying. I also love honey in the spring/summer when my skin is oilier.

  32. Susan C. says:

    I try to keep it cheap and simple. On low-makeup days, I use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. A few swipes, and I’m done. One towelette can often last through two washes (they’re on the large side) with perhaps an extra boost of water.

    On days when I wear a more vamped-up look, I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, then Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser. (I swear I am not a shill for Neutrogena. I just find their products gentle, effective and non-irritating at a good price point.)

  33. Ellya says:

    I always use any kind of bi phase eye makeup remover first. I usually wear waterproof mascara so only that kind of makeup remover can get rid of the mascara residue. And then I just use the Clinique take the day off cleansing balm and rinse with warm cloth. Usually this is enough and I can move on to the treat step of my skincare routine 🙂

  34. Eesha says:

    I usually remove make-up using an oil based make-up (neutrogena) and then massage my face with my Clinique’s cleanse-off balm and rinse it off. I think that is all for make-up removal process for me 🙂

    Btw how are you and the baby doing??
    Eesha recently posted … Review: Tom Ford Blush in Ravish

  35. First I remove my eye make-up with Nivea bi-phase make-up remover. Then I precleanse with a Eucerin milk. Then I oil cleanse with L’Occitane.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Covergirl The Super Sizer Mascara versus Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara

  36. Kim says:

    I use a CeraVe face wash and, if any eye makeup isn’t removed, I take it off with Bi facil.

  37. Marissa says:

    Oh gosh as horrible as it sounds I’m the worst at taking off my makeup. I do it when I shower weather it’s at night or in the morning. But rarely ever go out of my way to take it off. I heard that every night you sleep with makeup on it ages your skin 16 extra days. And even still weather true or not the thought is scary and I still sleep in makeup more than not …

  38. Emmy says:

    Cotton round soaked in Neutregena Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover for my stubborn eye makeup, followed by my Yes To Coconut makeup wipes for face makeup, then I use a little scrubby pad with my Trader Joe’s All in One Face Cleanser to deep cleanse.

  39. Lorraine says:

    At night it’s micellar water, and possibly biore charcoal cleanser in the little pump bottle & a salicylic acid acne treatment.
    A.m it’s an olay acne exfoliating cleanser, and garnier moisturizer.
    Very simple!

  40. Iris says:

    I use an eye makeup remover and then a face cleanser in the shower.
    Iris recently posted … heaveninawildflower:

    ‘Crow’ (17th century). Watercolour by…

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