MAC Wipes: Take It Off! Take It all Off!

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews, Skin Care


I’ve scoured the earth searching for the ideal makeup removing wipe. Okay, well, maybe not the earth, but I have scoured the Bay Area, and I have yet to find a wipe that doesn’t smell weird, doesn’t hurt my eyes, doesn’t cost too much or doesn’t dry out too quickly due to packaging design flaws.


Although I’ve tried wipes by so many other brands, I always resisted buying MAC Wipes because I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $24.50 per pack.

Then, a few weeks ago, before a trip to the MAC Pro Store, I did some long overdue makeup math. I’d just run out of Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($9 per pack of 25) and realized that the cost of the bulk pack of 100 MAC Wipes for $24.50 came out to just 25 cents per wipe (versus 36 cents/wipe for Neutrogena’s). Hello, bargain!

That day I bought my first pack of 100 MAC Wipes, and I’m glad I did.

These wipes work great. As usual, MAC’s got game. A single MAC Wipe removes all of my makeup, even waterproof mascara, and smells fresh and clean (like flowers and soap). The wipes don’t leave a sticky film on my skin, either, like Pond’s Clean Sweep wipes do.

And MAC did a great job with the packaging. Some brands — Garnier Nutrioniste Nutri-Pure Wet Towelettes come to mind — use plastic jugs with flimsy sticker lids that aren’t airtight. In a matter of days after opening a package, the wipes have all dried out.

But MAC Wipes come packaged in a resealable bag that keeps them moist and fresh. I store the package with the opening face down. That way, the moisture drains down onto what will be my next wipe.

I’ve been using MAC Wipes on my face each day for the past week and haven’t had a problem with breakouts, which surprised me because the product contains dimethicone, a silicone commonly used in skin products to give them a smooth, slippery texture. I’ve had breakout problems in the past with other skin care products containing dimethicone, but my face remains zit-free (*crosses fingers*). Again, props to MAC.

MAC Wipes (Bulk)

Price: $24.50 for 100 sheets
Use: To remove makeup, to clean up makeup mistakes and to clean brushes
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

In addition to using MAC Wipes to remove my makeup before bed, I’ve also been using them to wipe up after the gym, when I apply my makeup to clean up makeup mistakes and to quickly clean my makeup brushes between more vigorous brush washing.

Pretty handy little buggers.


I can’t believe I waited so long to give these a try. I hope MAC makes a travel size available (without raising the price too much) because the 100-wipe pack is a little too big to bring with me everywhere.

Pick up a pack of MAC Wipes at your nearest MAC counter or from

Did you have a good Memorial Day weekend? I hope so. I just chilled at home today. I had plans to go for a run, but it was too cold. Were you able to do anything fun?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 49 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Mariah says:

    I was reading that “Don’t Go To The Makeup Counter Without Me” book, and she just RAVES about the Mac Wipes! She considers them a total bargain, and says “The formula combines gentle cleansing agents with a solvent and silicones to accomplish this, and most will find it a soothing experience.”

    πŸ˜€ Sounds awesome! Do you use these for your entire cleanser? Or do you use a cleanser after too?

    Mariahs last blog post..A Week in the Life of MariahGem, Volume 6

  2. Marisol says:

    Glad that you had a good day off.

    I used to be all about MAC Wipes but since I don’t have a counter near me, I didn’t pick any up for the longest time. However, I have been using Mary Kay’s Wipes and they work well for me.

    I actually posted a review on my blog — Props to Mary Kay.

    Marisols last blog post..Cupcakes & a day of rememberance

  3. kae says:

    i like how they work, but i think they smell weird. i think i’m the only one who thinks that too =/

    • Michele says:

      No girl! Jist opened a pack of MAC wipes and they do smell weird. I cannot decide if it is offensive or I can get use to it. Anyway I work in the wine industry they smell like what we call taint. Thanks for your honest post.

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Mariah,

    On nights when I’m totally lazy, yes, it’s the only cleanser I use. I keep the pack by the couch and take off my makeup while I’m watching TV. πŸ™‚

    I have Paula’s book on my shelf and I haven’t gotten around to reading it. I’ve heard some of her skin products are great. Have you tried any?

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Sweet! Don’t you love when you find skin stuff that does its job and works well?

    How was your day? Do anything fun?

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Kae,

    Yeah, I could see how the scent would be a dividing factor. It’s one of those things that you’ll either love or hate.

  7. Marisol says:

    I spent my day doing laundry and shopping at Trader Joe’s…whoo hoo!

    I do like the MK wipes for when I travel. Don’t have to worry about things spilling into my bag. But normally, I use Cetaphil Facial Soap and Neutrogena Oil-Free Make Up Remover.

    Marisols last blog post..Cupcakes & a day of rememberance

  8. Karen says:

    Ahh, I love TJ’s! I was supposed to go today but didn’t quite make it. I love TJ’s boxed soups and the Low Fat Cheese Cruchies.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hi Karen! MAC has a 45 pack which is much friendlier to travel with than the 100 pack. Although 45 is not quite travel size, it packs really easily. It’s funny because I only allowed myself to start purchasing the MAC wipes kinda the same way you did–after I realized they were cheaper than my PONDS ones! But, the MAC wipes does wonders…I don’t think I’ll ever use another kind. It takes off EVERYTHING!

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I will probably end up getting the 45 pack, too. You guys need to make a mini-travel 10 pack! Fo’ reals! πŸ™‚

  11. Joey says:

    I’ve been debating whether I should pick up a pack or not. I’ve heard it works wonders (like this post!) but I’ve been skeptical. My mascara brand is really finicky, and cold cream is the best way to get it off ):

    My memorial day was spent driving, watching 21 with the boyfriend in bed, korean market run, and cooking gyoza, rice, and edemame for dinner (:

    Joeys last blog post..My Collection So Far!

  12. bella says:

    you know, i fell into the ponds/neutrogena/garnier trap too, before i did the math, and realized that mac’s were just as cheap, if not cheaper. i usually could find the drugstore ones on sale, but the mac wipes still came out the same price. they’re better, and you can B2M with the empty container!

    many nights i use them as cleanser, and my skin looks pretty good.

  13. Nikki says:

    MAC wipes is quite expensive here πŸ™ so instead of me spending them on the wipes, I always use the Shu Uemura cleansing oil instead, takes time..but what a girl to do to save up? hehehhe thanks for the C.Bale photo TAKE IT OFF! hahaha

    Nikkis last blog post..Tip for the Day: Fuller Lashes Look

  14. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,
    I have been tempted to try the MAC wipes, a friend of mine swears by them but it does seem like a silly ammount of money to spend on wipes when it could buy me something more fun like an eyeshadow or lipgloss!!
    I have been using plain old Johnsons baby wipes to remove me face makeup for a while now and i love them! They are really gentle on my skin and remove everything without having to scrub! I do use Lancome Bi Facil for my eyes seperately but I would do that anyway because I dont like to wipe at my eyes. I also use them to wipe my brushes in between washes. I love that they are so cheap (usually even on buy one get one free where I work!) and so mild!

  15. Glosslizard says:

    Hi Karen!

    I like to shower before bed, so I don’t usually use wipes for much. If I start needing them, I’ll pick these up! Makeup math don’t lie! πŸ™‚

    Yesterday Hubby and I worked on sorting out a bunch of stuff from the garage! Yarg! We’re giving away a bunch of the kids’ old toys to friends, charity, and an employees at Hubby’s work whose house got burned down (resulting in a safe, but now toyless 2-year-old girl). I swear, it is downright embarrassing how much stuff those kids have!

  16. Sylvie says:

    Hi Karen. The only time I use these wipes is cuz I’ve got lipstick all over the back of my hand while trying to pick one and the MAC artists give them to me to wipe my hands clean. But I do have a question, why would you use these to take off your makeup than a good makeup removal cleansing oil like Shu Uemura’s? I mean, is it as thorough with the removal? Cuz I’ve been pumping little bottles with the cleansing oil for travelling…

  17. Janine says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’ve been a fan of the M.A.C wipes for years, since they first came out. They’re gentle and effective. No residue, no stinging. The wipes themselves changed quite some time ago, but admitting that I miss the old texture would mark me as an ol’ biddy wasting time mourning old stuff when she could be out discovering new.

    I have the 45-pack stashed in my overnight case; I keep the 100s handy in the bathroom for daily cleansing. I have oily skin which occasionally misbehaves; I minimize breakouts by cleansing with my usual cleanser (Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel) after using the M.A.C wipes.

    I love that you did the math — I’ll pass that on! And I love the Christian Bale photo. After I saw American Psycho I told everyone he should do all his movies naked. But no one listened…

    Janines last blog post..POP Goes Your Eye Colour

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Joey,

    I hear ya. Cold cream is like the mother of all makeup removers… too bad I’m so darn lazy, LOL.

    My stomach just rumbled when I read the words “gyoza, rice and edamame.” Those are three of my favorite things to eat.

    Have a good week!

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Bella,

    WOW! So I totally didn’t know I could bring the empty container in for Back to Mac. Thanks for the info. πŸ™‚

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Nikki,

    You’re welcome! πŸ˜‰

    I’ve used one of the Shu Cleansing oils and unfortch it broke me out… I think I have to switch to a lighter one.

    Happy Monday!

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    Yeah, I felt the exact same way, too, until I realized that they were practically the same price as the drugstore ones. On occasion I use baby wipes, too! It’s a trick I learned in theater. πŸ™‚

    Oh! So, I finished my bottle of Lancome Bi Facil a few days ago and picked up the Clarins eye makeup remover (it’s the bi-phase one). Have you tried it? I really like it so far.

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Cheers for productivity! Isn’t it amazing how garages are like black holes for stuff? And then one day you look and BAM! There is all is. πŸ™‚

    That’s great that you’re passing the toys on… think of all the love they’ll get from other children now, too, awww!

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Sylvie,

    It just really depends on what sort of mood you’re in, I guess. I usually don’t stick to one method of removing my makeup. I like to have options, and the MAC Wipes are good for when I’m really tired, like when I get home late from a night out or when I’m too exhausted from working.

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Janine,

    Ha! I, too, lobby for naked C. Bale movies! I am on your side, girl. πŸ™‚

    I used to use Special Cleansing Gel back in the day when my skin was oilier. I remember liking it, too.

  25. Megan says:

    So K… my favorite wipes EVER EVER for travel are basis ones because they are individually wrapped. The only thing is that it’s so hard to find them anymore. I just googled though and found them online.
    They are good and great for travel. I’ve never tried MAC’s but I may have to give them a try. I’ve used mostly the same drugstore brands as you… but have never really been in love enough to be devoted…A coworker recommended some that she bought at TJ’s of all places… the brand was comodynes or something like that… OK…googled them too – but I’ve never tried them.

  26. Ping. says:

    i love make up wipe. oh so easy haha especially for those *ahem* drunken nights hehe. I had only try Simple. Mac back here is a little bit more pricey but for 100 pieces.. it might be worth it haha

  27. Heather says:

    I love, love, love the scent of the MAC wipes. Does anyone know of anything else by MAC with the same fragrance?

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    I like Basis so now I’m going to see if I can hunt these down. I really like having individuals wipes around for quick clean up so I really hope I find these.

    I’ve seen those wipes before — my friend has ’em wipes in her bathroom. When I go to her house I usually plunder her lotions and pick through her beauty stuff (we’ve known each other for a loooong time), so when I visit her next I’ll try one of those just to see what they are like, ha ha ha.

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    I hear that! I haven’t had lots of late nights out lately (been working like a fiend), but when I do they are the best for when you’re too exhausted to clean up!

  30. kia says:

    I LOVE MAC WIPES! i refuse to buy them so expensive so to the CCO, here i come!

    they are great except for people who hate the vanilla scent (i just love it!)

    kias last blog post..Yummy411: Contests and How I do my eyebrows

  31. Melody says:

    I LOVE MAC wipes …they’re my HG wipes and I swear by them! They’re worth every penny and leave myskin feeling so soft which no other wipes do to my skin.

    I love the smell of them too.

  32. Raven says:

    ive been using baby wipes….for 5 or 6 years and i swear….these things really make me wanna not put on moisturizer afterwards cos they are sooooooo soft and smell really good.

    i dont think im going to buy MAC’s wipes because..well…i would its just they are sooo expensive

    Ravens last blog post..Quote and Pic of the Month

  33. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,

    I actually haven’t tried the Clarins eye makeup remover no. I was going to last time i needed to replace my Chanel Demaquillant yeux but my good friend who works on the Clarins counter next to me did not reconmend it and said she prefers the Lancome so I bought that instead and am quite impressed with it! It doesnt remove as quickly and easily as the Chanel but it does have a nicer scent and is less oily so i would say they are pretty much a tie!

  34. Kyl says:


    Thanks for the great post. Also, I loved your tip last week (last month?) about keeping some wipes near the TV for nights when the call of the couch is strong. I’ve purchased a pack for that use now and, I must say, it’s come in handy.

    Kyls last blog post..That’s One Vain Little Robot

  35. Meaghan says:

    Hi Karen-
    Have you tried the Boots No7 Quick thinking 4 in 1 wipes? They are $6 for a pack of 30 and they are fabulous! I find that MAC’s leave a weird slimy residue while these just remove makeup and leave you feeling moisturized but not slimy! Target sells them and we know how much you love a reason to go to Target!! (which by the way has sold out of the Sonia Kashuk flat blusher brush! Ive gone to 4 different Targets today and they are all gone!)

    Meaghans last blog post..MAC’s Neo-Sci Fi & Solar Field

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Kia,

    LOL! Have fun! I hope you pick up some fun things. πŸ™‚

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Melody,

    I agree! I don’t know if I can use any other wipes now. They’re fab. I love the smell too, and hope that my nose doesn’t get “used” to it.

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Raven,

    In the past I’ve used baby wipes too (learned it in theater). They work great, I agree. Do you ever use them to clean your brushes? They are handy for that, too.

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    Lancome Bi-Facil is a good one… takes everything off! I like ’em both.

    I am very tempted to try the Chanel one, but that’s one more thing my wallet doesn’t need to fall in love with, LOL.

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Kyl,

    You’re welcome! Oh guuurlll… you know I’ve got lazy covered. Keeping wipes by the couch has saved my butt from falling asleep so many times. It’s kind of relaxing, too, to take off makeup while watching TV, yah?

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Meaghan,

    Yup, I have. I like them okay; they don’t always remove my waterproof stuff and I thought the wipes were kind of scratchy.

    Seriously, girl? Four Targets, wow! You are an official dedicated brush enthusiast and my hero! I hope you find it. Ah, there’s nothing like the thrill of the makeup hunt!

  42. Meaghan says:

    Now that you mention it Karen they are a bit scratchy!!! I visited Target number five on the way home today and still no luck! (Grrr!!!) I had to suck it up and order online- though this did mean I just “had” to purchase more than just the flat brush (I got the angled eye shader that you reviewed and the smudge brush) because, you know, you have to justify paying for shipping! πŸ™‚ Of course all those trips to Target also led to a few more products too! I picked up Sonia’s blue blender sponge (because I have been dying to try the beauty blender) and the highlight of the trip was Sonia’s “Golden Summer Spray” which is the shiznit!!! This stuff is awesome!! I have been dying to find a bronzer spray that isn’t gold and holy hannah- this is the holy grail! It makes you look instantly tan without shimmer or the fake glow- just a nice bronze base. I just don’t even know how to describe it. This stuff is so good that at $12.99 I bought three cans of it! You have to check it out and let me know what you think (I am way lighter than you so I’d be curious to see if you like it!)

    Meaghans last blog post..MAC’s Neo-Sci Fi & Solar Field

  43. Megan says:

    I love MAC wipes. I have the 100 pack by my bed if i cant be bothered to properly cleanse. Next time you go to your MAC counter, ask about the pack of 45. I dont have a local counter so I had to travel for ages on a over crowded train just for these. Totally worth it πŸ™‚

  44. jenna says:

    i love the mac wipes, mainly for their wonderful smell. however, i find that oil of olay total effects wipes are even better. the smell isn’t as nice, but they are bigger (i cut them in half!) and much softer than mac wipes. they’re about $6-7 per pack of 30, which i believe is a little cheaper than mac wipes, especially if you cut them in half. mine last a few months and have never dried out even a little.

  45. Kristina says:

    omg, thank you so much for posting this. i just bought the neutrogena makeup remover and i just love the smell of it and how it works. but at the same time i was thinking about the mac wipes and i was wondering if the higher price for them meant less of a bargain. but you were completely on hit with the information i was looking for. thank you so much!!

  46. Cari says:

    I am pretty skeptical about trying these because they are a bit pricey but ,it is so difficult for me to remove my makeup so I need wipes that can completely remove my makeup even my eye makeup which is the hardest to remove.If you guys have any ideas for me that would be wonderful.

  47. sonia says:

    They are the best makeup removing wipes by far. The don’t leave your skin feeling tight. Your face is clean and feels moisturized!!

  48. Fresh says:

    MAC WIPES are the best wipes out there – wouldn’t say they are the most sensitive on the eyes. Think NEUTROGENA ones are a little bit better in that area.

    Also to get every single drop of makeup off use MAC’s Cleanse Off Oil – think works like a charm πŸ™‚

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