On Second Thought, I Actually Adore MAC Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

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When I find myself tapping an almost empty plastic bottle upside down against the side of the sink to coax out the last few drops of this product, or zipping to the mall minutes before it closes to pick up a spare and coming home with not one but two replacement bottles — that’s when I know it’s probably time to throw my arms up in the air, spin around in circles and sing at the top of my lungs like Maria does at the beginning of the Sound of Music


“The hills are alive…” with the sound of MAC Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil! ๐Ÿ™‚

Err — so maybe my version of the song doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Maria’s, but I still think this stuff is awfully amazing. Epic, even.

It’s a mineral oil-free makeup remover designed to whisk away face, lip and eye makeup, and it does such a good job on hard-to-remove products that I rarely feel the need to use it with a secondary cleanser.

As with many great relationships, MAC Cleanse Off ($30 for a 5-fluid-ounce bottle) and I started out as work friends. When I reviewed it the first time last summer, I liked it and gave it a B+, but I felt like we wanted different things in life… I wanted a makeup remover that wouldn’t mess with my vision, for instance, and MAC Cleanse wanted to cloud up my eyes.

We kept things strictly platonic for a while, but then one night a few months ago, one thing led to another (you know how it is), and now I’m completely head-over-heels in lust! MAC Cleanse Off has become one of my favorite products in the line.

Sure, I’ve strayed a few times since then, tried a few other cleansing oils, but none of them worked as well or as fast.

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Cleanse Off cuts through even my hardest-to-remove products without batting an eye, like long-wearing lipsticks, waterproof mascaras, gel liners, stick foundations — you name it — and it does it quickly, without giving me breakouts or leaving my skin feeling tight; not having to follow it up with a dedicated eye makeup remover, even for products along my water line, also saves a little time.

And speaking of eyes, the beef I had with MAC Cleanse Off last summer had to do with it clouding up my eyes. Well, I’ve since learned a very valuable trick: closing my eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yup, duh, Karen!

On occasion while using it, my eyes will still get cloudy, but they clear up quickly with a few splashes of water.


For wrinkle prevention/postponement, I’ve also been trying to get better about not tugging at my skin as much, so I’ve been laying off the makeup wipes. MAC Cleanse Off Oil seems to work just as well as my favorite wipes do, and it works without tugging. Another plus!

Love, love, LOVE this stuff, and I’ve officially added it to my list of favorite MAC skincare products (right next to Strobe Cream).

PRICE: $30 for a 5-fluid-ounce bottle
AVAILABILITY: Available now at MAC stores and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A+ (updated from a previous B+)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 35 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Alyssa says:

    Karen, do you feel like this cleansing oil lasts a long time? Meaning, do you have to dispense a lot of product to use or will a few drops do the trick? I’m definitely interested in trying it…

  2. Crystal says:

    I got this a few months ago and it’s changed my routine! I don’t use a million make up remover wipes anymore and my skin looks better!
    Crystal recently posted … Favorite Concealers & Eye Primers!

  3. Angie says:

    I use the cleanse off oil as well, but mine is clear, not light blue like the one in your pic. Im guessing their the same w/different scents maybe?? I Love Love my cleanse off oil, and to answer Alyssa’a question, one full bottle will last me months. I can usually take off everything with two pumps, with an extra pump required if its my club face – lashes, smokey eyes, highlight, etc etc etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angie,

      I think you have the regular Cleanse Off Oil. I have the Cleanse Off/Tranquil, which is for dry, “mature” and/or stressed out skin. I’ve never tried the original, but I bet it’s just as great!

  4. Aimee says:

    I have the regular Cleanse Off Oil and it’s awesome. I bought a second eye make up remover and never use it and ended up returning it! And it’s actually super soothing to be gently smoothing this over my lashes and eyes for a few minutes to get off my eye make up. :3

    • Karen says:

      Hi Aimee,

      Me too! All my eye makeup removers are just sitting on the shelf looking all lonely.

      I’ve never tried the regular one… does it cloud up your eyes at all?

  5. Jen says:

    I’ve always used wipes, how do you use an oil/remover like this? Do you put on a tissue/napkin to wipe off, cotton pad? a face towel?

  6. Evelyn says:

    Do you think this would be alright for my super sensitive skin? I’m using Simple wipes at the moment but my skin is looking a bit dull…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      I have sensitive skin and haven’t had any issues with it.

      If you don’t want to spring for a full size bottle, MAC sells mini travel size versions for $10.

  7. lyn says:

    I’ve used up two bottles of this stuff and have to admit, it’s one of the better oil cleansers out there. However, we are quite lucky in Asia as we have access to many other (and cheaper) options ๐Ÿ™‚
    lyn recently posted … Glamourous Party Nails with Dior Vernis in Apparat

  8. Tracey says:

    I have the travel size but never go into it. How do you use it Karen? Pump onto cotton ball or cotton pad? Or do you apply to skin then remove with the cotton.

    • Fieran says:

      Hi Tracey, cleansing oils are usually applied onto your skin directly and then you massage it around, without water to melt makeup and impurities. Then you add water to rinse it off.

  9. Kristen says:

    Hi Karen!

    After reading your review, I’m definitely going to be adding this to my holiday list :o).

    I can’t get enough of MAC! MAC make-up lasts forever, but unfortunately – as a result – it’s almost impossible to remove with ordinary make-up wipes.

    Meaning: I will definitely be purchasing this!

  10. sy says:

    Hey Karen! Shu’s oil is amazing – the green one. I haven’t tried MAC’s so I can’t compare but Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils are just incredible!

  11. vonnie says:

    wow, it sounds like a total DREAM!!!
    vonnie recently posted … A Dessert Lover’s Dream…and ZERO Calories

  12. Rita says:

    I got the travel size first, but since this past Monday a big bottle of this great stuff is mine! Idon’t normally use water when removing makeup (a very dry&sensitive skin), so this is only used the nights I take a shower to wash my hair. I think this is better than the regular one, it has a nice, floral scent. And it lasts.

  13. Advah says:

    Oooh that sounds interesting! How does it compare to the Nude oil? So far it’s the best thing I found, but I’m always happy to try out new miracle products. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Fieran says:

    I love MAC’s cleanse off oil, I have used like three bottles of it so far. I’m currently trying out Clarins’ Pure Melt which is kind of like a cleanse of gel. It works on the same principle but leaves my skin less-dry compared to MAC’s cleanse off oil. I haven’t tried the Tranquil version though I love the green bottle.

  15. Vonvon says:

    I have some tiny samples of it and I really love it. I have run out of any cleansing oil at the moment, and I am using Boots makeup wipes and sometimes, Natio milk cleanser. Perhaps I should pick this up at the Pro store when I go to London next week.
    Vonvon recently posted … Nail Polish Galore – Courtesy Of My Friend

  16. Angela G. says:

    Wow. I think I might try this stuff. I use MAC wipes but sometimes I feel rushed having to take off my makeup cause then the wipe kinda dries up. I like to take my time around the eye area, and hate using more than one wipe. Those things aren’t cheap! LOL Thanks for the review. =)

  17. Nina says:

    ive switched back to a preliminary face clean using cleansing oil (japanese brand called naive) or cleansing water (i got a sample size of the caudalie cleansing water). i just put some on my hands, massage it on my face to remove makeup and then rinse with water. i still do a secondary wash w/ purity made simple though. just to be sure my face is stripped of makeup.

    it really helps w/ the softness, plus its more gentle than rubbing cotton or a wipe on the face. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Tiffany C. says:

    You ought to try the Philosophy Purity Made Simple no mineral oil oilc cleanser. I love it and it doesn’t cloud your vision at all!

  19. Kim says:

    It’s so nice to see an upgrade to A+. I haven’t tried it and I’m really only interested in something to remove eye makeup, but it sounds like this could do the job. Liquid eye makeup removers usually cloud my eyes, too. I’m completely with you about less tugging, though. That’s a definite priority!

  20. slick says:

    Here’s a tip – pump a little bit of cleansing oil ON TO your makeup wipe! I put a bit on my wipe, and then dab it around my face and then concentrate on my eyes using about 1/3-1/2 of wipe surface. I use the rest of the clean area and backside to do the rest of my face. No need to even use water this way since the wipe is moist enough….but I do follow up with toner on a cotton pad. My bottle of Cleanse-off lasts aaaaages this way! I also think MAC wipes have little cleansing oil built into them already ๐Ÿ™‚

    • slick says:

      You could also use the wipe to remove the cleansing oil instead of using water – I’ve found this works well and cuts down on residue!

  21. DanaJae says:

    OMG Karen I am so in love with this stuff!

    I have very dry skin and a few years ago stumbled upon Origins (also Lauder) cleanse off oil and it helped so much. I eventually tried the MAC version and I love it even more, it’s a lot lighter oil (if that makes sence). With really dry skin using multiple removers isn’t an option especially in Chicago winters but this takes care of everything in one step. Another great thing for super dry skin is you can just wipe this off without using any water and it’s fine for your skin!

  22. Stephanie says:

    This is a product that I would love when I’m using it. I haven’t purchased or tried the product, but I always love cleansing oil to remove my makeup. Especially mascara and eyeshadow.
    Stephanie recently posted … Tag: About Me

  23. Anne says:

    I love the Shu Uemura ones! Can anyone compare the two?

  24. Alyaa says:

    Hi Karen,

    Have u tried Bobbi Brown’s cleansing oil?

    Can u compare the two pretty please?

  25. Dana says:

    I love the original MAC cleanse off oil. I’ll have to try this one when I’m out of the one I’m using now. I bought and liked using it but didn’t come to really appreciate it until I bought one from a different brand to try. I’m currently using the Philosophy one… and I HATE it! It has a fragrance, it irritates my eyes, it doesn’t melt away the make up and when you add the water it doesn’t change texture and get all the residue off like the MAC. With this one I can’t use it alone with out cleansing with something else after, like I could choose to do with the MAC one. Great post!

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