I’ve been wanting to try MAC Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil (a makeup remover/cleanser) for ages, but every time I came close to bringing a bottle home with me from a MAC counter, something eye-catching would always steal my attention away. More often than not, it was something sparkly, or pink, or sparkly AND pink.
But I bet I still would have pulled the trigger anyway if it hadn’t been for the price… Thirty dollars for a 5-oz. bottle? Fuggedaboutit.
The new $10 MAC Sized to Go version of Cleanse is harder to ignore. It packs 1-oz. of the same oil-based makeup remover/cleanser into a handy, TSA-approved bottle. Other than the smaller size and the fact that this bottle’s clear (the larger one is blue), the products are exactly the same. In terms of value, however, the larger bottle is a much better deal ($6/ounce instead of $10), but it’s also too large for carry-on air travel.
Designed for dry, “mature” and/or stressed-out skin, Cleanse is one of two cleansing oils in the MAC skincare line. If you’re sensitive to mineral oil, it doesn’t contain a drop. Instead, it contains a bunch of botanicals like sea grass extract, peach leaf and bisabolol (a colorless oil derived from chamomile; used for hundreds of years in cosmetics for its purported anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties).
The full-size 5-oz. bottle costs $30; the 1-oz. MAC Size to Go version costs $10
Cleanse, even the larger size, appears perfect for busy schedules because it’s fast. It breaks up my makeup even quicker than my go-to Clinique Cleansing Balm, which is also quite fast.
To use it, I gently massage two pumps worth, an amount about the size of a quarter in my palm, onto my face with a little water for about 30-45 seconds before rinsing it off. That removes just about everything from my foundation, powder and sunscreen to long-wearing lipsticks, gel liners and waterproof mascara, all without stripping my skin or leaving an oily residue behind.
It also has a lovely, light orange scent I really like.
Although I think it’s an above average cleanser and makeup remover, I’ve been using it primarily to remove makeup, and I follow it up with my favorite all-purpose facial cleanser, Philosophy Purity Made Simple, which costs considerably less per ounce (there’s a 3-oz. bottle for $10, a 24-oz. bottle for $40).
My biggest concern with Cleanse has to do with my eyes. I’ve gotten a bit of it into them a few times, and my vision became cloudy for a minute or two (as happens sometimes with oil-based makeup removers). I probably won’t continue using it to remove liner/shadow along my waterlines.
But for everywhere else on the face, MAC Cleanse is a quick cleanser that rinses clean without drying or irritating my sensitive skin. It hasn’t caused any breakouts yet (knock on wood!), and I think it would be the ish if it didn’t cloud my eyes.
PRICE: $10 for a 1-oz. Sized to Go bottle; $30 for a 5-oz. full-size bottle
AVAILABILITY: The smaller Sized to Go bottle is coming soon to MAC freestanding stores; the full-size bottle is available now at MAC counters, stores and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+ (expensive relative to other top-notch cleansers, and it doesn’t agree with my eyes)
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,