How to Remove Makeup: 7 Tips to Get Every Last Bit Off

Sometimes no matter how thoroughly you scrub and lather up, it seems like you just can’t get all your makeup off. We’ve been there. Despite our best efforts, we’re left wondering how to remove makeup completely. We talked to dermatologists and makeup artists to get their best tips for getting every last bit of makeup off our skin. Read on for seven pro tips to help you get a perfectly bare, makeup-free face.

1. Take Your Time

When it comes to removing eye makeup in particular, the slower you go, the better. “Let the technology do the work,” says dermatologist Ranella Hirsch. “Apply makeup remover and let it sit, and sit some more. Give it a couple minutes, say while you brush and floss.” This will soften mascara, liner, and shadow so it slips off easily and thoroughly once you finally wipe. “If you do this, you won’t find smudges under your eyes in the morning anymore,” Hirsch says. Giving remover time to work its magic also prevents you from having to rub/scrub with your makeup-remover pad—always a mistake, since friction can damage the delicate skin around your eyes, causing irritation and contributing to premature aging.

2. Soap and Water Works Better than Makeup Wipes

Deep down you already knew makeup wipes sounded too good to be true, right? Wipes can be an excellent initial step in removing makeup—in fact, they’re best way to remove makeup before cleansing. But a proper sink session should ideally follow. “Many of us make the mistake of just using wipes and going to bed, but the makeup really is not all off—you still have to wash your face ladies,” says makeup artist Azra Red, telling us what we don’t want to hear. “Using water and face wash is what’s really going to remove residue and prep your skin for a good night regimen. If you use only wipes and then apply moisturizer, you might push dirt into your pores and wake up with pimples or blackheads.”

3. Use a Cleanser Made to Remove Makeup

“Women tend to use face wash that isn’t made to remove makeup,” notes esthetician Joanna Czech. If you suspect yours falls into this category (evidence: those subtle BB cream smudges on your face towel post-cleanse), you could use a makeup remover like micellar water first—or consider switching to a cleansing oil or balm. These are among the most effective at coaxing off even the most stubborn makeup, like stay-put foundations, liquid lipsticks, and brow pigments (two great options to check out: Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil and Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm).

We know what some of you are thinking—no way applying an oil-based product will leave your face cleaner. But the new oil cleansers really can work miracles. “A lot of people don’t know that oil dissolves oil,” says Czech, whose favorites include Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil and La Mer The Cleansing Oil. She likes to remove them with a washcloth for added cleansing oomph. If you really can’t stand the feel of an oil cleanser, she suggests milky and gel textures as good alternatives. Here are a couple others we love.

4. Make Sure to Cleanse the Edges of Your Eyelid

If there’s one zone that’s frequently neglected during makeup removal, it’s the elusive edge of your eyelid, where liner and mascara can build up over time—and lead to eye irritation. Especially if you tight-line your eyes with waterproof liquid, you might need to get in there with a more targeted tool and make sure every last speck is gone. “For detail work, I love the DHC cotton swabs with olive oil ($6).

They break everything down so you don’t have to scrub, which results in lashes breaking off and falling out,” says makeup artist Nick Barose. Speaking of lashes falling out, you also should never tug stubborn mascara chunks off with your fingers—but we suspect we didn’t really need to tell you that. To coax clumps off without doing harm, make sure you give your remover enough time to penetrate (recall tip #1), and then press down gently with a flat cotton pad, moving slowly in the direction your lashes grow, to slide the mascara off.

5. Push Your Hair Back and Cleanse Your Hairline

We totally get it: When it’s past midnight and your pillow beckons, even an easy step like throwing your hair into a pony can feel like too much effort. But not doing so means you’re likely stopping a couple inches short of your hairline when washing your face. “People often accumulate makeup residue around their hairline, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts,” confirms celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas. Noted. Take the two seconds to tie it back or you can slip on a terry headband. Get all the hair off your face is key to how to remove foundation from faces

6. Flat Cotton Pads are Better than Cotton Balls

“Cotton balls can leave behind residue or break down during usage and leave fibers on your lashes or skin,” says dermatologist Rebecca Kazin. That can lead to irritation at a time when you’re trying to detox and soothe. Always opt for flat cotton pads instead of balls, ideally with a quilted texture. Basic drugstore pads work pretty well, says makeup artist Fiona Stiles—but specialty versions can be worth it for serious makeup wearers. “I only use Japanese cotton squaresbecause the cotton is woven in such a way that it doesn’t shed at all,” she says. “They’re like magical little pillows that remove everything.”

7. Always Follow Up Makeup Removal with Moisture

Even if you don’t have dry skin, makeup removal should always be followed up with at least some targeted moisture: Balm up those lips if you’ve just removed lipstick, and dab on eye cream. “Removing makeup can dry out the eye area, which is the most sensitive skin on your face,” Kazin says. “You need to keep it soft and hydrated.”

Too Lazy to Remove Your Makeup Before Bed? This Photo Will Change That An intrepid experiment

(and shocking photographic proof) reveals why it’s imperative to muster the energy to wash your face)


a visit to a 3D Cosmetic Imaging Studio where she had her face analyzed with a special 3D camera which, as she writes, “shows – in mortifying detail – my pigmentation, broken veins, enlarged pores and wrinkles.”

At month’s end, she went back to have her complexion evaluated by the doctors who’d done the initial analysis — brace yourselves here … “The experts estimated that my skin was biologically approximately a decade older than before I began my no-cleansing experiment.”

Shocking, right? Pursglove reveals that the doctors said, “You won’t have done any meaningful damage in four weeks, but long-term avoidance of cleansing while continuing to wear make-up could be detrimental to your skin in the long-run. The biggest issue is the accumulation of environmental pollutants, which drive the generation of free radicals [which] contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, the structures that underpin youthful skin.”

Pursglove”s cautionary tale (and, yes, those shudder-inducing before and after photos) are sure to spur many of us into putting forth the extra effort required to remove our makeup at day’s end. And, here to help get you on the straight and narrow, is a guide to the best eye makeup removers and a recipe for an all natural makeup remover.

Happy cleansing!



7 Everyday Makeup Habits That Are Secretly Ruining Your Skin


Most of us have some sort of beauty routine that we follow every day, but how often do you wonder if your makeup  habits were ruining  your skin ? The truth is that it’s a total possibility. When it comes to taking care of your face, it’s important to think about everything that comes in contact with your skin. The ultimate problem may be your makeup routine. Whether it’s the way you apply your makeup or your products in general, there are a lot of sneaky ways that your beauty habits can harm your skin.

It may sound gross, but your makeup may contain a lot of bacteria. Cream and liquid products are usually the most susceptible. Knowing this, it’s important to switch out your products regularly. Throw away any old or unused products. This way you can avoid reaching for the them in the future, and prevent any skin flare ups. No one has time for bad skin, so don’t let your makeup routine be the culprit for problematic skin issues. Take the time to go through your products and tools to make sure that everything is in good condition. There is no reason that your everyday beauty habits should be bringing you down. Here are a few ways that your beauty habits could be negatively affecting your skin.

1. Not cleaning your brushes

Makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. They touch your acne, sweat, dead skins, and everything else than could be lingering on your face. This is a perfect recipe for creating major skin problems in the future. Avoid this hassle by cleaning your brushes. I recommend spot cleaning brushes weekly with a gentle cleanser, and deep cleaning once or twice a month. Wanting to know a little bit more? Here’s a guide that details how to clean your makeup brushes with stuff you already have at home!

2. Sharing beauty products

This is a big no-no in the world of beauty. From cold sores to eye infections, sharing beauty products can lead to a whole host of medical issues. This is especially seen when lip and eye makeup products are shared. Avoid the hassle by sticking to your own makeup collection.

3. Sleeping in your makeup

Just don’t do it. It’s absolutely the worst for your skin. Any sweat, dirt, or environmental stressors that you encountered during the day might have gotten trapped in your pores along with your makeup. Cleanse all that junk out! Your face will thank you in the morning.

4. Too many DIYs

A baking soda scrub one night, and an apple cider vinegar treatment the next? Too many at-home DIY’s could be throwing off your skin’s pH balance. Many DIY beauty treatments are developed as simple skincare solutions. However, by frequently using various acidic ingredients you could be throwing off your skin’s natural balance. This can cause flare ups of acne, skin sensitivity, and dry skin.

5. Not letting your skin breathe

Do you love wearing makeup all day everyday? This can actually have a negative effect on your skin. If you skin is constantly being covered by layers of makeup thenit doesn’t have a chance to breathe. Cell turnover is important for skin rejuvenation. In order to get your best glowing skin, skip makeup every now and then. Your skin will thank you for it.

6. Popping zits

Get your hands away from those zits! Popping pimples is not the way to go when it comes to improving your skin care. Bursting small pustules on your face is both gross and unnecessary. Combat pimples with acne spot treatments instead of popping them.

7. Applying makeup to flaky skin

If you skin is dry and flaky, applying layers of makeup on top is only going to emphasize the problem. Make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your skin to combat the dryness. This will give you a smoother base when it comes to applying your makeup.

So ladies, now you know the DO’s and Dont’s