You’re Removing Your Eye Makeup All Wrong

Taking off your shadow, liner, and mascara can be a pain—literally. Scrubbing your lids not only irritates the sensitive skin around your eyes, but can lead to lash fallout, infection, and the less harmful but still annoying morning-after raccoon eyes. We asked celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose to share his expert tips on when and how to use different types of remover.

Remover Type: Oil

Best for: Removing stubborn waterproof mascara and liner. “The oil easily breaks down the pigment that clings to the skin, so it comes off easily without harsh scrubbing,” says Barose.
Try: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Cleansing Oil
How to use it: Using your fingertips, massage the oil in slow, circular motions over your closed eyelids for 10 seconds. Then, use a flat cotton pad to wipe the oil in a downward motion.

Remover Type: Cleansing Water

Best for: Removing lighter eye makeup, like a simple cat eye with liquid liner. The non-greasy formula is particularly great for those with sensitive eyes or prone to breakouts.
Try: Caudalie Make-up Remover Cleansing Water
How to use it: Apply to a cotton pad and gently swipe from the inner corner outward. If you’ve had a particularly long night, apply the cleansing water to a makeup remover wipe for an extra soothing experience.

Remover Type: Dual-Phase

Best for: Heavy shadow and thick liner. The oil portion easily cuts through powdered pigment while the antioxidant-rich water instantly soothes the delicate skin around the eye area.
Try: Marcelle Gentle Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
How to use it: Shake the bottle well to mix the formula, then completely saturate a cotton pad with it. Gently press the pad onto your closed lid and let it soak for 5 to 10 seconds. Lightly swipe from the inner corner outward (see above for motion). Flip the pad over and repeat.

Remover Type: Gel

Best for: Tightlined and waterlined eyes. “Gel formulas are perfect for liner because they’re not runny like liquid formulas, which can drip into your eyes if you’re not careful,” says Barose.
Try: Benefit They’re Real Remover
How to use it: Dip a cotton swab into the gel formula, then gently swipe it along the lash line, working your way from the inner corner to the outer corner. Follow up with a makeup remover pad or cleansing water to remove any lingering liner.

Remover Type: Wipes

Best for: Anytime your bed looks more inviting than your sink does. Keep in mind that many wipes are designed to be used on the entire face, and may be too harsh for the sensitive eye area. To avoid irritation, look for soothing ones that are fragrance- and alcohol-free.
Try: Klorane Makeup Remover Biodegradable Wipes
How to use it: Gently pad on your eye area a few times to break up the pigment, then swipe downward and outward. Don’t be afraid to use more than one wipe if your look is dramatic.

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