How to remove makeup?

It may strike you as an obvious and silly post; but many people still don’t really know how to remove makeup. I had been experimenting with makeup for years. Being a teenage flight attendant compelled me to spend a lot of time applying makeup; but I really did not know how to remove makeup for many years. Just like makeup application was a novelty, removal too was unconventional in my household. I just washed my face with anything that lathered up and err…didn’t seem to mind the raccoon eyes due to kajal/mascara bleeding. I know, shame on me! This was ages ago, though. I hope you learn from my mistakes. I know it can get very tiresome after a day’s work and you probably just want to crash in bed after that party that ended late. But please don’t neglect this part of the routine, because if you do, your skin may not forgive you in the days to come. Yes, clogged pores can lead to breakouts and tear-worthy blemishes. So always, always, always go to bed with a squeaky clean face devoid of any makeup. I recommend the following methods.

  1. Cleansing Wipes
Makeup Cleansing Wipes

These days cosmetic and skincare companies are making a variety of cleansing wipes for skin specific needs. They look like disposable wet wipes, similar to baby wipes and are infused with makeup remover. You just wipe your face with it and voila, make up gone! I suggest you first wash your face with some water which will loosen the makeup and remove a bit out quite easily. Then you remove a single wipe from the packet and start wiping off your cheeks, forehead and chin. Once you are done with these areas, move on to the T-zone {to prevent oil spreading on to your entire face, if you have an oilier T-zone}. Then lastly, remove eye and lip make up so you don’t spread kohl or mascara or even lipstick all over your face. Wash off your face with some water. If you see traces of makeup lurking on your face , you may need another wipe. I rarely ever use a second wipe though. Dab dry and you can go to bed now, sans the pimple nightmares. I really like Colorbar’s On The Go Makeup Remover. It removes stubborn waterproof make up and can be used on the eye area too. The packaging is super compact, unlike most brands and so travel friendly. It does not leave any oil residue. But if your skin is very dry, it may sting a bit. So please get a wipe that suits your skin type.

  • Baby Wipes (+ Cleanser, if required)
Baby Wipes and Cleansers

Baby wipes can be a cheaper alternative to Cleansing Wipes. Remember baby wipes are not pre soaked in makeup remover. So if you have a lot of makeup on, you will need to follow the same ritual as above, albeit after adding some cleansing milk or make up remover to it. Here’s how it goes. Wash face with water, use a sheet of baby wipe with/without cleanser on it to wipe your face, and wash your face with water again. I like L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Lip and Eye Make-Up Remover.

  • Baby Wipes (+ Coconut Oil/ Almond Oil/ Olive Oil, if required)
Using Oil to remove waterproof makeup

Cleanser/makeup remover can be expensive too. A good oil such as coconut oil is inexpensive and very effective in removing  makeup. In fact, it’s the most competent of all in removing waterproof makeup and eye makeup. As mentioned above, baby wipes are not pre soaked in makeup remover. So you will need to follow the same routine that I described in the previous alternative, after adding some coconut oil/almond oil/olive oil or even baby oil to it. Here’s how it goes. Wash face with water, use a sheet of baby wipe (with oil on it) and wipe away. Follow it by washing your face with a good face wash to strip off that excess oil residue.

  • Baby Wipes (+ Moisturizer/lotion, if required)
Moisturizer or Lotion for makeup removal

This method is similar to the above two methods. But just dab some lotion or moisturizer over the wipe instead of cleanser/oil. Again, follow the same routine: wash your face with water; wipe away makeup using a sheet of baby wipe with moisturizer/lotion on it. Then wash your face with a face wash for a squeaky clean visage.

Cotton balls to remove makeup

I do not recommend using cotton balls simply because the fibers tend to disintegrate and stick to skin and lashes. Most of the cotton available in the market can be really abrasive while removing make up from the delicate eye area. If you really must use cotton, use flattened soft cotton balls and soak them well before you begin to cleanse. Dry cotton falls apart more easily.

If you are looking for a more environment friendly alternative, I suggest you use soft and thin reusable washable face towels/napkins along with a cleanser/moisturizer, instead of a wipe.


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