July 19, 2021

Your Foolproof Guide To The Best Makeup Removers

We breakdown which makeup remover is the best for you, your skin and your budget.

All products featured on Gritty Pretty are independently selected by our beauty editors. However, Gritty Pretty may earn an affiliate commission if you buy through our links.

It’s true, there aren’t that many feelings better than the one you get when you’ve nailed a makeup look. Whether your highlighter is hitting just right on your no makeup-makeup face or you’ve finally mastered the art of a feline flick, a good makeup day is enough to have you feeling powerful, confident and like you can take on just about anything.

What may come as a surprise to you, however, is that the most important part of your makeup routine is not prepping or priming but rather, taking it off. Heartbreaking, we know. A bit like the chicken and the egg scenario, taking off your makeup properly is the key to great skin. Which, in turn, is the key to great makeup which, in turn, is what you must take off at the end of each day (see what we mean?). 

Like everything in beauty, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to removing your makeup. There are seemingly endless products and methods to choose from and it is up to us to sift through them and work out which one works best for our skin type, lifestyle and desired result. Here, we breakdown the different makeup removers on offer and why they might be right for you.

The Makeup Removers For: Oily Skin

If you find that your complexion craves a little powder at around 3pm each day, it’s likely that you are an oily skin girl. Perks include: looking younger for longer, never having itchy, flaky skin and revelling in pretty consistent amounts of glow. Lucky you. For an oily skin type, a micellar water to remove your makeup is the best way to go. Quick, gentle and effective.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution

A cult product for a reason, the Bioderma micellar water can be found in almost every French girl’s beauty cabinet. With one sold every six seconds (!) around the world, this three-in-one makeup remover, toner and non-rinse cleanser works to dissolve sebum and makeup, leaving your complexion squeaky clean.

Buy now: Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution, $29.99 from Adore Beauty.

Minenssey Micellar Cleansing Water

Formulated with calming antioxidants and Australian botanicals, Minenssey’s take on the classic micellar water is a great option for those with sensitised skin. Working to cleanse, soothe and moisturise the skin, the formula is also paraben and sulphate free.

Buy now: Minenssey Micellar Cleansing Water, $34 from Adore Beauty.

Garnier All-In-One Micellar Cleansing Water

Dermatolocially tested and gentle on the skin, Garnier’s micellar water is a great affordable makeup remover option. Containing micelles that gently draw sebum and impurities out of the skin, the formula prides itself on perfecting the balance between thoroughly cleansing and soothing the skin at the same time.

Buy now: Garnier All-In-One Micellar Cleansing Water, $19.95 at Chemist Warehouse.

 

The Makeup Removers For: Dry Skin

If you fall on the drier side of the skin spectrum, you may find that by the end of the day, your skin is yearning for a little TLC. One of the more delicate skin types, it’s important to nourish and moisturise the skin pretty much every step of the way. So, when browsing the shelves for a makeup remover, we recommend heading down the cleansing balm aisle. Designed to effectively remove makeup and repair the skin barrier simultaneously.

Eve Lom Cleanser

Arguably the most iconic balm cleanser on the market, the Eve Lom Cleanser is the ultimate luxurious skincare routine addition. Transporting you to your favourite spa with one application, the balm texture is designed to be warmed up in your hands before being applied to dry skin. With four decongesting and soothing plant oils, the cleanser works to remove makeup and grime while penetrating the skin with nourishing ingredients.

Buy now: Eve Lom Cleanser, $162 at Net-a-Porter.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Whether you’re taking off a light everyday face or a full-beat glam look, Clinique’s cleansing balm will do the trick with ease. This non-drying formula dissolves all forms of makeup (including waterproof eyeliner or mascara) and rinses without leaving behind any pesky residue. It is also fragrance-free, making it perfect for our dry girls who may be on the more sensitive side.

Buy now: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, $58 at Adore Beauty.

Sephora Collection Melting Cleansing Balm

A clean cleansing balm formula suitable for any skin type and age group, Sephora Collection’s balm cleanser works to gently remove makeup while respecting the skin’s natural pH levels. Enriched with micro-algae chlorella (known for its balancing effect and anti-pollution properties), this first-step in your double cleanse routine is affordable and effective.

Buy now: Sephora Collection Melting Cleansing Balm, $30 at Sephora.

The Makeup Removers For: Sensitive or Sensitised Skin

Whether you’ve experienced sensitive skin for your whole life or have found that due to lifestyle and environmental factors your complexion is a little more sensitised now-a-days, finding a makeup remover that works for you can be a daunting task. Will this break me out? Will this flare up my skin? Will this disrupt my skin barrier? All valid questions and all risks we would rather avoid. The good news? You can remove your makeup with water alone. Oh, and a microfibre pad. But with no ingredients other than pure water involved, you can breathe easy.

Face Halo PRO

The OG microfibre makeup remover pad, the Face Halo is as effective as it is environmentally-friendly. Replacing over 500 makeup wipes per pad, this bad boy requires only water to gently cleanse the skin, remove makeup and draw out any impurities. 

Buy now: Face Halo PRO 3 Pack, $30 at Adore Beauty.

Biologi Microfibre Cloth

From the Australian brand that prides itself on the use of natural, efficacious botanicals, Biologi’s cleansing cloth option is the perfect addition to a sensitive skin makeup removing routine. Able to remove the lightest of tinted moisturisers up to the heaviest of full coverage foundations, this little palm-sized pal will have you ready for bed in no time.

Buy now: Biologi Microfibre Cloth 3 Pack, $25 at Adore Beauty.

The Makeup Removers For: Normal Skin

If your skin shares a similar life ethos to that of a Byron Bay surfer (read: chilled, low maintenance and responds well to spontaneity), then 1) count your lucky stars and 2) this makeup remover is for you. Somewhere between the richness of a cleansing balm and the lightweight formula of a micellar water lies the cleansing oil. Ready to take off your makeup and moisturise your skin in one fell swoop.

Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil

A certified organic cleansing oil filled with rosehip oil to help repair and protect the skin, Pai’s take on this type of makeup remover is about as close to perfection as one can get. Working to remove makeup and protect the skin barrier at the same time, this cleansing oil works by gently applying to dry skin and washing off with warm water. Yep, it’s that easy.

Buy now: Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil, $68 at Adore Beauty.

Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil

One of the more recent releases from supermodel Miranda Kerr’s skincare line, Kora Organics, the Milky Mushroom cleansing oil is perfect for the makeup lover who prefers a milky remover consistency. This dual-phase oil contains sunflower seed oil, babassu oil and silver ear mushroom to remove impurities and makeup while smoothing and plumping the skin.

Buy now: Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil, $54 at Myer.

Dermalogica PreCleanse

A mainstay in the cleansing oil hall of fame for a reason, Dermalogica’s PreCleanse is a fantastic cleansing oil option. The super lightweight formula is refreshing and gentle on the skin, liquifying makeup and dirt in a matter of seconds for quick, effective makeup removal.

Buy now: Dermalogica PreCleanse, $69 at Adore Beauty.

The Makeup Removers For: Oily Skin

If you find that your complexion craves a little powder at around 3pm each day, it’s likely that you are an oily skin girl. Perks include: looking younger for longer, never having itchy, flaky skin and revelling in pretty consistent amounts of glow. Lucky you. For an oily skin type, a micellar water to remove your makeup is the best way to go. Quick, gentle and effective.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution

A cult product for a reason, the Bioderma micellar water can be found in almost every French girl’s beauty cabinet. With one sold every six seconds (!) around the world, this three-in-one makeup remover, toner and non-rinse cleanser works to dissolve sebum and makeup, leaving your complexion squeaky clean.

Buy now: Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution, $29.99 from Adore Beauty.

Minenssey Micellar Cleansing Water

Formulated with calming antioxidants and Australian botanicals, Minenssey’s take on the classic micellar water is a great option for those with sensitised skin. Working to cleanse, soothe and moisturise the skin, the formula is also paraben and sulphate free.

Buy now: Minenssey Micellar Cleansing Water, $34 from Adore Beauty.

Garnier All-In-One Micellar Cleansing Water

Dermatolocially tested and gentle on the skin, Garnier’s micellar water is a great affordable makeup remover option. Containing micelles that gently draw sebum and impurities out of the skin, the formula prides itself on perfecting the balance between thoroughly cleansing and soothing the skin at the same time.

Buy now: Garnier All-In-One Micellar Cleansing Water, $19.95 at Chemist Warehouse.

 

The Makeup Removers For: Dry Skin

If you fall on the drier side of the skin spectrum, you may find that by the end of the day, your skin is yearning for a little TLC. One of the more delicate skin types, it’s important to nourish and moisturise the skin pretty much every step of the way. So, when browsing the shelves for a makeup remover, we recommend heading down the cleansing balm aisle. Designed to effectively remove makeup and repair the skin barrier simultaneously.

Eve Lom Cleanser

Arguably the most iconic balm cleanser on the market, the Eve Lom Cleanser is the ultimate luxurious skincare routine addition. Transporting you to your favourite spa with one application, the balm texture is designed to be warmed up in your hands before being applied to dry skin. With four decongesting and soothing plant oils, the cleanser works to remove makeup and grime while penetrating the skin with nourishing ingredients.

Buy now: Eve Lom Cleanser, $162 at Net-a-Porter.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Whether you’re taking off a light everyday face or a full-beat glam look, Clinique’s cleansing balm will do the trick with ease. This non-drying formula dissolves all forms of makeup (including waterproof eyeliner or mascara) and rinses without leaving behind any pesky residue. It is also fragrance-free, making it perfect for our dry girls who may be on the more sensitive side.

Buy now: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, $58 at Adore Beauty.

Sephora Collection Melting Cleansing Balm

A clean cleansing balm formula suitable for any skin type and age group, Sephora Collection’s balm cleanser works to gently remove makeup while respecting the skin’s natural pH levels. Enriched with micro-algae chlorella (known for its balancing effect and anti-pollution properties), this first-step in your double cleanse routine is affordable and effective.

Buy now: Sephora Collection Melting Cleansing Balm, $30 at Sephora.

The Makeup Removers For: Sensitive or Sensitised Skin

Whether you’ve experienced sensitive skin for your whole life or have found that due to lifestyle and environmental factors your complexion is a little more sensitised now-a-days, finding a makeup remover that works for you can be a daunting task. Will this break me out? Will this flare up my skin? Will this disrupt my skin barrier? All valid questions and all risks we would rather avoid. The good news? You can remove your makeup with water alone. Oh, and a microfibre pad. But with no ingredients other than pure water involved, you can breathe easy.

Face Halo PRO

The OG microfibre makeup remover pad, the Face Halo is as effective as it is environmentally-friendly. Replacing over 500 makeup wipes per pad, this bad boy requires only water to gently cleanse the skin, remove makeup and draw out any impurities. 

Buy now: Face Halo PRO 3 Pack, $30 at Adore Beauty.

Biologi Microfibre Cloth

From the Australian brand that prides itself on the use of natural, efficacious botanicals, Biologi’s cleansing cloth option is the perfect addition to a sensitive skin makeup removing routine. Able to remove the lightest of tinted moisturisers up to the heaviest of full coverage foundations, this little palm-sized pal will have you ready for bed in no time.

Buy now: Biologi Microfibre Cloth 3 Pack, $25 at Adore Beauty.

The Makeup Removers For: Normal Skin

If your skin shares a similar life ethos to that of a Byron Bay surfer (read: chilled, low maintenance and responds well to spontaneity), then 1) count your lucky stars and 2) this makeup remover is for you. Somewhere between the richness of a cleansing balm and the lightweight formula of a micellar water lies the cleansing oil. Ready to take off your makeup and moisturise your skin in one fell swoop.

Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil

A certified organic cleansing oil filled with rosehip oil to help repair and protect the skin, Pai’s take on this type of makeup remover is about as close to perfection as one can get. Working to remove makeup and protect the skin barrier at the same time, this cleansing oil works by gently applying to dry skin and washing off with warm water. Yep, it’s that easy.

Buy now: Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil, $68 at Adore Beauty.

Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil

One of the more recent releases from supermodel Miranda Kerr’s skincare line, Kora Organics, the Milky Mushroom cleansing oil is perfect for the makeup lover who prefers a milky remover consistency. This dual-phase oil contains sunflower seed oil, babassu oil and silver ear mushroom to remove impurities and makeup while smoothing and plumping the skin.

Buy now: Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil, $54 at Myer.

Dermalogica PreCleanse

A mainstay in the cleansing oil hall of fame for a reason, Dermalogica’s PreCleanse is a fantastic cleansing oil option. The super lightweight formula is refreshing and gentle on the skin, liquifying makeup and dirt in a matter of seconds for quick, effective makeup removal.

Buy now: Dermalogica PreCleanse, $69 at Adore Beauty.

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