Best eye makeup remover 2023 - 15 that won't sting your eyes

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Best eye makeup remover 2023 - 15 that won

If you're sick of fighting the good fight against waterproof mascara (so, everyone), it's time to bag yourself an eye makeup remover that does all the hard work for you. It's important you know that when it comes to waterproof mascara, long-wear eyeliners and other products that pass the test of time with flying colours, your regular micellar water really isn't going to cut it (albeit with one exception). Soz. You need a makeup remover that doesn’t require any added elbow grease.

Makeup slayers come in many different guises; from waters to balms, and bi-phase to pampering oils. First, you need to decide on the best formula for your skin type, and then you need to put it to the test with the hardiest mascara in your collection. If you have to scrub or drag in order to free your lashes (not good considering the under-eye skin is super delicate), then it’s really not worth your hard-earned pennies.

Finding the right product is even more critical if you suffer from eye sensitivity, so avoid removers containing harsh detergents such as sodium laureth sulfate in their ingredients list. And words you do want to see on your bottle are “fragrance-free” and “hypoallergenic”.

We've given more than our fair share of removers a go and settled on these winners. So wave goodbye to uncomfortable rubbing and tugging until your eyes are red-raw, because these easily melt makeup. Just arm yourself with a cotton pad (ideally a reusable cleansing pad) and a bottle from below. Job done.

What they say: The two-phase formula removes even waterproof eye makeup and won't irritate the sensitive eye area. The clever aqueous phase protects and cares for the eyes and lashes, and leaves zero oil residue.

What we say: This zaps all eye makeup without having to rub your eyes to death, is a total winner for seriously sensitive eyes, is fragrance-free (as it should be) and leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean, without that annoying greasy feeling. Oh, and did we mention it's under £5? Job done.

What they say: This non-oily cleanser gently removes makeup in seconds and conditions lashes and lids. It is light and soothing. Fragrance and colour-free.

What we say: I can't rave about this eye makeup remover enough. Not only does it do what it says on the tin, aka remove every last trace of makeup in one single swipe, but it's also enriched with pro-vitamin B5 and comfrey root extract, which nourish and hydrate as they clean. I love that it comes in a travel-sized bottle too, so I can bring it anywhere I go.

What they say: A non-greasy bi-phase eye makeup remover that can dissolve even waterproof formulas with zero irritation.

What we say: A refreshing formula that removed our waterproof mascara with far more ease than other pricer formulas. It's also great for removing stubborn liquid lipsticks.

What they say: Removes even waterproof mascara and soothes the delicate eye area, our makeup remover is gentle on your eye area. Made with the perfect blend of skin loving ingredients and added pro-vitamin B5, its gentle yet effective.

What we say: This has been a staple product on my shelf for years. It's amazingly refreshing and leaves your skin super soft after every use - never dry or tight. It never irritates my eyes, but it's super effective, so I never have to rub or pull at my lashes, even when I'm wearing waterproof mascara. Helps that you can pick one up in almost any shop, too.

What they say: A unique jelly texture that transforms into a lightweight oil that sloughs away everything from makeup to sunscreen to dirt, all without leaving skin feeling stripped or tight.

What we say: The plump jelly-like formula left skin feeling refreshed and silky-smooth, while effectively powering through everything from waterproof mascara to long-wear liquid eyeliner speedily – no excessive rubbing of your eyes happening with this guy. The best bit? It didn't cloud up our contact lenses after using; a rarity in the world of cleansers, trust us.

What they say: A caring cleanser that removes all traces of makeup from around the eyes.

What we say: A great buy for sensitive skin as this doesn't irritate the eyes, or cause that horrible burning sensation. Removes mascara easily and quickly. A great addition to your bedside table.

What they say: This is specifically formulated for waterproof make-up removal on sensitive eyes. It lifts eye makeup effectively without having to rub too much – a no-no for delicate eyes.

What we say: La Roche-Posay is known for its spot-on skin-friendly formulas, and this is no exception. It’s a bi-phrase formula so you just have to give it a little shake and apply it to a cotton round to gently loosen all eye makeup remanence.

What they say: Gently lifts away even waterproof make-up, without rubbing, over-drying or uncomfortable tightness. Fortified with naturally derived arginine to protect and care for your lashes, you can experience a purified, cleansed eye area.

What we say: This hybrid formula fortifies your lashes as it sweeps away stubborn makeup like it's nothing. It is quite oily, but I reckon that's why it's so effective at getting everything off. If the residue is a bit much for you, just sweep it off using a cotton pad covered in micellar water.

What they say: Developed specifically for sensitive skin effectively removing dirt and makeup from the face area.

What we say: The original and best micellar water which really does dissolve everything and anything you've applied around the eye. Breaks down makeup (including mascara with ease) and is so much more gentle on your skin than face wipes.

As Sensibo H2o doesn't require rinsing off, it makes it your BFF after a night out when taking your makeup off is the last thing you want to do. Not only is it an affordable option, but it's a large 250ml making it even better value.

P.s. It also comes in a dinky 100ml size for a bargain price of £5.50, which makes the perfect travel buddy.

What they say: With a formula that's suitable for even sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, Bi-Facil gently removes makeup including waterproof mascara. Shake the bottle and discover a feeling that leaves your eyes makeup-free and feeling clean. Ophthalmologically tested.

What we say: This is an all-round brilliant eye makeup remover and if you're a fan of the bi-phase formulas (don't forget to shake 'em!) it's one of the best.

The oily feel of the formula only lasts momentarily, as it melts your makeup it becomes super-nourishing. Perfect for sensitive eyes and effective on waterproof makeup – it's worth the expensive price tag.

What they say: This bi-phase formula combines a water-based cleanser with gentle yet potent oils that instantly and effectively removes eye makeup, including waterproof eye makeup.

What we say: Water and oil combos are brilliant at lifting and shifting makeup quickly, and the good thing about this one is that you don’t feel like you’re blinking oil out of your eyes hours later.

Just remember to activate the formula first by shaking the bottle, and remember that a little goes a long way - there’s no need to soak your cotton pad in this one.

What they say: For heavy or water-resistant makeup. A bi-phase lotion which instantly removes all traces of eye makeup, including long-wearing and waterproof formulas.

What we say: This is one of the most effective eye makeup removers out there – it swipes stubborn makeup off without rubbing. The only downside is that it's been recently reformulated with a light fragrance.

While this has that lovely luxe association of the brand, it's not necessarily what you want to apply to your eyes - though it may not bother some people.

What they say: This is an oil-based eye remover that can be used to dissolve eye and lip products. Apply 5-7 drops to a damp cotton round and massage gently to remove any traces of makeup.

What we say: Oil is obviously an effective way of breaking down makeup and this one does that so well. It has a lovely smell and the formula includes chamomile, which is really soothing. Also, the bottle incredibly chic, no?

What they say: Formulated with antioxidant-rich fruit extracts and oils to help soothe, plus a nourishing African oil blend, Slaai™ Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser cleanses and moisturises without any irritants or sensitisers.

What we say: A balm-like consistency that glides on like a dream and emulsifies well with a few drops of water. Take the time to massage it in using your fingertips, and be prepared for some lingering residue on the skin once you’ve washed it off (which you’ll appreciate if cleansing usually leaves you tight and dried out). If you have sensitive skin and worry about stripping its natural oils, you’re in safe hands with this buttery delight.

What they say: A gentle, gel cleanser that thoroughly cleanses and removes makeup without stripping natural oils. One simple step leaves skin feeling soft and visibly rejuvenated.

What we say: If removing your make-up with a heavy butter or oil feels downright wrong on your oily or combination skin, this lightweight gel texture should appeal. It lathers gently to lift make-up and dirt without leaving a film on the skin and rinses away easily with no tightness.

It also boasts some skin-loving ingredients such as antioxidant-packed turmeric extract and skin-firming DMAE. If you’re dry but still prone to breakouts (yep, the two often go hand in hand), then this one’s worth a try.

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Best eye makeup remover 2023 - 15 that won

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