Photo: Ben Ritter
Between longwear formulas and late night laziness, eye makeup removal is a total drag. In an ideal world, sleeping in your liner and mascara would grant you French-girl eyes in the morning, but in reality? Hello skin irritation, pimples, and a dirty pillowcase. We enlisted Jamie Greenberg, makeup artist to celebs like Rashida Jones and Lizzy Caplan, to tell us the best way to remove eye makeup—and exactly what you’ll need to do it.
“Many people either don’t remove their eye makeup at all and sleep in it, or they’re super rough with their removal process,” says Greenberg. “The skin around the eye area is very delicate, so if you’re mistreating it every night by tugging at your eyes and lashes when you remove your makeup, it’s going to be a problem down the road. Just mantra to yourself: ‘I will take good care of my eyes so I’ll still look great at 70!’”
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Surely some nights you may be more time-pressed or tired, but whenever possible follow this complete skin care routine at night:
Use a wipe. Remove the first layer of makeup from your skin and gently from your eye area. “Many of my friends and clients love a wipe and use nothing else,” says Greenberg. “I appreciate a wipe as opposed to going to bed with a full face of makeup on, but it really is best to cleanse afterwards.” Greenberg thinks Avon Remover Wipes with Mineral Complex ($5) and MAC Wipes ($20) do the best job.
Wash with a cleanser for your skin type. “I’ve noticed if the cleanser works up to a foam, more of my eye makeup will come off through the process,” she says.
Use cotton for a gentle removal process. Depending on how precise you want to get, use a cotton pad or Q-Tips Cotton Swabs ($3) and dip in eye makeup remover. Greenberg’s top picks are industry fave Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution ($31) and Fresh Soy Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover ($26) which “is soft and doesn’t lather, but it takes off everything.” If you’re really having trouble with waterproof mascara, look for an oil-based remover like MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($31) to break down the formula. Remember—no tugging!
Related: How to Clean Up Your Eye Makeup
Wash again. Do another quick cleanse to remove any residue.
Hydrate. Once your face is clean, Greenberg says to apply a toner (if needed for more oily skin), moisturizer, and—most importantly—eye cream. “It’s a nice way to replenish that delicate skin after your removal,” she says. “Your eyes will thank you for it in the AM and definitely in the long run.”