There’s nothing a beauty junkie hates more than waking up in the morning with raccoon eyes. The annoying occurrence when your makeup remover didn’t get all of your mascara and liner completely off the night before and it has migrated to your under eyes making you look like one of nature’s fuzziest bandits.

Since I’ve developed quite an eye makeup routine in the past month or two (after not wearing a stitch for years), I’ve had to develop an eye makeup removal regimen as well. And let me tell you, it’s a lot more labor intensive than I’d anticipated. I thought it was a gimmick when brand’s touted their liner and mascara’s ability to stay put for 12 to 24 hours, but alas it is not!

I find it’s much tougher to get my eye makeup off once it’s made its way down my face where it can accentuate my under-eye circles. Not good! To that end, I’ve put together a list of my favorite eye makeup removers so you can say goodbye to waking up in last night’s makeup. Before we get started, there are two extra beauty essentials you’ll need to ensure you’ve erased all signs of your most dramatic eye look before you settle into sweet slumber.

My first essential is Cut Cotton Pads from the popular Japanese lifestyle store Muji.  They come in packs of 150 for just $4.95. They’re super soft and cushiony, like little clouds for your face. My next essential is simple: good old fashion cotton swabs, or as they’re commonly referred to, Q-tips! Any brand will do — I’m all about generics. They’re also handy when applying your eye makeup. Just dab on a bit of remover to get rid of unwanted smudges. With these two staples and a cutthroat eye makeup remover, you can say goodbye to raccoon eyes for good!

Now, back to the main event! Check out my five favorite eye makeup removers, strong enough to remove even the longest wear liner but gentle enough for delicate skin.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Sens’Eyes – Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser

eye makeup removers

MAKE UP FOR EVER Sens’Eyes, $24

MAKE UP FOR EVER Sens’Eyes has been recommended to me by multiple makeup artists, so of course I had to check it out. The fragrance-free formula was specifically formulated to remove waterproof eye makeup and is especially great for people with sensitive eyes and skin. Just apply a small amount to a cotton pad, close your eyes and gently press against each one. You can even lie down while you do this if you want to turn it into a relaxing little routine. After 5-10 seconds, give your eyes a nice gentle swipe with the cotton pad and continue until you feel you’ve taken the bulk of your eye makeup off. Then, apply water to the pad and continue to remove any makeup remnants. If you want to double check your work, dab a tiny amount on a Q-tip and swipe under your eyes and on your lash line.

Sure, the 3.38 oz bottle is a bit pricey at $24, but a little bit goes a long way with this remover so you’re sure to get a lot of use out of it before you run out.

Benefit They’re Real Remover

eye makeup removers

Benefit They’re Real Remover, $18

Benefit’s They’re Real waterproof eye makeup remover was formulated to take off their wildly popular lengthening mascara of the same name. I’m currently obsessed with their Roller Lash mascara and I can tell you that it works wonders on both. The creamy gel formula dissolves makeup without tugging or irritating the delicate eye area. To remove even the toughest eye makeup, saturate a cotton pad and gently wipe away. To ensure there’s nothing left behind, apply a dot to a Q-tip and swab around your eye area.

Yes to Cucumbers Eye Makeup Remover Pads

eye makeup removers


Yes to Cucumbers Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $7.99 for 45 pads

The Yes to Cucumber Eye Makeup Remover Pads smell as fresh and clean as you’d imagine, which made me feel like my eyes were getting a mini spa treatment. The pre-moistened circular pads easily wipe away long-wear eye makeup, and because they’re 99% natural they’re safe to use and won’t cause any irritation. If you have very sensitive skin I’d highly recommend trying these out. They’re by far the least expensive option on this list, at just $7.99 for 45 pads.

Benefit Remove It Makeup Remover

eye makeup removers

Benefit Remove It Makeup Remover, $21

Benefit’s Remove It Makeup Remover isn’t expressly for eyes, but I was really impressed with how easily it took off my eye makeup so I had to include it in this list. Just apply the formula to a cotton pad or cotton swab to swiftly remove your makeup and freshen up your skin. I really the way this product smells and the fact that it doesn’t require rinse after use. Even though it packs a punch, this remover is ideal for contact wearers because of its oil-free formula. Trust me, it’s not fun to get oily eye makeup remover under a contact. Because of all this, Remove It easily became a staple on my vanity! Oh, and don’t even get me started on the packaging, which is almost too cute to handle.

Sephora Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes

eye makeup removers

Sephora Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes, $10 for a box of 20

Sephora’s Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes are the holy grail of all eye makeup removers.  They are by far the most effective I’ve ever used. Using the rectangular towelettes is super easy. With just a few swipes they get rid of even the longest lasting eye makeup. Even Benefit Roller Lash and Too Faced Bulletproof 24-hour eyeliner were no match for these little heaven-sent makeup removers. I was blown away by how quickly these little wipes removed both.  I’m hooked, so now they’ll always be on my list of must-have beauty items. I keep them handy in my bedroom, bathroom, and purse to ensure touchups and eye makeup removal is a breeze, even in a pinch!

What’s your favorite eye makeup remover? Tell us in the comment section below!


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