I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of the concept of double cleansing. I make sure to double cleanse whenever I wear any trace of makeup and with today’s pollution levels, environmental buildup has become a real thing. Some days I get home with my face feeling all gritty and sweaty and double cleansing is the only thing that keeps my mind at ease hoping I don’t get any breakouts.
I popped in to Dischem last week to pick up some stuff and I saw a lady adding around 5 or 6 packets of Dove cotton rounds to her trolley. Being ever forward, I asked her what she was going to use them for. She said that she uses it to remove her makeup with micellar water. I thanked her and walked away before the conversation took an unexpected turn.
What I wanted to ask her was “Are you crazy?” but I stopped myself just in time. A few years ago that was me, the woman who would wait for 3 for 2 specials on micellar water and cotton rounds and stock up until the sun came home. Don’t get me wrong, I still firmly believe that those two items are staples in every bathroom cabinet but I just use them differently than before.
I usually purchase the Softi Value Pack (R50) from Dischem where you pay for 3 packs and you get 1 pack for free. I use these mornings and evenings to tone my face and décolletage so it lasts me just under the two month mark. I find these are perfect because they don’t leave the icky cotton flakes behind like some other brands do. So you’re probably wondering why I thought this woman was crazy. Well, when I wear a full face of makeup, or even just the fact that I use foundation, I probably use at least 10 micellar soaked cotton rounds to get the majority of the cakeface off. That coupled with everyday use, you can only imagine the packets of cotton rounds I flew through.
Since I am a beauty blogger and love trying new things, over the years I’ve found some amazing alternatives to removing my makeup that are super fast, work great and are also very budget friendly. I guess in most of these cases I’d deem them an investment because they are not harsh on my skin and they keep my face squeaky clean so I don’t have to deal with dreaded breakouts caused by makeup residue and blocked pores.
Cleansing Balms and Oils
I’ve come across many cleansing oils and balms over the years and some of them have worked noticeably well. The Dermalogica Precleanse Oil (R630 for 150ml) used to be my favourite for removing makeup in the shower because it emulsifies into a clear white liquid to remove waterproof mascara and leave the skin feeling fresh. I found I was using a lot of product and flying through the bottle so I looked for a more affordable option. I then tried The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (R210 for 90ml) and while it does work well at removing makeup, I found the consistency to be too thick and the richness of the product made me break out. This is a great option for people suffering from dryness because it does add moisture back into the skin.
I picked up the ELF Hydrating Gel Melt Cleanser (R290 for 40g) on a whim at the Eid Festival from Muse Beauty and was sadly disappointed at the performance. It removes most traces of makeup but it does struggle with smokey eyes and pigments that stain. It emulsifies into a thin white liquid exactly like the Dermalogica Precleanse which results in me reaching for more product as it dissolves into the skin. I’ve resorted to using this balm whenever I do fun/cartoon/Halloween makeup looks using paints because it works so much better. The only thing I dislike about this product is that it can burn the eyes when using it.
To date this has been the best cleansing balm I have ever tried. So much so that I’m already on my second jar. The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (R310 for 125ml) has been my go to for double cleansing at least 4 times a week. It has a smooth consistency and feels like thick coconut oil when massaged onto the skin. It literally melts all the makeup away, even the blackest of black shadow and liner. I rub this in circular motions around my eyes and don’t experience any burning or stinging whatsoever. Another thing that is great about this product is that a little goes a long way. I use a nail sized amount which is sufficient for removing makeup off my entire face. This is something I would highly recommend, especially for oilier and acne-prone skin types.
One thing I noticed is that all the cleansing balms and oils leave a residue on the skin but it doesn’t bother me since I do cleanse a second time using a regular cleanser and use an alcohol free toner to remove the last traces of anything else left on the skin.
This has been another revolutionary product in the beauty world. If you have ever owned an original makeup eraser, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The Makeup Eraser (R199) removes all trace of makeup, including waterproof mascara, with just water. Yep seriously. Sounds too good to be true but I kid you not. The soft, microfiber cloth is “made from a specially knitted polyester/silk fibre which is finer than human hair”. It doesn’t tug at the skin and you can run it over your lashes without any fear of losing them. This is so gentle I can run it over my waterline to remove my eyeliner so I don’t wake up looking like a panda. This is definitely worth the investment because not only is it machine washable, but it can be washed up to 1 000 times before it needs to be replaced. I purchased my Makeup Eraser in early 2015 from MuseSA and it’s still going strong. Some of the stitching has come loose but it’s still working perfectly fine. I already have a backup stashed away in case I ever need it.
Since we only do laundry twice a week, I picked up the Sephora Collection Black Magic Makeup Remover Cloths ($12 for 2 pieces) to use when my Makeup Eraser was in the wash. It has the same claims as the original makeup eraser being able to remove makeup with just plain water. The first difference I noticed is that these cloths are about half the size of the original. While the original Makeup Eraser is rectangular in shape, these are square. They are a bit small for my liking but they still work just fine. They do require a bit more effort than the original but at a fraction of the cost, it not worth complaining about.
I find what works best for me is massaging the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm over my cheeks, then forehead and then eyes before going in with the Makeup Eraser to remove everything else. It leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean and fresh before I go in with my regular cleanser. There’s definitely a feeling of triumph and joy when I tone with my cotton rounds and there’s no trace of makeup in site. Guess it doesn’t take much to make me happy.
What are your favourite ways to remove makeup? Which products do you swear by?
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