Over the years I’ve used all sorts of products to take my make-up off in the evening, ranging from oils to facial wipes and everything in between. I invariably end up returning to my all-time favourite Lancôme Galatéis Douceur (£22.50, johnlewis.com) which never lets me down.
But I’ve run out of that, so currently I’m alternating between two products – Elemis’ White Flowers Eye and Lip Make-Up Remover which just launched in July (£19, johnlewis.com) , and MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser (£32, cultbeauty.co.uk).
Now because I’m essentially a MORON I spent a good week trying to use the MV Organic product in the same way as I’ve always used the Lancôme – by squirting it onto a cotton wool pad and rubbing off my eye make-up. It was only when I actually, y’know, read the instructions, that I realised you’re supposed to massage it into damp skin, then remove with a warm, wet face cloth. Oh. It worked a lot better then – in fact I’m really getting into this whole hot-cloth face-washing thing.
Because it is a thing, isn’t it? I’ve had friends anxiously asking me if they ‘ought’ to be doing the Eve Lom hot cloth cleansing method, to which I respond with a blank expression, because I have no idea. You see, skin cleansing is not my area of expertise (c’mon, I’m not omniscient. Want to draw a perfect cat’s eye? Need a red lipstick recommendation? There I can help you.)
I’m fascinated by other people’s cleansing routines. One friend (who shall remain anonymous as she’s ashamed of sleeping in her make-up) said: “Sometimes I don’t take it off (say 3 out of 7 days a week!), but when I do I use Simple Eye Make-Up Remover after Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel and Multi-Active Toner. I like a facial wash cleanser rather than a dry one so I feel properly clean! I only wear heavy foundation maybe once or twice a month anyway so that’s my excuse.”
I like the mix of honest laziness and proper skincare in her routine, because seriously, everyone sleeps in their make-up from time to time, right? When you’re simply too tired/drunk/whatever to start faffing around with bottles and flannels and cotton wool and wipes? I have to treat anyone who says “Oh I could never go to be without taking off my make-up” with a certain amount of scepticism.
But back to my current two products:
Elemis White Flowers Eye and Lip Make-Up Remover is a ‘bi-phase’ product which means it’s two separate liquids that you shake together in the bottle to mix up. It’s a very gentle oil with white tea, white peony and white lily extracts which feels incredibly soft and gentle on the skin and really is impressive at removing mascara, liquid eyeliner and red lipstick with just a couple of swipes.
As I said, once I’d figured out how to use the MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser properly, it was lovely and very effective – I thought smearing something all over my eyes and rubbing it in with water would sting, but it doesn’t, and sort of steam-wiping it off with a flannel that I’ve soaked in hot water feels like a bit of a mini-facial-type treatment. Most invigorating.
So. I would LOVE to know how you take your make-up off. Are you a devotee of the cleanse, tone and moisturise system (how have I worked in beauty for all these years without truly understanding the point of toner?), or do you lazily remove the day’s grub with a face wipe? Does anyone favour good old fashioned soap and water? SHARE!
This article originally appeared on xoJane.co.uk.