Stylist’s beauty editor Lucy Partington tried four popular cleansing methods - and only one took everything off…
Removing your make-up after a big night out can be a struggle. So I put four different cleansers to the test – using a clean cotton pad the next morning to see the results.
The Make-Up Wipe
Party season is here and my diary is already jam-packed. Tonight I’ve got drinks with my personal trainer, so I need to make an effort. I buff on two layers of Clarins’ Skin Illusion Foundation, £30, do an elaborate smoky eye with Too Faced Gingerbread Spice Palette (festive!), apply Sisley’s So Intense volumising mascara, £43, draw in my brows with Benefit’s Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil , £30,and finish with Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold highlighter, £49. It’s the most make-up I’ve worn for a long time. I get home around 10pm but I’ve been awake for 17 hours and I’m exhausted. I reach for my make-up wipes and haphazardly run one over my face, tugging at my lashes to get rid of the last bits of mascara. My skin doesn’t feel that clean, but sleep is more important.
Simple Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes, £3.29
The Morning After
After a quick sweep around my face, I’m surprised at how clean the cotton pad looks. I expected there to be mascara residue but there was only a smudge of foundation left. I usually steer clear of cleansing wipes in case they’re too harsh on my skin, but actually these are effective and gentle. I’ll have to rethink my wipes prejudice (especially as these ones are biodegradable), and for situations like my speedy late-night make-up removal, they’re pretty reliable.
The Microfiber Disc
Tonight is my only night in this week, but because I’m dedicated to this experiment, I apply the same products as last night anyway to try the Face Halo. I leave work just after 6pm and get caught up in stressful Tube delays before finally making it home. Tired and harassed, I’m keen to get rid of all traces of the day. I cleanse using the Face Halo – a circular-shaped, reusable pad made up of fibres 100 times finer than human hair, which promises to give a deep cleanse using nothing but water. I drench it under the tap and scrub my face. It feels soft on my skin and doesn’t leave me looking red, but it’s a struggle getting the remnants of my mascara off.
Face Halo Make-Up Remover, £17.95 for 3
The Morning After
To say I was sceptical before using the Face Halo would be an understatement, but it seems I should have listened to Ava, Stylist’s junior beauty writer, when she was raving about it. The cotton wool pad I use in the morning is relatively clean, and there’s nowhere near as much mascara residue as I expected. When I think about the fact I used just a microfibre cloth and water to get rid of my make-up, I’m impressed. Those pleasingly soft fibres are a bit like magic.
The Cleansing Milk
I’m going for dinner at Balthazar in Covent Garden tonight. I’ve had my make-up on all day but I quickly freshen it up – an extra layer of foundation and a bit more eyeshadow – before leaving the office. There are six of us sat around a circular table, the prosecco is flowing (we order oysters just because) and it’s quite hot in here – there’s not much air conditioning and I can feel the alcohol making my face flush. I get home around 11pm and I’m a little bit tipsy. I end up having to use around five or six cotton pads saturated in this milky cleanser to get my make-up off and it’s quite laborious. It’s thicker than I was expecting, but it feels gentle and quite cooling, which is what my face needs right now.
Garnier Milky Cleansing Water, £6.99
The Morning After
I feel groggy, but my face is the most refreshed it has been all week. The fact I used so many cotton pads the night before means I know I got the majority of my make-up off before I went to sleep, so I’m not surprised this one is slightly cleaner. The soothing element and the gel-like texture of this cleanser really helped to gently melt away all the make-up (including mascara) that I had on. I might well end up switching my usual micellar water for this in future.
The Face Wash
It’s Friday and I’m having a relatively chilled night. I leave work and head straight to the pub to meet my friend for a well-deserved G&T. We end up having a couple of drinks before going to my favourite curry house. I get home later than I planned and I reach for Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser – Dr Sam Bunting is a Harley Street dermatologist so I have high hopes. It’s fragrance-free and has a satisfying gel texture. The instructions say to use a separate eye make-up remover but I’m lazy, so I take a risk and just massage two pumps over my face for a minute and then rinse off. My face looks – and feels – cleansed, so I flop into bed for some much needed sleep.
Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser, £16
The Morning After
After an epic lie-in (what can I say, it’s been a busy week), I run a clean cotton pad over my face and it stays clean. There is literally nothing on there. I rub harder yet still, nothing. Nada. Not even a hint of mascara. And, quite frankly, I’m amazed. This cleanser is suitable for even the most sensitive of skin, and all it took to get rid of every last scrap of make-up was a couple of pumps massaged on to damp skin. I think I’ve just found my new favourite cleanser.