Whether you are a swimmer or just want to make it through the heatwave without getting panda eyes, waterproof mascara is a must-have.
And today’s formulations mean they really won’t budge.
But what about getting it off at the end of the day? Many tough eye make-up removers leave an oil slick behind and can irritate contact lens-wearers or those with sensitive eyes.
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Panda eyes: Clare tries a non-oil eye remover to see if it can remove the most stubborn waterproof make-up
Yet, all too often, the oil-free variety just don’t cut it, leaving you with equally irritating black eyes.
So which removers do work? We tried a range of new non-oil make-up removers against the toughest waterproof make-up: Cargo Swimmables Waterproof Eye Pencil (£12, debenhams.com), which promises to stay put for up to 14 hours, and Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara (£18, eyeko.com) — guaranteed waterproof for 24 hours.
Here’s how they fared . . .
Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (left) and Lancome Bi-Facil Non-Oily Instant Eye Makeup Remover
TOO MUCH GUNK
Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, £13, marykay.co.uk
Dual phase removers have two layers — usually an oil layer that helps break down make-up and a water layer that helps remove the residue. You shake them together to form an emulsion.
Oil-free versions use silicone instead of oil, so, while not actually oily, they can feel greasy.
This initially felt a bit slimy, but didn’t leave any residue. It removed the eyeliner brilliantly, dissolving it swiftly, but it wasn’t quite so good at getting rid of the mascara, leaving my lashes feeling gunky afterwards.
Non-oiliness: 3/5 Effectiveness: 3/5
Lancome Bi-Facil Non-Oily Instant Eye Makeup Remover, £21.50, lancome.co.uk
This much-lauded eye make-up remover is a favourite of make-up artists, so it must be doing something right.
Although it took a few swipes with the cotton pad, it did shift all my mascara, leaving my lashes super soft.
On the downside, I’d dispute the non-oily claim, as my skin felt greasy for around five minutes after I’d used it. Although that did fade, it means it’s not ideal for make-up touch-ups on the go.
Non-oiliness: 2/5 Effectiveness: 4/5
Avene Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover (left) and Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent
IT JUST DIDN’T GEL
Avene Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover, £9.50, lloyds pharmacy.com
I really wanted this one to work. The clear gel formula — based, like all Avene products, on thermal spring water — felt soothing, with no stickiness. The only problem was that it removed nothing.
I’d keep this in the fridge and use it as an eye mask, but as a make-up remover for waterproof eye make-up, it’s pretty useless.
Non-oiliness: 5/5 Effectiveness: 0/5
SOFT BUT SLUGGISH
Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent, £17, clinique.co.uk
THIS says it’s a solvent, which means it dissolves things, so I had high expectations.
But I couldn’t understand why it needed rinsing off after using, as it didn’t leave any residue, and if anything left my skin soft. When it came down to it, the rinsing bit was academic as most of the make-up didn’t budge.
I finally managed to dislodge some of the eyeliner, but the mascara was resolutely going nowhere, despite the solvent.
Non-oiliness: 5/5 Effectiveness: 0/5
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover (left) and Nars Gentle Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
NO REAL OOMPH
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover, £3.39, Superdrug
For non-waterproof make-up, this has been my go-to remover for longer than I can remember. I recommend it to everyone because it’s inexpensive, effective and kind to your eyes.
Unfortunately, with the waterproof stuff, it’s just not up to the task. It wasn’t bad on eyeliner, but it didn’t make a dent in the mascara at all.
Non-oiliness: 5/5 Effectiveness: 1/5
Nars Gentle Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, £18.50, narscosmetics.co.uk
Once I had shaken this up enough to get the two layers of liquid to mix together, this wasn’t bad. Barely any greasiness — certainly less than many two-phase removers. It cut through the eyeliner with ease and, although it took a couple of wipes, it managed to remove a lot of the mascara, too.
Non-oiliness: 4/5 Effectiveness: 4/5
Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover (left) and Artistry Essentials Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (right)
Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover, £22.50, feelunique.com
This two-layered, blue and white remover was the most expensive I tried, so it really had to go some to justify its price. And it did.
It was one of the most impressive products in getting the eye area completely clean, wiping away all traces of mascara, even around the root of the lashes.
It left a slight greasy film behind, but, on the whole, lived up to its price tag.
Non-oiliness: 3.5/5 Effectiveness: 5/5
Artistry Essentials Eye & Lip Makeup Remover, £11.10, amway.co.uk
You might not have heard of this American brand, but it is among the world’s top five, largest-selling, premium skincare brands. If the rest of their offering is like this, I can see why. It cut straight through the eyeliner and made short work of the mascara, leaving lashes as clean as a whistle.
Just as effective as products twice the price.
Non-oiliness: 4/5 Effectiveness: 5/5
Laura Mercier Dual-Action Eye Make-up Remover Oil-Free
Laura Mercier Dual-Action Eye Make-up Remover Oil-Free, £18.50, houseoffraser.co.uk
When it comes to foundations and primers, Laura Mercier has long been my go-to gal, but I’d never tried her make-up remover. This doesn’t make me want to rush out and invest.
While definitely non-greasy, it was not very good. The eyeliner dissolved with ease, but the mascara took too much work.
Non-oiliness: 4/5 Effectiveness: 2.5/5