Bargain vs Blowout: Eye Makeup Removers

How do a high street and high end eye makeup remover match up?

In the ring: Lancôme Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Eye Makeup Remover vs Simply Dual Effect Eye Makeup Remover.

The vital stats:

Lancôme Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Eye Makeup[1], £21.50

Press release promise: “With a formula that’s suitable for even sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, Bi-Facil gently removes makeup including waterproof mascara.”

Simple Dual Effect Eye Makeup Remover[2], £3.99

Press release promise: “Removes even stubborn, waterproof make-up without unnecessary rubbing and leaves behind soft, clean nourished skin and perfectly conditioned lashes.”

The battle: According to a survey of 2000 women by One Poll and Simple in April last year, a quarter of us sleep in our makeup three or more nights a week. Makeup Maniac[3] I may be but this came as quite a shocker to me. We’ve all done it, but THREE NIGHTS A WEEK? I’m staging an intervention here by introducing (or renewing your interest in) two elite cleansers that perform quickly and gently, leaving you with absolutely zero, nada, nil excuse to not hit the bottle at the end of the day. One is a time honoured cleansing classic, the other a freshly formulated newby. They’ve both earned their right to be here, in spades, but which wipes the board in terms of efficacy and affordability? Let the fight commence.

First round: I’m putting both of these through their paces at the weekend, so that they’re challenged with full on party eye, waterproof mascara and a good dollop of Touche Éclat (all of the early hours Olympics viewing has been taking its toll).

First up is Simple, with a one part oil and one part vitamin enriched water formula to whisk away makeup with minimal tugging. For an oil based cleanser, it feels oddly dry on the eye, but for those put off by the potentially slimy residue of an oily makeup remover, this is likely a major plus. Given the dry texture, I did have to go over each lid a couple of times, but it dissolved highly pigmented shadow and liner in seconds, and mascara wiggled off comfortably with a little bit of persuasion. The fragrance free formula goes seriously easy on lashes and the eye area; I removed a very dramatic glitter spackled look with minimal redness, no irritation and a distinct lack of puffiness, which is refreshing when compared to the original Kind To Eyes eye makeup remover (very ‘rubby’ in my experience). This turbocharged yet delicate oil and water shaker is in another league.

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