Exploring Alternative Methods of Eye Makeup Removal: Neutrogena

Neutrogena, Eye Makeup Remover, Review, Lancome
For years now I’ve been a loyal user of Lancome’s Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover. While I have tried others in the past, in a vain attempt to find something that worked as well (see Lumene, Clean & Clear, Boots #7, and Almay), I keep coming back to the Lancome. It’s the only one that removes 100% of my mascara and eye liner easily the first time, no matter what I’m wearing. But… it’s expensive. I try to stock up on it at the outlet mall (love those CCO stores), but I still feel guilty every time I use it.

So, recently I’ve been rebelling. Well, really it was because I was on vacation and ran out of Lancome (which really sucks when you are wearing a lot of waterproof eye makeup because of the pool). So, a quick trip to Target yielded me the Neutrogena Hydrating eye make up remover on the left. This was about 7 months ago, and I have to admit that I’ve been trying to find a product that this remover will actually remove. Harsh? Yes. But seriously, it leaves behind about 75% of my eye makeup no matter what it is. Waterproof, regular, mascara, eye liner, even eye shadow. This is a pretty poor performance for a product that claims to remove waterproof products. Avoid it all costs.

Strangely enough, the product that I nearly bought instead that day is the remover on the right. I picked it up about a month ago, and it is vastly different from the Hydrating lotion version. These are fairly large, thick round cotton pads saturated with eye makeup remover. They are not super wet, but they do feel damp to the touch. I use one side per eye and because the pads are so soft they can be really rubbed around and can be used to scrub the lash line to get every last little bit of eye liner.

The pads have removed everything that I’ve put them up against, including multiple kinds of waterproof eye liner and mascara. The pads do leave a very light residue behind. However, Neutrogena says to use the pads before you wash your face. I simply rinse the residue off when I rinse off my facial cleanser.

The only fault I can find with these eye makeup remover pads is that they really do seem to take a while to remove everything. It takes 3 or 4 minutes to really scrub off everything, much longer than the 1-2 swipes I need with Lancome Bi-Facil.

I’ll be restarting my search for a mass market eye makeup remover that works as well as the Lancome. Let me know if you have any recommendations. In the meantime, if you’re looking I do recommend the pads, but stay away from the hydrating version.

Ultra-Soft Eye Makeup Remover Pads
Eye Makeup Remover Lotion – Hydrating



  1. December 31, 2010 / 6:46 pm

    Those makeup removing pads look nice! I love the Lancome remover as well; but, normally I use Neutrogena's Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover (which I find to be *similar*, but no not the same). I just dip a fluffy cotton swab in it and swap around my eye area. It really seems to remove everything and does not irritate my sensitive eyes (key!). Good luck on your search! I am curious as to what you might find!

  2. Phaine
    December 31, 2010 / 10:10 pm

    If you have a friend in Australia get them to send you some QV face eye make up remover its a tiny bottle but it melts the stuff right off your face but with out leaving red patches where you have been rubbing.

  3. Anonymous
    January 1, 2011 / 1:17 am


    Have you considered using a cleansing oil instead? I've tried both the the MAC cleanse-off oil and the Shu Uemura ones and they work great at removing both eye and face makeup.

  4. January 1, 2011 / 1:25 am

    Thank you so much for keeping me away from this stuff. I've been thinking about it for a while but never went there. Now I know not to.

    I can't thank you enough!

  5. January 1, 2011 / 1:52 am

    Phaine- Great tip! I'll try to get a hold of some if I can.

    Anon- I have tried both of those cleansing oils actually, and I wasn't able to get all of my eye makeup off with it. I mostly ended up smearing it around. ๐Ÿ™

  6. January 1, 2011 / 2:24 am

    Target's up brand (green label) is another drugstore remover to try. I've reviewed it on my blog if you're interested ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. January 1, 2011 / 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the great product tip Carol! If anyone is curious, here is the link: Target's Take it all off for Carol's post that she's talking about.

  8. January 1, 2011 / 3:10 pm

    Wow great post. I am so surprised about the lotion because the wipe are amazing ! But now I know not to bother. I have used the round pads before and they are pretty good I just dislike that for my skin it is not soft enough.

    Thanks for this ! Followed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Happy new year
    Follow me too ?:)

  9. January 2, 2011 / 8:24 pm

    I hate to hear this about the lotion, I thought this would be a wonderful shower product.

    No matter what I use nothing takes everything off for me. Even the Lancome. But I do like to use the Neutrogena oil free liquid. This does not irritate my eye area or dry them out. I have tried the pads, but prefer the liquid, and the makeup remover cloths are pretty good as well. I really like the new moisturizing ones (teal package) the best.

  10. January 2, 2011 / 9:55 pm

    I agree, I bought the lotion first thinking it would be perfect in the shower, I would love to be freed from using little cotton rounds. No such luck though!

  11. January 4, 2011 / 10:39 am

    Hi Christine (from a fellow Christine) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Loved the review! I was always having trouble with eye makeup remover, until I started using something a few years ago that really helped – have you ever tried using baby oil or pure virgin olive oil to remove eye makeup? I use it only on my eyes because my eyes are soo sensitive and turn red from the littlest bit of irritation. It is the ONLY thing that removes all makeup in 2 seconds and does not bother me! I only use a few dabs on a cotton ball and everything comes right off (including my stila eyeliner that doesn't come off for anything!). Just be careful to not use too much, and I wouldn't recommend anyone use it on their face to remove makeup – too much oil. But it's been a great, INEXPENSIVE solution for me and my sensitive eyes! I wash my face afterwards with a washcloth and facial soap, so I just also wash off my eyes – and no oiliness! I've added your blog to my list of fave blogs on my site, check it out! I'd appreciate the same – I'm a freelance fashion, style & beauty writer and have started writing my own blog: http://www.classtoclassy.com – Class to classy is the first blog geared towards women in a transition from college to the real world, on a (real) budget! You'll find product reviews, outfit ideas for under $100, style inspiration from celebs and real-life women, closet chronicles (where I dish out how I saved so much on my recent purchases), money-saving ideas, and more geared towards recession-smart 20-something ladies. I hope you'll check it out, and I'll keep coming back to your site – love it!
    Freelance writing: http://bit.ly/etI8VC
    Thanks Christine! <3

  12. January 5, 2011 / 9:29 pm

    I also use oil to remove my makeup. A little EVOO or jojoba oil before my regular face wash and it's all gone!

  13. January 6, 2011 / 4:37 am

    I used to use Lancome as well, but switched to Lise Watier's double-phased remover and haven't looked back since!

    It's ever so slightly cheaper in terms of $, but every little bit helps, right? ๐Ÿ™‚


  14. Lisa
    January 11, 2011 / 4:38 pm

    I have the exact same problem, I only use the Lancome remover because I can't find anything else that works as well… until recently! The Neutrogena makeup remover wipes work! I'm not repurchasing them though until I use up my stockpile of Lancome that I've purchased at the CCO. After that it's Neutrogena wipes for me!

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