I've tried a lot of mascaras. It's a bit of an occupational hazard. Not to mention the never-ending array of liquid liners that I've artfully attempted to apply. And then there are the eye shadows, from powders to liquids, that have graced my lids.
Experimenting doesn't frighten me anymore, but I hate to get stuck wearing a product that I don't love. I've rounded up the best and the worst eye-makeup removers so you won't be caught with something less than sensational around your eyes.
Love it: Soft and Swift Make-Up Remover from VMV Hypoallergenics
Suitable for all skin types, VMV Hypoallergenics' Soft and Swift Makeup Remover banishes more than just black mascara and eyeliner. This fragrance-free and preservative-free product eradicates any type of makeup residue, from foundation to lipstick. Supremely gentle, yet surprisingly effective, I put this product up against my toughest, darkest liquid eyeliner, and it prevailed.
Leave it: Too Faced Lash Injection Antidote
I was truly excited about Lash Injection Antidote from Too Faced cosmetics, namely because the product claims to be capable of removing even that glue-like substance known as waterproof mascara. I was willing to put up with the slight stinging sensation that I felt upon initially applying the remover, because I figured to actually remove this most impervious of eye makeup products, some harsh chemicals would be required. Unfortunately, Lash Injection Antidote was not the remedy I'd hoped for.
Love it: Ultra-Soft Eye Makeup Remover Pads from Neutrogena
I found this product after filling up my cart with drugstore brands one day in search of reasonably priced options in effective eye makeup removers. The pads themselves are soft and thick, offering up a plush, ready-to-go option. Promising to remove all traces of makeup, including waterproof mascara, Neutrogena's Ultra-Soft Eye Makeup Remover Pads actually delivered and they didn't break the bank doing so; I paid $7.99 for a month's supply at Walgreens.
Leave it: L'Oreal's Eye Makeup Remover
I found L'Oreal's oil-free eye makeup remover to be ineffective and aggravating. The packaging states that this remover is safe for contact wearers, but I felt an immediate stinging sensation upon applying the product. While I am generally a fan of the L'Oreal brand, this is one product that's best left at the counter.
Love it: Purifying Eye Make-Up Remover from Ole Henriksen
Ole Henriksen has treated a long list of celebrity clients, including Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey and Christy Turlington. Thankfully, Henriksen's star skin care is available to mere mortals, who can log on to olehenriksen.com and scoop up the ultra-effective Purifying Eye Make-Up Remover. Priced at $25 for 75 pads, or about 33 cents per pad, this A-list favorite is D-list affordable.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.