I’ll be the first to admit that until recently, I never used an eye makeup remover. I know, for shame. But once you approach the big 3-0, you can see that the delicate skin around the eyes starts to need some extra TLC. Plus, panda eyes after the night before are attractive on nobody. After some researching and much testing, I’ve narrowed my choices down to two favourites, both on opposite sides of the budget spectrum: Lancôme Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Eye Makeup Remover (€29) vs. Simply Dual Effect Eye Makeup Remover (€6.49).
It’s the age-old beauty conundrum when it comes to luxe vs. high-street products, which does the job best?
Formulated with water and silicone, this one is beloved by many; a cult favourite among eye makeup remover lovers. One light sweep across the lids and it feels very moist on the eye which is good but pay no mind to the non-oily claims; it does leave a slightly greasy residue after application which I didn’t enjoy too much, but my lashes felt extra silky afterwards. To test both products, I wore heavy eye makeup and two coats of mascara and to give Lancôme credit, it removed every scrap without any effort, quick as a flash. And the next day while cleansing in the morning, there wasn’t an ounce of night-before black eye residue in sight. The one thing to note though is that this contains perfume and even though it’s said to be suitable for even the most sensitive of eyes, this is something to be mindful of. I didn’t experience any irritation but depending on your eyes’ sensitivity rating, you could. All-in-all, I was impressed. This is pricey but does exactly what it says on the tin.
Next up Simple’s offering, which at just under €7, is gentler on the purse strings. An improvement on their previous offering, this contains one part oil and one part vitamin-enriched water. The formula isn’t as moisturising as Lancôme, so it does take at least two uses or eye sweeps before your makeup is removed and there was minimal redness afterwards because you have to put slightly more of an effort in to ensure that it’s all scrubbed away. And the morning after, there was a slight residue of mascara from the night before, but it was very tiny. However, it’s completely fragrance-free, and for what it costs, I was mighty happy with it.
The result: I’m on the fence I have to admit because the winner really depends on your preferred eye makeup remover criteria; those that shy away from oil-based formulas will love Bi-Facial – and if you wear a lot of heavy eye makeup daily this is the one to go for – but at almost €30, it’s a steep price to pay on a regular basis. Simple is ideal for every day, and as I love an oil-based option, this is the one I’d veer towards, keeping Lancôme for special occasions.