Tips to share: how to remove eye makeup gently

I’ve never really needed to make extra efforts to remove my eye makeup simply because I didn’t wear much of them in the past. However, when I started wearing eyeliner, I realized that I needed more effort to take the color off without rubbing and tugging the delicate eye area. I know oil cleansers or just pure oil are great to remove eye makeup but I don’t like the former, and I don’t like the oily feeling of the latter.

Using a not too oily balm
Well, I’ve recently found something great for removing my eye makeup. It’s not oily-oily, if you know what I mean but just oily enough to remove color stains easily. My new eye makeup remover is in the form of a balm and more specifically, it’s the Alexander Essentials Organic Yarrow Beauty Balm that I mentioned back in August. I love it!

Dab not rub
What I do is to use a small amount of the balm with a cotton pad and then I’ll go dab-dab-dab on my eyelid. Because the balm melts into oil on contact, my eye makeup gets off really quickly! And by dabbing, I avoid any pulling, rubbing or tugging on the delicate skin around my eyes. Sometimes if the makeup gets a little resistant, what I’ll do is to press the cotton pad with the balm on my eye area a little longer before I continue dabbing.

Other methods
I’ve seen some videos where the makeup gurus recommend saturating a cotton pad with either a makeup remover solution or oil before leaving on the eye area and then gently “sliding” off the makeup. While this method does help to remove eye makeup quickly too, what I dislike is that I have to use a tissue paper to wipe off the solution or oil or I can’t open my eyes at all after that!

I’m not sure how many of you are already using this eye makeup removal method. However, I thought sharing it might help others because I still see some girls rubbing off their makeup based on the videos I’ve seen.


  1. Shefali says:

    How to remove waterproof mascara gently without pulling out the lashes.Can you please suggest something on this too?

  2. Effa Haniza says:

    I’m one of the guilty one who rub my eye while removing my eyeliner. I’ll try the dabbing motion next time. ? Anyway, I have link your site to my blog as I found your content to be very useful especially on hair care ?

  3. EcoBeauty says:

    I have a really, really bad habit of rubbing my eyes pretty badly when they itch. And I’m not exaggerating. It’s like ‘merciless rubbing’. Sometimes, I would even get abrasions near my tear ducts.
    EcoBeauty last post is: 27 Years and 27 Random Things About Me

  4. ying says:

    I use clinique eye & lip makeup remover and so far it is the fastest and most efficient remover I have used. I just used a cotton pad hold it over my eye for 2-3 seconds, and just lightly move the pad outwards in the direction of my temple. And it dissolves most of my eye makeup. I just need to swipe one or 2 more times to get all of it off.

  5. Sesame says:

    Try this “easing off” method by Lisa Eldridge:

  6. Sesame says:

    Thanks for the link. Give me a link to your blog too. ?

  7. Sesame says:

    Ah…do be careful. I am careful with my eye area because it’s terribly delicate. One of my eyelids is wrinkled because I had a case of a swollen eye and thereafter, the skin just got awry.

  8. Sesame says:

    It’s good you’ve found something that works for you. Your method of removal sounds like Lisa Eldridge’s. That’s a very gentle way especially if you wear lots of eye makeup complete with mascara.

  9. Hazel says:

    I’ve been wondering over the past few months if I should use an eye makeup remover or can I just continue using the Muji cleansing oil to remove makeup on my entire face. I don’t wear waterproof makeup and I’ve been using cleansing oil to remove everything for the longest time. Right now, I am wondering if cleansing oil is too harsh and drying for the eye area. What do you think, Sesame? Should I use something specially designed for the eye area?

  10. Kay says:

    I use sweet almond oil for my eye area and cleansing oil/water/milk for my face to remove makeup. I always swipe lightly to remove eye makeup, gotta try your method tonight!

  11. Kookith says:

    Hi Sesame! I just wanted to offer a different perspective as I feel the fingers are always the most gentle. I don’t think cotton pads work as well and I feel that using cotton pads is not environmentally-friendly. As a beauty expert I’m sure you are more knowledgeable about the Oil Cleansing Method than I am, but I really, really love OCM. After lots of trial and error, this is my own version of OCM which I swear by. I dub it OCM for lazy people… lol!

    I personally use a mixture of Apricot Kernal Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Castor Oil (removes blackheads & promotes lash growth) and an emulsifier (which allows the mixture to be washed off cleanly with water and doesn’t leave an oily slimy residue).

    What I do is to pour a dollop of my mixture (about a 50c diameter) on my palm, rub my palms together furiously to heat it up, and then rest both hands on my face. From there, I slowly massage my face and by this time I can feel some gritty bits on my face which tells me some stubborn blackheads are being dislodged. It puts those ridiculous Biore pore strips to shame, geez.

    When I get to my eyelids, I use both fourth fingers to dab on my eyelids. For eyeliner, I gently dab/slide my finger along the lashline, top and bottom. Then I wash off everything with lukewarm water. I then follow up with Chagrin Valley soap (Olive & Shea) as I like double cleansing. This helps remove all traces makeup on my face/cheeks/eyes.

    I have to say though, that this method doesn’t work on mascara. I’ve been following this routine during my everyday shower to remove make up and I can honestly say it has done wonders for my skin, but I’m blessed with fuss-free skin so this may not work for everybody.


  12. Sesame says:

    A cream cleanser or an oil one that does not emulsify might help. Cleansing oil although effective, can be drying when used overtime.

  13. Sesame says:

    If your makeup is not thick, dabbing should work well. I used to swipe but inevitably end up pulling the skin.

  14. Sesame says:

    It’s a personal choice but many beauty experts actually do not advocate using fingers at all for skincare. It’s very funny…I may share that another day in another post cos they’re quite extreme. Personally, fingers don’t work for me because they don’t quite get my eye makeup off. But if you are not exerting too much pressure or pulling the skin, it should be fine.

  15. nahsiep says:

    Hi Sesame

    I’m using Coslys Special Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. It contains organic orange blossom flower water, organic meadowsweet flower water, organic blueberry flower water, organic chamomile flower water, organic borage oil, organic rosewood essential oil, non-GMO soy extract, vitamin E and some glucose stuff. It is made in France with 99.04% ingredients from natural origin and 19.29% certified organic. The texture is more like a cleansing water, not oily, not dry. I only need a little bit to (EASILY) remove my waterproof Kate liquid eyeliner (and I usually have a layer of kohl underneath my liquid eyeliner!). I got it from Supernature at Orchard Boulevard. S$20+ for a125ml spritz bottle. I absolutely love it because it’s so light, refreshing and effective!

  16. Sesame says:

    Oh sounds like a great product! I’m not familiar with this brand but will take a look. Just that Supernature is like…not too convenient for me.

Leave a Reply