Mascara Movers: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

When it comes to eye makeup removers, I used to be indifferent – one product to whip off eyes, lips and face was the way I saw it – what was the need for them? But ever since making the switch to waterproof mascaras exclusively, now I understand their purpose. I’m talking the real mascara movers here. Something that can swipe away the tar-like lash lacquer of some of the most stubbon formulas out there (L’Oreal Telescopic Waterproof I’m looking at you). And after my mascara edit last week I thought now would be the perfect time to round things off nicely with what I like to use to wipe them away at the end of the day. Now being that eye makeup removers are now a staple for me I’ve tried some awesome ones and some ones that have left me with panda eyes the morning after. So here’s the eye makeup remover roster for saying goodbye to a waterproofed wink: the good, the bad and the ugly…

The Good: Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover rules the roost for me. A bi-phase, shake to awake formula that even gives toughies like the aforementioned L’Oreal mascara the nudge, with just a hold for 10 seconds and wipe away motion. My third bottle of the stuff. If you don’t mind removal taking a few more seconds – then The Body Shop’s Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover* is a good dupe. Another good’un, but one that straddles the good and bad category is NUDE’s Perfect Cleansing Oil for Face and Eyes* – now let me explain. This isn’t billed as a suitable companion for waterproof eye makeup, so takes a little while to mop up all traces of mascara – hence the negative. But its oil texture makes you feel like you’re being kinder to your lashes and though you have to work with it a little, it gets there in the end.

The Bad: It’s unfair to call this one bad, it’s more ‘so-so’. The product in question – Elemis’ White Flower Eye and Lip Makeup Remover*. Another water/oil mix that does feel as though it’s melting the mascara away, but it just takes a little bit too long for my impatient removal expectations. There’s Netflix to watch, come on.

The Ugly: Unfortunately the Bliss Lid + Lash Wash Makeup Remover* hogs this category. It’s probably the nicest ‘in use’ of the bunch; it’s oil-free so there’s no greasy residue and it feels sorta cooling – almost like a mini eye mask when soaked up on a cotton pad. But for me it just didn’t get my mascara off. I left it pressed over my lid for what felt like forever and still only my surrounding foundation was on the pad. Amelia is a huge fan of this, so it could just be me being a little miss fuzzy knickers – mascara mover it is not.

*PR Sample


  • Zuzik

    I love Sephora bi-phase remover. It’s a matter of seconds to perfectly remove my waterproof mascara. And for a fraction of price of the Clarins one.

    Blu Button Box

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell
  • Laura

    I really love the way you write, Anna! So nice, funny anf fluent. And great post btw. I really have a problem finding a good one for my waterproof makeup. I’m going to pick up the The Body Shop one soon!

  • Anna Blush

    I have read soooo many posts raving about the Clarins remover, it sounds amazing!

  • Olivia S

    I always see good things about the Clarins one, I must try it out Xx

    Olivia –

  • AnissaMarieB

    I just use normal baby oil for my whole face it leaves you with smooth skin the morning after and is great for my sensitive eye area 🙂 xxx

  • Hope

    After having waterproof mascara on my lashes for the past two days because it just wont budge (I know that’s really bad) I need a kick ass remover, so roll on Clarins is all i can say, again thanks for the tips! H x

  • Zoe

    Clinique’s Take the Day Off eye make-up remover is SO nice and not irritating at all.

  • Ivy Vijay

    I luv Lush’s’ ultrabland. Its a super hero cleanser that removes every bit of makeup from the face.

  • Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with the Clarins one. Well, not *bad*, but it took forever to remove my mascara and it didn’t do an amazing job. Good old Bioderma does it better for me…

  • Hannah

    I might try the Body Shop one- the chamomile range looks really good.


  • Anam

    This is so ideal! I have the Loreal Waterproof Mascara as well and it’s a butt to take off! But I’m gonna try the Body Shop one! 😀

  • Lou

    7 words- Clinique Take The Day Off Balm Cleanser! Gets the whole blinking lot off! I used to faff around with eye makeup removers, this baby does the whole lot, takes off my foundation etc as well as my heavily made up eyes. Works like a dream! I wrote a review last night…

  • Anya Cross

    I always tend to steer to a 1 product does all thing when it comes to makeup removers, but I definitely need to invest in a good waterproof mascara budger.

  • Clarissa N.

    You should definitely try the KIKO cleansing eyes and lips ( ) works amazingly well and it’s only 5 or 6 pounds!

  • Jess

    neutragena waterproof eye makeup remover is just as good if not better than the clarins one in my opinion! its another bi phase, i cant justify paying another 30$ for remover!

  • Such a great posts Anna, really loved this one as i always always end up with morning ‘panda eyes’ if i’ve worn mascara the day before. I need to upgrade i think, my products just aren’t cutting it. Must try the Body Shop one!

    Awesome reviews beauty!

    Gracious Silhouettes

  • Chris

    Have you ever tried the Garnier make up remover? It’s awesome 🙂

  • Amy

    Oh I wanted to try the Elemis version but now I’m not so sure. I have used the Clarins version you featured above and I thought it was good but so over priced :/ As the body shop Camomile make up remover worked well for me.

    Amy x
    A Little Boat Sailing

  • Letty

    Lancome and Neutrogena are always my favorite. Both works very well. 🙂 xx

  • Una b

    oh yes,body shop’s one is so impeccable!


  • Sandra

    I have never understood why people buy (in my opinion) overpriced eye makeup remover. Or any makeup remover. I always use waterproof mascara as well so I make sure I use oil to take it off. At the moment I am using pure hemp oil from a health shop. My skin has never been softer. Other favourites are jojoba, almond and evening primrose oil. Olive oil is a no-no for me – it stings my eyes. After massaging the oil over my eyes and face, I take it off with a cotton pad and follow with a proper cleanser. In my opinion, less ingredients = better.

  • Fiona Manuelli

    Oh I’d like to give the Body Shop one a try!

  • Reema B

    Have you ever tried the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser?- melts away any kind of makeup -including stubborn mascara, leaving the skin clean and moisturised. Perfect for sensitive skin too. Been using it for 5 years- and it’s never failed me!!

  • Rachael Dunderdale

    I tried the original chamomile body shop formula, but didn’t have much luck with my waterproof mascara. I might have to give the new waterproof version a go. Chamomile eye make up remover

  • Eveh42

    Makeup Forever Sens’eyes is the best for me–gets the job done and there’s no oily residue that makes it hard to read afterwards.

  • Icaria

    I have a sample of Clarins which I haven’t tried yet. If TBS is close 2nd I just might go for that one since it’s less expensive. 🙂

  • Lucy

    L’oreal have just bought out A bi phase one that is removing my waterproof just as well as clarins, for about £3!!

  • Sequin Doll

    I LOVE using olive oil for a makeup remover. Best one I’ve ever tried. It sounds kind of weird, but it’s seriously so nice!

  • Anna Talks Beauty

    Clarins is great, rivals Chanel and also the gentle one works pretty good too despite the name! Like the bodyshop recommendation, Anna x

  • Joanna Gati

    I recently bought the clarins one after reading loads of great reviews but I have been a bit disappointed. Maybe I’m using it wrong but in ten seconds it didn’t even start to move my waterproof mascara 🙁 how long do you usually apply it for?

  • Celina

    I’ll have to give the Body Shop one a try. I’ve used their regular eye makeup remover in the past and it irritated my eyes a little bit but I’d like to give this other one a go anyway.

    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  • Emily Allen

    Never tried the clarins remover will have to pick it up next time I’m near, I’ve really been struggling recently to find a remover that’s up to the job 🙂 xx Emmi

  • Pippa Jones

    I really want to give the body shops eye make remover a go, if its as good as you say it is am in!

    Pipp x

  • Muriel SM

    Once I talked about this with my attending in dermatology and she recommended me using baby-oil or vaseline, it’s very effective and not harsh at all, I’ve been using baby oil for many years now (my mom’s beauty secret) and it’s the best I have found so far

  • Christina

    Uh I must try the body shop one! I wasn’t to sure whether it would be good or not ^^

    Christina xx

  • Hollie Galvin

    I love the Clarins remover, but I’d had a travel sized bottle for a couple of months and forgot I had it, used it the other day and it stung like a mother******. Feel like taking it back as my other bottles have been fine!

  • Sophie

    So useful 🙂 I’m fed up of buying things that do a worse job at removing eye makeup than if I just used my normal makeup remover!



  • Lexie Blush

    Hi Viviana 🙂

    I am so glad to saw your post!
    I just did a review about it cause I had no idea which makeup remover to go for since my Crealine BIODERMA let me down burning my eyes.
    I went for the CAUDALIE one but it’s a BAD for me.
    So, I will definitly try the Clarins or the Body shop one!!

    Thank you


  • Lucy

    Garnier’s 2 in 1 makeup remover is UH-mazing for removing Telescopic and it’s mega cheap-usually around three quid. Just hold on the lashes for about fifteen seconds and you’re done.
    Lucy x

  • Hannah Burrows

    Very helpful! Will have to try out The Body Shop one, it’s becoming my favourite store!

  • Sam Glossips

    I bought bliss lid and lash on Amelia’s recommendation but it doesn’t work! Well not on maybelline the rocket waterproof. 🙁