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A Guide to Makeup Removal

A Guide to Makeup Removal
August 1, 2020

Do you ever get your makeup so spot on that it is almost a shame to wipe away your piece of art at the end of the day? I’ve had a few of those days, especially when I’ve had the time to sit there and get everything exactly right. These things definitely take time, much to the dismay of partners out there who are constantly waiting for us to finish getting ready so we can go out. It’s always “I’ll only be 5 minutes!” we say as we begin to apply concealer, knowing full well it will be another half an hour at least before we resemble something even remotely human.

Look, some artwork takes years to complete, the Sistine Chapel took four years to paint! We can have an hour here and there to create our own masterpiece. Even if you have a no-nonsense approach to applying makeup, with a bit of mascara and some lippy fulfilling your quota, you still want it to look good, so you spend time applying it correctly.

The problems come when it’s time to take it all off. We are all so good at spending time slathering on the makeup but not so good when it comes to removing it. Makeup removal is all just part of the process and should be done every day or at least every time you wear makeup and plan on going to sleep. There is definitely an art to removing makeup too!

Most makeup is very oily in composition so sleeping in it just clogs pores, can cause acne and breakouts of blackheads. It can seriously diminish the appearance of your skin over time as well as damaging your eyebrows and eyelashes. Lips can be hard to repair when they get dry and cracked from too much sleeping in lipstick so it’s probably a road best avoided before you choose to go down it.

So, by now you’re probably thinking “But I have face wipes at home, why is this such a big deal?” Well unfortunately facewipes are not the be all and end all for makeup removal and can actually end up leaving residue, not being strong enough to take off stubborn mascara and leave your face with an oily or greasy sheen. Let’s take a look at each facial feature and see what the best method of makeup removal is and how you can have clear skin, silky eyelashes and smooth eyebrows just from changing a few habits.

Skin

Washing the skin on our bodies is such a natural occurrence each day. We pick out our favourite scented, extra lathery, super creamy shower gel and step in the shower making sure to cover every part of our bodies and feel fresh and clean afterward with smooth and silky skin.

But when it comes to our faces, shower gel just isn’t going to cut it if you wear makeup. It may be able to wash away dirt and grime collected from a day’s activities, but it isn’t designed specifically to treat facial skin as delicately as it should be treated, which can ultimately cause extra dryness. We all have different skin types meaning each of us are more prone to something we don’t really need in our lives such as oiliness or dryness.

If you tend to have dry or sensitive skin, it is advised not to use foamy makeup removers or cleansers so much as they tend to cause skin to dry out even more than normal. If you have oily skin, a foam cleanser isn’t the worst thing you could use but be aware that your problem areas such as T-zone may start to feel the effects of dry and flaky skin quite quickly.

To treat your skin well, it is also important to recognise the difference between makeup removers and cleansers. They sound like they should do the same thing, but they are each targeted at a different kind of dirt. A makeup remover gets rid of the foundation, powders and eyeshadows from the surface of the skin and a cleanser gets rid of all the dirt and sweat and even dead skin cells, cleaning the skin itself. Some say it’s worth having both and using both regularly to ensure that your skin is clear of all impurity at the end of the day.

When you remove your makeup at night, another good tip is to moisturise with a light moisturiser only and apply this while your face is still damp from cleansing. It helps to lock in the moisture and soak into the skin rather than sit on top. Some people don’t like to moisturise at night and find it too oily to sleep in, if you have oily skin it may be a good idea to apply it to non-problematic areas and enjoy the feeling of silky smooth skin in the morning.

Eyelashes and Around the Eyes

Of all the areas on the face, I would say that eyelashes get the least attention when it comes to cleansing properly. Even those who swear by cleansing probably don’t attack the eyelashes the way they should, leaving residue of mascara, false lash adhesives and remnants of eyeliner tucked away in the corners. Eye makeup tends to be very oily, water resistant and thick in consistency, but the skin there is also the thinnest out of anywhere else on the face, so harsh cleansing will end up causing damage and even premature aging around the eyes.

To remove eye makeup and mascara, a normal facial cleanser is not really the thing for the job as it can take away too much oil from around the eye. As this area tends to be quite dry, the last thing anyone needs is for the skin to dehydrate and start to wrinkle. Use a light but hydrating makeup remover with a cotton pad and sweep it across the eye without rubbing it back and forth. Then make sure you get all the eyelashes by moving the cotton pad or cleansing pad downward in sections until you get to the end of your eye. Rubbing back and forth can just hurt the skin, rip our eyelashes (you don’t want to do this!) and end up depositing makeup in other areas of your eye.

Remember whatever happens, don’t use any facial scrubs or harsh cleansers that can dull or damage the skin around your eyes or even get into your eyes. A Micellar water is a good and easy solution to makeup removal as it acts like a magnet, attracting the particles and breaking them down. Don’t forget to cleanse after makeup removal to ensure that any daily dirt is gone and even treat yourself to a quick dose of eyelash serum to help keep them healthy and strong without having to apply heavy moisturisers to your eyes.

An eyelash serum is a great way to look after your eyelashes after cleansing without having to do any actual work to achieve a great natural set. Simply brush a line of serum over the upper lashes toward the root and you are good to go. Xlash Eyelash Serum is a pretty decent option when it comes to eyelash serums as it also promotes growth as well as strength and colour boosting. Which if your eyelashes have been feeling a little under the weather from improper cleansing and overuse of mascara recently, then they will definitely appreciate the attention.

With the eyelashes taken care of, be sure to moisturise the skin around the eyes (don’t get too close!) to avoid dryness in the morning and you should start to see your skin tone starting to even out a little more.

Eyebrows

This section would usually come within the realms of eye makeup, but its amazing how many people forget to include eyebrows as part of their daily eye makeup removal and cleansing routine. For some lucky people, eyebrows are just things that exist, and they don’t need to do much to groom them or fill them in, so they are easily forgotten at the end of the day. I am not one of those people! My eyebrows are barely there and no matter how much I try and wish them back into existence, every day they look thinner and sparser. The moral of that story is to leave your brows alone when it comes to fashion trends and tweezers, but that is another story for another day. The good news is I’m doing everything I can now to not make them worse.

There have long been debates about how to thoroughly clean eyebrows, after all they are technically hair, so should we be shampooing them? But they are on our face, so should we just cleanse them? Shampooing them is not really necessary, but when it comes to eyebrows the point is that they are clean. Use the same principle as the rest of your face – a makeup remover followed by a gentle cleanser, used on a cotton pad in the direction of the hair growth, being very carefully not to vigorously rub back and forth and cause unwanted loss of eyebrow hairs. Simple really!

Lips

Lips need a little more care when it comes to makeup removal. Like the eyes, the layers of skin on them are really thin and can be easily damaged with too much rough cleansing. Lips have a natural glow that tends to be a darker shade than the rest of our face. Pink on lighter skin and deep browns on darker skin. But no matter how much someone may compliment our lips, there is always room for a bit of enhancement. Lipstick is usually the way forward as it is a temporary option to make our lips look a bit brighter and even bigger with clever application.

Lipsticks and lip colours have come so far over the last 100 years and much to our joy they have become a lot more convenient. Lipstick on the teeth or around the rim of our wine glass isn’t such a regular occurrence anymore with options in long lasting lip colours that stay put for the day. The problem with this is removing it at the end of the day can be a laborious chore that never fully seems to work and it puts an insane amount of pressure on the lips, causing the skin to peel or flake, making them feel sore and raw and taking a few days to feel a little recovery.

Removing lipstick has to be done with care and a little patience for you to be left with silky soft lips at the end of the day. The trick to removing it? Use an oil or a balm to help slide the lipstick straight off. Foamy based makeup removers and cleansers are very drying as we discovered earlier, and oils, balms and petroleum jellies tend to smooth lips out as well as providing moisture.

Massage a cleansing balm into the lips using a warm, damp cloth and watch the colour completely disappear, leaving your lips ready for a nightly lips balm to help hydrate them while you sleep.

Overall

Makeup removal may seem like a bit of a boring chore right now, but if you are currently suffering with skin problems or if you have made a vow to start treating your face a little better, then it might be time to get a proper cleansing routine in your life. Treat yourself to the right products that work for your skin type and you will see tonnes of difference from simply washing and cleansing with soap or shower gel.

When we spend so long putting our makeup on to look good, wouldn’t it also be great if we could spend the same time removing it to look even better! Soon you might not even want to wear so much makeup if your face starts to reflect the amount of work you put into it.

So always remember to remove your makeup before cleansing, steer clear of greasy wet wipes and give your lashes a treat to some eyelash serum before going to bed. Happy cleansing!