Best Eye Makeup Remover? (eco, luxury and mid-range)

I used to skip eye makeup removers and micellar waters altogether - except for Bioderma when its hype was big on YouTube. I was sceptic if rubbing your eyes with a cotton pad would damage the skin and be very wasteful. After discovering the good removing technique and good products my opinions have switched. I might not use a separate makeup remover every single day, but I’ve tried a few from different categories. Enjoy today’s post!

Best Makeup Removers and Micellar Waters | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Do You Need to Use A Separate Makeup Remover?

If you’re good at double cleansing and don’t wear a lot of waterproof makeup, I’d say no. But having a good eye makeup remover or micellar water in your stash can be life changing for touchups or taking off very stubborn makeup. I’ve done some looks on my friends and a couple of clients, and I’ve always liked to start with a quick micellar cleanse and a moisturizer. Having bio-degradable cotton buds and some makeup remover are excellent for fixing a cat eye or smeared mascara.

My favorite way to use a makeup remover is pour some on a cotton pad and press it against my eye, very gently. After 30 seconds or so I gently swipe downwards and avoid pulling any lashes. This should take off the bulk of your makeup and get you ready for 1st proper cleanse (such as oil, balm, etc.). Same with strong matte lipstick or lip tints: press, wait and remove. Don’t tug or be too harsh!

Next, let’s see some eye/general makeup removers I’m using:

Best Makeup Removers and Micellar Waters | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

ACO Micellar Cleansing Water*

€11.3 / 200ml at Yliopistonapteekki (FI)

This Swedish micellar water is a gentle and simple formulation, I personally like to use it all over the face. Especially on those days when I’ve worn a lot of makeup, I’m feeling grimy and want to do a hot cloth cleanse without staining the muslin too much - I reach for ACO. This bottle has a fine spray nozzle, which I’ve only used on cotton pads but technically, you could spritz it all over the face. Maybe not.

This micellar water doesn’t remove the most stubborn Japanese or 38°C mascaras, but otherwise it’s pretty effective. I like how it doesn’t leave any residue behind if I want to remove my makeup first and wash my face properly a little later. The bottle is big and you only use a small amount, so this one lasts for a while! As I said before, the ingredients list is short and sweet with water, emulsifier, some humectants and a couple of preservatives.

INCI:

Aqua, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, sorbitol, betaine, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, panthenol, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, benzoic acid

Evolve Liquid Crystal Micellic Cleanser*

€19.9 / 100ml at HouseofOrganic (FI)*

Evolve is my current favorite mid-range eco brand. Known for their hyaluronic acid serum, I’ve found some products I’ve quite enjoyed from this brand and have high hopes as I test more. While the ingredients list of this micellic cleanser include rose water, hydrating glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, aloe leaf juice powder etc. I don’t really care for the pump packaging and find it very difficult to remove eye makeup or lipstick with this product. Maybe if I wanted to remove my foundation and face makeup but keep the eye makeup and brows on I would reach for this. If you hate splashing your face with water in the mornings this could be an alternative cleanser, but personally I’m a fan of actually washing my face morning and night. I will try using the Evolve Liquid Crystal Micellic Cleanser, but I most likely won’t purchase a new one..

INCI:

Aqua (water), Rosa Damascena (Rose) flower Water*, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract*, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Mannitol, Lecithin, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Citrate. *ingredients from organic farming

Best Makeup Removers and Micellar Waters | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover

€16.9 / 200ml (sale price?) at Eleven (FI)*

Lancôme is famous for its cult classic bi-facil or bi-phase eye makeup remover: when the bottle sits on the shelf you can see watery and oily parts separating, you shake it and blue, a bit oily liquid comes out of the top. If you want an excellent makeup remover and enjoy a bit of luxe, this makeup remover does the job. Dry matte lipstick, pommade brows, gel eyeliner, waterproof mascara - it takes them all off. There is a little residue left behind, so I often go after with my ACO Micellar Cleansing Water if I’m redoing my makeup and only removing mascara, for example.

When it comes to the ingredients.. I can’t say they’re too good. The emollients and solvent do give the Lancôme Bi-Facil its slippery, silky feel, but the amount of perfume, citronellol and geraniol (which give the rose-y scent) can be irritating. Some of the preservatives can also be potential allergens. I wouldn’t recommend this to sensitive skin types, acne or leave this on my skin for a long period of time. It’s too bad, as the makeup remover works well, but for this price I think it’s not worth it.

INCI:

AQUA / WATER / EAU • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE • ISOHEXADECANE • SODIUM CHLORIDE • POLOXAMER 184 • HEXYLENE GLYCOL • DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE • BENZYL ALCOHOL • POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE • QUATERNIUM-15 • BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE • PARFUM / FRAGRANCE • CITRONELLOL • GERANIOL

Best Makeup Removers and Micellar Waters | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts

These are all good, but for me, the overall “winner” is.. ACO! I will be purchasing a new one once I run out of it. Gentle, effective, non-drying and good packaging. The price is also very good in my opinion. Sadly the Evolve one is too ineffective and Lancôme has some questionable ingredients, for me anyway. I will use them up, but then I’m done with them. I much prefer reaching for ACO and my cleansing oils/balms to remove makeup.

Do you have a favorite makeup remover? Especially for touchups? I’ve seen that BYBI recently released one, I can’t wait to check it out!

*ACO and Evolve cleansers were gifted for consideration.
All thoughts are my honest and my own. This site utilizes ad links to support the blog.

Kora Organics Luminizer Highlighter Swatches

Last Spring I blogged about Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer and fell in love (review here). You can imagine my excitement then they brought out new shades! While the Rose Quartz is lovely, it might not be suitable for every skin tone. In today’s post I’m swatching you all the shades, but for more detailed information check out the original post! I asked these items from a PR company for review, so I did not purchase them myself.

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Kora Organics and Luminizers

Founded by the model Miranda Kerr, Kora Organics’ philosophy is to be a holistic brand that not only creates beautiful products for the skin, but also pampers the mind with positive affirmations. Their special ingredient is the Noni Fruit, an antioxidant rich food, which Miranda started ingesting as a child. Some of their products are also infused with Rose Quartz for “good vibrations”. I don’t know about that, but whatever makes you happy! Kora Organics are certified organic (COSMOS). The luminizers come in 3 shades: Rose Quartz*, Clear Quartz* and Amethyst*. 6g for €29.9 at Kicks.fi*

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More Thoughts On the Luminizers

I still agree with my original review - Kora’s highlighters are excellent. They are quick, easy-to-use and blend effortlessly with fingers. After applying blush I dab some highlighter on the high points of my cheeks, nose bridge and cupid’s bow. For tips how to highlight your face check out this post. I’ve noticed that Kora highlighters don’t move my makeup (blush, foundation) underneath as some liquid or creamy highlighters may do. This isn’t a real issue, but I will say that the Rose Quartz one changed the texture little over the summer (the surface isn’t as smooth).

The colors are quite subtle and you might think the swatches look very similar, but IRL there is a more notable difference when light hits the highlighters. I can still wear the Amethyst Luminizer without looking like a purple unicorn as the base color is more subtle. I’d recommend choosing your shade according to which color you like the best, as they are all quite cool toned.

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Kora Organics Luminizer Swatches

Rose Quartz - a light pale pink with an icy hue

Amethyst - a light lavender with cool tones

Clear Quartz - a white clear highlighter that looks wet when blended.

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Final Word

I love these highlighters, they’re so quick and easy I find my hand reaching for them all the time. I prefer Kora’s softer formula to RMS or Tata Harper - I do not have their luminizers, but I’ve tested some other their “pot products”. I can’t pick a favorite shade easily, but right now I’m quite liking subtle, wet-looking highlighters so I’d might go with Clear Quartz.

This week has been swatch-heavy, but new topics next week! What’s your favorite cream highlighter?

*These products were kindly gifted for consideration.
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Great Lashes with Lily Lolo Natural Mascara (Eco Mascara Review)

When Lily Lolo came more accessible to me, I asked some makeup items for review. You know how much I love luxe beauty and that’s still very much true, but with mascaras I like to be more frugal. After all, mascaras go bad quickly and I try to replace mine every three months. I think there’s some hype around this particular eco mascara, but not 100% sure..? Anyway, enjoy the post and let’s see if the mascara is any good!

Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Lily Lolo Natural Mascara

Lily Lolo started as a mineral makeup brand for more than 10 years ago, in the UK (to my understanding). They make cruelty free eco makeup and a couple of skincare products. The brand has two mascaras ‘Natural’ and ‘Big Lash’. Natural Mascara* is 7ml and retails €17.9 at House Of Organic(FI)*, Lily Lolo (UK).

Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review and Demo | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review and Demo | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using the Natural Mascara

Now, this mascara isn’t natural finish in my opinion.. Not that it’s a bad thing, but if you’re looking for barely there, natural look eco mascaras then Inika Long Lash Mascara (review) is pretty nice. Personally I’m all about va-va-voom volume, length and buildability. This formula is nicely dry after one to two weeks of use and you can layer and build the mascara to the intensity you wish. The wand is semi-large and the tube rations you quite a lot of product: I recommend swiping off the excess to a tissue or in the tube. The color is nicely black.

I have pretty average lashes so I need to curl mine carefully, then zig-zag the mascara wand from the roots and move towards the tips. Luckily enough the wand is not too obnoxious and I have managed to apply mascara without smudging or poking at my eye. The curl holds pretty nicely: not as efficiently as with water-resistant formulas, but pretty well. What I like the most is the dryness and I can keep layering this mascara without my lashes sticking together. There is little clump, but doesn’t bother me. For cleaner look, you can use a lash comb (mine is this from Wayne Goss).

The wear for the Lily Lolo Natural Mascara is another highlight - it does smudge if your eyes water (if laying on your side, for example), but if you walk in a slight rain or wear it +8 hours it doesn’t move around. This smudging is also far from panda eyes. No flaking. The mascara stays put and also removes well with an oil based cleanser and warm water.

Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Btw this eyeshadow is Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in New Moon. Thanks Jenny/Geeky Posh for the help! If you want some kick-ass skincare reviews and info, check out her blog.

Lily Lolo Natural Mascara Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts

To me eco mascaras are not a “thing”, but I know that many of my readers prefer to choose a natural eco brand. I still prefer my Heroine Make and MAC Extended Play mascaras for HC long wear, but I’ve given 4.5/5 in my Excel sheet for Lily Lolo Natural Mascara. When you want something with volume and length that stays put, but doesn’t take a lifetime a remove I think this mascara is worth a go!

PSA: My blog has been 100% ad and affiliate link free, but from this post forward I will be using ad links on some of the products. This is to support the domain and blogging costs, so if you want to purchase a product and support me (for no additional cost), use the ad link. :) If not, just google! x

*This mascara was kindly gifted for consideration.
All thoughts are my honest and my own.
This site utilizes ad links marked with (*)