The Fastest Way To Remove Your Makeup

We’re talking under 30 seconds here


I am unapologetic for the arsenal of cleansing products that have taken over my bathroom. Removing my makeup and washing my face at the end of the day is a ritual I look forward to before my bedtime shower. It relaxes me and tells my mind that the day — good or bad — is over.

But of course, there are lazy days when I can’t wait to get it all off and moments when I need to remove my makeup quickly, and for those times I use some serious speed-cleansing tricks. Here are my faves.

1. The 30-second face cleanse

When travelling or before a workout, I use face wipes. Working out with makeup on or not cleaning off perspiration hours after a class can wreak havoc on your skin, so don’t. A facial wipe will help to take everything off in less than 30 seconds. For days when I have light makeup on, I use the Missha Super Aqua Perfect Cleansing Tissue, which smells fruity and doesn’t leave any greasy residue on skin. When I was in Seoul, I picked up Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes that are generous in size. They remove makeup effectively, including waterproof mascara, and leave skin supple. And on a recent trip to Australia, I stocked up on Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes — I love how refreshing they smell plus they contain antioxidant green tea, which is great for breakouts. Score!

2. The DIY makeup (and stain) remover

Another no-rinse makeup cleansing trick I picked up from makeup artist Larry Yeo is to douse a sheet of Kodomo Baby Wipe with Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup-removing micellar solution. It’s like creating your own facial cleansing wipe. I even use this combo to remove makeup stains on clothes — like foundation stains on a white shirt. This usually gets most of the product out without leaving a mark.

3. The eyeliner remover for when you have lash extensions

Dip a Q-tip in Bioderma Sensibio H20 and wipe it across your lid. This effectively removes all traces of eye makeup without loosening any of the glue so the lash extensions don’t dislodge as quickly.

Got a few more minutes? Try this effective yet fairly fuss-free routine, which I use on an almost-daily basis. Done slowly, it can take up to 10 minutes, but if you’re pressed for time, you can complete the entire process in under five.

For the eyes

I start by removing my eye makeup — that usually includes primer, eyeshadow, smudge-proof liquid eyeliner, a mascara base and three coats of waterproof mascara. I’ve found that these two formulas effectively remove stubborn eye and lip makeup: Cle de Peau Beauté Makeup Remover Towelettes and Lancome Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. Leave either on the eye area for five to 10 seconds, then wipe away. No tugging or excessive rubbing needed, even around the oh-so gentle eye area.

For the face

I absolutely love cleansing oils — they remove every speck of makeup in a flash, including heavy bases, waterproof mascara (if you don’t want to use an eye makeup remover prior) and lipstick. I’ve gone through bottles of Shu Uemura Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil and Laneige Fresh Brightening Cleansing Oil that leave my skin clean without stripping off any moisture while instantly brightening the complexion. I also like the recently launched Shu Uemura Oleo: Moist Active-encapsulated Cleansing Oil Gel that leaves skin moisturised.

Next step: Double cleansing. For a deep cleanse, especially for days when my pores are clogged, I mix a 1:1 ratio of Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask and use that as a face wash. Other days or in the mornings, I use the Bioré Marshmallow Whip Facial Wash or Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-tox Foaming Cleanser that’s both fuss-free and gentle on sensitive skin like mine. 

To finish, I use the Clarisonic device for a minute, nightly, though I skip this step when it’s time for an exfoliating scrub (twice weekly). Follow this with your skincare regimen if you wish, and you and your skin will be ready for bed.

For more on beauty, click here. Or check out What You’ll Want For Christmas or The Right Way To Shop For Foundation.

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