How to Remove Eye Makeup

Two Methods:Using Baby ShampooUsing Alternative Methods

Our eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of our body. The last thing you want to do is to get a whole bunch of makeup or soap in them and regret that $8 you spent on that new eyeshadow you didn't really need anyway. We'll start with the baby shampoo method and then move on to all the products in your bathroom cabinet that can get the job done, too -- without forking over the cash for a fancy eye-makeup remover.

Method 1
Using Baby Shampoo

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    Use baby shampoo. Think it's just for bathing little ones? The "tear free" baby shampoo is a great way to remove mascara (even waterproof), eyeshadow and eyeliner. Eye makeup removers can get pretty pricey (especially if you wear eye makeup frequently), so this is an affordable and a pain-free way to remove makeup. Without the burning!
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    Wet the area of your eyes with some warm tap water. Alternatively, you can dab some shampoo on a cotton ball and wipe it over your eyelids. Using cotton balls ensures that this process is a little more mess free.
    • If you'd like to only remove some of your makeup (you smudged it or made a mistake, for example), use a Q-tip! Just dab on some shampoo (or whatever you have at your disposal) on the necessary area. Then wipe it off with the other end of the Q-tip. Voila!
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    Apply a small amount of baby shampoo and massage it. Some foam will most likely appear. Keep your eyes closed so nothing gets in them. Even if it is "tear free" you don't want to take any risks!
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    Wash it off with lukewarm water. Just like you would any cleanser, grab your washcloth and gently wipe off the baby shampoo. Tada! Then gently wipe your face dry with a cloth towel.
    • If baby shampoo doesn't work for you or you don't have any on hand, try the methods discussed below!

Method 2
Using Alternative Methods

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    Use your moisturizer or a gentle soap or cleanser. Unless you plastered your face with glue, odds are your moisturizer, cold cream, or facial cleanser can take your makeup off just as effectively as any legitimate makeup remover can. Just close your eyes, rub gently over the area, and wipe off with a cloth. You're already washing your face, so why not?
    • Don't worry about it stinging your eyes -- unless you're using a cleanser that isn't mild (has salicylic acid in it, for example), you should be fine, so long as you keep your eyes closed.
    • After you've cleansed, dab your face and eyes with a towel to dry off.
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    Make your own! Feeling like a child of the earth? Then you can make your own eye makeup remover! Pretty much any oil works, but olive, mineral, or almond work best.
    • Try combining 2 ounces of witch hazel with 2 ounces of olive oil for an easy homemade makeup remover. Give the concoction a shake, dab some on a cotton ball or cloth, and wipe across the area. Then go over the area once more with a dry cloth or cotton ball.
    • Witch hazel is good for wrinkles! The smell isn't great, but it sure can make your skin smooth!
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    Be wary of petroleum jelly and oils. Some people swear by Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or using oils (mineral or baby oil, specifically) to remove their makeup, but you may not want to take their word for it. It can create a film around the eyes, blocking pores, and creating little bumps called milia.[1] If you have anything else available, go for it first.
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    Use baby wipes. If you're looking for a mess-free, can't-possibly-sting method, baby wipes are the way to go. All you have to do is grab one, wipe it across your eye (closed, of course!), and the makeup comes right off. Keep some by your bed and you don't even have to get out of it to clean your face at night!
    • Makeup remover comes in wipe form too!
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    Spring for a legitimate makeup remover. If you have very sensitive skin and neither baby shampoo nor cheap makeup remover works for you, you may need to invest in a good makeup remover. They are expensive, but if you use it reasonably it will last for a long time. There are dozens of products out there. Choose a brand you trust you won't regret it.
    • Clinique, Noxzema, Neutrogena, MAC, and Lancome all have products that are worth your investment. There are removers that come in liquid form, as a cleanser, wipe, that foam, or even as creams. There's bound to be one out there that you like!


  • If you are not comfortable with using baby shampoo on your eyes, try using baby wipes! Although they are designed for the bottom, these gentle wipes will easily remove any makeup without clogging your pores. Simply close your eyes and massage the cloth on your lashes and below the eyes.
  • Alternatively, you could try using small amounts of olive oil. Dab a bit of oil on a piece of tissue or cotton ball and gently ease over your eyelid. The makeup will instantly disappear.
  • To remove eyeliner from the lower lash line, just dip a cotton bud in eye make remover (or similar) and wipe gently. (Don't rub, as this can cause wrinkling.)
  • If you're applying eyeliner and smudge it (but have no shadow on), you can take a Q-Tip and get some water or lotion on it. Use it to correct a pencil slip.
  • If worse comes to worse, just take a small drop of your unscented lotion and rub over your lids. Try not to get the lotion in your eye, so have your eyes closed while you do this.


  • Some people are very allergic to petroleum jelly near the eyes, so be careful.
  • Don't use normal or non-"tear free" shampoos because they will cause stinging. If you don't have a choice, when you wash off the shampoo, dry your eyes with a towel.
  • Do not rub too hard when removing the petroleum jelly as irritation may occur.
  • Do one eye at a time. Please do not try to put petroleum jelly on both eyes and then try to wipe it off
  • Do not use baby wipes near your eyes they could sting they eyes, make them irritable, and they could end up red and swollen if it contains alcohol.

Things You'll Need

  • Baby shampoo or other cleanser (facial cleanser, makeup remover, oil, baby wipes, etc.)
  • Cotton balls (optional)
  • Q-tips (optional)
  • Washcloth

Article Info

Categories: Eye Makeup