Ever since the original Makeup Eraser hit the market a few years ago, many dupes have become available through eBay, The Reject Shop, and other brands putting their names on them. The idea was that they remove makeup with just water, and yes, they do work, but I have found better ways to use them!
I've used my fair share of face towels in my time, but I feel the microfibre cloths are the best at removing things, and not just makeup. The latest innovation are the small disc shaped makeup removers marketed as Santé By Enjo, and Chloe Morello's Face Halo, offering environmentally friendly alternatives to disposable wipes.
We throw away so many disposable wipes and cotton pads. They definitely have their place where single use and hygiene are concerned, but for the average consumer, we should be reducing how many we use. Not all wipes are made to be biodegradable, so they sit in landfill (or clog up toilets because some people think it's still okay to flush them), but the whole idea is that they are convenient to use, and some people still really rely on them, such as the disabled community, and those in healthcare.
Microfibre is a generic term for synthetic materials whose fibres are spun into yarn that is finer than natural silk. These fibres can be woven into fabrics and have become popular in cleaning cloths (generally made from polyester and/or nylon fibres). They offer a very large surface area to pick up dirt and grime, but have electrostatic interactions that allow them to also be used without a surfactant/detergent. This is why they might sometimes zap you when they're completely dry, and why they also repel water.
They do come with their downsides, though. When they are used in disposable products, they can sometimes not be picked up in water filters if broken up (like microbeads) and wind up in our waterways, harming aquatic life.
The beauty of the microfibre cloth is that the fibres are strong enough to withstand even the most rough cleaning, without breaking or balling up, and without damaging the surface being cleaned. This makes them a popular accessory for car washing.
Because of the properties mentioned above, these cloths have become increasingly popular among the beauty community. They are marketed mostly as a 'chemical-free' way to remove makeup because you only use the cloth and water. This marketing annoys me, but it stands true – they do work to remove makeup with just water.
While wiping off makeup with just water gets off most of the product, you still need to cleanse your skin properly.
RIVET HACK 1: SUPER CHARGED MAKEUP REMOVAL
I learned a few tricks of the trade during my beauty therapy training a few years back. One was soaking cotton pads in water and ringing them out before we used micellar cleansing water. It allows the makeup remover to be as effective at removing makeup, but is much gentler on the eyes and lips. Some micellar cleansing waters aren't indicated for use in the eye area, so diluting them a bit actually helps to remove eye makeup.
HOW TO USE
This works best with the disc shaped remover pads because they are small and don't make a huge mess. You may need more than one disc.
+ Wet the pad under running hot water, or from a bowl, and squeeze out excess water.
+ Apply a few squirts of your favourite micellar water or eye safe makeup remover/cleanser, and rub together.
+ Wipe gently over face to remove makeup.
+ Flip to the other side and wipe off any excess cleanser.
+ Either grab a clean pad and wet with hot water, or clean the current pad with a gentle soap, rinse, and repeat the above steps from the top.
By the second round of doing this, all your makeup should have been removed and you would be rinsing off the excess micellar water. Heavy makeup make require more cleansing.
You have saved about 6 cotton pads or 2-3 makeup wipes by using a microfibre disc!
RIVET HACK 2: HOT TOWEL CLEANSER/MASK REMOVAL
Hot towels are a spa luxury used to warm the skin and also remove product. The feeling of having a hot towel pressed against your skin can be very relaxing, and it helps soften skin for better product penetration. A full sized cloth should be used for this.
HOW TO USE
+ Wet your cloth as above.
+ Wipe off your cleanser or mask starting at the middle and wipe outwards.
+ Rinse the cloth with tepid water until all the mask residue has been removed.
+ Wet cloth under hot running water, or place into a bowl with hot water, being careful that it is not hot enough to burn you.
+ Ring out cloth and while still hot, place on your face, allowing room for breathing, and leave on for 30 seconds while gently pressing areas on your face with flat fingers (temples, masseters, forehead, under eyes, chin, etc).
+ The cloth can be soaked in hot water again if you want another round of heat.
The heat from the cloth will increase circulation, so you may wind up looking flushed. While your skin is still slightly damn, apply your skincare as usual, and admire your glow!
RIVET HACK 3: EX-FO-LI-ATE
Sometimes, you want a good physical exfoliation, but you don't really have a scrub on hand, or they feel too abrasive. A little bit of elbow grease is all you need here. This technique can be done in the shower, or after you have used the above two hacks!
HOW TO USE
+ Make sure your skin is wet!
+ Wet the cloth or pad with hot water.
+ Using circular motions and moderate pressure, wipe around your face and neck.
+ Repeat the above over the body.
Because your skin is wet, dead skin cells ready to slough off will come off with ease, and you'll be left with a brighter complexion.
+ Using warm or hot water helps!
Sure, you'll get a clean with room temperature water, but the heat melts oil based products (such as foundation and lipstick) and allows them to be removed easier.
+ Washing your cloths and pads
You can either throw your cloths in the wash on laundry day (in a delicates bag), but you can also wash them after use, ring them out, and allow to dry completely. Gentle soap, as mentioned above, works best to keep the fibres soft and ready to work again, but if you have some deep staining from makeup, a brush cleanser also works.
I have not used or purchased any splurge level products, only generic or private label products. I believe that they do the same thing and last the same amount of time, no matter what brand or label is placed on them. Depending on your budget, it's your choice whether to save or splurge.
ALL PRICES IN AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS
Manicare | Makeup Remover Towel 4pk | RRP $14.95 | Priceline
Four bright pink square towels come in this pack.
Each towel works out to be $3.74.
Sportsgirl Beauty | Beauty Queen Clean Makeup Remover Pads 5 pk | RRP $12.95 [PURCHASE]
Three white and two millennial pink round pads come in this pack.
Each pad works out to be $2.59.
The Reject Shop | Magic Make Up Remover | RRP $5.00 [PURCHASE]
A large sized bright pink towel with short fibres on one side, and long fibres on the other.
Face Halo | Makeup Removing Pads 3 pk | RRP $30.00 | Priceline, Myer
Chloe Morello's baby, three white round pads with black trim.
Each pad works out to be $10.00.
Santé By Enjo | Makeup Remover Set | RRP $89.00 7pk/$44.00 3pk
Made popular by Roxy Jacenko, these pads come in various colours and quantities, and include an exfoliation range. The above is just for the standard pads.
Each pad works out be $12.71 if you buy 7, or $14.66 if you buy the trio. It's better value to purchase the 7 pack (one for each night).
The Original Makeup Eraser | Makeup Remover Cloth | RRP $32.00 | Sephora
The original bright pink towel that spawned all the above dupes.
Have you tried a microfibre makeup remover cloth? Let me know in the comments!
This post is presented as a knowledge piece. Acquisition of products and/or services stated along each item, my thoughts are honest. For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy.