Makeup Wars picks favorite eye makeup removers

Counting down just like David Letterman does to get to my all time favorite Eye Makeup Remover!
1430010167_eye-make-up-remover_product#5  RIMMEL JUST LET IT GO – I received this in an Influenster box and I have mixed feelings about it. The price is right at under $5 and it’s very gentle. It never burns my eyes. But if I wear a gel eyeliner or a heavy mascara, I have to pick a different remover since it’s just not powerful enough.
1430010090_p_makeupremovers_eye_longwearingwpliquidmakeupremover#4  ALMAY LONGWEAR & WATERPROOF GENTLE EYE MAKEUP REMOVER  – I need to have a waterproof eye makeup around for certain water resistant mascara and Almay is always consistent in this category. I’ve used Almay most of my life so I keep an eye out for sales on the brand and keep a small stash of these around. No burning, no oily feeling afterwards, and does a good job of removing mascara.1430010034_p_makeupremovers_eye_oilfreeeyemakeupremoverpads#3  ALMAY OIL FREE GENTLE EYE MAKEUP REMOVER PADS – These are staples in my life. I have used these since I started wearing eye makeup. I can’t even imagine how many jars of these I’ve gone through. They are fragrance free and hypoallergenic. They are not the least bit oily so they are perfect for touch-ups or goof-ups. I don’t necessarily use them to take off my makeup at night but this is what I travel with and I use this to clean my gel eyeliner brush. Once I started doing that I stopped ruining brushes.
1430009957_00500960_just_release_me_re_a1#2 PHILOSOPHY JUST RELEASE ME EYE MAKEUP REMOVER – I’m wondering if they are going to discontinue this since they are marked way down on the Philosopy website. I might just have to order a few. I love this product but I hate the opening. I probably spilled 1/4 of it by mistake. The top is too wide without a stopper but that’s the only negative I have about this eye makeup remover. It removes everything without a problem.
1430009842_mary-kay-oil-free-eye-makeup-remover-h#1 MARY KAY OIL FREE EYE MAKEUP REMOVER – Actually I thought about just writing about this one alone. Mary Kay has me wrapped around their little finger with this Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover. There’s nothing I don’t like about it. It never burns, stings, or leaves an oily residue. The top has a stopper on it so I don’t spill it out as I’m putting it onto a cotton square. I love that I can use this with whatever makeup I’m wearing. It’s not specifically for waterproof but I’ve rarely had a problem removing anything with Mary Kay. Don’t ever stop making this MK, please!!!

Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover wins!!!

Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover wins!!!

Now that you’ve met the 5 eyemakeup removers of my life, what are yours? I’m sure I can find room in the bathroom cabinet for another. — Marcia

*Rimmel sent by Influenster, rest were purchases

Try a little magic with tarte eye makeup remover wipes and blotting papers

I’m sure by now you all know the good things about tarte cosmetics. tarte is the leader in eco-friendly products. They’ve gone to faraway places to discover ingredients that are good for us (I’m sure they have a magic carpet for that). I’m always happy when I receive tarte to review. But now I’ve discovered that tarte has hired a magician to work for them. This is a little known fact, actually I may be the only one that knows this, but I’m sure it’s true.

tarte fresh eyes maracuja waterproof eye makeup remover wipes

tarte fresh eyes maracuja waterproof eye makeup remover wipes

The reason? tarte fresh eyes maracuja waterproof eye makeup remover wipes. These are truly magic. When I first received these I wondered what I could say about remover wipes that I hadn’t said before. But that was before I used them. From the first day I opened this package of 30 wipes and used one I was blown away. It was like being a kid again and seeing that rabbit being pulled out of the hat.

tarte fresh eyes maracuja waterproof eye makeup remover wipes

tarte fresh eyes maracuja waterproof eye makeup remover wipes

These wipes are the best eye makeup remover product I’ve ever used. Seriously! I can’t believe how little effort it takes to remove every bit of my eye makeup. I’m not shy when it comes to eye makeup; most days I wear the whole shebang. I love eyeshadows that are very pigmented, I crave rich black mascara, I adore eyeliner. When I use my other eye makeup removers I use a cotton pad and put a liberal amount of remover on them, hold for a while, and wipe several times. Then I usually have to go back and remove my eyeliner better with a cotton swab. But the magician that created fresh eyes maracuja waterproof eye makeup remover wipes made them work in a very short time and made them non-greasy. I have only once had to work a little harder at removing an eyeliner – once!

tarte not so slick blotting papers and fresh eyes - size comparison

tarte not so slick blotting papers and fresh eyes – size comparison

The premoistened eye makeup remover wipes are about a third the size of a facial wipe yet one wipe removes makeup from both eyes. Fresh Eyes don’t drip with moisture, they are a little on the dry side. You wouldn’t think they could be the magic that they are when you felt them. They have a fragrance from the fruit extracts combined with maracuja. The fragrance is noticeable when I open the package and then it’s gone. I don’t notice them to be oily at all but if I were reapplying eye makeup I’d probably wipe my eyes with water first. But using them at night before bed leaves the nourishment of the ingredients to help moisturize and help with the signs of aging.

Here’s what tarte has to say about the ingredients: Powered By: maracuja: rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) and vitamin C known to replenish and rebuild for firmer, brighter, smoother skin and maximum hydration; grapeseed oil: rich in antioxidants and fatty acids known to moisturize, fight free radicals and brighten dark circles; papaya extract: contains enzymes known to exfoliate skin to improve tone and texture; pineapple extract: contains enzymes, vitamin A and C known to promote exfoliation and anti-aging properties

Here’s what I have to say about the ingredients: it’s magic!

tarte not so slick oil-absorbing blotting papers

tarte not so slick oil-absorbing blotting papers

tarte not so slick oil-absorbing blotting papers

tarte not so slick oil-absorbing blotting papers

Another product to check out from tarte is the not so slick oil- absorbing blotting papers. This convenient pack of 30 papers is excellent for that mid-day shine or oil slick. The blotting papers are weightless yet they are infused with green tea which is rich in polyphenols and is an excellent anti-oxidant. I’m impressed with how quickly they work. Since tarte is so eco-friendly I’m not adding to waste in the environment with plastic type blotting papers. They don’t add a powder like some. They don’t disturb makeup. They just work.

tarte fresh eyes and not so slick

tarte fresh eyes and not so slick

Add some magic to your life with these tarte products. Then maybe the founder of tarte will introduce us to her magician or at least get him/her to work on more amazing products. Have you tried these yet? If not I can assure you that you need to do so! — Marcia

*received for editorial consideration


Wipes and washes

Wipes and Washes

Wipes and Washes

I remember as a tween fighting about cleansing every night. I never wanted to wash my face and I hated taking baths. We lived in an old house and the water always felt cold to me. My, how time has changed all of that. Now I wouldn’t think of going  to bed without cleansing my skin. Even on my laziest nights I do something or I’d be tossing and turning worrying about my pores getting clogged and my skin being unable to breathe. It’s one of the most beneficial steps in skincare.

I’m sharing some of the products that I’ve been using for the last few months. I go through a lot of wipes, both daytime and nighttime, so if this seems heavy on that end it’s because they get used for so many things.

Wipes from Aveeno, Atopalm, Almay

Wipes from Aveeno, Atopalm, Almay

Atopalm Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes (empty now)

Atopalm Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes (empty now)

Atopalm Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes ($12.99 for 25) – I bought these from Dermstore because of their skincare claims. My logic was that if I was going to use a wipe at night instead of a cleanser that it would help to have one that was also moisturizing. I’ve used several Atopalm products with success so I knew these would be ones I like. According to Atopalm: ATOPALM Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes are luxurious cleansing cloths formulated with exclusive Multi Lamellar Emulsion Formula and vitamin E. The nourishing blend soothes and softens your skin while combating environmental influences. Allantoin calms as portulaca oleracea extract minimizes redness. Grapeseed, jojoba seed and olive oils deliver moisture, leaving your skin luminous and supple. I never use these on my eyes but I do feel like these are the best for my skin of the wipes I’ve tried.

Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Remover Wipes

Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Remover Wipes

Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Remover Wipes ($6.99 for 25)* – I’ve been using these for a few years now. These are actually daytime wipes for me since they are fragranced and I prefer fragrance free before bed. “With ACTIVE NATURALS® CALMING FEVERFEW® , an ingredient related to chamomile, these wipes leave sensitive skin feeling soothed and balanced.”

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Remover Wipes

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Remover Wipes

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Remover Wipes ($6.99 for 25)* – These are a newer wipe from Aveeno. I like that they are oil free. Unfortunately these are fragranced so I don’t use them to remove my night time makeup but I do use them often when I’m swatching products for reviews. The swatches come off cleanly without leaving any residue so I can keep on truckin’. If you aren’t sensitive to fragrance I highly recommend these. “They combine exclusive ACTIVE NATURALS® Total Soy Complex, an ingredient long known to enhance skin’s radiance, with gentle cleansers that won’t dry out or irritate skin.”

Almay Oil-free Makeup Remover Towelettes

Almay Oil-free Makeup Remover Towelettes

Almay Oil-free Makeup Remover Towelettes ($6.99 for 25) – I’ve experimented with different drugstore towelettes and found that the Almay are the ones I like best for night use. I love that they are oil-free and of equal importance fragrance-free. I have used these on my eyes although they aren’t great for removing gel liner or mascara. Mostly I use these on my face though and it feels like I’m getting my face washed without water. Almay says: “hydrates and soothes skin without irritation. Botanical blend of aloe, cucumber and green tea. This face makeup remover leaves no greasy residue, so there’s no need to rinse. Hypoallergenic.”

Cleansers - Herbal Choice Mari, Philosophy, Painted Earth

Cleansers – Herbal Choice Mari, Philosophy, Painted Earth

Herbal Choice Mari Organic Makeup Remover

Herbal Choice Mari Organic Makeup Remover


Herbal Choice Mari Organic Makeup Remover  ($22 on sale for $16.95)* –  This vegan and organic makeup remover is for the nights I have time to take off my makeup properly. It’s not really a cleanser, it’s more of a pre-cleanser. Directions say to put it on a piece of cotton and gently remove your makeup. It melts away the color quickly. “This natural makeup remover does not contain alcohol, chemicals, detergents or preservatives.” It’s recommended for use on eyes too so it’s really an all in one cleanser. It has a very slight herbal fragrance but it’s very slight. It doesn’t annoy me and I’m quite picky about fragrance. It leaves skin moisturized since it contains organic olive oil but it’s not the least bit oily. Some nights I follow with a cleanser and some just with water. If you can’t tolerate glutens, this is a great choice for you.

Painted Earth True Elegance Cleansing Milk & Make-Up Remover

Painted Earth True Elegance Cleansing Milk & Make-Up Remover

Painted Earth True Elegance Cleansing Milk & Make-Up Remover ($23.50)* – This cleansing milk really is elegant. There’s something special about its thick creamy texture that makes you feel like you are moisturizing as well as cleansing. It contains coconut milk which is what must give it that creaminess. You can use this on a pad to wipe off makeup but I prefer it as a regular cleanser. It works especially well with something like a Clarisonic or the Foreo Luna though you don’t really need a tool for it. It entirely removes all makeup, including eye makeup. I prefer to use a dedicated eye makeup remover on my eyes but I’ve used this too without stinging. With Painted Earth products you can always look to see the ingredients which I think is helpful. There’s an herbal fragrance to this so I follow with toner to lessen any lingering scent.

Philosophy Just Release Me Eyemakeup Remover

Philosophy Just Release Me Eyemakeup Remover

Philosophy Just Release Me Eyemakeup Remover ($18) – I normally use Mary Kay Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover but I was at a JC Penney Sephora and this was on sale for $12 when I was checking out so I decided to pick it up. The first time I used it I spilled a lot because the top is wide open and I didn’t realize that. But I’ve since learned to use it properly. This is a dual-phase eye makeup remover that is gentle and oil-free. It seems to work slightly better than the Mary Kay one on stubborn makeup like mascara and water-resistant eyeliners. Even though it’s more expensive than the MK I will replace it when it’s done so that I have something with this gentle power. Philosophy says: “Philosophy Just Release Me™ Dual-Phase Oil-Free Makeup Remover gently yet effectively breaks down and removes the toughest eye makeup, even waterproof makeup, without irritating the eyes. Formulated with natural aloe, and chamomile and cucumber extracts, this soothing essential works to calm, clean, cool, and refresh the eye area.”

Obviously I don’t use these all every night. I base my choice usually on how much time I’ve left myself, how much makeup I’m wearing and how lazy/industrious I am that night. All are products I have no trouble recommending and will continue using them.

What are your favorite wipes and cleansers? I’m always looking at different options so please share. — Marcia

*products sent for editorial consideration

others were purchases

Makeup Wars – my repeat purchases aka the holy grail

It’s that time again. Makeup Wars!  If you haven’t been keeping up with us, Makeup Wars is a series with over a dozen amazing bloggers on a variety of topics. Today we have decided it show you the items we buy over and over. I’ve chosen to call them Holy Grails since I prefer these to similar products. These are products I consistently purchase and assume I’ll continue to do so for years to come.
So what has Marcia chosen and why?

Mary Kay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover has been a constant for at least 10 years when I unwittingly ended up at an MK party. Actually I enjoyed the experience especially because I bought my first eye makeup remover there. Now I try to buy two or three at a time. The two items that I find the hardest to remove are gel eyeliner and mascara. No matter how stubborn those two are the Mary Kay works. I shake, squeeze it on my cotton square, hold it to my eye for a few seconds and wipe gently. I rarely need to add more since it’s so effective. Plus it’s not oily so if I’m redoing makeup I only have to pat on a little water and I’m set. The MK leads to the next item…makeup war repeat marykay

DHC Silky Cotton squares. I’ve used other brands of pads but this is what I stockpile. Since I hate paying shipping I always buy enough to avoid that charge and I’m set for a year. I like these because they are soft yet sturdy and they never shed fibers. I also buy Shiseido’s version because  those are super soft. But DHC stands up to eye makeup remover better. I usually only need one square for both eyes. I also use these for toner and other light liquids. These cost $5.50 for 80 pads and I now see that DermStore carries war repeat dhc

Another type of cleanser I love having on hand all the time is J.R. Watkins Hand Soap aka Natural Home Care Liquid Hand Soap. This comes in about 5 fragrances and is my favorite item to wash my hands with. I keep these in all my bathrooms. It’s  natural earth-friendly formula that is moisturizing without being sticky. It washes off cleanly without a residue. It’s only $4.99 at or Rite Aid and lasts me about 6 weeks. I buy the yummy citrus scents of lemon, orange and grapefruit.

makeup war repeat soap

YSL Touché Éclat   Another product I buy again and again. I buy this kind of concealer/highlighter from other brands all the time. I  probably have half a dozen similar products in my stash. But when it’s all said and done, this is my favorite. It’s not the best concealer but it brightens under my eyes making me feel more alive. I’ve got a few new brands of this type of concealer/highlighter I will be using to review, but they’ll always be compared to YSL war repeat ysl

Last in this list is the BeautyBlender sponge aka Beautyblender Makeup Sponge- accept no substitutes. I’ve got this type of sponge from Sonia Kashuk and MAC and they don’t compare. Other brands will tell you that they are as soft but they aren’t. I love my “Pink Egg” and have gone through quite a few. Mine almost always stains but it’s not entered in a beauty pageant – its job is to make my foundation look perfect and it succeeds. They now produce this in black and in white so if you choose those colors just make sure they are genuine. I’m a bouncer ladies but only with my war repeat sponges

Now that you’ve read my 5 choices let me know what you’ve been buying over and over again. Then when you are done do some clicking (bouncing) yourself to see what my fellow warriors have selected. — Marcia

Simple Eye Make-Up Remover – does it remove?

The question of the day is “Does Simple eye make-up remover actually remove eye makeup?”

Simple eye make-up remover from

The answer – not for me. I almost always write positive reviews but I just can’t stop thinking about how disappointed I am with this product and that I want to warn others about it too.

Why don’t I like it?

1) It simply doesn’t remove my makeup. At first I thought it just didn’t remove my eyeliner. Since I wear mostly gel liners or pencils like IT Cosmetics long wear type liners, that would make sense. But then I realized it wasn’t removing my mascara well either. Yes some comes off but not all. And their website says it removes waterproof mascara (???). That wasn’t making me happy but the icing on the cake was that my eyeshadow didn’t come off cleanly either. HUH? Eye makeup remover that doesn’t remove even eyeshadow. What’s the point??

2) Maybe I’d have forgiven Simple but I keep losing eyelashes. I have to soak a cotton pad deeply to remove anything, then I hold it against my eye. When I remove the pad I too often find eyelashes under my eyes and on my cheeks.

3) And to top it off…. it stings my eyes because I have to use so much.

There is good to it though. I love the flip top packaging. I like that it’s oil free. Even the price is pretty good since you can almost always find a special on Simple (I paid $8.47 for two bottles and got $5 back in CVS bucks). But the good doesn’t outweigh the bad and I can’t recommend it.

flip top lid

Here’s what has to say about this product:

   PRO-VITAMIN B5 known to help restore, soften and smooth
NO GREASY residue
NO HARSH IRRITANTS to upset skin

   Dermatologist tested
   Ophthalmologist tested
   Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens users

I’d love to know if you’ve tried this product and what your reaction was to it. I hate to write off the whole brand because of one bad product but personally I’m very leery of it all now.  — Marcia

Marcelle skincare surprises and delights

As many times as I’ve walked into a Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, I never realized that Marcelle carried skincare. I was so focused on seeing their cosmetic line that I never got beyond that. Now though I know that Marcelle makes a great skincare line at great prices. I’ve got two products from their line to share with you and I’ll tell you in advance that both are definitely recommended.

Essential 3 in 1 Cleanser from

Marcelle’s Essential 3 in 1 Cleanser ($14.50) has turned into a late night lifesaver for me. Most nights I’m very happy washing my face and doing my whole routine but some nights the idea of standing at the sink is just too much for me. That’s when I truly appreciate Essential 3 in 1 Cleanser even more. This is a wipe off cleanser that’s oil-free. I apply it with my fingers and then wipe it off with a cotton pad (I love DHC’s by the way). It takes off most of my eye makeup if I want it to. This cleanser is amazingly gentle. Whenever I’d use cleansing cloths I never really felt like my skin was cleansed properly but I feel differently about the way this takes off my makeup. I don’t need to wash after (though I have on occasion). It not only cleanses but it tones my skin leaving it soft and ready for the rest of my routine.

Marcelle Essential 3 in 1 Cleanser

I like the fact that it’s in a tube too. I can squeeze out the amount I want and not have to worry about something drying out because I don’t use it that often. Remove eye makeup, cleanse and tone all in one with this well priced cleanser!

Essential 3 in 1 Cleanser ingredients

Revival Firming + Brightening Cream Serum

I’ve also been using Marcelle’s Revival Firming + Brightening Cream Serum ($34.95). Marcelle makes a complete line of Revival products – day and night moisturizer, eye contour cream, brown spot corrector and this serum. The line has been specifically designed for women in their fifties who are menopausal or post-menopausal. The Firming + Brightening Cream Serum can be used in conjunction with Revival Intense Anti-Aging Day Care or used separately the way I’m using it.

Marcelle Revival Firming + Brightening Serum

I apply it on my freshly cleansed skin prior to moisturizer. It’s a medium textured white cream that smooths out to be clear. It doesn’t feel sticky on my face and it doesn’t interfere with foundation or Marcelle’s wonderful BB Cream.

drop of Firming + Brightening Serum

I like using it during the day (you can use it day and night if you like) because it helps with fine lines and wrinkles and every little bit helps! It also helps by firming and reducing the appearance of brown spots and uneven skintone. Sounds like a lot to ask of one product but it works. Its goal is to help with reinforcing your skin’s elasticity and helping it regenerate.

ingredients for Revival Firming + Brightening Serum

I realize not all Beauty Info Zone’s readers are at the stage that they’d need a skincare line that is formulated for women in the menopause years but when you get there, you’ll really appreciate the specialization of the line. For me it’s definitely a winner and working to help me fight the visual signs of aging.

Marcelle’s skincare is all hypo-allergenic and perfume free. The cleanser is also ophthalmologist tested. The prices are great; you get a lot for your money. Marcelle’s website sells all of their products, skincare and cosmetics. They send to the US and there’s free shipping with a $50 purchase (if you are in Canada free shipping is at $25). You can also find Marcelle in a variety of stores in Canada like SDM, Walmart, Loblaws etc. Whether you are young or old, Marcelle has products that work for your skincare needs. — Marcia


*pr samples

Treats Under Ten – Every Drop, Hard Candy & Andrea Eye-Q’s

Treats under Ten

I’ve come across several items that I’ve been enjoying and want to share with you. I hope to write Treats under Ten as a monthly contribution and I’m finding that to be easier and easier with some of the great items available in the drugstores, Walmart and online. Today I have 4 for you. Be sure you keep reading since I’m saving the best for last.

Let’s start at Walmart and Hard Candy. There are so many treats there to keep us busy. Take a look at this great display I found there.

Two of my newest Hard Candy items are from their 2011 Fall Collection: World Balmanation (what a great name!) and Stay in Line Eyeliner

World Balmanation is a collection of 8 lightly tinted balms that cost – you aren’t going to believe this – $3 each. The packaging alone is worth $3. Each one is slightly different in looks and all are just adorable. They’d also make a great gift for a young girl too since they are moisturizing without imparting too much color. I have this in Lovestruck which looks like a dark pink but goes on very softly. It’s lightly lemon scented and very moisturizing. A sweet treat.

Hard Candy World Balmanation

Hard Candy World Balmanation in Lovestruck

Lovestruck swatched

Hard Candy’s Stay in Line eyeliners are available in 6 shades and are only $5 each. One side is the retractable liner (no sharpening necessary) and the other side holds the smudger.  I have the purple, Sigali, which is a bright beautiful shade with some shimmer in it. Each of these liners is infused with growth serum to help with long term lash growth according to My advice with this liner is to warm it up slightly on your hand before you apply it to your eyes, then it glides on beautifully.

Hard Candy Stay in Line eyeliner


Sigali swatched

A great drugstore treat is from Andrea Eye Q’s: Eye Makeup Correctors. These travel friendly sticks are perfect for removing eye makeup, especially stubborn eyeliners. These come in a pack of 50 and sell for under $5. I like to use them if I make a mistake when putting on eye makeup or stick a few in a mini Ziploc bag when I take a trip. They are oil-free and fragrance free so they don’t sting my eyes. Plus the formula isn’t greasy at all so you can fix and then continue. These are easy to use and fabulous for an emergency!

Andrea Eye-Q's jar

Andrea Eye-Q's Eye Make-Up Correctors ingredients

Andrea Eye-Q's swabs

Now for the best – this is a new discovery and I’m in love with it. It’s called EVERY DROP BEAUTY SPATULA. I needed capitals because I’m shouting that you need this.

Every Drop Beauty Spatula

Every Drop Beauty Spatula

I’m cheating a little because they really cost $14.99 but you get 2 for that cost plus you also receive 3 cosmetic containers with it from their website. Every Drop is the most ingenious invention I’ve seen lately. It’s a spatula like you’d use in your kitchen except the top is only 2 cm long and 1 cm wide. You use it to remove all the precious drops of beauty products that are stuck in your containers. This is the first product that my husband actually noticed. I was in shock. His reaction was “why didn’t someone think of this before” plus he wanted to steal it from me. No way Jose. This is so perfect for just about every beauty product that I own. No more wasting skincare, foundation, hand creams, even getting the last of the lipstick out of the tube. It gets the bottom, sides and the “shoulder” of the bottles. It’s washable and keeps things bacteria free.  This is the treat to end all treats. I absolutely need a few of these to make my life complete, yes I exaggerate sometimes, but I really do need a few of these. You’ll want one and you’ll need one for whoever plans on stealing it from you when they see this!

I hope you enjoyed my Treats under Ten. Let me know if you have any ideas of other treats I can share with you next month. — Marcia