When I think of MAC Cosmetics, I think of lipstick. Mostly that is due to my own lipstick addiction, not their marketing. I used to save up to buy one of their lipsticks. Then I would spend hours agonizing over exactly which color I wanted to buy. While I was deciding I would pamper my lips so that when I did make my choice the product find a smooth canvas ready for application. Once the purchase was made I would then use the lipstick down to a nub. I then used a lipstick brush on the remaining nub until it could no longer be used.
Then the process would begin again.
With a different color.
Oddly, you can actually use the lip color to group photographs of me even if you don’t have the date the picture was actually taken. Just match the lips and you’ll have a pretty accurate gauge.
While I knew MAC made more than lipsticks, this was my focus. Gradually the comments of friends regarding other products filtered through my brain and I learned that they made a makeup remover. It should not surprise me that a company that puts makeup on the face should have a product to remove it, as that is logical and even expected. Somehow it still took me by surprise.
The MAC Cleanse Off Oil (retail $33, and the official site has much better images of the product) has a very simple product description. It is…
…an industry-strength oil-based makeup remover that’s gentle on the skin
Super simple and to the point. While I often praise the marketing industry in talking me into trying new perfumes, in a cleanser, I actually appreciate the straightforward description. I like knowing what to expect.
Recently I’ve been using cleansing balms to remove makeup. I just finished a jar of Farmacy’s version and I have been working on a jar of Versed’s cleansing balm (I will be posting a review next week). It has been a while since I used a liquid oil based makeup remover. Uncertain how I would like it, I picked up a small sample size to try. To be honest, I regret not buying the full sized version. But we will get to that in a moment.
First, to keep the product from absorbing into a cotton round, I poured a little dab of the oil into my hand and then rubbed it on my face full of makeup. The makeup simply melted away and I used a clean washcloth to wipe off the residue and the oil. Even mascara was gone. I then used a cotton round with toner to see what might be left behind that I couldn’t see and you can see the before and after photos of the cotton round. The first is clean with a bit of toner on it and the other is post face wipe.
As you can see, there is little left on the cotton round. Most of what is on the cotton round is due to damp wear from rubbing on my skin. My skin felt clean, but not stripped, which I believe is their basic claim.
Removal of makeup? Check
Gentle on the skin? Check.
I used a mild cleanser not designed for makeup remover (I have several at this point) to take off the last of the oil and my skin felt fantastic.
There is one extra benefit to the cleanser. I wear contacts and I don’t always remove them before I wash my face. Partially, because I am blind as a bat without them and me trying to work with products with my contacts out is really just sort of a bad sketch comedy.
With cleansing balms I have noticed that when I remove my eye makeup I often have blurry spots on my contacts from the cleansing balm seeping in around the edges of my eyes. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but I do have to remove the contacts and clean them, then put them back in.
I did not have this problem with the MAC product. I used it every day for a week and never once had that problem. I’m not certain if it is due to the consistency of the cleansing balms verses the oil, or the formulation of the product itself, but I really liked it.
Like I said earlier, I picked up a very small sample to try, just to see if I liked it. 0.2 fluid ounces small to be exact. (Inside I was thinking, oh it’s one of those old fashioned oils that leaves me greasy and just makes the mascara run. I’ll try it just to try it and move on.’ I offer MAC my sincerest apologies for my preconceived notions.)
Because I used my hands to apply it rather than something absorbent (like cotton, not that my skin isn’t absorbent it just didn’t have time to take the product in) I needed very little of the oil. After a week of using the make-up remover once a day, I still have enough product left for a few more days. Maybe not another full week, but close. As the full sized bottle is 5 fluid ounces I know it would last a while, at least for me, making the $33 for the full retail price, not an unreasonable sum.
I have often regretted buying a full sized version of something instead of the trial sized, but this may be the first time I picked up the trial sized and regret not picking up the full. I really liked this makeup remover and I think it is a good one to have on hand. While many cleansers claim make up removing capabilities these days it seems strange to have a separate cleansing oil, but in some cases those cleansers fall flat especially when up against mascara and it is good to have a backup. This has certainly earned a space on my bathroom shelf.