The Best Eye Makeup Remover for Travel

Posted on
Sep 24, 2012
Posted in: S.T.I.N.K.s

It is 7:30am here in Seattle, and I woke up more than an hour ago, of my own accord but bleary-eyed, the lingering result of jet-lag after spending 10 days in Ireland. I rubbed my eye, and seeing the purple streak left on the back of my hand from makeup of days before, still stubbornly clinging to my lid, I realized that this is where I should start.

Before I tell you about my trips to Belfast and Dublin, before I described the ill-fated afternoon we decided to rent a car and drive on the wrong side of the road, before I start explaining how I gained several pounds in a matter of days eating Irish cakes and candy, I need to talk about eye makeup remover.

I hope you will forgive me. But I’m so very tired, and this rather banal topic will be an easy out, before I head off to tackle the mounds of laundry, stacks of mail, and try to figure out how, precisely, I can recreate those tea time scones at home.

Regarding makeup: I wear a lot of the stuff. Or rather, I wear a lot of it on one part of my face – my eyes. I don’t do face powders or foundation. I rarely wear lipstick or use eye-brow pencils and I seldom need blush because I am always too hot, which I’ve found produces a nice warm glow about the cheeks (and sweat stains under the arms, but let’s focus on the good.)

But my peepers are positively coated in cosmetics, nearly every day.

Here I am attacking my poor mother on my wedding day.

And this might not look like a big deal, but this is how much gold eyeshadow I wear TO GO HIKING.

You get the idea. My travel toiletry bag is packed with cosmetics, and along with them, a plastic container filled with a small stack of eye makeup remover pads.

My eye makeup remover pad of choice is one made by Almay (as usual, this endorsement comes with zero compensation. I have many faults, but being a sell-out is not one of them).

They have two variants – the “non-oily” kind and the “moisturizing” pads, which are coated in something akin to baby oil. As the years pass (ahem) – I find myself preferring the latter. They leave a bit of residue, but do actually provide some moisture to my eyes, which are the only part of my face that doesn’t get ridiculously oily.

For a long time, I figured that these pads weren’t exceptional by any means. I bought them regularly because they were inexpensive, easy to pack, and unlike an actual bottle of makeup remover, they didn’t count as a liquid (a big bonus when traveling) and weren’t as likely to spill. Plus, it was easy to count out how many pads I’d need for however many days I’d be on the road.

But towards the end of our trip to Ireland, I managed to lose them, case and all. It must have been when we switched hotel rooms along the way. At first, I figured it wasn’t that big a deal. I would just some eye makeup remover at the drug store.

Here’s what I looked like after a ten-minute struggle with the stuff:

If you think I look bad, you should see the other guy.

It was though I had gone a few rounds with a prize fighter.

I’m pretty sure Kate Moss made this look work in the late 90s.

By the end of it, my makeup still hadn’t come off, but the skin around my eyes was raw. And holy cats, did it sting. Needless to say, I do not recommend the following product, which can be found in various European drugstores, despite the claims of “vitamin goodness” which appear right on the package.

It costs about 7 Euros, or roughly $9. That’s about twice the price of my regular pads. And notice how much of it I used in one night.

I don’t even know what “vitamin goodness” means, anyway. But if a cookie package said that, you can bet I’d run like hell.

I’m home again, and I happily have a huge stack of eye makeup remover pads sitting by the sink. I think I’m going to slap them on my lids like cucumber slices, while I lay back and eat chocolates. Just as soon as I get through everything else that’s waiting for me today.



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