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As I near my 30th birthday and start to panic over every little thing I have or haven’t done up until this point, makeup removers for lipstick have randomly taken over my psyche. Hear me out for a second–yes, I’m weird, but it will make sense. There are a lot of things I am still uncomfortable with as I contemplate a new decade, but a minimalist beauty routine and obsession with skincare is by far one of the most natural transitions I’ve made.
Back in the day–my early twenties to be exact–I wouldn’t leave the house without a full makeup beat and Instagrammable outfit. I’m actually exhausted just thinking about it. But oh, how the tables have turned. Today, if I could somehow teleport from my bed to the desk without as much as a face rinse, I would. Plus, pajamas are comfortable and apparently street style-approved, so I see no reason to kick the I-just-got-out-of-bed aesthetic into high gear. To be honest, the reason I typically bypass makeup is because one, I’m lazy, and two, taking off makeup is work I would gladly call out of. Even if you’re using a wipe or micellar water, it still doesn’t leave the face clean, which means you need to double-cleanse and at this point, I’m ready for bed.
I used to love throwing on a new lipstick every day until I realized just how irritating it became to use a gargantuan amount of remover to get rid of it. And even after scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing, stubborn stains were still intact hours, if not days, after. I didn’t have the time or patience. So I decided lip gloss would be my new thing (and it still is). But if I’m going to be honest, I’d still be rocking my Ruby Woo if there were more lipstick removers that made taking it off easier. That random thought combined with the fact that brands including Urban Decay and Colourpop are dropping new colors I actually want to swatch, I’m thinking it’s time to get fancy again. And much to my surprise, lipstick remover options are kind-of lit. Beyond wipes or Vaseline are oils, pads, and waters formulated specifically for the pout and according to reviews, they actually work. See all of them below.
Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Remover
My favorite product from this black-owned brand is undoubtedly the super-luscious Lip Whips. They’re creamy, highly-pigmented, but also sort-of challenging to take off. So I’m eternally grateful for these oil-based wipes that keep you from having to aggressively pull at the skin.
$14 at Beauty Bakerie
Shiseido Instant Eye and Lip Makeup Remover
If you’re wearing waterproof mascara and bold lipstick, but are also sensitive to excessive rubbing, this gentle water formula removes color in just a few swipes without that oily feeling after.
$30 at Sephora
AOA Studio Lip Makeup Remover Pads
This is the best dollar you’ll ever spend on makeup. These fragrance-free, travel-friendly pads are the one-two punch your mouth needs to get rid of color. Simply hold the pad for about 20 seconds against the lips while the formula literally melts away color.
$1 at Miss A
Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Remover Dissolving Spray
It may feel weird to spray makeup remover on your lips, but rest assured knowing this one is completely vegan. One of its three ingredients is Vitamin E, a conditioner that will soften the lips as color is being removed.
$26 at Urban Decay
NYX Eye + Lip Makeup Remover
Don’t forget to shake up this oil-water blend before swiping this solution across the eyes and lips. Its formula also includes orange, papaya, rice, and soy extracts so your lips can smell as good as they feel.
$8 at NYX Cosmetics
Maybelline Superstay Eraser Lip Color Remover
No scrubbing or cotton pads required to use this insanely convenient lipstick remover in pen form. How cute is this?!
$4.27 at Amazon
MAKE Twilight Oil
This hypoallergenic and fragrance-free lipstick remover also doubles as a hydrating treatment, thanks to the moisturizing powers of glycerin and meadowfoam seed oil for repairing damage.
$12 at MAKE Beauty
The Original Makeup Eraser
Whether you’re on-the-go or lazy like me, this magical cloth is the ultimate time-saver. Simply wet and wipe to remove every trace of makeup, including stubborn lipstick.
$18 at Amazon
Sephora Extra-Gentle Bi-Phase Makeup Remover for Eyes & Lips
This milky lotion contains cottonseed oil, an underrated ingredient that guarantees removal and also moisturizes.
$14 at Sephora