review clarins gentle eye make-up remover

Call me demanding, but if I have to splurge on an expensive makeup remover, I expect it to:

  • Remove all traces of makeup – including waterproof mascara – in less than a minute
  • Be gentle, so it won’t irritate or sting my eyes
  • Make me a cup of tea

Ok, maybe the cup of tea is asking too much. But a good makeup remover must fulfill the first two criteria, right? Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover… doesn’t. Here’s why:

What’s In Clarins Gentle Eye-Makeup Remover?


Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover is a micellar water for your eyes. It uses the same non-ionic, non-foaming surfactants, like Polysorbate 20 and Poloxamer 184.

On the positive side, they’re gentler than traditional cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulphate, so they don’t sting your eyes as much.

On the negative side, they don’t remove makeup all that well… The less powerful the surfactant, the more elbow grease it takes to get the job done.

Is the trade off worth it? If you have sensitive skin or need to get your makeup off in a pinch, yes.


This makeup remover feels like water. Looks like water. Acts like water.


It has an old-fashioned floral scent.

How To Use It

Pour a few drops on a cotton pad and gently wipe your eyes with it.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Remember I told you Clarins Gentle Make-Up Remover is basically water in a bottle?

If you’ve ever tried washing a greasy pan with water alone, you know where I’m going with this. It won’t work. Water and oil don’t mix, so the former can’t remove the latter.

Your makeup (especially waterproof mascara) contains oils. Water alone will smear the mascara around. It won’t melt it away.

I need to use a lot of product, cotton pads and elbow grease to remove makeup off my eye area. FYI, don’t think that I’m wearing heavy makeup, either. I usually skip eyeliner and opt for non-waterproof mascara.

But Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover can’t do anything against even the gentlest of makeup, like eyeshadow and primer. If they eventually comes off, it’s because of the all the scrubbing you have to do.

The eye makeup remover itself is very gentle. It won’t irritate or sting your eyes – even if accidentally gets inside them. But all that scrubbing? That is a recipe for irritation!

I could forgive this eye makeup remover if it only struggled against waterproof mascara. But it struggles to remove anything! What’s the point of it being so gentle, if it doesn’t do the job anyway?

clarins gentle eye makeup remover

Who Is This For?

Women with very sensitive eyes who hardly wear any makeup.

Who Is This Not for?

Everyone else.


Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover comes in a see-through bottle that lets you see exactly how much product is left in it.

Does Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover Live Up To Its Claims?

Gently eliminates make-up and impurities.Not really. Elbow grease does.
Soothes the eyelids.All the rubbing it takes to take makeup off is anything but soothing!
Strengthens the lashes.Again, all that rubbing has the opposite effect.
The non-irritating formula is suitable for even the most sensitive eyes and for contact lens wearers.It’s true the makeup remover itself doesn’t sting or irritate eyes. But all the rubbing you need to do to take makeup off may irritate skin.

Price & Availability

Clarins counters

Do You Need It?

No, leave it on the shelf.


Dupes & Alternatives

Have you tried Clarins Gentle Eye-Makeup Remover Lotion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Polysorbate 20, Propanediol, Poloxamer 184, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Phenethyl Alcohol, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Benzyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract [V2221A]