When it comes to removing makeup, I'm looking for four simple things: 1) make it fast, 2) don't break me out, 3) make it thorough and 4) make it affordable. So in the last 6 months, I went through 2 drugstore makeup removers: Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser and St. Ives Fresh Skin Olive Cleanser. Here's how they compare:
Make it fast: Both Clean & Clear and St. Ives effectively remove powder foundations and mineral makeup in a jiffy. For liquid foundations (even Revlon Colorstay), Clean & Clear is much more effective. St. Ives makes it messy and requires a couple of rounds.
Don't break me out: Neither product has caused breakouts on my skin. So if you have problem skin, either one should be fine.
Make it thorough: Clean & Clear claims to remove ALL makeup, EVEN WATER-PROOF MASCARA. Not exactly true in my opinion. Afer several pumps of this product, you can at the most remove 100% of face makeup, and about 90% of mascara. But you will end up with little flakes of mascara clinging to your lashes and below your lids. St. Ives doesn't claim to remove mascara, and I appreciate the honesty. St. Ives can only tackle face makeup, not eye makeup (forget mascara, it can't even take on gel liners and eye bases). You absolutely need a separate eye makeup remover for it.
Make it affordable: Clean & Clear is around $11.99 at Target (6 oz). St. Ives is around $4.99 at CVS (6.5 oz). St. Ives wins this round.
Final thoughts: St. Ives can easily remove daily makeup like minerals and powder foundations. It's a bigger pain to tackle liquid foundations and it's impossible for eye makeup. Clean and Clear is a bit more effective because it does remove most of your eye makeup and liquid foundation is not a problem. However, I do resent that it states on the bottle that it can remove water-proof mascara, but that's just not the case.
Once I run out of Clean and Clear, I will either 1) repurchase it and also get a dedicated eye makeup remover, or 2) invest in something like MAC wipes, or MAC Cleanse Off Oil.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any holy grail products for removing makeup, please put them in the comments below!