July 24, 2008

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Review

It’s your dear, old Muse here to tell you that cheaper is NOT always better.

This little bottle has a rating of 4.1 on MUA obviously the people who reviewed this are on crack. 4.1? What the hell.

Your Muse decided that cheap was somehow better. This bright idea stems from the fact that I was thinking that $10 USD for a bottle of eye makeup remover was a bit steep and I needed new options in my fight against the obvious recession! By cutting down $4 USD on makeup remover I was making one big step for mankind. I think I was, I’m not sure..maybe…sorta I was.


Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover promises to effectively remove all traces of eye makeup even waterproof mascara without oily residue. True that. No oily residue here. However, it not only fails to leave behind oily residue it also happens to excel at leaving behind mascara.

Removes waterproof mascara? Come on who you trying to kid. Stop! Go on now, stop it already.

This doesn’t remove waterproof mascara. After swiping my lid for the better part of 5 minutes I was still sporting clumps of mascara on my lashes. Um…hello what happened to the promise of removing my mascara!

I did see some sense on the MUA reviews where someone wrote about how it takes ALOT of this to get off regular mascara never mind waterproof mascara! Some people lost all sense when they mentioned that this was a dupe of Bi-Facil…I told you it’s that crack again! I was considering just tipping my head back and pouring the bottle onto my closed eye lid to see if that would effectively get my mascara off but somehow common sense kicked in and I just settled for rubbing at my eye for the better part of an hour trying to get this to work.

In all seriousness I did try to like this and I can honestly say it doesn’t work too well at removing waterproof anything. It does a mediocre job at best of removing eye makeup and mascara. For $5.99 USD yes indeed it is cheap but just go ahead and splurge a few dollars more to get yourself something that does work.

This one is a miss!

The Muse no likey Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. Big waste of $6!

When the forces of Yay or Nay are in effect the Muse gives this one a big:

Dish out the $4 bucks more and grab some Sephora Eye Makeup Remover or just go nuts and buy a bottle of Lancome Bi-Facil! Your mascara will thank you for it at the end of a long night!

Try some removers that contain a healthy dose of Yay by clicking through my past reviews!

Balms Away Eye Make-Up Break Up Review

Too Faced Lash Injection Antitdote


About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Dao

    Have to agree with you whole-heartedly on this one. Drugstore makeup removers suck! I know we all try to save some money here but man, why are they doing it to us? 6 bucks can buy about 2, 3 cups of coffee, you know?

    An alternative to Bifacil is Clinique take the day off makeup remover. It has 2 layers and removes everything. And oh, it’s about 5-10 dollars cheaper than Bifacil.

  • Jennifer

    For what it’s worth Neutrogena’s “All in One” makeup remover works wonders on my too-faced lash injection mascara. I thought of this when you described the burning if effective agony of too-faced’s antidote for their mascara. It is true that I use the brown formula, because I’m too pale for black to look anything but goth on me. And I don’t in fact use Neutrogena as an “all in one” cleanser…I have Exuviance for actual facial cleansing. But for eye makeup, even too faced mascara, as well as foundation and face goodies, the cheapo Neutrogena works well for me. (It’s not this version of it though so maybe this non-oily version sucks way worse than any other Neutro product?)

  • the Muse

    amen sister!

    My sister SWEARS to god that it’s the same stuff you buy over the counter. Ummmm no….makeup remover from the ds and makeup remover from the counter are DIFFERENT dude!


    Exactly! I’ll have extra cream with my frappachino thanks very much 😉

    Really???? Is it the best you’ve tried?

    Will go get it of so 😉

    I really love bi-facil but the price tag is a bit too nutty. I sometimes go on ebay and buy 5 of the little bottles for like 10 bucks lol

    I’m cheap 😉

  • the Muse

    hi Jennifer!

    Wait..there are two versions? Maybe that’s why I am hating this. Someone rec’ed me this but maybe they meant the all in one makeup remover. How much makeup are we talking about here? Have you seen my fotds? I’m a dragqueen lol! I pile on the shadow so if the all in one can get off pigmented shadow and wp mascara I’m a happy girl!

    lash antidote is sincerely awesome for fiber based mascaras and wp but the problem with the burning STINKS so I really can’t get used to that.

    Sephora I use but I’m not always so happy about it. I’d rather use bi-facil but the price is sickening 😛

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Gee


    Total waste of $6. Try Lumene’s only at CVS. It’s a drugstore superstar!

  • ???

    oh darling, so sad to hear this didn't work for you. perhaps you want to try Maybelline Lip & Eye Makuep Remover, works like a charm and quite cheap! 😀

    i've gone through a few bottles and i love it very much! 😀

  • Stephy

    i’m glad that i chose the l’oreal demotologist expertise gentle eye makeup remover over this!! have u tried the l’oreal one? it’s actually pretty good AND it’s cheap too!

  • Taryn

    I find Neutrogena products to be highly overrated. The only thing that truly removes all traces of makeup is cleansing oil, and I’m liking the Origins one right now. Plus these other removers sting like heck! At least the oil doesn’t do that.

    Lovin’ the “Nay” symbol, Muse (you should get a pic of Mr. Ed saying it)! Cracked me right up!

  • the Muse

    Hey Gee!

    Ok got it. Will try it and return this one 😉

    Review to come I’m sure!

  • the Muse

    hiya plue!

    Aw it’s ok! Wasn’t too much to lose 🙂 I’ll def check the maybelline one out!

    Thanks for the rec love!


  • the Muse

    hey stephy!!!!!!!

    Haven’t tried this..add it to my list 🙂 How’s it do on hardcore shadow and wp?

  • the Muse

    hey taryn!

    Actually even my cleansing oil does a pour job of getting off wp 🙁

    Thankfully no sting with this but I get the strange cloudy eye vision which totally freaks me out lol!

    Hey thanks 🙂 Glad you like it!

    LOL!!!!!!!! Naayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

  • the Muse

    hello Vichaya!

    Thanks for the rec! Will add it to my list 😉

    Appreciate the rec 😉

  • kanita

    i’ve tried so many expensive makeup removers, and recently forgot to bring one on a trip, and ended up using my mom’s avon eye makeup remover lotion. it is amazing, and I just bought 5 as they were on sale for 99 cents, and are regularly only 4 dollars anyway. I think they are on sale for 1.99 right now. Avon’s been getting so much better lately and you can pretty much always get free shipping if you search for a code online at retailmenot.com

  • Audrie aka Petitebelle

    Hello Musey!! You have been tagged by me for an award! Jump over to my blog and take a look 🙂
    By the way, I have a new name and new URL so update your link!

  • Anonymous

    I've tried all the more expensive removers, and it all seems the same to me. 😮 This is what I currently have, and it works for me!(Then again, water & facial cleanser pretty much works for me as well)

    Even when I pile on gel liner and base and mascara and eyeshadow, this cheap makeup remover does the trick.

    Then again, I abhor waterproof makeup, so I guess I've got a different point of view 🙂

  • Pauline

    awww thats a bummer 🙁 this stuff works wonders for me, it even takes off my shiseido lasting lift mascara which is notorious for being impossible to remove! i guess some things just work on some people while being useless to others

  • Jennifer

    Okay the official label reads…dum dum dum dum…”one step gentle cleanser – complete makeup removal + refreshingly clean skin” “new” – as of, um, February or so. And yeah I’ve seen your FOTDs, I am actually the same replier as mauvemalady (who is going to Japan for a few years? and got all those awesome Japanese makeup recs?), I just didn’t want to log into my LJ account at work. I think the most I’ve had to do with this cleanser, and this was with I think varigated layers of smoky black/dark gray/slightly less dark gray shadow, was go over my face once in a washing, glower at a bit of gray still left in the eye area and squirt a bit more into my hands and just smudge my fingers over my lids. I’ve never had to scritch or scratch to the point where I caused pain or bloodshot eyes, though I have noticed that if I do get it in my eyes (I’m clumsy!) I get that foggy, I’ve-been-in-the-pool-too-long chlorinated effect for 30 seconds or so. But it doesn’t hurt or, at least in my experience (and I eschew nudes! bring on the lime green and sparkle-soaked purples!), leave stuff sticking around. hope this helps!

  • Stephy

    Hey Musey! The L’oreal gentle eye makeup is pretty good at hard core shadow and waterproof mascara. Just to make a comparison, I needed 2 cotton pads (both sides) to remove ONE eye worth of makeup with my estee lauder make-up remover which costs $17/bottle, whereas the L’oreal, which is like $7.99/bottle, needs 1 cotton pad (both side) to remove one eye worth of makeup. So imo, the l’oreal one is pretty good!

    but r u looking for an oil-free one? cuz i’m not sure if the l’oreal one is oil-free cuz the liquid in the bottle is separated in 2 layers. so u might wanna double check if u want sth oil free! 🙂

  • Askmewhats

    I love your yay and nay icon, so cute!!! thanks for your honest review on this! saves money to a lot of people!

  • Ethereal Prey

    lancome bi-facil ftw! i have to say i love the bi-facil cause i wear wp mascara a lot. totally worth it!

  • Anonymous

    ” I was considering just tipping my head back and pouring the bottle onto my closed eye lid to see if that would effectively get my mascara off”

    wow. ROTFLMAO!!

    anywho i feel you on being on the constant search for an amazing eye makeup remover that doesn’t break the bank! have you tried macs pro eye makeup remover?? it’s the only thing i really like right now for removing my wp mascara and black eyeliner.


  • Marta


    I absolutely agree !! I tried a similar cheap one from NIVEA and you should see my towel after using it…
    The best one , in my opinion it’s the Take the day off Make up remover for lids, lashes and lips from Clinique


  • ailove

    Hey muse~~`

    I’m trying to look for a cheaper make up remover as well. Once I finish up my lancome bottle of sample make up remover… I also tried using Cetaphil it does remove make up but you need to work on that and the eye as you know is delicate. I’m thinking of getting something that is not oily and tear fear, like lotions or cream/milk, I read that it is better?

    Have you tried L’oreal, Nivea, or ponds? I want to try some creme type of make up remover that leaves no tugging of the eye…
    I’m so worried about that when turning the age of 20 I’ve seen dramatic changes to my skin which freaks me out… waaaaah Y_Y

  • R


    My best best best eye make up remover is Softymo. From Adamb its only about 5? SOOOOO AMAZING.

    i cant keep up with your updates! But keep updating!

    p.s. come and visit me on my new blog. Or else….

  • the Muse

    hello kanita!

    Avon? really? I’m on it. I’ll def be picking it up because I agree with you, Avon has come a sincerely long way! Review to come soon I’m sure as I am off to the site right now to see the remover 😉

    Thanks Kanita!
    Happy Friday to you!

  • the Muse

    hello Jamie!

    Big time disappointment for me 😛

    I’d avoid it if I were you 😉

  • the Muse

    Hello Steph!!!!!!!

    Thank you darling!!! I will do that! i’m eager to see the new site 🙂 Congrats and thanks so much for the award I’m always flattered people even read musings 😉 never mind nominate me for awards!

    Hugs 🙂

  • the Muse

    hello Anonymous!

    I personally see a big difference between expensive and cheaper. Water and facial cleanser gets off your liner and wp mascara? That’s fantastic! Sadly, that doesn’t work for me!

    It’s great this works for you but honestly with pigmented shadows, pigments and waterproof mascara this didn’t work getting it all off. Did a great job at the shadow but the waterproof mascara def not, I need something stronger for that!

    Thanks for your comment and different points of view are always welcome here 😉 I love hearing what did and didn’t work from my readers!


  • the Muse

    hello Pauline!

    Fantastic! Sadly no go for me Pauline 🙁 I wish I could claim the same as the price is right!

    Yup, that’s what makes the makeup world go round. Yays and Nays 😉

    Thanks for the comment!
    Happy Weekend!

  • the Muse

    hiya jennifer aka mauvemalady!

    Whoa I think I totally had a brain fart…what? You mean you pour this in your hand and rub it around your eye for removal? is that what you mean? 😉

  • the Muse

    hello stephy!

    thanks for the rec lovie! haven’t tried this one but will do!
    oh no doesn’t matter of it has or doesn’t have oil. I’m cool as long as it does what it says and removes makeup without a ton of effort 🙂

    I’ll try this out and let you know what I think!

  • the Muse

    hello nikki!

    Thanks hehe! 😉 No problem! It’s always my pleasure 😉

  • the Muse

    hiya Ethereal Prey !

    Ditto!!!!!!! The price does scare me a little bit but damn if it doesn’t work amazingly well!

  • the Muse

    hi lindsey!

    LOL 😉 Sometimes a girl needs to take drastic measures 🙂

    I feel the same way! I like mac eye and lip remover but I felt it was expensive too. Works amazing but the price meh not so cheap!

    I wish I can find cheap and good. Something that’s like $5 or less and does what it says ya know?

    Thanks for the comment!
    Happy Weekend!

  • the Muse

    hi Marta!

    W00t! Always nice to hear someone had a similar experience. Makes me feel less nuts 😉

    I hear alot of raves about the Clinique much check this out 😉

    Big besos back 😉

    Happy Weekend!

  • the Muse

    hello ailove!

    I understand your concern for your eyes. It’s a big step to preserving them when you’re not tugging and rubbing at them constantly.

    The problem with lotions and milks and creams is they don’t always do a great job with WP 🙁 Although i do like the way balms away sort of glides around the eye so you aren’t tugging as much. That’s a gelly form!

    Creams just don’t always do such a fab job 😛 I’ll keep searching for my holy grail remover 🙂 and of course share it with you when I find it 😉

  • the Muse

    R!!!!!! hehe 🙂

    I was considering this. I love everything softymo puts out and I heard such raves about this on cozy 🙂 so I’m having a mate pick me up some 🙂

    Where’s your blog!??!?! Gimme a link 😉

    LOL sorry I’m on update overload lately!

  • beautyaddict1one1

    This is so far the worst Makeup Remover Ever that i used it makes my eye area so dry
    i recommend to try loreal

  • the Muse

    hiya beautyaddict!

    eep! I didn’t experience that as my eye area is dry already but def will stop using it I can’t afford any more drying than I already am 😛

    will def try the loreal!

  • Jennifer

    Yup, rub it around eye area…although, with the version I use (not that oil-free stuff) it’s not really a pouring motiong…it’s a pump, and the stuff has a fair bit of consistency so it’s not as though it goes running all over your hands etc. Wet face first, then this stuff, and my too faced lash injection is gone!

  • the Muse

    jennifer do you have a link? I’ve seen this stuff in store!?

    Curious minds!

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Beautiful Canvas

    Haha. I also bought this because it got high rating of MUA…and I agree with you, I don’t like it. I think sometime people give it high rating because it’s cheap?

    • the Muse

      hi beautiful canvas…def do not like don’t care how cheap it is 😀 ha still terrible 😛

  • Jenny

    Aww, sorry to hear that this product didn’t work for you 🙁 I use currently use it right now to remove eyeshadow + liner + mascara, and it takes 1 cotton pad (1 side) for each eye to get all that gunk off. But then again, I don’t use waterproof mascara, so maybe that’s why?

    • the Muse

      prob Jenny 🙂 waterproof eye makeup here so that could be why 🙂

  • Ally

    Lol Muse you are so funny! You just crack me up. This is why I love reading your blog- I get reviews on tons of products (drugstore and high end) plus the witty and funny edge you bring to them! Thanks for all you do- love you Muse!

    • the Muse

      ha ally glad I made you laugh hun! that brings joy to my heart. I have a strange sense of humor so always makes me smile when someone says I made them laugh!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOO!

  • Chels

    I also tried numerous drug store brands thought they were all doomed until I tried the garnier fructus grape water make up remover! It is totally gentle and oil free! It gets all of my make up off no problem all you need to do is use the circular cotton pads press It on your eye for about 10 seconds and it come right off!