I’ve always found eye-makeup remover redundant. Unless I’m wearing waterproof mascara and eyeliner, I never feel the need to use a cleansing product geared expressly for my eyes. Whatever face wash I’ve used has always done the trick, though admittedly with extra elbow grease and micellar water to get the remaining mascara smears fully erased from around my eyes. And speaking of grease, the eye-makeup removers I’ve tried have always been so greasy.
Then I started noticing a number of eyelash shampoos—yes, eyelash shampoos—hitting shelves, and I thought, OK, now we’re getting inordinately specific. As if eye-makeup remover wasn’t already arguably hyper-focused, now we need a cleanser geared just for lashes? That’s like making nail polish remover for just the tip of your nail. But the thinking behind these new lash cleansers claims not to be purely gimmick: Some are meant to be more effective at targeting mascara buildup while still being gentle on lashes and lash extensions, while others say they’re less oily than their traditional remover counterparts. Makeup artists, too, have been touting them lately as a good tool for getting a better mascara application, since they’re said to grab dirt and debris better, giving you cleaner lashes to start with. From where I stood, however, I wouldn’t be able to truly assess the just how superfluous or useful lash shampoo is until I tried it. So that’s exactly what I did.
I figured the fairest way to compare lash cleansers would be not only against each other but against a good old-fashioned eye-makeup remover. I grabbed the most generic one I could find and used it along with three of the latest lash shampoo formulas—Lash Box Bubble Lash Shampoo, Beauty Garde Lash + Brow Shampoo, and RevitaLash Micellar Water Lash Wash—testing each against the same mascara to assess their thoroughness, gentleness, and greasiness.