Review: Etude House Mascara Remover (plus comparison test against Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover) | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

09 October, 2013

Review: Etude House Mascara Remover (plus comparison test against Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover)

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Greetings y'all... do you like using a dedicated eye makeup remover? Because I certainly do, even on top of my cleansing oil. For me, liquid eye makeup remover + cleansing oil = 100% less panda eyes in the morning. True story.

Today I'll be reviewing "Mascara Remover", an eye makeup remover from the popular Korean brand Etude House. Want to see how it stacks up against my current makeup remover of choice? Keep on readin'!

OK, so the image above is clearly not one I took myself - I actually purchased this in 25 mL sample size from Etude House's official eBay distributor. The full-sized bottle is 80 mL. Here's what mine looks like:

Etude House Mascara Remover mini sample

Because I bought this in sample-size I don't have a full list of ingredients, sorry. If anyone has that info please feel free to share in the comments! This makeup remover is a dual-phase type, meaning there is a thick layer and a thin layer and you have to shake the bottle thoroughly to mix them before use. Here's a close-up so you can see what I mean.

"One Shot Clean!" If nothing else, this will give your forearm arm a mild workout. Here's what this product is supposed to do as according to YesStyle:

Specialized cleanser is designed to wipe off all traces of eye makeup, including waterproof and long-lasting mascara and eyeliner. Quick emulsifying formula removes all types of eye makeup with just one swipe, leaving the eye zone immaculately clean without rubbing or repeated swiping, saving eyes from unwanted stress and from developing lines and wrinkles.

Hmm, removing all makeup with one swipe? That's a rather lofty claim, so of course I had to test it. But rather than just test it on it's own, I thought I'd also throw my current eye makeup remover (also dual-phase) into the mix for comparison purposes. Because even if this isn't "One Shot Clean" like the bottle says, it's helpful to have a performance benchmark to see how a product like this normally performs, right?

Supplies pictured above:

Step one: Draw two similarly-sized stars on my arm with the liquid liner.

Top: Etude House - Bottom: Neutrogena

Step two: Dispense an equal amount of each product onto two cotton pads, and do one slow and even wipe over each star.

Top - Etude House - Bottom: Neutrogena

Well, clearly this isn't "One Shot Clean". But neither is the Neutrogena.

Step three: Repeat step two with a fresh cotton pad.

Top: Etude House - Bottom: Neutrogena

Apparently this isn't two-shot clean either, but neither is Neutrogena. Both removers are slowly but surely removing the eyeliner though.

Step four: Repeat step two with a fresh cotton pad.

Top: Etude House - Bottom: Neutrogena

And now they're about 90% gone. With a little extra rubbing, both came off completely. So what does that mean?

I think Etude House Mascara Remover and Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover performed similarly well, both in my arm test and on my eyes. I would consider both of them to be effective and worth purchasing, so let's weigh some pros and cons of both to see which one ultimately wins this eye makeup remover battle:

Etude House pros:
  • It's pink. Need I say more?
  • The 80 mL size makes it convenient for air travel.
  • If you live in a country with Etude House shops, this is accessible and affordable.
 Etude House cons:
  • This product has a very faint floral fragrance. That may not bother some, but why does an eye product need to be scented? Seems like an unnecessary invitation to irritation.
  • If you are buying this off the internet, it is more expensive per mL than Neutrogena.

Neutrogena pros:
  • I feel like this left less of a "filmy" feeling in my eye after use, but that may just be me and neither of the removers are awful in that department.
  • It is slightly cheaper per mL for folks like me who would be buying the Etude remover off eBay.
  • It doesn't seem to have a fragrance.
  • If you live in the USA, this is easy to find and often goes on sale.
Neutrogena cons:
  • The bottle is not especially attractive.
  • The 112 mL size (3.8 fl oz) makes it slightly too large for convenient air travel.

Price comparison data: Etude House 80mL is $8.51 on eBay, or  about 11c per mL. Neutrogena 112mL is $5.99 on, or about 5c per mL.

My personal conclusion? I think I'll stick with Neutrogena because it's cheap and easy to find where I live, but Etude House's remover ain't bad.

Bottom line:
Etude House Mascara Remover will not remove all of your makeup in "one shot", but it is effective and affordable. And pink.

Where to buy: I got my sample bottle of Etude House Mascara Remover from etudehouse-korea on eBay, which is Etude House's official eBay distributor so I would say they're reliable. They also sell it in the full 80mL size. Or you can find it on YesStyle with free shipping. If you're interested in the Neutrogena remover, you can find it in some drugstores and online at

Have you tried either of these products? What do you think of dual-phase eye makeup removers?


  1. It's cute, but if it performs as well as something available locally, I probably wouldn't bother. I'm so terrible at removing my make-up. I just use make-up wipes. I'll regret it in five years or so when the damage starts showing. Lol.

    1. I use wipes once in a while when I'm traveling or in a hurry, but I think oil + eye makeup remover just gets the makeup off more thoroughly. That said, I was using wipes most of the time up until a couple of years ago and my face isn't a saggy/wrinkly mess so it might not be THAT bad for you. :P

  2. Interesting that the official distributor will sell such samples. Those samples are often not available for sell, but simply to be given as free samples when one buys products in Korea. Hmm. Wouldn't mind if they do, though.

  3. That's a very good point! My guess is that they saw other resellers selling the samples on eBay, and realized there was actually a market for it outside Korea. It can be expensive to buy full-sized products from Korea (heavy weights = high shipping costs) so I know a lot of people like to sample before they commit!