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Best Makeup Remover: MAC Cleanse Off Oil

MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($21.00 for 150ml) is my new best friend. When I heard my favorite MAC girls gushing and I mean, GUSHING!, over Cleanse Off Oil via Twitter all during Fashion Week, I knew I had to try it for myself. Despite being a huge MAC fan and collector, I must admit I tend to overlook their skincare, though I’ve been pretty happy with the skincare products I’ve tried by them (hello, Volcanic Ash Exfoliator!).

The description off of MAC’s website lists Cleanse Off Oil as, “An industry-strength oil-based makeup remover that’s gentle on the skin. Botanically formulated with oils of olive fruit, evening primrose and jojoba seed and absolutely 100% mineral-oil free. Massages onto the skin to loosen all makeup, including waterproof mascara. Emulsifies into a lotion-type liquid with water: rinses off easily, no tissues requiredβ€”and no residue! Protects with vitamin E. Skin softening and conditioning.”

Nick Gavrelis, VP of Product Development for MAC, tells us that Cleanse Off Oil was originally developed for their Asian Markets as a quick, makeup removing oil that “quickly and thoroughly dissolves all traces of make-up, cleanses and conditions skin and can be emulsified in contact with water then rinsed off completely.” He tell us the best way to apply it is to massage it to “blend well” with your makeup. Then, simply rinse off with lukewarm, as “emulsifying” the oil with water.

Cleanse Off Oil is designed remove all makeup, including waterproof mascaras. It contains several different oils (including jojoba, rose hip, olive, and evening primrose), while being mineral oil-free, all working together to really break down your makeup. I have to tell you that I think Cleanse Off Oil might actually be one of the reasons my skin is on the up and up lately. It really does clean and break down makeup, whether it’s fluidline or foundation, and it rinses away with water.

I’ve tried the Oil Cleansing Method using a mixture of olive oil and another oil (I’m blanking on which one), but I didn’t love the way it felt on my face. It was just too thick, too oily–it felt like it even when I had rinsed it off. Cleanse Off Oil feels like a very thin oil when you initially massage it into your face, but any oiliness goes away as soon as you rinse it away. My skin felt clean and soft, but it didn’t have that stripped feel that some cleansers can leave. It is SUPERB in removing makeup from eyes to lashes to lips — it’s better than my go-to eye makeup remover Bi-Facil. I recommend everyone check this product out! Try it with Liquid Last Liner to be truly amazed πŸ™‚

When I asked MAC Senior Artist Tiffany Johnston why she can’t get enough of the Cleanse Off Oil, this is what she said:

β€œI LOVE this product! I use it to breakdown and remove all my makeup (including airbrush and waterproof makeup), I also use it on my bodypainting brushes. It brings my dual fibre brushes back to white! I also use it to shave my legs!”

So now I am off to see if I can get some of my slightly-stained white-bristled brushes back to their original state! Wish me luck!

Who else knows the joys of Cleanse Off Oil? (Anyone not impressed by it?)

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About the Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). (For more information, please check the FAQ.)

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80 Comments

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I just got this in a little mini pack set that I bought from nordstrom. It comes with a mini cleanse off oil, mini charged water (or fix plus, you pick) and a mini moisture cream (I can’t remember the name) and it comes in a cute plastic case all for like 25 dollars I think.

ooo, was this a nordstrom only thing? or somthing. I want πŸ˜€

I have both a nordies and macy counter within basically the same distance of like 20mins away, so either is fine.

Does any one have more info on this thing?

I use Pond’s too sarahPUFFY! It just takes everything & anything off of your eyes or lips & does not leave you feeling greasy at all. Something to be said about the cold cream our grandmothers all used. However, this MAC cleanse off oil sounds very interesting. Hmmmm…..

I started using this last week and absolutely love it! It’s so much better than the DHC oil i was using and it smells amazing too!

This product is probably modelled on Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oil…I do like MAC’s & it does work wonders but I find I get oily residue on my contacts too easily.

I’ve never tried shu uemura’s, but I think their Cleansing Oils are more expensive, though.

It sucks about your contacts, though πŸ™

Shu’s are really nice – but yes, a lot more expensive than MAC & I think more designed a a total cleanser than just for makeup removal. It does kind of suck about the lenses – but usually the most stubborn makeup is eye makeup…I guess I could always try the oil on a cotton pad, might work.

Hi chritine Love your site!!! YOUR beautiful and amazing!!! I got told for white brushes from the likes of 168, 239 u can use a dove soap bar to wash away the stains! πŸ˜€

Never heard of this stuff! I will check it out, but will probably stick with pure olive oil for makeup removal…it’s a Greek thang πŸ˜‰

Hi Christine πŸ™‚

I use 2 cotton pads to remove my eye makeup. A few drops of olive oil on one to gently sweep over and around my eyes. I pat off excess oil with the second pad. I actually like the small amount of olive oil that remains as a nighttime eye moisturizer. I have super sensitive eyes and chemical creams really burn – the olive oil that I use is all organic and natural from my family’s orchards in Greece. The feeling of the oil on my eyes is luxurious and hydrating, and when I was up in the morning the skin around my eyes is supersmooth.

I think you’re just lucky, Evangelia, to be able to get such pure and organic oil πŸ™‚ Do you use the oil to remove all your makeup, including foundation, or just eye makeup?

Just eye makeup! I don’t wear foundation, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting oil on the rest of my face anyways.

I know you have been having breakouts, so maybe the olive oil would irritate that πŸ™ I’m really glad to hear you’re clearing up, though! At your age I broke out a lot too, but now my skin is fairly calm – so there is hope πŸ™‚

I think I tried the olive oil method about a year ago – I don’t think it aggravated my acne, but it didn’t reduce it. I really just didn’t care for the slightly greasy feeling after πŸ™

Also, I miss my volcanic ash exfoliator. I just used the last of it not too long ago. πŸ™

I hope MAC repromotes this stuff.

I’m a fan of this miracle brew with Ponds (green cap) as a close second. The Cleanse Off beats Ponds because it miraculously leaves no oily residue, meaning there’s less old makeup for the toner to find. Third place are the Walgreen’s Makeup Remover wipes.

Awesome! Thanks for suggesting the other two products, too. I haven’t tried the Ponds product, but it’s good to know about similar dupes (and cheaper ones)!

christineeeeee, shame on you, i was just at mac yesterday and resisted this, now guess what’s next on my list? i love your reviews, i bought soft ochre yesterday because of you (and i’m not even a paint pot fan!)

lol! You so need to get it!

Let me know how you like Soft Ochre πŸ™‚ I’m not a paint pot fan either, but I like for softer looks, especially for matte looks!

Wow I had no idea mac made this!! I’m using shu umeras cleansing oil and I love it but as soon as that’s finished I think ill try to the mac one too, thank you for showing us this =)

I love this stuff so much, I stock up every time there is a Friends and Family sale (last one I bought 3 bottles lol) or if it is at CCOs.

But right now, I’m starting to favor the Shu Uemura cleansing oil (I use “Fresh” which I believe is in the pink bottle). It is so great for my oily, acne prone skin. I love it πŸ˜€ Also I think I use less product to wash my entire face compared to the MAC one. But the Shu one is so darn expensive ><+ I’m waiting for the Shu F&F sale at the end of the year to buy the big $62 bottle. lol

I’m still looking for a cheaper cleansing oil, and I just bought a few cleansing oils from different Japanese brands to try them out.

Wow. I rambled on too much.

Smart thinking! πŸ™‚

I use two pumps for my face of the Cleanse Off Oil, how much do you seem to use?

I really gotta check out shu’s!

I love this stuff!! It’s honestly the only thing that removes liquidlast liners in a few swipes, and leaves my skin feeling soft and not greasy!

I’ve used Shu Uemura, but it doesn’t get the touch makeup off…they just have good for your skin stuff like antioxidants in it. I think the MAC is to easily remove the makeup.

Hola!
Does it really remove MAC’s Liquid Last Liner? I actually stopped using those liners (and I’ve got beautiful colours like Aqualine, Inkspill and Classic Cream) cos i can’t remove them completely with my cleansers. I’ve tried Shu Uemura (Classic) and Estee Lauder’s Take It Away cleansing oils but they don’t do a great job of removing the liners.

I love this cleansing oil! I had tried using SKII cleansing oil, but once I was done one bottle, I couldn’t get over the price to buy it again. MAC’s works great and a little goes a long way.

I have no idea — they might. I believe they repackaged it a year or two ago, so you might find it in old packaging!

I just bought the MAC – cleanse off oil (moistly to take off my eye makeup). I rinse my face with water first and then I use a cotton pad and put 1-2 pumps of the cleanse off oil in it and then I dab it around my eyes to take off makeup. It takes my eyemakeup off pretty good and I have noticed that my skin isn’t so dry. However, for about 10 seconds, my eyes go blurry….after I have used cleanse off oil with the cotton pad. Anybody have the same problem? is this safe?

It probably means you’ve gotten a bit in your eye. I’m pretty sure it is an eye-safe product, but double-check the instructions — if it says stay away from eyes, then it might not be.

I am debating whether to buy Mac Cleanse off or Bobbi Brown Cleansing oil or Estee Lauder Gentle Cleansing oil. Estee has the largest size of 200ml in a beautiful blue bottle with pump. Please help! Thanks a lot. Estee oil is same price as their blue take it away cleansing milk.

To be honest, they’re all about the same. Particularly, given that they’re all Estee Lauder owned brands, I’m not surprised that there aren’t any remarkable differences. I’d say the major difference is most likely the smell! I’ve used both MAC & Bobbi Brown (haven’t used Estee Lauder) and couldn’t really tell you the difference.

Hi Christine,
I have a question. Can I use MACs Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover in lieu of this cleanse off oil? They seem to have the same ingredients. I was recommended the Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover for removal of the liquidlast eyeliners and am kinda bummed that I have a 3.4 oz bottle that I am not using that much.
Thank you.

I think you could for your eye/lip makeup remover – I wouldn’t use it on the face (it might cause breakouts)!

For me this Cleansing Oil is a revelation. I’ve been using it for 3 months now and my skin has never been more beautiful (well to me that is). No break outs, very soft skin almost moisturized, so easy to use. I am 46 with Normal/Combination Skin. I’ve been spreading the good word about this product around me and I have now followers!

I use to work for M.A.C for years and years and this was always something was in my kit. I can’t imagine being a make-up artist without it. The BEST and FUNNIEST use of Cleanse Off oil was when we worked at the counters, we would use it to polish the stands and wood displays. We would wipe down with alcohol first and then buff cleanse off oil on the surfaces. I also found that it is one of the better products to use for removing hair dye from your skin and countertops. Cleanse Off Oil is hands-down in the top five products for me.

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