Pin Busters! D-I-Y Makeup Remover Wipes

STOP!!! Before you go any further, you want to check out the latest version of the {enjoy the view} Makeup Remover Wipes! Trust me. You want Version 2.0!! They are totally awesome and work on mascara and silicone-based makeup!!! GO THERE NOW!!

I saw this pinned on Pinterest, and there are several different versions. Since Lulu likes to use makeup remover wipes, but hates paying $5 for 30 wipes, I thought I would give this a try. I really put some thought into it before deciding exactly how I was going to make my wipes. I don't like it when I make something and it doesn't work, so I really wanted to give this my best shot.

Dilemma #1: What kind of paper towels should I use? I remembered reading an article once that said Brawny was one of the best towels for cleaning and staying intact while wet, so I opted to buy Brawny. I certainly didn't want the towels to fall apart once they were wet.

Dilemma #2: What container should I use? This was the most difficult part. I felt that most inexpensive containers weren't large enough - and I wasn't about to pay $10 for a container for wipes. Most pins I read said not to worry about container size because once the towels are wet, they squish down. Me = skeptical, but I decided believe, and bought a couple of large Ziploc containers.

Dilemma #3: What should I put in my solution? One problem that people noted was that sometimes the wipes would start growing mold. I figure there are a couple of reasons for that. One, they probably used tap water rather than distilled or boiled water. The other is that they probably unintentionally contaminated the wipes in the container when removing one for use. And because there was no added preservative, the gross germs decided to go forth and multiply. I decided to use distilled water and add a little preservative.

Dilemma #4: Do I also add cleanser? Most people just used some type of oil as the "remover". I really felt that wouldn't be enough, so I decided to use coconut cream (which is solid at room temperature, so I melted it) and a little facial cleanser. Lulu has very sensitive skin, and because of that, I started making my own cleanser several years ago. I added some of that cleanser to the solution for extra cleaning power. You could add whatever cleanser you normally use.

So this is what I came up with:

{enjoy the view} D-I-Y Makeup Remover Wipes

3 1/2 c. distilled water
1/2 c. I Feel Pretty Pure & Pretty Clarifying Cleanser
2 TBSP. coconut cream (melted)
1/4 tsp. liquid germ-all plus preservative

I mixed everything together without any mishaps. So far, so good...

Now to cut the roll of paper towels in half. Hmmm. I decided to use a large serrated bread knife. Please note: it is not as easy to cut paper towels as one might think. As a matter of fact, it's a little hard - and it's messy.

The cut edges of the towels were very ragged, so I trimmed them with a pair of scissors. Annoying, but easy. No one mentioned this...

Most people said they waited to remove the cardboard tube until the towels were wet. To me, that sounded like a waste of solution, so I just tucked my fingers between the towels and the tube, and pulled the tube inward. Once it was slightly crushed, it was easy to pull out.

I poured half of the solution into one of the plastic containers, and sat one half roll of towels in it. After several minutes, it became apparent that the solution was not going to soak the towels completely, so I flipped the paper towel roll over, putting the dry end into the remaining solution. Yet another thing that no one mentioned.

I ended up having to add a little more solution to get the towels saturated. Then I realized that they were really, really wet now. When I attempted to flatten them a bit to fit them into the container, a lot of solution came out. So I had to try to squeeze a good bit of the solution out of the towels. Again, no one mentioned this. Very annoying. ARGH.

After I squished the towels into the container, I realized that it was going to be difficult to get the towels out easily. I removed them from the container, then located the center towel (inside the hollow core), and pulled the end of it to the outside. Then I forcefully applied the lid - which just barely closed.

Repeat for other roll.

What happened when we used them? I'm so glad you asked! Well, the first several towels tore. Into small pieces. Ragged pieces. Too small to use. This happened to both Lulu and me. Very annoying. No one mentioned this!!! After the first 8-10 towels were removed, it finally became easier to remove the towels intact.

How did they clean? Actually, they work pretty well. However - because they're "cold", they're not great at removing mascara completely (and I use regular mascara, not waterproof). Also, if you use makeup that is designed to stay put all day, it doesn't remove it completely. For us, this isn't an issue because we only use the wipes to remove/loosen some of the makeup, and then follow up by washing our faces with cleanser. But I do wish that it was better at removing mascara.

The verdict: Undecided. I'm bothered by the number of issues I encountered that no one else mentioned. It's not rocket science, and I'm a reasonably intelligent woman, so I'm really skeptical that no one else ever encountered any of these issues. I'll break it down for you:

  • I really like the idea of making my own makeup remover wipes
  • less chemicals
  • saves money
  • doesn't remove mascara or some foundations well
  • not suited for travel unless you move some into a smaller container
  • messy to cut towels
  • difficult to find an inexpensive container that is suitable
  • first several towels tear easily & are unusable
Possible fixes:
  • cut towels into thirds rather than halves, making it easier to find a suitable container & easier to remove without tearing
  • look for another type of towel that is stronger (maybe Bounty or Viva?)
  • add more oil, making it easier to remove mascara
For those who want to give it a try, here are simplified instructions:

{enjoy the view} D-I-Y Makeup Remover Wipes

3 1/2 c. distilled water
1/2 c. I Feel Pretty Pure & Pretty Clarifying Cleanser
2 TBSP. coconut cream (melted)
1/4 tsp. liquid germ-all plus preservative

You will also need:
1 roll of paper towels
2 large plastic containers - each one will need to hold a half roll of paper towels

  1. Mix ingredients together in bowl, then divide the solution between the two plastic containers.
  2. Cut roll of paper towels in half, using a serrated knife. (It will be messy!) Trim any ragged edges with scissors.
  3. Insert index fingers between towels and cardboard tube in center of towels and push towards center, bending the cardboard away from the towels. Remove cardboard tube. Repeat for other roll.
  4. Put each half roll into a plastic container with solution.
  5. After a few minutes, flip rolls over to soak other end.
  6. Locate end of last towel in center of roll and pull out through one end of roll.
  7. Squish towels down to fit in container, making sure to keep the starter towel easily accessible.

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