If you aren’t currently friends with any moms, rectify this problem immediately because they know absolutely everything worth knowing. Recently, as I was moaning about the fact that I wish I could use even fewer throwaway products in my day-to-day life, a new mama pal reached into her bra, pulled out a small, flower-shaped pad, and handed it to me. In retrospect, I probably should have been a little disgusted, but instead, I was completely intrigued. What she passed over was a washable, reusable, bamboo nursing pad, meant for breastfeeding moms to wear in their bra to soak up any milk that may leak from the nipples between feedings. “I’ve been using these to remove my makeup instead of those throwaway cotton rounds ever since the baby was born,” she informed me.
I used them, and holy hell was she on to something. The nipple pads have one thicker, more absorbent side, which I use with a cream or oil-based product to remove my foundation, then flip the pad over to the thinner, smoother side to remove my eye makeup with my favorite micellar water. Instead of using two throwaway cotton pads every day, I now use one reusable, washable one. The bamboo fabric feels like heavenly silk on my face, working better than regular cotton pads that shred and leave tiny bits of cotton all over my hands and face. And because bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable resources, I feel miles better about my impact on the planet.
These nipple pads turned makeup-remover devices come with their own tiny mesh wash bag, meant to protect them from getting ripped in the laundry, so you can totally throw them in the machine if you like — but I just stash my used ones in that mesh bag, and then give them a hand-wash in the sink when I wash my brushes every so often. I’ve had the same batch of ten for over six months, and haven’t used one single throwaway cotton pad the whole time.
More Strat-approved makeup removers
Writer Jen Doll learned about the One Love Organics makeup remover from her facialist: “You apply a couple of pumps of the light oil to your face, add a bit of water, and massage; there’s no intense foam or scrubbing involved, but suddenly, even if you’ve got a layer of makeup or city-day grime on your skin, it all washes away. All you’re left with is fresh, moisturized skin. I wasn’t sure I’d like washing with an oil (maybe you’re with me on this) — this one contains sunflower-seed, pumpkin-seed, and papaya-seed oils — but unlike cleansers that strip your face bare, this one leaves it clean, plumped, and vaguely moisturized (not oily). Plus there’s a gorgeous natural pineapple scent that makes you want to sniff your own face. It’s the answer to these cold times of hot radiators and extremely dry New York City apartments — you can even get away with not moisturizing afterward.”
Writer Sara Spruch-Feiner tried a bunch of Reddit’s favorite beauty products, including the Garnier SkinActive micellar water: “Micellar water is great for your gym bag, though, and Garnier’s is more affordable than its similarly packaged French counterpart. It’s quick, easy, a little bit refreshing, and didn’t irritate my skin in the slightest. If I can, I still prefer washing my face, though — it just feels more thorough — but on the go, micellar water is a great solution.”
Actress Retta swears by these makeup-removing wipes: “I first started using them because they had them in the Parks makeup department. At night, I’m too lazy to wash my face, and these clean my face with this formula (I think it’s oats), but it’s just perfect. It cleans off all the gunk in just a wipe. I bought it for everyone for this Christmas party I threw one year, and now all my friends are hooked.”
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