Review: Urban Decay Melt Down Makeup Remover

By Voxy  

Things about which I am skeptical:

1. A picture is really “worth a thousand words.” Doesn’t it depend on what words they are?

2. Beyonce really had “one of the best videos of all time

3. Makeup removers are really a necessary part of everyone’s cleansing regimen

As fascinating as #1 and #2 are, and indeed they are nothing short of riveting, they are a) not the subject of this blog, and b) probably best discussed after a couple of martinis. So let us instead turn to #3, which (in case you have forgotten) is the one about makeup removers.

I’ve never been a believer in makeup removers — either their necessity or their effectiveness. It has always seemed to me that if your cleanser isn’t taking off your makeup, it’s not a very good cleanser. This has become even more true since I picked up a Clarisonic. I’ve tried many makeup removers over the years (mostly because they tend to come in gift-with-purchase kits whether you want them or not) and I haven’t found any that really changed my mind, including the cult favorite Lancome Bi-Facil. Many of them leave their own residue that’s as much trouble to remove as the makeup was in the first place, which seems like kind of a clever trick, if you ask me.

Sephora and ULTA have makeup removal stations for those of us who are avid in-store swatchers (ULTA is a little less conscientious about this, which is annoying when you have sixteen different long-wear eyeliner swatches on your hand and you don’t want to wear them for the next eight hours). Sephora uses their own brand eye makeup remover; I don’t know what ULTA uses because half the time they don’t have any. My local CCO, however, has a really very nice one that was a cream, not a liquid. Oho, said I, what a good idea. It’s like a hand cream that happens to dissolve makeup. You didn’t even need to tissue it off, really. (Note: this was for hand swatches, not makeup removal on the face!) I’m pretty sure that this was Estee Lauder’s Take It Away Total Makeup Remover, but since I wasn’t really in the market for a makeup remover and my visits to the CCO are fairly infrequent, it dropped off my radar pretty quickly.

Until I met Urban Decay’s new Melt Down Makeup Remover, that is. I’m a sucker for the word “melt” in conjunction with cleansing. I spent months mooning over an Adrien Arpel Coconut Makeup Melt cleanser just because it contained both the word “coconut” and the word “melt” in its title. So I couldn’t resist testing this UD product in-store, and when I realized how like the CCO’s Estee Lauder product it was, I had to pick it up and give it a try.

Result: I’m really pleasantly surprised by the performance of this product. I don’t use it every day, only when I’ve done something complicated with eye makeup or made several applications of mineral sunscreen during the day, but it works really well. It’s the texture of a hand cream, and has a scent I can’t quite identify. A little bit like anise, maybe, but it’s mild enough not to be an issue for me. I apply it to a dry face using my fingers, massage it in, and then tissue it off. I do always follow up with my regular cleanser and Clarisonic, but my skin is noticeably softer after cleansing on days I’ve used this as a remover beforehand. My only complaint is that I always underestimate how big of a dollop I need, and so I think I’ll probably run out sooner rather than later.

Is it really a necessary part of cleansing? Nah. I can get clean with my regular cleanser and a Clarisonic. But it does make the job a little easier when I’ve got heavy eye makeup on — or, as previously noted, that e.l.f. mineral sunscreen which is a pain in the neck to get off.

Swatch! (just so you can see the texture)


Urban Decay Melt Down Makeup Remover: $24

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (mid-range: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor. See below.

Purchase again? Surprisingly, no, in spite of my favorable review. UD’s charging $24 for 2.5 oz, while the Estee Lauder I originally liked runs at $22 for a whopping 6.7 oz. Now that I’ve got the EL back on my radar, and it’s a considerably better bargain to boot, I’ll be picking up that one instead.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)


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  1. avatar Francie
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Um, Vox, I’m sure the product is good (my trust in your beauty wisdom is absolute!) but I’m really not sure what to say about that picture.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Why, Francie! This is not That Kind Of Blog! ;)


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