I think I speak for more than just myself when I say that my least favorite part about being a makeup-wearing human is not putting the stuff on, but taking it off. Like someone who loves to cook but hates doing the dishes afterward, I will giddily load up my face with foundation, concealer, powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter, the works, but when the end of the night arrives and it's time to erase it all, I'm flooded with dread. Most of my frustration stems from the fact that thoroughly removing my face makeup is a time-consuming task, requiring intensive combinations of cleansing oils, gel cleansers, and makeup wipes to have any hope of getting all the gunk out of my pores. Not to mention I am ethically in conflict with all the disposable pads and wipes the process requires. I'm ashamed to admit this, especially as a beauty editor, but as a result, there's at least one night out of every week when I say screw it and go to bed without taking my makeup off at all. Yes, I feel you cringing at me, and yes, I deserve it.
So when this Australian-made, reusable makeup-removing pad called Face Halo hit Byrdie HQ, I was deeply intrigued.
Best for: All skin types
Uses: Removing makeup
Star Rating: 5/5
Potential allergens: None
Price: $22 for three
About the brand: Face Halo was founded by Lizzy Pike in May 2017. Her unique background in fiber technology inspired her to create an Earth-friendly, non-toxic makeup remover.
Face Halo, which comes in a pack of three, is an incredibly absorbent plush pad that you soak in regular tap water, and then glide over your face to remove your makeup. The pads are made of a special high-performance, ultra-fine form of a microfiber (HaloTech Fiber, the brand calls it), which was designed specifically to pick up makeup and dirt from human faces—pores, crevices, and all. The original Face Halo has a white surface, which allows you to see how well it's working because it quickly becomes completely covered in makeup. Unlike a makeup remover wipe that simply smears your makeup, the fibers trap the makeup so it doesn't go back onto your face.
The Face Halo is satin on one side, while the other has the brand's signature HaloTech fiber that the brand claims is 100 times finer than a strand of human hair. This translates to an incredibly soft feel that doesn't tug or pull on the skin at all.
How to Use
Using the Face Halo is super easy. You don't even need soap or a cleanser—all you have to do is get it wet with water (and I mean really wet—basically submerged in water). Squeeze out any excess water and gently glide the pad across your face. If you're like me, your instinct will be to rub or scrub it against your face, but there's no need. It does all of the heavy lifting for you. When you're finished, clean the Face Halo with warm water and soap and let it dry.
Once the pads get completely dirty, after two uses or so each, you just throw them in the washing machine along with the rest of your laundry, and then you're free to use them again, good as new. Each makeup round can be washed about 200 times, so they'll last for quite a while before you need to replace them.
Our former wellness editor Victoria reviewed the Face Halo right after its launch and was impressed by how easily it removed her face makeup using nothing but water. I got my hands on a trio of pads a few months later and was equally smitten with how well it took off my foundation, lipstick, and mascara. I was even more convinced after watching the brand give a demonstration to prove how much better the HaloTech picks up product than a regular makeup wipe: A Face Halo rep performed a side-by-side comparison in which she applied foundation to the skin of a grapefruit, which has pores similar to humans and then removed half of it with a makeup wipe and half with the Face Halo. While the wipe left some foundation behind, the Halo was able to get inside all the nooks and crannies to pick up nearly every remaining trace of product.
Why Pro MUAs Love It
Hollywood makeup artists were also taken with the product as soon as it came out and began adding it to their kits in place of makeup wipes. Just a few who've sung its praises are Monika Blunder (whose clients include Amanda Seyfried and Emilia Clarke), Rachel Goodwin (Emma Stone, Selma Blair), Lisa Aharon (Anna Kendrick, Rachel Brosnahan), Molly Stern (Reese Witherspoon, Lily Collins), and Jamie Greenberg (Elisabeth Moss, Jessica Alba). "It's nice to the skin because it isn't stripping it with harsh ingredients or textures, so I don't have to worry about disrupting my clients' PH balance," Goodwin says of the product. Aharon has also used the product on Kendrick and says, “If you are looking to make a change in the world as a makeup artist, this is a great place to start."
The OG Face Halo, with its bright white surface, though great for an at-home user, wasn't exactly ideal for makeup artists, since it could get stained inside their kits and look less than professional. So the brand had an idea to come up with an all-black version named Face Halo Pro. The all-black product is available now, so consumers can decide whether they want the white version or the black version. Both are the same price, $22, and made of the same sustainable HaloTech material.
Makeup artists are using the Face Halo Pro on their celebrity clients and are freaking out so hard over it, that it makes me want a trio of these chic black disks for myself. After all, I've been racking my brain to think of a makeup remover that's both more elegant-looking and eco-friendlier, and I can't come up with anything.
I honestly don't think there is a more cost-effective way to remove makeup besides the Face Halo. Let's do some math: each set of three pads is $22. Each pad can be used up to 200 washes, so that means you have 600 washes of product. If we're assuming you're only using it once a day, for 365 days a year, you have about a year and a half of product before you have to replace them. If you've been spending $5-$20 bucks on face wipes, pricey makeup removers, and cotton pads every few months, then making the switch to using the Face Halo is a no-brainer—and it's better for the planet.
The Original MakeUp Eraser Makeup Remover Cloth: If you want a more traditional feeling makeup remover experience (aka you like washcloths), this is a great option. Priced at $20, this double-sided cloth features one side to remove makeup and the other to gently exfoliate the skin.
Croon Cleanse Starter Kit: For $29, you can get two microfiber makeup remover discs, a reusable pouch for storage, and a cute laundry bag to wash them in. Each disc is also good for up to 200 washes.
If you're looking for ways to make your skincare routine more sustainable, the Face Halo is a fantastic option. It's effective at removing your makeup (and I mean all of your makeup), and the fact that professional MUAs love it is just the icing on the cake.