Chicago has given us many great things: Second City Theater and a plethora of amazing actors, Portillo’s, deep dish pizza, the first skyscraper, and me (you’re welcome). One of the things I didn’t realize that it had given us was a company focused on the needs of people who suffer from cosmetic allergies: Marcelle.
Quick history lesson: Marcelle began production in Chicago (under a different name) in 1874 and amped up its focus on the hypoallergenic cosmetics market in 1997. Now the company is headquartered in Montreal, Québec and has become one of the most recognized brands in Canada. They specialize in hypoallergenic makeup and skin care products, and can be found in many retail locations in Canada.
The downside about their products? U.S. residents won’t find them in stores, so we have to order them online. And that explains completely why I didn’t know anything about the company, since there was zero chance of me running across their products at the store. So how did I find them, you ask? The magic that is Birchbox.
When I received my February Birchbox, I was pretty disenchanted with the products included. The only thing that really piqued my interest was a small bottle of Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes. I’d never heard of the company, which usually intrigues me since it means I might be getting in on the ground floor of something new and amazing. It was also listed as a Birchbox Exclusive, which always gives me pause since that means it’s going to be hard to come by if it takes off in popularity.
I was at the very bottom of a different eye makeup remover that I’d recently settled on and was about to reorder – not because I loved it, but because it was the only thing that was taking off my waterproof makeup without turning my eyes into cauldrons of fire.
I’ve had the worst time finding an eye makeup remover that I actually like. Here’s what the journey for the perfect product has been like for me:
- I found one that worked okay, but required an additional product to get it all off and I was scrubbing so hard to get it off that I thought I was going to shove my eyes into my brains.
- I tried another that was SUPER oily. It got all the makeup off, but it was like I dipped my eyes in a vat of grease.
- There was one that I thought was going to be “the one” because it looked like all the makeup came off and it didn’t leave any oily residue behind… but when I woke up in the morning it looks like I’d been punched in both eyes because I had leftover mascara all over my lower lids and below my eyes. I also felt like I had been blinded because everything was blurry – it took 15 minutes of a wet washcloth, Vaseline and a bottle of eye drops to get back to normal.
I have very sensitive skin that prevents me from wearing anything unless it’s 100% cotton, and apparently that sensitivity applies to my eyes as well. I need products that are hypoallergenic and free of oil and perfumes. You might think it wouldn’t be that hard to find, and – to be fair – it’s not. But what is hard to find is a good hypoallergenic makeup remover that can tackle waterproof makeup. I have to wear waterproof mascara because it’s the only way to get my stick-straight, white eyelashes to hold a curl. It’s really just an added bonus that it won’t come off if I burst into tears or suddenly decide to go wander around in the ocean.
I can’t say enough good things about Marcelle’s makeup remover. It’s hypoallergenic, oil free, perfume free, AND paraben free. The opening is large enough that I don’t need to fight to get the product out, and it’s the perfect size to place a cotton ball on top and just tip it over. I only need a small amount on a cotton ball and a couple of good wipes across both of my lids to take it all off. I’m not left with any oily residue, my eyes don’t get blurry, and I don’t find half of my lashes on the cotton ball when I’m done. I’d even say it soothes my eyes, which made sense after I looked at the ingredients since it contains cucumber (and I love cucumber in my skin care products). When I wake up in the morning, there is no evidence that I had been wearing makeup the day before. This stuff has quickly become my Holy Grail and now I can’t imagine my life without it.
I almost want to lie and tell you that it’s awful and will set your face on fire just so I can keep it all for myself and never find myself in an “Out of Stock” situation because I might cry, and if I cry, nothing will happen to my makeup because it’s waterproof and I’ll have no way of taking it off because I will refuse to use anything but Marcelle’s product and then I’ll be trapped under a pile of mascara and eyeshadow for the rest of my life.