I'll make my stance clear from the start of this post: eye make-up remover, although a fairly essential item, is not something that you need to shell out on. A good quality bi-phase remover used to be something of a rarity on the high street, but plenty have come out over the last couple of years and we've loved them. (Johnson's, Boots Botanics and Vichy, if you're wondering). This is where the hype around Lancome Bi-Facil originated and, like many other products, it's kind of lost its place in the sun with the development of cheaper versions of what is essentially the same product.
My favourite eye make-up remover out of all the ones that I have tried so far has been the Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Make-Up Remover. Bit of a mouthful, but it does what it says and is the best value for money that I've come across. It's nice and oily, removes absolutely everything (even my Inglot gel eyeliner, which is always a dealbreaker), and doesn't irritate my eyes whatsoever, even if I still have my contact lenses in. It's unperfumed and you get a generous amount of product - the bottle is the same size as their cleansers and toners - for just shy of €4. I find that a bottle lasts me forever, and I think I'd be hard pushed to find something better than this.
Enter Clarins. I was sent the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover a while back and was fairly sceptical. It looks like a lovely product (can we all just take a moment to admire the new Clarins skincare packaging?! Swoon...), but I immediately did a double take at the price - €22. Really?! I am all about equal opportunities when it comes to products (read: product junkie), so I obviously gave it the fair trial that it deserved. As a worshipper of Clarins skincare, I wasn't surprised to find that I adored it. It's super-oily (just like the Garnier), removes everything sans irritation (just like the Garnier), and is quite heavily perfumed (unlike the Garnier). The perfume doesn't bother me personally, in fact, I quite like it and I think it kind of adds to the 'luxe' feel of the product. If you have very sensitive skin or eyes, though, I would worry that the scent might aggravate you. There is a fair amount of product in the bottle, which I have yet to finish, and I am really enjoying using it.
Would I buy it, though? Absolutely not. To me, eye make-up remover is on the much more 'disposable' end of skincare and I'd rather spend my money on a high quality moisturiser, night treatment, face mask and so on. Clarins do amazing skincare, and this product totally matches up to their standard of quality, but it is overpriced. I feel that, seeing as the market is full of similar products at lower prices, the profit margin on this product is pretty big. I'm quite sure that Clarins would do well to reduce the inflated price down to even €10 or €15 - more people would be likely to buy it, though I will still be sticking to my Garnier next time.