Best of Beauty 2019

Drunk Elephant’s Butter Cleanser Is the Only Balm I’ve Ever Used That Actually Removes Everything

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser on colorful background  clean beauty seal skin winner in Allure Best...
Courtesy of brand; Illustration by Alexa De Paulis
Best of Beauty
  • Best of Beauty
  • 2019


An oil-based cleansing balm that banishes tough makeup while softening skin

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I'm a big believer in double-cleansing on days I wear makeup. Not because I like to double-cleanse, but because I have to. Waterproof mascaras, lip stains, and many of my eyeliners just won't budge without an oil-based cleanser, and even then their remnants are usually left smudging down my cheeks until I cleanse it a second time with my routine liquid face wash. Call me lazy, but I just want one cleanser that takes everything off at once so I can get on with the rest of my night-time routine — especially when I'm back from a night out and might not be, uh, coherent enough for thorough makeup removal.

That's exactly what Drunk Elephant's Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser is. Using a mix of exfoliating fruit extracts and a nourishing oil blend — including marula seed, baobab seed, kalahari melon seed, mongongo, and ximenia — this balm quickly removes every last hint makeup while soothing and softening skin at an unprecedented level. An added bonus: It comes with a small vile of tiny exfoliating beads called Bamboo Booster, which can be added to the cleanser once a week to slough away dead skin cells while cleansing.

Using the product spoon conveniently attached to the product's magnetic lid, I scoop up a quarter-sized dollop of balm, work it between my hands to warm it up, and rub it into my skin. As I focus on tougher products (eyebrow pomade, mascara, matte lipstick) it takes mere seconds until they start visibly melting away. To avoid rinsing any product into my contact lenses, I gently wipe it all away with a warm, wet face towel to reveal a completely blank slate underneath. Whereas my experience with most other cleansing balms leaves me with eye makeup smudges that need a second cleanse, Drunk Elephant's takes care of everything for me, relieving my guilt when I simply don't have time or energy for a second cleanse.

All I need to do afterward is apply serum and night cream before dozing off, and any product that helps me get into bed earlier is more than deserving of an Allure Best of Beauty Award.