Moving beyond the realm of passing trends to take a more permanent space in our collective consciousness, sustainability is a hot topic in fashion and beauty right now. We're all more interested in learning how to dress more responsibly and discovering brands that make sustainable choices. I have to admit, though, that it can all feel a little overwhelming.
Even as a beauty editor with access to insider advice and brand experts, I struggle to determine whether I'm making the right steps towards enjoying beauty in a more sustainable way. However, there's one switch I've made this year that I can confidently say has resulted in me producing less waste and buying fewer products—without compromising on the results that I'm used to.
Enter the Face Halo. Described by the brand as a "modern makeup remover," Face Halo looks just like a big, fluffy cotton pad. When they landed on my desk last year—along with claims that they could remove an entire face of makeup using water alone—I'll admit I put them straight to one side. I don't wear tons of makeup on a daily basis, but I couldn't fathom how H2O could possibly do the same job as my favourite balm cleanser when it came to removing my foundation, concealer, brows and an occasional red lip at the end of a long day.
All scepticism aside, though, the sustainability stats of the Face Halo is decidedly impressive. Just one Face Halo can do the work of up to 500 makeup wipes or cotton pads, so by switching, you'll be drastically reducing the amount of waste that other makeup-removal methods might be creating. Plus they can be washed up to 200 times. So assuming that you're only removing makeup at night, two Face Halos would last you an entire year.
But does it actually work? Turns out, yes. When soaked in water, the innovative HaloTech fibres trap makeup and remove it from your skin. Plus, they do a pretty decent job of cleaning your complexion and gently exfoliating. (Although I couldn't forgo cleansing entirely in favour of Face Halo—it's too much of a relaxing evening ritual for me.) I was so surprised at how effectively this little pad removed all traces of makeup from my skin without any pulling or tugging.
The only thing I will say is that after one use my Face Halo was totally covered in makeup and needed a wash before its next use. You can either buy them singly or in packs of three, the latter of which is what I have. But I'm not always on top of my washing (understatement of the year), so I bought an extra three-pack so I can use a clean Face Halo each day and then wash all the dirty ones as part of my weekly clothes wash.
And while my makeup removal method of choice was previously a cotton pad and micellar water combo, I can genuinely say that removing my makeup using a Face Halo has replaced the need for cotton pads, makeup removers and face wipes entirely. And I'm not the only one.
Who What Wear contributing editor Maxine Eggenberger has been using Face Halos since 2018, and now she can't be without them. "I'll admit it—I was a cleansing wipe addict. I've always worn relatively heavy eye makeup—liner, mascara and smokey shadow being my signatures. While I had a cleanser sitting on my bathroom shelf much of the time, cleansing wipes simply presented an easier and more timely option to remove my handiwork. Convenience being the operative word here."
"My interest was piqued, however, when I came across Face Halos; small fluffy pads that claimed to remove even waterproof mascara with ease, without the need for a cleanser. What's that you say? Sounds too good to be true? I thought so, too. Still, I added a Face Halo to my next beauty top-up order, and I've been hooked ever since."
Maxine using her Face Halo. "To remove mascara, I simply hold it in place for a few moments, and then wipe. The results never fail to amaze me."
"All you need to do is wet your Face Halo with water and gently work it over your skin to remove your makeup, letting the clever fibres do all the hard work for you. Of course, should you feel the need to add a cleaner to the equation, you absolutely can. I often follow using my Face Halo with my favourite intensely nourishing cleanser for that double-cleansed feel, but it isn't necessary."
"I was so impressed with them that two Christmases back, I gave a Face Halo to each of my closest friends, all of whom still use them to this day. We all have different skin types, but Face Halos work for us all; the soft texture, the absence harsh chemicals and the negated need to abrasively scrub mean they don't abrade and irritate the skin. Honestly, I could go on singing their praises, but I think the results speak for themselves. Just so you have a basis for comparison, it's worth noting these photos were taken the space of about a minute. That's how quickly using a Face Halo is."
See what I mean? Game changing. While I've got a long way to go with mine before reaching the 200-wash mark (which is when Face Halo recommends that you replace them), I'm also impressed that the brand introduced an upcycling programme in the UK. It means that once your Face Halo has reached the end of its life span, you can send it back to be upcycled in an effort from the brand to further reduce the amounts of waste being sent to landfill. Who knows? Your used Face Halo might just get a new life as a car cushion or a seat cover!