Beauty Test Drive: S.W. Basics Reusable Eco Cotton Rounds

The other day, I was talking to my friend Lauren about ethical fashion and being more conscious consumers (because we’re exactly the kind of nerds who can talk about this topic for hours), and she said something that totally resonated with me: “Once you commit to being a more ethical consumer, it spills over into every area of your life.” It’s true: I began this journey by simply trying to cut down on my “fast fashion” purchases, but now I find myself checking labels on everything I buy (hoping to find my favorite phrase, “Made in the USA”) and reading up on all kinds of companies to see if they’re the type of business I want to support. This is not to say that I’ll never buy anything from China ever again, but I’m definitely more discerning these days. If I can scout out an alternative that’s made in the USA and/or in a more sustainable way, I’ll always buy that instead.

Which is why, when I read about S.W. Basics reusable, organic cotton rounds in Real Simple, I bought a pack right away. I’d been using (and throwing away) regular cotton rounds and makeup remover wipes every day for years, so I welcomed this sustainable and reusable alternative. Plus, they’re machine-washable and made in the USA. What’s not to love, right? Read on for my full review!

Price: $22 for 8 rounds + a mesh laundry bag (might seem expensive, but is ultimately much cheaper than buying disposable cotton rounds and/or makeup removing wipes)

What They’re Made Of: Organic, unbleached, machine-washable cotton.

Texture: The texture is coarser than a traditional cotton ball or cotton round, so you have to be a bit gentler with these, especially when taking off eye makeup. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I tend to scrub my eyelids raw with even the softest makeup removing towels (sorry tender eye skin, I’m just really impatient!). It takes me a bit longer to get my makeup off, but in the end, they get the job done just as well as a makeup removing wipe. (I’ve been using them with Bobbi Brown Makeup Remover, just FYI.)

Washing: I was a bit nervous about throwing them in the washer with all my clothes (wouldn’t they get mascara all over my jeans?!) but my fears were totally unfounded. I mean, I still probably wouldn’t throw them in with a load of crisp whites, but colors and darks are totally fine. One complaint I have is that the drawstring of the mesh bag came out during one of the wash cycles, scattering the rounds with the rest of the load. I contacted the company, who responded promptly and are sending me a new bag. They said that while the bags are designed to hold up in the wash, hand washing is better if possible. Good to know. Am I still going to machine wash because I’m lazy? Yes.

Reusability: Keep in mind that mascara and eyeliner stains won’t come out completely in the wash, so even after washing, they’re not going to be perfectly white after a few uses. They’ll be clean, they just won’t look as pretty. I have noticed that they get softer with each washing though, so a few dark smears is fine with me. Besides the drawstring debacle, the whole washing and reusing process has been a breeze.

Overall Satisfaction: I’m very happy with this product, and not going back to regular cotton rounds or makeup removing wipes anytime soon. While these eco rounds might not be quite as convenient as the disposable alternatives, they’re better for the earth, and cheaper in the long-run, which is a tradeoff I’m more than happy with. I’d encourage you to try them out too!

Buy Them: Here.