beauty, skincare

My Makeup Removers, Reviewed

garnier micellar water review, garnier micellar water waterproof review, clinique take off the day balm review

Hi guys! I just wanted to give a big thank you for all the nice comments on my sketching/drawing/whatever from my last post. I don’t think I’m that good by any means, but your encouraging comments makes me want to do more and improve! I have a separate Instagram (@hymnaria) for all my drawing and planner things if you’d like to take look! On another note, how many frickin’ Instagram accounts do I need, hahaha.

Anyway! For today’s post, I wanted to gloss over the makeup removers I’m currently using, and a few other ones worth mentioning (fun fact: the Tatcha bottle is empty and the pink Garnier one is all used up but I filled it up with water). When you’re not that big of a shopaholic (contrary to some of my recent Sephora hauls and a Glossier haul coming in the near future…), you kind of have to get crafty with posts. Especially as a (self-proclaimed) beauty blogger. I’m planning to do this as a mini-series for my skincare – I can’t wait to get to the masks!

garnier micellar water review, garnier micellar water waterproof review

Micellar Waters

I’ve been using micellar water for years, and it didn’t occur to me to actually find out what this stuff is. Apparently it’s made of micelles, which are chemical compounds that attract both fat and water molecules. How cool is that?!

Micellar waters are the first step to my skincare routine if I have makeup on. They don’t take off all my makeup since I tend to be very heavy with it. I still think it’s a vital step though, since it takes off the bulk of my makeup. If I have no-makeup makeup on, all of these gets the job done.


My first micellar water! This was back a couple years ago when the Bioderma craze was going on – literally everyone and their cats were talking about how good it was. They’re not wrong by any means; I think this was the first popular micellar water, so everyone was going bananas over it. I noticed it does a slightly better job at taking off waterproof mascara than the Garnier one (which I’ll talk about next!), though I really have to struggle to take it all off.

Where to buy: $14.90 at Beautylish and Amazon

Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water

I consider the Garnier micellar water to be Bioderma’s less expensive, but still effective cousin. It does pretty much the same thing when it comes to taking the bulk of my makeup off. Sometimes when I’m lazy, I’ll use this or Bioderma (whichever I have on hand) to cleanse my skin in the morning. I’ve noticed it’s also less drying than Bioderma for my skin.

Where to buy: $7 at Amazon for the best price, Ulta

Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water, Waterproof

This is what I’m using right now, and it’s my favorite! It’s one of those dual phase makeup removers that you have to shake before using. Even though there seems to be a layer of oil on top, it doesn’t make my skin feel greasy afterwards. It takes off my eyeliner and even Kat Von D liquid lipsticks – they’re the most budgeproof (but also ridiculously drying) formula I’ve tried – with ease. Like the other micellar waters I’ve discussed, it doesn’t completely take off my waterproof mascara. I don’t think any micellar water can to be honest, unless you’re willing to patiently remove it for a ridiculously long time. But that’s what the next step – cleansing balms and oil cleansers – are for!

Where to buy: $7 at Amazon for the best price, Ulta

clinique take off the day review

Cleansing Balms and Oil Cleansers

While they have the name “cleanser” in them, I still consider them as a part of makeup removal. I like using cleansing balms and oil cleansers as a second step. Micellar water takes off the bulk of my makeup, and these take off the little bit of stubborn makeup off. They’re a very curious product – they’re oily but will rinse off with ease, and they don’t leave an oily residue either.

I used to my cleansing balm solely for removing my makeup, but I always had to go in twice to get every little bit off. I’d rather use two products to save more money in the long run. It seems to make more sense, anyway – just like if I fried something greasy in a pan, I’d wipe the oil off before going in with dish soap.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleaning Balm was my very first cleansing balm – and I don’t say this often – but I was obsessed. It takes off everything, even waterproof mascara that seems to cling on for dear life! It comes in a balm form (duh) that I scoop out with my fingers (I don’t give a fck about keeping this hygienic but when it comes to masks, nobody is allowed to touch it with their fingers, not even me). It melts into my skin on contact and rinses off with very little residue left, though I like going in with a foaming cleanser after.

Where to buy: $29.50 at Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom

Tatcha Pure One Step Cameilla Cleansing Oil

This is a pricey one, as all of Tatcha products are. I’m not a fan of oil cleansers, just because they’re messy to work with and I don’t like how they always seep in between my fingers. This didn’t take my mascara off as good as the Clinique one did, though it also burned my eyes so that could’ve been the reason why. My sister loves it, though – I think she repurchased it twice. I actually tried it through her since I’m not bonkers enough to spend that much on a cleansing oil.

Where to buy: $48 at Sephora, Barneys

L’Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil

Again, I’m not a big fan of oil cleansers, but I had a little sample of this sitting around for the longest time ever so I might as well use it up. It gets the job done and I don’t have anything bad to say about it, though it smells faintly of cooking oil.

Where to buy: $24 at Sephora, Nordstrom

If you can’t tell already, I’m trying out a different format for these posts – let me know how you like them, or if it doesn’t make a difference (lol).

What are your favorite makeup removers?

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  • I absolutely love the Garnier Micellar Water- simple and effective which is how makeup removers should be x

    • yeah, it’s a staple of mine for sure!

  • Sam

    ack, I feel like I’m the only one who probably doesn’t really care for garnier’s micellar water! I’m even seeing a lot of people giving bioderma an “eh” nowadays but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to try it, lol. I’ve been using simple’s water boost micellar water, and really been loving that. I don’t have any oil cleansers atm (totally miscalculated what cleansers I have, so now I have two gel & no oil) but that just leaves me to find a really good oil cleanser. I think I’m the only person who hasn’t tried clinique’s balm though, so that might have to be next! also, liking the new format, it’s very organized! (not that it wasn’t before, but hopefully you know what I mean)

    sam / My Beauty Cloud

    • hahaha! a lot of the time I forget that there’s micellar waters outside of bioderma and garnier. i don’t feel oil cleansers are *super* necessary unless you wear heavy/waterproof eye makeup that regular cleanser/makeup removers have a hard time taking off. i’ve heard a lot of dry skin people also like oil cleansers bc they’re not as drying, but i always feel my skin getting congested if i use strictly that for about a week to cleanse.

      thanks so much for the feedback!! even though it’s more organized, i’m a little afraid it comes off as… too professional? lol. it’s much easier for me to write + provide more info though!

  • Diana Maria

    The Clinique Cleanser sounds great- I’ve tried some of their products and they are always high quality! Thanks for the review of these products! xx

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

    • hahaha, i’ve always seen clinique as one of those mom brands, because i grew up with my mom always using their products. i guess i’m the mom now 😐

  • I’ve only tried one micellar water and I wasn’t a fan, but I honestly think it was just the brand! I want to try more and I like the idea of using them in the morning when I don’t have makeup on, or days what I don’t wear makeup at all!! I need that Clinique cleansing balm!

    I followed your Instagram for your drawings! Don’t feel bad about having another account!
    I have four, but pretend I didn’t just say that out loud!

    • which one was it if you don’t mind me asking? usually i just splash my face with water in the morning and i use micellar water when i’m too lazy to walk around with water dripping down my face LOL since my towel is in my room. first world problems, man.

      LMAO tell me yours too?! i only know of your main one, the wow one, and the one for your shop… don’t tell me you have one for your cats too?!

      • It was the Simple brand! I think it broke my face out!

        And LOL omg I do have one for my cats. But I kind of stopped posting on there, but that one was @billzstagram and then I have one for all my game screen shots, @asharyahunter which I also stopped posting on because it was too hard to keep up with all of them hahaha.

  • garnier miscellar water is definitely my HG makeup remover (but only the pink one!) granted, i’ve never tried bioderma but it’s because they’re expensive here (sadface.jpg) i also like the maybelline micellar water because it actually doesn’t sting and is good for sensitive skin! (i was skeptical at first because you know, l’oreal and maybelline micellar water? and you’d thought they’d have all this perfume and chemical shit that will irritate sensitive face but nope) i also love bifesta cleansing water (they call it ‘lotion’ but it really is micellar water) which is an underrated japanese brand. i don’t think anyone ever heard of it – except for some asian beauty enthusiasts.

    i’m not a huge fan of cleansing balm or oil because they take time to remove shiz and my face feels greasy bla bla blah ugh but i do love shu uemura cleansing oil (super pricey which is why i stopped repurchasing) and i’m currently using the face shop green tea herb cleansing balm which works great. since i don’t want to run out of micellar water quickly, i tend to use cleansing balm only when i have light makeup hahaha when i’m a full glam potato, i tend to use makeup remover and then micellar water. i don’t like relying on micellar water to remove eye makeup (be it waterproof or not) so i always use maybelline / l’oreal makeup remover.

    • i consider bioderma to be expensive too, so i get what you mean! i didn’t know maybelline made micellar water too?! yeah i was super skeptical of the garnier one just because i thought it’d be loaded with fragrances but i think either estee lalonde or kate la vie sold me into getting it bc they said it’s literally the same as bioderma but they noticed it wasn’t as drying.

      i feel like cleansing balms are so much easier to remove makeup with! but on my no makeup makeup days, i just use micellar water and it’s much easier than a balm, so i get what you mean too. that’s so funny that our routines are the opposite!

      • oh yeah, essie was the one who introduced garnier micellar water to me. i was so happy when it’s finally available in my country xD
        speaking of essie, i don’t remember the last time i watched her. i’m not sure if her videos and content still resonate in me after all these months lol

  • The original Garnier micellar water has been my go-to makeup remover for years now – it does the job and it’s so affordable. I’ve actually never tried to oh-so-famous Bioderma, because I can’t imagine it does anything my Garnier one doesn’t!

    Pumpkin Lemonade

    • if garnier works for you, i’d definitely say skip on bioderma – it does the same exact thing! garnier’s been my go-to for years, too.

  • Ooh, that’s good to know you think the blue Garnier Micellar Water is as good as the pink one. I’ve only used the pink one from them and have always been too nervous to try the other kinds in case they suck since you’re committing to such a big bottle! But maybe I’ll give the blue one a try now that you’ve said it’s good. I’ve also used Bioderma in the past and I really think if there’s a difference between it and the Garnier pink one it’s so small that it’s not worth the extra money to me.

    I used a mini of the Tatcha Cleansing Oil and although I think it’s nice enough, I definitely prefer others, like the Clinque Balm and I think there’s no reason for it to be as expensive as it is. I have no issue with cleansing oils really, but I think if push came to shove I enjoy balms more because they’re less messy and they’re more satisfying to use, haha. The Clinique one is fantastic and I have nothing bad to say about it, and it’s my mum’s absolute favourite too.

    • i think they *might* have travel size bottles iirc? but i don’t think i’ve ever seen them in a shoppers or anything before. i feel like tatcha’s one of those brands where the packaging probably costs more than the product itself, plus all the marketing to make it seem like such an ~exquisite foreign brand from japan~ is kinda weird (even though i’m a total fangirl of their products).

      i get what you mean by balms being more satisfying! i really like watching/feeling it transform from a balm into an oil, hahaha.

  • Ever since I moved to UK, I’ve primarily used Garnier Micellar Water to remove my makeup. It’s just so good for the price! I definitely love using Bioderma when I can get my hands on it but it’s just so expensive. I’m thinking of getting a cleansing balm but I’m afraid I’m gonna take too much and waste it.

    with love, Bash   |   HEY BASH

  • I think Clinique Cleansing balm is hands down my favourite to use and I have used my fair share. I am obsessed with Bioderma Hydrabio (blue cap) and it’s definitely my holy grail. I’ve also use 2-3 bottle of Garnier, it’s good but I do prefer Bioderma.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  • Ooh I need to try the new Garnier Micellar water, it sounds fab xx

    Gemma • Gemma Etc . ❤️

  • Daiana Abagnale

    I read a lot about these products, even if I never tried them but I would love to 🙂
    xx Dasynka

  • i love the garnier micellar waters so much. the body shop cleansing oil is my favourite makeup remover.

  • I so badly need a nice make up remover. As I use make up everyday and get into countless activities. Products like this will entirely help me have a healthy skin.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

  • Amy-Anne Williams

    Micellar waters are quickly becoming my new favourite thing, my skin always feel so clean and good after using one. I use the Garnier one also, and have never felt the need to try waterproof although I might give it a go when I go for the heavier, longer lasting make-ups. The cleansing oil looks interesting, although I don’t think I’d be happy with that faint smell that it gives off. I’m currently obsessed with creams to take makeup off.

    My Latest Post

  • Emily

    I’m definitely with you on micellar waters! Garnier is my favourite (and so much cheaper too!) and I find it so gentle on my skin which is great for when I’m taking off my eye make up! I’ve heard fantastic things about Clinque’s Take the Day Off range though so will definitely be investigating that next!

    Musings & More

  • I like using cleansers too and I’ve always wanted to try micellar water

  • I love the Bioderma one and now the Garnier micellar water! I remembered when Bioderma wasn’t readily available in Canada and I had to buy bottles of it back from Paris! I have a pretty mixed experience with the Clinique take the day off balm – it just leaves my skin feeling greasy rather than moisturized!
    Stephanie |