When I was staying with Aisling at the end of March, she mentioned that she had bought the Garnier micellar cleanser and didn’t like it. It was her first experience with a micellar water, and she was not impressed! Specifically, she noted that it did not do a very good job at removing her eye makeup.
I was a bit curious about it as I’ve personally found micellars to be great, but have only tried more pricey ones, so while staying with her I test drove it for the whole weekend.
I have to say, despite the hype and generally excellent reviews online, I’m inclined to agree with Aisling!
I normally use a dedicated eye makeup remover or an oil cleanser to get rid of my waterproof mascara and eyeliner, but I’ve used micellars in a pinch and they work pretty well as long as you let them soak the eye makeup off. This one, however, barely made a dent in my Stila Stay All Day liquid eyeliner – it took quite a bit of rubbing to get it all off, even after holding a soaked cotton pad against my eye for half a minute.
It took off my face makeup much more thoroughly, but it really dried my skin out – it felt very tight. This is disappointing and, quite frankly, unacceptable for a product that claims to be soothing! If my skin is screaming for moisturizer, it is not soothed. These days my skin runs more on the normal side of things, and cleansers don’t typically leave it feeling so parched!
Most of the reviews of this product on the Boots website seem to indicate that the users haven’t tried any other micellars before (“I bought this product 2 months ago after considering spending £16 on the infamous Bioderma Micellar solution”), so I’m guessing a lot of the positive reviews come either from people who don’t have anything in the same family of products to compare it to, or from bloggers/vloggers who are being sponsored by Garnier. I allow that this product may simply have not worked for Aisling and I, but I am a bit taken aback by the 4.7/5 average rating on Boots.com considering how lackluster the two of us found it!
At just £4.99 ($9.38 CAD) for 400mL (£0.012 or $0.023 per mL), this product is much more affordable than micellars from other brands such as Bioderma ($26.95 for 500mL, or $0.054 per mL), La Roche-Posay ($22 for 200mL, or $0.11 per mL) or BioBeauté ($19 for 200mL, or $0.095 per mL). I’d say if you have a dedicated eye makeup remover and skin that leans more on the combo to oily side rather than dry, this is a good budget option. But if you’re on the drier side or want a micellar that will be much better at removing eye makeup, I’d recommend either Bioderma or La Roche-Posay (but only when they have their micellar on special – double the amount for the same price). Those two are legitimately effective products and they are both great for sensitive skin. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little extra! It pains me to admit that a budget option is simply not as good as the fancy stuff, but in this case I think that’s very much the case.
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