Sunday, January 3, 2016

~Skincare Review: Garnier Micellar Face Cleansing Water (Long post!)~

Hello all and welcome to the first skincare review of the year! Yippie! What better way to start off a new year than feeling refreshed right? Haha it's actually pure coincidence I finished this post just in time for this week's blog post and it happens to be one related to freshness like the new year ^.^ Today I'll be doing a sort of "drugstore" brand skincare review! From what I've seen in other reviews by cool bloggers, drugstore brand items are things you can find in your local Target or Fred Meyers (where I found today's item) and tend to be under $20 (aka budget friendly! Yay!).

Where are my YouTube addicts at??? Has anyone else seen the Garnier Micellar Water commercials that pop up right before you watch a beauty tutorial or something? That's where I first saw this item! I've seen cleansing waters like the Holika Holika Soda Pore Cleansing Water that do wonders with cleaning makeup off the face, but this was my first time seeing micelles being mentioned in a cleanser :0 Micelles are basically charged particles of molecules that form in solutions. These particular ones are made of fatty acids that apparently lift the dirt, oils, makeup, and everything else that gets on your face throughout the day, off your skin and help it feel refreshed without stripping the moisture from your skin! Wow! So how effective is it actually? For the purpose of this review I tested the strength of the cleansing water in three situations: light makeup (for my good skin days heehee), medium coverage makeup (my usual go to makeup routine), dense makeup (multiple layers of product caked on throughout the day).

Let's get started!

Sidenote: The bottle is a cute pink but the bottle is some thin plastic! I don't know what happened but somehow the bottle cracked and it's not leaking a TON but I taped it so I don't lose so much product 3:

There were two options available at Fred Meyers: all-in-1 (pink), and for waterproof makeup (blue). As you can see here I purchased the regular kind, partially because I just wanted to try it out first and partially because I don't own waterproof makeup! Shocking I know >.< Lol

Swipe on my face and I'm done?? Sounds too good to be true!
I love anything that claims it will make my life easier! And this cleansing water is supposed to be the only thing you need to clean all your makeup off~ No cleansing wipes or makeup removing face washes needed! Was I convinced by the claims of this miracle cleanser?

Day 1: Light makeup- Glossier Priming Moisturizer+Glossier Tinted Moisturizer (Dark)+L'OREAL BB Cream (Green)+Skinfood Peach Sake Silky Finish Powder.

I was rushing on this day so I went for light makeup ^>^ This is before cleansing!

These square cotton pads are kind of small :/ When I cleanse I usually use those Costco makeup wipes or just my cleansing oil. Will this be enough to clean my whole face?

Easy squeezy! You really don't need to completely soak the cotton pad  in order to get enough cleanser to wipe your face. 

Here you can see I over squeezed and soaked the pad a lil too much :0

The side of my face I'm pointing at no longer has any makeup!
I was surprised at how much makeup it got off after a few swipes! 
Then I grabbed another cotton pad with some of the cleanser and wiped the other side of my face (I knew one cotton pad wasn't enough to do my whole face T__T hahaha).

Whole face cleansed! (BONUS: Derpy face lolol)

This is from the other half of my face! I flipped over this cotton pad and swiped it over any areas I thought needed a little extra cleansing like around my nose and across my t-zone.

I was totally convinced that this was the best stuff on the first day I tried it! Whenever I used those Costco makeup wipes I felt like my face was stinging a bit and it caused a lot of redness and irritation, but it did the job so I just continued using them :/ This cleansing water doesn't leave any sort of irritation or redness, it doesn't have any harsh scents or perfumes, and it makes my skin feel moisturized and refreshed! Not tight or sticky or heavy! It's really like I just wiped off my makeup with magical water :3 BUT! I must say I wasn't convinced that this removed all my makeup! And it claims to be a one step, end of the road product that can save you time and money on your cleansing routine. I'm a firm believer in the multi step process though, so the next day I tried to see how many cotton pads it would take to remove all the makeup from my face!

Day 2: Medium coverage makeup (daily makeup)- Glossier Priming Moisturizer+[1 squeeze Calypso Magic Foundation+~7 drops Glossier Skin Tint (Dark) mixed together]+Skinfood Peach Sake Powder+Benefit They're Real! Mascara (current fave)

Before cleansing!

First cleanse! On one side of my face

Can you tell which side of my face has been cleansed in this photo? In this picture it is the right! IRL it is my left ^.^

On the left side of the photo (aka right side of my face!) with a new cotton pad.

Alright! So at this point my whole face has been cleansed with the micellar water at least once. Lazy pals (as I often am after a loooong day lol) might stop at this point and say "Cool! Face is clean! Makeup is off! I'm done cleaning my face!" and then go to sleep or something lol. OK I wouldn't actually do that (not these days at least haha) because I tend to shower right after cleansing, thus removing whatever my cleanser left behind. BUT! The point of this part of my experiment was to see how many swipes one would have to do to really get all the makeup out and have truly clean skin using only this one product!

So I continued swiping using new cotton pads when I felt like there was enough makeup on one:

WOAH there is still quite a bit of makeup left...better keep going!
My face after that second swipe that showed I still had a lot of makeup on my face! Yikes! Good thing I didn't go to bed straight away after that T__T I would've gotten lots of breakouts D:

Third swipe: Improving, but still pretty grimy xP
It's great that even after multiple swipes my face didn't feel irritated or sticky and gross or anything! That's a major plus for people with sensitive skin like me :3

Fourth swipe: This was the final swipe for me for this experiment because I was running out of cotton pads (should've bought more before attempting this lolol oh well) and because I knew I was going to follow up with cleansing oil and whatnot anyways so I didn't feel the need to keep going. 
So lets say it takes about 4-5 swipes to get all clean with this size of cotton pad and the cleansing water. I used both the front and back of each cleansing pad by the way :3 4-5 cotton pads isn't BAD but if you're really looking for a lazy person route to cleanse your face completely all at once, it might take some effort depending on how much makeup you have caked on!

~~BONUS: While I was rubbing the makeup off my eyelids I felt a bit of the cleansing water seep into my eye. Usually when this happens with my cleansing oil or makeup wipe juice I freak out and wash it out quickly because it either clouds my eyesight and/or stings really badly t__t This time it got in my eye and I felt no irritation! I still rinsed it out of my left eye immediately anyways. Happened with my right eye as well! "No biggie" I thought, "I'll rinse it out when I get in the shower." *Forgets to rinse it out in the shower* The next day this happened:

My eye didn't hurt but it was super red! Red like I had just gone swimming in the pool without goggles red T__T I wondered why it was like this all day and the other eye was only a little little bit red and I thought I poked it or something, then I remembered I didn't wash this eye out! Long story short: If this stuff gets in your eye rinse it out! END BONUS~~

Day 3: Heavy Makeup- Glossier Priming Moisturizer+[Glossier Skin Tint (Dark)+Calypso Foundation]+Concealer+Estee Lauder eyeshadow primer+Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow+more Skin Tint & Foundation mixture+Revlon Eyeliner (black)+Skinfood Peach Sake Powder+more Chocolate Bar eyeshadow for highlight & contour (minimal sucky contouring lolol)+Benefit They're Real! Mascara+Ciate Velvety Matte Lip Tint (thanks Ange <3).

YUP. I looked cute that day. HA.

For this experiment I actually tried two different cleansers. I know it's kinda cheating and kinda confusing since I didn't mention that I was reviewing another product in this post beforehand, just bear with me, ok? LOL. My sister wanted me to try her new Snowflake Cleanser she got for Christmas from MemeBox because I told her I was doing my heavy makeup trial that day and this cleanser is supposed to be good for heavy makeup.

CUE DOUBLE REVIEW! Garnier Micellar Water / Nooni Snowflake Cleanser vs. Heavy Makeup!

++WARNING: I'm wearing a lot less in these next few photos than when I usually do pics of me cleansing but I knew I was gonna get messy with the snowflake cleanser so...yeah. This is how I usually cleanse anyways lolol. Sorry for all the skin peeps!++

Clearly uncomfortable in this pic lol. Makeup still somewhat decent after 8+ hours out of the house!

This side of my face is now cleansed with one cleansing pad (front and back used) with the Garnier Micellar water. Getting the mascara off is always a little tricky with eyeliner is fine. Multiple swipes help prevent the dreaded black under eye panda look!
SORRY for the sideways pic again! It flipped itself ok? It was originally right side up and went berserk. You know.

I didn't even use this much to cleanse one side of my face but it's so fun to just play with <3__<3

The Nooni Snowflake Cleanser was pretty interesting. When you think snowflake you might think cold and refreshing and maybe with a bit of grittiness like ice shards to exfoliate the dead skin away right? NOPE! This is like putting solid lard on your face. Sorry that's kind of gross haha. But it really is like putting straight up Crisco on your face, but with a nice light floral scent! If you have experiences with cleansing oils this is just like that but in a scoop-able solid form! It's quite nice to massage it into your face actually ^.^ The warmth and the smoothness of this product is totally opposite of what I thought it was going to be. Is this cleanser meant to be the opposite as a joke? Hahha.

Nice and smooth, see?
Seemingly gets the mascara and eyeliner off nice and easily! Good sign.

After rinsing it off! Very smooth and moisturizing! It felt like a face massage and I enjoyed it :3
Compare both sides: Both have the dreaded leftover mascara/eyeliner smudge that happens under your eye when you close your eyes to remove your makeup. You all know what I'm talking about right? Ok good lol. 
Then I swiped both sides with a cotton pad with the cleansing water to see how much makeup was left on each side of my face:

Swiping the side I cleaned with the Snowflake cleanser first.

Not bad! Most of what was left was from around my eye because I was careful not to accidentally get any of this cleanser in my eye :3
Aaand this is from the side I just used the micellar water on the first time. I'm not surprised this much is left though, especially after seeing the results of the day before's experiment as well as the increased amount of makeup I was wearing this day compared to that day before! Heavy makeup ought to take me 8-10 swipes to get fully clean!
My face after the whole ordeal haha~
I guess the Snowflake cleanser won this round! It seems a little sad and unfair seeing as this is a review dedicated to the micellar water but I gotta stay true, ya know? LOLOL. The Snowflake cleanser was actually pretty good for a preliminary cleanser without using anything before it. Usually with these oil type cleansers I would use something like the micellar water or a makeup wipe first. But this stuff got the job done pretty well on the first try without any help! And I didn't use that much, always a nice bonus when you're looking for a one go cleaning product ^>^

And so ended the micellar water trials...well the ones I documented for blogging anyways! Hahaha. I still use the water daily as a first step in my cleansing process. And it's done pretty well with all types of my makeup so far! The only thing I'd say it's not very good at removing is mascara, especially the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, it takes multiple swipes to get that stuff off properly >.<

It's notable to mention that one step cleansers are ideal for those want a quick first step to their cleansing routine or if you're looking to quickly cleanse your face without having to follow up with other face washes after a long day. Multi step cleansing routines are definitely something you ought to try if your current routine isn't working for you! Especially if it involves only soap and water. I know multi step routines aren't for everyone but this is a year to experiment with what your skin likes and doesn't like if you haven't tried any of these things yet~ Finding a good routine for your skin is worth it, who doesn't want happy, healthy, clean skin? And it's totally normal if your routine changes! My skin is drier in the winter and oilier in the summer so I adjust both my makeup and cleansing routine to accommodate for those changes :3

For this cleanser I wasn't looking for something that could completely remove all my makeup in one go because I generally leave a lot of time to cleanse my skin with a multi-step routine that I feel good about. I just wanted something that could replace my preliminary step, which is usually those cleansing wipes that irritate my skin 3: and help my cleansing oil a bit better! For these purposes I think this micellar water really did the trick! It's a great addition to my daily PM routine (which I will be blogging about in the near future hopefully!) and I have yet to find something that can top it (although I haven't been on the look out for any other cleansing waters in the first place lately haha, I just want to finish this one before I start trying others!).

I personally wouldn't use this to replace my entire cleansing routine however because as you saw from the second and third trials it can take awhile to get a good amount of makeup off your face with this product! I'm not sure how it would fare with other makeup brands though, perhaps the Western versus Asian makeup product ingredients are taken into account with the strength this cleansing water has? I don't have a lot of Western brand makeup products so it would be interesting to see if there is a difference!

Final Verdict:
Does it work?: Yep! To an extent though~ My recommendation is to use it as a first step in your daily routine and follow up with other cleansers for truly clean and refreshed skin.
Irritation?: I'm super glad I had no irritation of the face with this product! Just be careful around the eye area and rinse it out quickly with some cold water if any seeps in there and you should be fine ^.^
Would buy again?: Once I'm done with this cleansing water I plan on trying the Holika Holika Soda Pore Cleansing water (I originally wanted to try the HH one first but spotted the Garnier one and had to try it!) but if that one doesn't work out I'd definitely come back to this one!
Cost: I believe it was around $13 USD at my local Fred Meyers ^__^ Not bad! The material and packaging is kind of cheap and terrible for cracking right after I first bought it, but other than that it's easy to handle!

Overall 7/10: I'll use it now that I have it and I'm glad I have it, but it's not my "holy grail" of makeup removing products in terms of how much or how well it cleanses!

Major PROS: Simple concept, no smell, feels like water, doesn't leave me dry, comes in regular and for waterproof makeup.
Major CONS: Packaging sucks, takes quite a few swipes to get all the makeup off.

PHEW! That was a long post ^.^ I'm back to Uni this week but I prepared posts beforehand so look out for consistent weekly posting this month hopefully! (*crosses fingers I'm organized this month* hahaha).

How is everyone's January going so far? Mine has been refreshing C: Thanks for reading as always lovelies!

xoxo Abby


  1. Hey there, I love your blog! I use the Simple Cosmetics micellar water to remove makeup and as a toner some days. However, I use it in combination with a facial cleanser, too and it works quite well! also, just a general comment about your blog: i love the posts but its a bit difficult to read blue text over the teal background >< maybe it's just because I have crummy eyes but i figured i'd let you know anyways!!!

    1. Hi Madeline! I've seen good reviews for the Simple Cosmetics micellar water as well! I'll probably try that after trying the Holika Holika one, thanks for the input! Also thank you for telling me about the font! I have been wondering about my color scheme choices for a while now and I'm glad you brought up this critique! I'll definitely try to make this blog more readable, I can totally see what you mean about not being able to read it because even I have trouble sometimes >.< Hahha Thanks again for the great comment!! <3 xoxo Abby

  2. Super informative reviews are always the best! ~.o


    1. Thanks so much Adi! I'm so glad you enjoy my long posts hahaha! ^__^ xoxo Abby