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For a gentle yet effective way to remove our makeup at the end of a long night, a micellar water is the bedside table essential we couldn't do without. With beauty brands launching new additions left, right and centre though, which ones scrub up best?
This week, the Glossy Posse has been putting a roster to the test to see which ones are really worth splashing your cash on. Click through our gallery to find your perfect match...
Feedback: "I love a micellar water because it's great for removing makeup when you're in a rush, or if you want to take it off before a deeper cleanse (and it's far better for your skin than face wipes). Darphin has impressed me in the past by looking after my sensitive skin, so I wasn't surprised that I was similarly pleased with this cleansing water. With a gentle, natural scent of orange blossom (I have to avoid fragrance in products so this gets a big tick from me), the clear liquid gently removed my makeup to leave my skin feeling fresh and squeaky clean. I did have to soak a couple of cotton pads to make sure all traces were fully gone, but I think that's just testament to how kind it is to skin in that it's not overly strong. My face felt a little tight afterwards but once I followed with a toner and moisturiser, as is my night time regime, all was fine and I went to sleep feeling like I'd done my skin a good deed."
Feedback: “Usually I’m a bit suspicious of products claiming to ‘do it all’, especially with ones that say ‘no rinsing required’ at the back. I often find that something gets compromised, whether that’s feeling like my skin isn’t completely squeaky clean or being left with an incredibly shiny T-zone afterwards. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this particular micellar water.
“It was gentle and hard-working, removing all traces of makeup and leaving my skin refreshingly supple and soft to the touch. Not much was needed to remove the dirt and grime that, post commute, had happily set up camp on face and I would certainly use it again. I’ve knocked off one point only because it didn’t completely eradicate my need to wash my face with water afterwards as there was still a slightly greasy residue left behind. However all in all, I would say that it's a great multitasker, whether you’re looking for a quick way to get PJ-ready when getting in from a night out at stupid o’clock, or as a new way to amp up your daily cleansing routine without leaving skin stripped or dry.”
Feedback: "Having never used a micellar water before this, Melvita did not disappoint. It was brilliant for gently cleansing at the end of the day, leaving my face feeling refreshed and smooth without drying out my skin at all. The formula of this water is designed to trap the impurities such as oil and dirt, removing them along with makeup, as well as cleansing and toning the skin. Although I wouldn’t use it alone as a makeup remover as it wasn’t quite as hardworking as my normal cleansers, it definitely cleaned up any leftover traces, leaving my skin feeling calmed and moisturised. Containing wild rose petal extract and rose water, the gorgeous floral scent of this product is what made me love it so much. I will definitely be using it daily!"
Feedback: “Wiping away the day with this refreshing rose lotion is akin to dipping your world-weary face in a bed of roses. It smells good enough to drink, without being overpoweringly floral, and smoothes on skin effortlessly with a cotton pad. It did a good job of removing my long-lasting makeup, and although it stung a bit around the eye area, the rest of my face was left cleansed, comfortable and dewy. It’s the perfect pre-moisturiser prep step and I woke up to a soft, calm complexion the next day. It’s a nice size so should last quite some time, and from an economical, eco and dermatological point of view, it beats face wipes hands down.”
Feedback: "Having gradually perfected my evening cleansing routine (I suffer from sensitive skin so it has taken a while!), I introduced Avene’s Micellar Lotion with a bit of hesitation. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The clear liquid, which can be used as a cleanser and makeup remover, was incredibly light and refreshing, specially formulated for sensitive skin making it a perfect match for me. The no-rinse formula left my skin feeling hydrated, soft and clean, unlike the oily makeup remover that I normally use which tends to leave a greasy residue. It also smelled lovely! The only issue I had was that it left the area around my eyes feeling a bit sore once I'd taken my makeup off. Other than that, I would highly recommend it for thorough cleansing without the harsh ingredients."
Feedback: “REN certainly know what they’re doing when it comes to skin-friendly, highly efficient yet pure products, and their products containing rose actives in particular have gained a cult following. This 3-in-1 makeup remover, cleanser and toner is no different - a delicately fragranced rose micellar water that really is worth the money. Its ingredient list recalls botanical gardens rather than chemistry labs, and it’s free of just about every nasty you could imagine (parabens, sulfates, alcohol and detergents don’t stand a chance). It’s cooling, soothing and gently yet effectively banishes every scrap of slap.”
Feedback: “I’ve never used a cleansing water before and probably wouldn't have gone out of my way to get one as I prefer a deeper cleanse, but was intrigued to test it out. I used it a total of three times; first removing a moisturiser I had on for 12 hours, then for removing BB cream and eye makeup and again after washing my face with soap and water. It worked best as a final cleanse after I’d washed my face and didn't really remove my BB cream as well as I hoped. Though I will keep using it as it isn’t too drying, I wouldn’t re-purchase it; there are far more effective cleansers out there that I’d prefer!”
Feedback: “I had heard nothing but good things about Bioderma’s famed micellar from beauty bloggers and dermatologists alike, so I knew my sensitive skin was in good hands when I decided to ditch the face wipes for good and convert to this simple solution. This sensitive version is fragrance and alcohol-free so you know you’re safe from the off, but even better is how it feels. Splashed onto a cotton pad and gently swiped over the face, it removes makeup effortlessly (even mascara and liquid eyeliner don’t stand a chance) and leaves skin feeling refreshed, cleansed and smooth to the touch. To try it is to love it - I wouldn’t be without it.”
Feedback: “I wasn't quite sure whether to use this product to take off my makeup pre-cleansing or tone it afterwards, so I challenged it by doing both! I don't wear huge piles of slap (e.g. foundation) but I do love a good few layers of mascara. I'm sure it's not meant for eye makeup removal but though it took a few goes, it successfully removed my Chanel mascara. I then used it to sweep over my face, but found it didn't leave my skin with the clean feeling I love from a wash-off cleanser, so I used my favourite REN Rose Cleanser instead. Finally I soaked a cotton pad with Osmoclean which, with its barely-there, delicate scent was a lovely refreshing end to my cleansing regime (reading the back of the bottle I discovered this was what I was meant to do with it!) and it left my skin feeling soft and hydrated - not tight at all. I would definitely use this again to leave my skin feeling super clean without feeling like it's been stripped in the slightest.”
Feedback: "This cleansing water was really impressive - I went to bed with a squeaky clean face and woke up without a hint of a panda eye. The 'special dispenser' meant I didn't drench the cotton pad so there was no wasted product, plus it's great value too. I removed all my makeup in just a few strokes and it was really gentle around the eye area. I'll definitely be using it again!"
Feedback: “With a high concentration of specially selected ingredients combined with thermal cleansing water, this particular micellar water claims to remove makeup, cleanse the skin and eliminate impurities without drying it out.
“It left my skin feeling fresh, soft and clean however, it didn’t remove all traces of my makeup, so it wouldn't be enough on it's own for me. Due to the well-balanced nature of its formula though, it didn’t feel as though it was stripping my skin of the good stuff, but rather, gently removing the nasties instead.”
Feedback: “Many a micellar water have I tested in my time, forever on the hunt to find that perfect combination of soothing and gentle, speedy and efficient.
“Embryolisse's Lotion Micellaire promises a formula delicate enough for even the most sensitive of skin, and indeed with just the faintest hint of fragrance (among other ingredients are cornflower, camomile and witch-hazel water), it felt more akin to water than an actual product. Only a couple of cotton pads doused with a few drops were needed to totally rid my face and lips of makeup (I had been out for the evening so was wearing more than I generally would in the day) and I was delighted to see I wasn't left with any redness at all - in fact my skin felt refreshingly cool and soft.
“When it came to my eyes however, it was a slightly different story, and while again there was no irritation whatsoever, it did take more time and lotion than others I've tried to truly remove the last remnants of eyeliner.
“There was no trace of the lotion left on my skin and if time is of the essence, this could easily work well as a one-step cleanse in the morning. If you're planning to really go all out with your eye makeup though, this isn't going to be the speediest way to remove it; but it is a real all-rounder and has found a firm place in my bathroom cabinet.”
Feedback “Micellar waters are fast becoming both my bedside cabinet and gym bag go-to for cleansing on-the-go and my express removal method of choice at the end of a rather, ahem, heavy night out. I’d usually need some convincing to deviate from my trusty bottle of Bioderma to meet my late night needs, however, this new launch from Nivea has proven to be a party season essential through and through.
“Effective enough to remove all traces of my Saturday night smokey eye, yet gentle enough to avoid being stripping, it made light work of a day’s build up of makeup, crammed commutes and crowded dancefloors to leave my dry skin feeling refreshed, cleansed and surprisingly cared for. When it comes to fulfilling my makeup removal requisites in the future, I’ll certainly be coming back.”
Feedback: “Despite the less-than-tempting name, this Mega-Mushroom cleanser is a delicious luxury treat. The formula is really refreshing and removed every last scrap of foundation and left my skin feeling super moisturised. The ingenious micellar water cleansing system is free from alcohol and soap so it’s kind to skin and doesn’t dry it out - ideal for the colder months where my combination skin suffers from flaky patches and breakouts simultaneously (joy). It did fall down when it came to removing my mascara, but to be fair I wear very dark, waterproof makeup that usually requires a special remover. Slight panda eyes aside, this is one face fungus that gets the thumbs up from me.”