Makeup, Skincare

Micellar Waters: Garnier vs L’Oreal

jodie / 17th September 2014

Thanks to my ultra-sensitive skin, I’ve always struggled to find a makeup remover that’s both gentle and effective. That’s why I got super excited when I picked up Garnier’s Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Makeup Remover, and discovered it didn’t upset my skin in the slightest, and removed most of my stubborn mascara. But we’ll get to that later…

First, I’d like to put the spotlight on Micellar waters. These are quite a recent discovery for me. I say recent, but I purchased the L’Oreal one about a year ago, so maybe not that recent. It hasn’t been a household name for too long, mostly being an insider’s secret weapon behind the scenes of fashion week, and has only been marketed to the unwashed masses for the past year or so. The appeal of micellar water is that it contains tiny oil particles that grab onto any dirt on your face, without it feeling oily. It’s safe to use all over, including the eye area, without being irritating (just don’t use it as a contact lens solution and you’ll be fine), but it’s also supposed to be very effective at removing stubborn makeup. Let’s see how they perform…

L’Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Micellar Water

First off, I love the packaging – how very chic. Square and angular, much like a catwalk model of the makeup remover world, this bottle isn’t dumpy and rotund like your Bioderma, it stares at you from its perch on the chaise longue, balances its cup of hot-water-with-lemon-in-it, arches an eyebrow and says “Darling, are you really wearing those? Well, if anyone could make cankles look good in Jimmy Choos it’s you dear, brava!

I’ve used it all over my face, and it’s fine – it doesn’t sting, and it does get rid of my makeup with one or two wipes of a cotton pad. Waterproof mascara, however, is a force to be reckoned with, and this does take some elbow-grease to remove it, and I often require a go-over with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish to make sure there are no traces left.

My biggest issue it the price you pay for the amount you get. This is £4.99 for 200ml, whereas the Garnier one is the same price at £4.99 for 400ml, so let’s see how they measure up…

Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water

This one’s much more economical. For the same price, you get twice the amount of the L’Oreal micellar water. Now, the packaging – I’m a little conflicted in my feelings for the packaging of the two bottles. On the one hand, you get a lot more for your money with Garnier, but it’s not as travel friendly. And while the L’Oreal bottle is nice and flat, and fits easily into any bag if you need to take it away with you, it’s quite awkward to use because of the square/flat shape. The Garnier one, however, is nice and round, allowing an easy grip. I’ll admit, I’ve actually dropped the L’Oreal one a few times, which wastes a fair bit of product.

There’s also not much difference in the performance of the two products. I think, if anything, the L’Oreal one is every so slightly better at removing makeup than Garnier’s, but the difference is not significant enough to make a big deal about. They’re basically the same product, and you get more with Garnier, so you can be a little more generous.

My Verdict

Packaging: It’s a draw. L’Oreal’s is prettier and better for travel, but Garnier’s is more economical and easier to use.

Price: Garnier. You get a lot more for your money, so you can be as generous as you want.

Performance: L’Oreal. Only by a whisker though.

Overall Winner: It’s a tie. They both have their benefits and their drawbacks, so it’s really hard to decide. I think my best advice would be to buy the Garnier one and decant it into a travel sized bottle for journeys.

Back to Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2-in-1 makeup remover!

I’m mentioning this one because I think it’s a great alternative to the two micellar waters. It’s so non-irritating, soothes my skin, and is really great at removing even stubborn waterproof mascara. If I had to choose between the 3 products, I would definitely pick this one: it’s got a nice, flat-ish bottle that’s travel friendly, performs well, doesn’t irritate, and it’s cheaper than both at around £3.25 or less, depending on where you buy. It sometimes leaves a greasy film, but I find this keeps my skin moisturised, and is easy to wash off so it doesn’t bother me. 

So my overall verdict: I much prefer the Garnier Soothing Essentials makeup remover to both micellar waters.

Have you tried micellar waters?