Battle of the Sponges!

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spongesSince I’ve been getting back into using liquid and cream foundations, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with makeup sponges. In other words, I’ve jumped on the sponge bandwagon. Big time. I started with the realTechniques Miracle Complexion Sponge followed by the Precision Makeup Sponge (a London Drugs knockoff of the Beauty Blender). Finally, I took the plunge and went for the real deal, ordering the Beauty Blender from Sephora. I’ve thoroughly tested all three sponges and am ready to weigh in with my thoughts on each. Do the less expensive knockoffs measure up to the Beauty Blender? Does the Beauty Blender live up to all the hype? Read on to find out!

 

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Battle of the Micellar Lotions

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Back in the early days of my makeup obsession, I used to dread removing my eye makeup in the evening. The first eye makeup removers that I experimented with were AWFUL. Some burned, some made an oily mess, and they all seemed to require a bit of scrubbing to completely remove shadow, liner and mascara.

Now I look forward to removing even the most intense eye looks and it’s all thanks to my new skin care obsession: micellar lotions. AKA cleansing waters or micellar solutions, micellar lotions are really just simple, no frills makeup removers that can be used to remove makeup anywhere on your face. I prefer to use them as eye makeup removers because they’re extra gentle and rarely contain fragrance or other irritants that can bother the extra sensitive eye area.

The first micellar cleanser I ever tried was the iconic BioDerma Sensibio H20, a favourite of makeup artists. I do love that one, but it’s kind of expensive and not always easy to find where I live. Luckily more and more brands are coming out with micellar cleansers, so I’ve been experimenting with some different ones recently.

Vichy‘s Purete Thermale 3-in-1 is a nice, though somewhat pricy, option. It’s fairly gentle and does a good job of breaking down makeup. This one loses points with me because it contains vichy-purete-thermale-1301fragrance. I prefer that anything going near my eyes be fragrance free. I also didn’t care for the pump dispenser. It was tricky to control how much product was dispensed and got a bit messy at times. (It also broke before the product ran out…grrr.) I wouldn’t bother repurchasing this one since there are way better ones out there.

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Next up is NeoStrata‘s Micellar Cleanser. I received this one as a gift-with-purchase, and it’s not half bad. It’s gentle and does a decent job of removing makeup. Call me fussy, but I don’t like the fact that this one has colour added. For me, a big part of the appeal of micellar waters is that they’re…well, like water. The simpler the better. This one is good enough to use up, but I won’t be running out to replace it.

Helping to drive my obsession with micellar cleansers is the fact that londonpremierethere are now some budget options available. This one from London Premiere (a London Drugs brand) was only $13 for 500ml. Since many others I’ve tried sell for around $20 for 350 ml, this one’s a steal! It’s not as luxe as the others mentioned in this post, but it gets the job done. Major points for packaging on this one. It has one of those pump tops where you put your cotton pad onto the dispenser and push down until it’s saturated. It keeps things tidy and prevents waste. This one is very gentle with no unecessary colour or fragrance added. My only gripe is that it doesn’t seem to break down makeup quite as effortlessly as some of the others I’ve tried, but that’s a minor complaint.

I saved the best for last. I think Marcelle‘s 3-in-1 Micellar Solution is as 300ml-eaumic-3in1_05good as the BioDerma if not better. It’s simple, gentle and makes eye makeup removal a breeze. It has my preferred pump top dispenser as well. And for what it’s worth, it’s approved by the Canadian Dermatological Association. (I’m picturing scientists in lab coats nodding in approval.) I will definitely repurchase this one…..when I’m done experimenting that is. Bravo Marcelle!

Are than any others I should try? Let me know in the comments.