A while back, I participated in and was lucky to get selected for a Bloggers' Challenge hosted by The Sample Store in conjunction with Kao Biore. Each blogger was supplied with three makeup removing products and were allowed to give it a short road-test before a review.
I'm sure you've all seen the other reviews for these products by now, and in contrast, mine's probably only going to serve as a confirmation of sorts of what every other reviewer has claimed: Yes, they work! Before I get any further with this though, I'd like to bring your attention to a couple of things first:
1. I'm not directly comparing the products because, well, The Sample Shop has made it explicitly clear not to. :/
2. First time for everything, huh? I'm doing this in segments because there're three products and I want to do them all justice. I'm sure lots of you are relieved to hear this eh, but do let me know if you prefer this format to my usual rambly ones!
3. For every one of the makeup removers, I used them on a full face of makeup. By that I mean that I have the following on: Makeup base/primer, liquid/cream/stick foundation/B.B. cream, setting powder, blusher, black liquid eyeliner, sparkling liquid eyeliner, eyeshadows, brow pencil, lipstick and/or gloss. Believe it or no, I very rarely use mascara nowadays, mostly because I wear glasses and my natural lashes aren’t too shabby themselves. In the images below though, are a makeup base, a waterproof foundation, a lip and cheek colour (so I don’t run out of arm-space, see?), a cream eyeshadow/base, a pigmented powder eyeshadow, a longlasting pencil liner with stubborn glitter bits, another longlasting liquid liner, a third but coloufully pigmented tenacious liner and a gliiter-filled liquid liner in a gel suspension.
First up, the Hydra-Clear Makeup Remover. My favourite of the three is all I can tell you. ;)
Well, I think it's pretty and ergonomic, so it's good with me. The bottle's made of plastic just the right thickness so it doesn't feel all cheap and crackly, but yields easily if you have to squeeze. The cap also snaps securely into place and there's zero leakage. Additionally, I love how the shape and colour alludes to water! The dispensing hole is too big to have me safely saying that you could use it with your eyes shut though; there's a tendency to get the fluid all over. It's a good thing then that the formula itself doesn't flow too quickly out, given its thickness.
True to it's name, it sits pretty in the slender bottle looking just like water 'til you tip it out. Although many ladies may compare it to a cleansing oil, I'd stick my neck out and say that it's thicker than that; it's almost like the oil is coagulating a little into a jelly. What you get is lots of slip and thus, extra mileage in removing your makeup (cliche: a little goes a long way). Despite all of that, it isn't particularly oily at all and doesn't leave an film or residue.
I think I've read somewhere that a considerable lot of people find that it doesn't clean off waterproof makeup, but I honestly don't have that problem. Honest! Granted that I've on the full deal of makeup, there really isn't much left even after a mere one-over. I only have to squirt out a Singapore twenty-cent coin worth of product into my palm, smear it over my face and rub it for less than ten seconds without focussing on any particular area. Doing so removes all of my makeup 70% of the time; sometimes I find that I have to go over with just a touch more product to completely rinse off my eye liner. I then follow up with washing my face with regular cleanser and experience no problems with needing to emulsify or scrub off any residual oiliness/stickiness.
None I can think of, though I'm update this again since it's been less than two weeks, after all... If I do have to nitpick I'd say that I won't want to travel with this since the large bottle can be rather unwieldy if you're on a plane or something and it won't be the most pleasant thing to tote around in a foreign land either.
Apparently water-based, so I've half a mind to think it's oil-free? I'm also enjoying the fact that I don't have to use any cotton pads with this, unlike most other makeup removers. It somehow seems more environmentally friendly, convenient and cost-effective. A very convenient and versatile product indeed! :D
Next is the Biore Makeup Remover for Eye and Lip:
Pink and pleasant, I'd assume most of you ladies are thinking. ;) Personally, I'm just alright with this. The dual-phase formula, while pretty, is nowhere near novel for a makeup remover (unlike for hair products!) though I'd say that the slight prismatic facets on top are quite appealing. Again, I wish the dispensing hole could be a touch smaller, particularly since this formula is far more viscous than the last, and the cap again snaps firmly in place. Otherwise though, it's just another makeup remover on the drugstore shelves to me.
Unlike the Hydra-Clear, this doesn't have any of the thickness and is really very fluid. Because of that, you do have to take caution when tipping out the product or risk an oily counter-top. One quirk I did notice was that the product has an interesting propensity to separate really quickly, something which I enjoy observing for kicks. ;) However, if you're the sort to take time to massage your makeup off part by part, you might find it frustrating to have to keep shaking the bottle to mix up the two immiscible layers.
It cleans off everything in the first round without needing to leave it on for my skin to marinate in it, nor do I really need to massage it over say, my eyes, to clean off more stubborn/waterproof makeup. There was a bit of a residue, but nothing some soap and tepid water couldn't emulsify quickly. I don't expect any more or less of any other specialized makeup remover though, so while its performance is commendable, it didn't quite have anything extraordinary to offer (nowadays, Hyaluronic Acid doesn't cut is as much of a bonus, since every product carries it!).
It gives a slight tingle to my eyes the first time I used it. Don't get me wrong though, it was more alarming than unpleasant since it never actually stung. Subsequently though, I never had the same sensation as long as I used the product consecutively. I did, however, stop for five days or so to try out another Biore cleansing product and when I returned to this stuff, the feeling was back! As with before though, later uses proved that the sensation didn't plague me. I was confounded to no end by this and even asked my mother to try it out, but she reported that she didn't feel anything despite being sure it got into her eye at some point. :/
Personally, I think that this is tied in a deadlock with the Neutrogena Eye & Lip Makeup Remover and ranks just under Lancome's Bi-Facil, the latter only because my eyes feel really smooth and taut even after cleansing again with soap. However, in the price category, I'd definitely say that it's a toss-up between this and the Neutrogena, since they're so very similar in every aspect. Of course, if I was allowed to pit Biore product against Biore product, well, you already know my choice! :x
And lastly, here's the Biore Cleansing Oil Cotton Sheets (does it really contain cleansing oil though?):
Pink, again, so make what you can of it. ;) The opaque plastic casing for this product is very sturdy, though if you were to go travelling with it, the removable bottom plate that holds up the wipes is sure to fall off. I do like that the 'cover' portion which you can flip up to reveal the product can be secured into place so it doesn't flap against the surface (if that makes sense?) and threaten to dry out the moisture of the wipes.
Not really applicable in this case, but if anything I'll say that the cloths aren't too saturated with makeup remover so it's not dripping all over, but it's definitely sufficient for thorough cleansing. The fabric itself is quite soft and of reasonable and plushy thickness too, but it can be a little abrasive if you're impatient and rub is vigorously over sensitive or thin skin. There's a soft powdery scent that, considering this product washes immediately off afterwards, really doesn't play too big a factor here.
Well, I'd say that the makeup removing prowess of this product is the comparative weakest of the three, though it isn't by any means shabby. Considering that wipes are almost never as potent as their bottled counterparts, this one performs commensurately anyway, removing all my makeup in four wipes or less, save for non-waterproof mascara. With the latter, I find that I have to gather a bit of the cloth around my index finger, hold it in place over my lashes for a few seconds before wiping downwards gently in a zig-zag motion (the reverse of mascara application). In the picture above, I've shown how my arm looks after a single quick swipe over with the cloth, before taking an additional two wipes to completely remove all product.
There are a mere 48 wipes in this large pack (there's a smaller pack of ten), which isn't a lot if you're me and you have on makeup virtually every day of the week. With nigh-daily use, there's probably barely two month's usage (or less) so it's definitely less cost-effective than any of the other makeup removers. This may or may not work out to be a bad thing for others though, especially if you're the sort to use light-ish makeup only a couple times a week and don't want to let liquid cleansing formulas 'stale'. The other thing about this is that the wipes aren't particularly large, so you might have to milk out the usage by using both sides of each wipe.
With this, I can't emphasize how important it is to follow the instructions noted behind and hold the wipe over more stubborn (eye) makeup for a few seconds. By doing so, you can usually remove most of your eye makeup, but all bets are off if you use either one of Majolica Majorca's or Fasio's notoriously tenacious mascaras. Otherwise, you may simply end up rubbing over your eye area, which is likely to end in some form of eyelash fatality. This product is available in just ten wipes though, so those'll be perfect for bringing on a trip. Anyway, I can only safely recommend this if you aren't a fan of waterproof products or if you generally favour light makeup, especially while travelling.