In Spenny vs Penny we compare the products we love, with those following in their (sometimes pricey) footsteps.
I’ve always taken my makeup off with wet wipes – baby wipes, face wipes, whichever’s cheapest or closest to hand. It was only last year, in my late 20s, when I realised all these wipes probably weren’t doing much good for my skin – or the environment. So I decided to switch.
When I say makeup, I mean mascara and liquid eyeliner – they’re all I wear and what I really needed was something to take off the build-up. After a friend bigged up micellar water, I took a punt and snapped up the first bottle I saw in Superdrug. And let me tell you, I’m converted.
Micellar water contains ‘micelles’ – or tiny balls of cleansing oil – suspended in water. They certainly remove my makeup better than wipes ever did, with one cotton pad and just a few splashes of the water. Far less wasteful.
Even since using the micellar water, I’d say my skin, in general, is quite dry. I moisturise morning and night, but don’t have a “beauty routine” as such. I have wondered whether a different make or brand might be more nourishing.
Safe to say, I have a pretty laid-back approach to skincare. I want something that works quickly, easily, and doesn’t cost a lot.
Bioderma is popular, but being the beauty novice I am, I’d never heard of it. I’m told by a colleague who has more beauty savvy than me that this is a genuinely cult product, famous among makeup artists as a quick way to clean their clients’ faces. The OG micellar, she tells me.
The packaging is simple but I find the bottle bulky – short and rounded – making it difficult to fit in my wash bag when I’m staying at my boyfriend’s, which is a pain! I use it for just under a week with normal cotton pads for this test.
My initial reaction, considering it’s got such kudos, is that it’s not all that. I expect to touch it on my lids and slide my makeup off in one go. It doesn’t happen that easily, but a few swipes over my lids and it’s off. I’m not massively impressed but it’s removed my makeup.
Then I wipe it over my whole face – “it cleans, too, it’s not just for makeup,” my colleague tells me – and it feels fresh. My skin isn’t left feeling tight and dry, unlike when I’ve used micellar water before. And I realise it doesn’t sting my eyes, unlike some others I’ve tried.
But then another downside – using it over the next few days, I realise it comes quite quickly out of the pot, resulting in a few spillages. Overall, not a fan.
My first impression of this product is that it’s an easier size for me to carry around – a slim, regular-sized bottle that’s better for travel and the boyfriend commute. The plastic is also 100% recyclable – which is a plus for me.
When I first use it to wipe off my makeup, it feels like I have to scrub a little harder to removed my lashings of mascara. I drop a bit more on, my lids getting increasingly wet – and it does the job. In the morning, though, I wake up with a little black under my eyes. The mascara didn’t completely come off.
I take a new approach the next day, holding the cotton pad on my eye, then pulling downwards to take my mascara off, rather than wiping side to side. This gentler approach seems to work better and more quickly – though when I dab a little more on the pad, I realise I’ve overdone it as my eye starts stinging.
When I use the Simple water to clean my whole face, it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tighter than Bioderma. In fact, there’s little difference between the two. So, the next day I use Bioderma on one eye, and Simple on the other.
The former does take off my makeup a little easier, but not noticeably enough for double the price, in my opinion. I’m already a fan of Simple’s products and this one fits my budget better – if I need to scrub a little more to get it off (and by little, I literally mean a few seconds) – I’m happy to do it.