I was first introduced to micellar water through YouTube – more specifically, the Bioderma Senisibio H2O Micellar Solution, a cult classic. It was touted as a skin cleanser that removes makeup without having to use water, and I have to agree with all of that. It is gentle on my skin, and does a decent job at removing make up without leaving an oily residue, which makes the nighttime cleanse a lot more enjoyable. It has never irritated my eyes when I use it to remove eye makeup, though if I am wearing waterproof liner or mascara I usually need a second round with an actual eye makeup remover. I use micellar water as either my initial makeup removal step, followed by a cleanser, or as a second step after a makeup wipe if I am wearing a full face of makeup, before cleanser.
When Garnier released their own version of micellar water several months ago, the online beauty community blew up, calling it a dupe for the Bioderma, so of course I had to try for myself. The Bioderma retails for $24.90 for the 500 mL bottle or $18.90 for the 250 mL bottle at Shoppers Drug Mart, whereas the Garnier one retails for $7.97 for 400 mL at Walmart. Price per mL, the Garnier is a lot cheaper, but in terms of effectiveness, how does it compare?
Here are some swatches of the ELF Molten Liquid Eyeshadow, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil, the Essence Waterproof Dip Eyeliner (excuse my crooked line), and the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon. Using the Garnier micellar water on the left and the Bioderma on the right, the below images show the results after a single swipe of micellar water on a cotton pad, and then after 5 seconds of rubbing with the cotton pad.
I was actually surprised to see that the Bioderma was better at removing the makeup than the Garnier. When you use a product individually, it’s hard to tell that there’s a difference since you’re not comparing them directly, and it’s been a while since I’ve used the Bioderma, as you can tell by the fact that my Garnier bottle is almost empty and the Bioderma bottle is freshly opened. Neither product did much to remove the Marc Jacobs Highliner, but both removed the other three products with a bit more rubbing.
The conclusion from this little experiment is that the Garnier is not quite as effective as the Bioderma, but can result in the same end result with a little bit more work. It’s a good drugstore alternative, but doesn’t quite hit the mark as a dupe.