Best Makeup Remover by Maybelline

For me, the quest for the best makeup remover is a story of evolution. That is, my habits have morphed over the years into a skincare regimen that I can now be proud of — or at least, be satisfied with. I’ve tried tons of products from cheap to costly, but oftentimes, the best ones don’t have to be expensive. Really, that’s an advocacy of mine. Repeat after me: The best products don’t have to be expensive all the time.

As a teenager, my earliest “makeup remover” was simply soap and water. To this day, I find that any non-exfoliating face wash by Pond’s has similar effects to bareta (laundry detergent bar) on clothes. Hey, I’m not knocking Pond’s! I’m currently using their Pure White face wash because it gets the job done. All I’m saying is that their washes are so sudsy/soapy that light makeup immediately comes off. (But there is some residue left that has to be eliminated with toner and a cotton ball).

When I learned to use waterproof mascara and foundation, the story inevitably changed. Improper eye makeup removal would cause leftover mascara to smudge and feel sticky round the eye area, while the foundation would clog the pores and cause breakouts. I opted for the classical Pond’s Cold Cream or baby oil. While makeup was removed successfully, it did take a lot of effort to ensure a makeup-free face. Especially for waterproof mascara, I had to dab the cold cream on TWICE and wipe off with a few sheets of facial tissue. The main issue at hand was all the rubbing, followed by the icky greasy feeling! Wrinkly, raw, and oily skin made me worry. Even when I got to try out Shu Uemura’s famous cleansing oil, the same rubbing and massaging motions required made me anxious. Was there no product that let makeup easily come off with minimal rubbing and scraping?!

Holy Grail of Makeup Removers

Finally, I bought a bottle of Maybelline’s Makeup Remover (PHP99.00/40mL and PHP199.00/70mL; no idea why it’s more expensive per mL to buy the bigger bottle than to just buy 2 smaller bottles) and it worked like a charm. Shake the bottle to mix the white and blue liquids inside, soak a cotton ball, and press gently onto the eye area for a couple of seconds. I was sold on the fact that it didn’t hurt my eyes AT ALL and the makeup dissolved well onto the cotton ball. You can use it for regular to heavy makeup. What’s more, it required the least amount of rubbing. And while the bottle states that it’s good for Eye & Lip makeup removal, I use it on the eye area as well as all over the rest of my face, though I’ve never tried it on my lips as I don’t want to accidentally get any in my mouth–just my own personal OCD thing.

Funny thing is that Maybelline Philippines hasn’t really highlighted its makeup remover so much. They keep focusing on lipsticks and BB creams, but I honestly think that this product is such a gem to their lineup. Seriously. Try it  and find out for yourself.

Instant Glow Morroco [sic] Argan Oil Review

Morrocan argan oil is now officially a “thing” in Manila. Three months ago, I couldn’t find a bottle for sale in the malls. It was quite frustrating. Now, there’s argan inserted into every other sentence.

My discovery of a product stemmed from my own research on beauty products. I saw Josie Maran’s argan oil line in Sephora and thought to myself, “Wow, premium oil.” Then I went home and read that it was Jenna Dewan’s must-have product and, let’s face it, the girl has insanely gorgeous skin.

Unfortunately, weeks passed and my quest for argan oil in Manila’s big beauty stores were in vain. I eventually found small health/natural beauty boutiques peddling the miracle product for an arm and a leg. But to shell out almost PHP 1,000 for something that would possibly last me 2 weeks?… I don’t think so.

Luckily, I was shopping in Watson’s SM Megamall when a pleasant sales person approached me and got straight to the point. At the mention of PURE argan oil, I knew I wanted to hear the sales pitch.

The lady led me to the Instant display. –Yes, the brand name is “Instant”. It was pretty much the first time I took interest in their products, since the ladies there are usually busy peddling slimming solutions, which I’m terribly skeptical about. She took out  a tester bottle of said oil and dispensed a few drops to the back of my hand.

100mL of “Liquid Gold”

My first reaction was that of apprehension. I’ve tested my fair share of beauty oils intended for either body or face. Most are just greasy, and I end up worrying that they’ll only stain my clothes. This product seemed no different. The second thing I noticed was the pleasant scent. I read reviews  about how natural oils tend to smell nutty and raw, but that wasn’t the case here. Third, and to my surprise, the oil ended up getting absorbed into the skin with minimal greasiness. After a couple of minutes, I was amazed to find that it simply looked and felt like I applied a thin layer of lotion.

For a girl on a budget, PHP1,199 for a 100 mL bottle of Instant Glow Morroco [sic] Argan Oil (or PHP599 for a 30 mL bottle) isn’t an easy decision to make, especially considering that this is just oil we’re talking about. I gave myself 2 weeks to mull it over and canvas for anything more affordable out there.

Well, after much research and comparison to brands like Josie Maran or The Souq, on a per mL basis, the best deal so far was Instant’s 100 mL bottle. (It costs PHP 11.99 per mL, to be exact.) It’s even cheaper than the same brand’s 30 mL bottle, so I finally gave in and bought 100 mL.

I’ve been using it for about 2 months now, and my praise goes to its moisturizing properties. I’ve been hooked on moisturizers since I was 12 (no exaggeration!), and this was the first time I used a product that was not at all greasy! —To think that this is a non-greasy OIL. About 2 weeks in, my mother and aunt started making remarks about my face getting lighter. (Note: Initially, I never told them that I bought and used this product.) When I did happen to mention that I had this oil in my possession, they went to SM and checked out the display.

My beauty-conscious grandma got it as an impulse buy. She used it for a week or two and agreed that her skin did feel much softer after religiously applying it twice a day. My mom and aunt came next, buying 30mL bottles marked 10%-off when Watson’s had a beauty blowout sale.

We’re all on board about the wonders of its moisturizing effects. Jury’s still out on its supposedly miraculous anti-aging properties, but we did notice that some fine lines softened. As for scar lightening, the oil does help fade pimple scars faster, but I’m also big on exfoliation, so that probably had a hand in it as well. If you’re in it to get rid of freckles, then you may be disappointed. Finally, don’t forget to layer sun block on top of this when you leave the house.

Another find would be Body & Face Thairapy (PHP 1,450 for 100 mL) at Rustan’s Department Store, which has the same scent and thickness as Instant Glow.

Overall Rating: Instant Glow Morroco Argan Oil

Moisturization = 9/10

Anti-aging = 7/10

Lightening = 8/10

Eliminating Dark Spots and Freckles = 5/10

Value for Money = 9/10 = At the very least, it’s a damn good moisturizer and a simple, straightforward product.

Update: I got to try the new Naturelle d’Argan Pure Argan Oil Elixir (at around PHP 1,400 for 50mL) at Beauty Bar. Their oil is much more liquid than that of Instant’s and the scent is more raw and comparable to that of cooking olive oil. I’m guessing Instant’s and Body & Face Thairapy’s oils have gone through some sort of deodorization process, while Naturelle d’Argan may be more natural.

Battle of the Oil Blotters

Having combination skin is manageable. I mean, I still hate that I tend to get a shiny T-Zone in about an hour after I’ve finished applying makeup, but the invention of oil blotting paper has helped a great deal. If you only needed to take the essentials in a small purse, make sure there’s space for that. You’ll be particularly thankful for them when you’ve been sitting in a plane for hours and have no time or space for a full-fledged retouch.

Some of you may think that these things are overrated. Why purchase another item that will take space in your bag when you can just dab on a thin layer of powder to get rid of the shine? It’s a rookie mistake: Facial Oil + Powder = A Cakey look. I’ve seen it so many times. Please invest in blotters.

I’ve used several brands to date, and I still get apprehensive when it’s time to pick up a new pack. If I wanted to try a new brand out, there’s always trepidation when it comes to speculating how effective the product will turn out to be.

I stay away from the overly cheap ones, like this one I got from some random department store for Php25 or Php50: It’s nothing but a glorified cookie sheet cut up into small rectangles that barely absorbs any oil.

The most commonly used brand would probably be Clean & Clear, which has been out in the market since I was in my early teens. It’s immensely basic and is sold in every drugstore, grocery, or department store in the country. These thin blue sheets do the job, hands down. Let it be your go-t0, if the other products are unavailable. (Perhaps around Php120)

When you get used to oil blotters and consider yourself something of a connoisseur (funny as that sounds), then it’s time to move up and explore the the more specific details that differentiate each brand.

The Face Shop offers their own oil blotters that look identical to Clean & Clear’s. They cost around Php50 – Php60 when I was able to get some from Korea. It’s probably twice the price in Manila. I found it had a softer feel to the face than Clean & Clear, which mean less of that scraping feeling and less of the makeup coming off onto the sheet.

Next up is “Lehcaresor” Papier Poudre, a booklet of powdered paper that you literally have to tear off to use. I bought mine from Rustan’s Department Store. As I mentioned above, layering powder on top of oil is a bad idea. (It sounds like a recipe for dough.) But do try this if  you don’t have an oily face or if you have already blotted the oil away. It functions as a handy-sized alternative to taking your chunky powder compact with you. Perfect for your party clutch or if you already have another mirrored compact to retouch with. Plus, the powder is finely ground, so it goes on smoothly.

Rachel and Rose

I suggest Rose for those with fairer skin and Rachel for those with morena skin.

Inside Rose

Right now, I’m using Kleenex. It’s super-absorbent like the packaging promises and is pretty soft. Upon a slight touch to the skin, the oil is immediately transferred to the paper. It’s also cheaper than Clean & Clear, though contains less sheets inside.

I’d have to say that my top picks are Kleenex and The Face Shop for softer and gentler sheets that get the job done.

Hope this entry helps those who are looking for the best brand of blotters out there. 🙂

*Clean & Clear blotter photos are from the Clean & Clear official website.

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