Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Value vs. Vanity - Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel and Botanics Organic Face Nourishing Eye Make up Remover

Contender - rrrrrrrrrrready!
Gladiator - rrrrrrrrrrrrrrready!!

OK, not a massively original idea for a post - today I'm comparing a high end product with a low-end dupe and deciding if An Saving can be made.

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel has been resident in my bathroom for about a year now, and I've finished two tubes in that time. It's a cleansing oil makeup remover in the vein of MAC and Shu Uemura's, but it comes in the form of a gel, so there's less risk of spillage and it's easier to apply. The gel is rubbed onto the skin where it reverts to oil state in response to body heat and pressure, and there it unites with the oils present on the face and the dirt trapped with them. Then with the addition of water, the whole lot emulsifies into a milky consistency and is easily rinsed away. It's quite foolproof and leaves the skin soft and feeling very clean. I use it when I am very tired because - and I know this is morally EVIL - I can get away without moisturising afterwards.

It costs around £19 per 125ml tube.

Boots Botanics Organic Face Nourishing Eye Make up Remover (and I would love to shake the hand of the copywriter who came up with that catchy name) is a similar idea, and is made with olive oil. It's designed for the eyes in particular, but you could certainly use it on the rest of your face too. It comes in a smaller tube - 75ml, and has a thicker consistency. Though it will rub down to an oil with a bit of persistence, it doesn't have the "melt" factor of the Clarins. I also didn't feel that it quite transformed into the milk phase completely - there was still a greasiness to my skin after I removed it. Finally another drawback was that after use my eyes were slightly blurry with residual oil in my lashes and around my eyes.

But it did remove my makeup very effectively, and it wins points for being organic and free of parabens etc. The ingredients list is short and sweet and contains nothing I can't pronounce - and that's definitely more than can be said for the Clarins, which contains quite a lot of chemical compounds that I don't understand and therefore instinctively mistrust.

The Botanics one (I'm not typing out the name again) costs £4.89 or thereabouts (it hasn't appeared on Boots' antiquated old website yet, so this is from memory - but it's not more than £5 for sure) for a 75ml tube. So it's less than half the price, ml for ml, of the Clarins product.

Verdict - despite lacking a bit of finesse, the Boots version wins on grounds of economy and use of unrefined ingredients.

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