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Liz Who?


My name is Liz and I blog as a hobby. I like all things bright and beautiful!

Email me at liz [at]

Disclosure: Most of the products I review here are press samples unless stated otherwise. FYI!




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Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion: an awesome drugstore makeup remover

I raved about the Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellar Solution late last year, a French makeup remover that feels exactly like water. It's a great product but it's only sold in limited quantities here. Bioderma is also expensive for those who are used to drugstore makeup removers, which begs the question: what's an equally good, or (dare we hope) better alternative that's easy to find locally?

Friends, meet the Bifesta Cleansing Lotion (P419), a Japanese water-based makeup remover that's exactly like Bioderma. I believe that this brand was called Mandom before, but the whole line is now repackaged, reformulated, and renamed.

It comes in four handy variants for different skin types: Moist (dry and sensitive skin), Sebum (combination-oily), Brightup (dull and flaky), and Agecare (mature). I've been using the Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion so it's the one I will review for now!

First things first: I love this stuff. This feels like you're just applying water to remove makeup. It's fairly simple to use, just squirt a full pump per cotton pad, wipe off the gunk on your face, repeat until 100% clean, and rinse. You can actually just leave your face like that and proceed to moisturizing if you wish. Bifesta cleans so well, that is can be both your facial wash and toner in one fell swoop!

Well, I still like to use my Kiehl's facial wash though. It's a habit, and it helps clear up blackheads as they come. Whether you use a soapy cleanser after Bifesta is entirely up to you. I just want you to know it can be an option not to.

I am also happy to report that I didn't break out from this. :) It also doesn't sting my eyes which is a non-negotiable for me in any cleansing product.

Bifesta can take off water-resistant mascara/eyeliner (with up to a 30secs of soaking per eye), heavy foundation, and  lipstick, although it draws the line at waterproof mascara. It's still just water-based, after all. I don't often use waterproof mascara anyway so I don't mind this limitation.

Now, the downsides: you have to use A LOT of liquid to remove regular makeup, and much more if you're wearing a full face with all the frills. I usually use three to four pads, each loaded and soaked with a generous amount of the makeup remover. I've already consumed a quarter of the 300ml bottle in just three weeks, and even then I use it max of three times per week. The label in the back says that it's only good for a month to 1.5 months of use.


If you've tried high-end makeup removers like Shu Uemura, Clinique, Lancome, Estee Lauder, etc., this is a rather short lifespan. If you compute, a one year supply of Bifesta will cost you P5,028, whereas a full bottle of the Shu Uemura cleansing oil worth P5,000-ish will take two years to finish (even more actually). But these products are apples and lemons, okay. Get what suits your skin and lifestyle best.

I've observed that the Sebum variant is quite drying (on my cheeks especially since I'm combi) so I always moisturize generously after using it. Is my skin less oily as the product promises? Not really. It's still the same combination-oily creature that it has always been. :P Can't expect a makeup remover to solve that!

The Brightup Cleansing Lotion is next on my list to try! Will use it after I'm out of Sebum. ;)

I'm not expecting a perfect product for P419 - nor should you hehe - but for the price, the Bifesta Cleansing Lotion works pretty well. It takes off makeup without irritating the skin and eyes and is easily available in drugstores. I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs it. Just make sure to get the right variant for your skin! :)

Thoughts? What's your current makeup remover?

You can find Bifesta in Rustan’s Supermaket, Shopwise, PCX, The Landmark and Watsons.

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Reader Comments (43)

Looks interesting! i would really try this first before bioderma. i hope it will work for me! tHanks ms. liz for this post :)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchiena

I've tried so many cleansing oils already and my top 3 are: muji, kao biore and shu uemura. Muji and kao are super great dupes for shu!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSoleil

Seeing this on your instagram a few weeks ago, I was so tempted to buy it when I saw it in Watson's! Felt like it was calling my name! Haha. But I controlled myself cos I'm currently using DIY make-up remover c/o Michelle Phan (Olive oil + water). Although I'm not 100% sure that it's ok for my skin. So far no break outs or anything. It's good to know there's a fairly affordable one out there that works great!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYana Tan

Good to know that there's an alternative for Bioderma. :)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLian

I always like your "discoveries" Ms. Liz. I will check this put when I pass by Watsons. Thank you for the review! :)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAubrey

I'm currently using Avon's makeup remover. It's good stuff too. :) I'll try this one once I run out of my makeup remover supply! :D

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Nice thorough review. I personally don't use commercial makeup removers, preferring instead to cleanse with pure jojoba oil. But people should use what works for them and your review is definitely helpful. I will definitely pick up this product to try on clients who don't want oil touching their faces :)

I often react to oil-based cleansers or make up removers to the exception of Human Nature Makeup Remover made from high-grade SunFlower Oil.;-)But i truly believe that it is also good to look for other reliable products.I might as well try this.thank you Ms. Liz

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpbhie

Whoa! Akala ko walang Bifesta dito sa Pinas e.. I saw this months ago from Xiaxue's blog and got interested.. Ma-try nga.. :)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Wow! My friend Kim uses this exact make-up remover and she likes it too! Now I have more reasons to try it. I remember the Purebeauty make-up remover from this one as they looked the same (like water) however, I did not like it because it irritates my skin and stings my eye big time. With this one, I think it will work for me too! Thanks for sharing Ms. Liz! :)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGen-zel

Agh! I couldn't understand what the variants were for, except for Sebum which I read was to be for oily skin. I just got the Brightup (I thought it looked the most generic), but from this post I see that I should have gotten the Moist variant. The Brightup still does its job, but I think that for sensitive skin like mine I need a targeted product.

Thanks for clearing up the confusion Liz!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Hmmmm... So this is Bifesta. I first heard of it from a fellow reader, Maybelle. It looks like a good buy for the price and the value per your review.

At the moment, what I'm using is Mary Kay oil-free eye makeup remover. I find its formula gentle and it does not sting my eyes. It's also not drying. You know that taut sensation you get from harsh cleansers? This one won't give you that.:-) In terms of effectiveness naman, I'd give it credit pa din because I don't have any trace of makeup left when I tone after cleansing. Even heavy, waterprrof mascara, it can remove. It just takes a little more soaking, maybe 30-second soak for each eye - before wiping off. I got my first bottle as a gift from my mom-in-law (she swears by this and has been using this for years) and I think this will last me months. Cute pa because it's pink and the liquid looks squishy.:-) For the whole face naman, I use St. Ives Fresh Skin Olive Cleanser. Smell's a bit off-putting at first but it works.

I like how in this review you compared Bifesta with Shu Uemura's cleansing oil. Off-hand, Shu seems ridiculously expensive but in the long run pala it's a practical buy. Wouldn't have thought of it that way. Good take on that!:-)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYani

This is great! Can you recommend good makeup wipes also? Just a convenient way to remove makeup on the go. I always need to remove makeup before PE at school. :)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKhristine

Yay! I'm currently using Bifest Moist cleansing lotion for dry skin. So far there are no breakouts the water based formula is gentle on the skin. Though your right Liz, I think I'll be consuming mine for less than a month to think that I don't wear heavy make-up.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEkai

Pond's Cold Cream and Johnson's baby oil is still tops for me! :D Though I don't use any heavy duty makeup, so I guess the good old basics works fine for me. What I found interesting about this post was how you contextualized a seemingly cheap alternative vs a pricey one and how it adds up over time. A lot of times, the pricey ones give a good bang for your buck, making the initial cashout worth it. I do this a lot with my shoes and watches, which are the priciest things in my wardrobe. I might spend alot one-time, but it will last me a long time so it's definitely worth it. :D

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdianecapile

I've been excited over Bifesta ever since you mentioned it here: It's the next item on my shopping list. I already purchased the epilator and spring facial hair remover that you also recommended and next time I go shopping, I'm going to have this makeup remover. :-)

Thanks for the detailed review. I learned a couple more pieces of info : its variants and its supply lifespan. Your description of how long it is likely to last will be my reference when setting aside budget for this one. Thanks Liz!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaybelle

Great review! sounds like a great drugstore find but Id like to try Bioderma though. Currently Im using TBS Camomile gentle eye makeup remover and Ponds cold cream for my face. Nothing beats the classic! I also have Etude House cream cleanser but havent tried it though.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterManilaJen

Yey! I have been waiting for this post ever since I emailed you about this gem! :) FYI for the readers, Moist is ceramide infused for moisturization. Sebum has green tea extract to tighten pores. Bright Up has saxifrage extract for skin brightening. Agecare contains coenzymeQ10 for mature skin.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheska

I've never really tried Bioderma or any other cleansing water stuff but I've always been curious because of Lisa Elds and the Pixiwoo sisters:)) I personally just use olive oil or coconut oil or whatever other non-fragrant plant oil I have on hand (sometime jojoba, argan,etc). I use it to dilute my regular cleansers as well to kind of cushion the impact of the detergent. Luckily I don't really wear heavy makeup so removal isn't much of an issue:))

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGino Erana

will be buying this on my next visit to watson. I like that its water base since i have oily combo skin.
I have tried cleansing oil from tony moly and kose softymo cleansing oil which removes waterproof mascaras pretty good. I havent tried Shu eumura since I cant justify the cost in my head for something that I would remove immediately from my face.
I'm also purchasing next the kanebo freshel cleansing oil since I've read good reviews about it that it works as well as Shu in removing stubborn makeup like majo mascara and is lesser price than Shu.
I will alternate the bifesta waterbase with the kanebo cleansing oil.
Im currently finishing up In2it make-up remover which I love because it effectively removes make-up without stinging my eyes or making it cloudy afterwards. I love its mild floral scent as well because it doesn't smell like oil or chemical and its cheap as well, around P270 for 150 ml... but per ml I guess Bifesta is cheaper .

@Khristine, try the face shop makeup remover wipes. Its herb something... I forgot the exact name. he-he!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercouchpotato_md

I have this too, Liz! I also have the green Shu Uemura cleansing oil. For heavy makeup cleansing, Shu is faster and less tedious. This one need lots of cotton. But for the budget conscious, Bifesta is a winner. It stings my eyes a little though. hehe

Also, Shu has skincare benefits. Bifesta is just really basic cleansing so I'd say good to have both, depending on how much makeup you'll have to remove. :) Perfect also for spot-corrections while doing your makeup.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee_516

I've been wanting to buy one of these but I keep forgetting to! But it's really nice, no? Too bad the eyemakeup removers aren't locally available though! Those are pretty powerful, they can even remove MajoMajo mascaras in one swipe! Number one makeup remover sya on last year. ( is like the Japanese version of Makeupalley.)

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChai

I saw this at Trinoma one time. I got excited because it was just like water (I hate oil-based make-up removers) but when I saw the price, I did a double-take. Thank you for making this review. I'll see if I can decide on buying one of the BIfesta variants.

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChynah Marie Monzon

What I do these days is use my Biore Cleansing Oil to remove foundation, eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, etc., and then follow it up with Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water for point makeup removal, or whatever the Biore can't remove. Having a two-step cleansing procedure has definitely made me a happier camper these days. :)

The Koh Gen Do makeup remover is AMAZING, and even gets rid of waterproof (i.e., Majolica Majorca) mascara and eyeliner. My only quibble is that it's pretty pricey for the quantity. Using two cleansers softens the blow, though, because then I use less. :)

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTala

I use St ives cleansing wash, I've tried the green tea variant and the olive oil variant. They are very good in removing make-up, even the water proof ones and it's only P255. That is, if you're looking for an alternative.

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelyn

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