The Micellar Water Throwdown: Which brand wins the ultimate swipe test?

Micellar water is finally having its moment. This year alone, four new brands were added to the Philippine market! If you aren’t sure that it's the right makeup remover for you, we have a full discussion on what micellar water is and how it works. But which brand makes the best one? We rounded up the most budget-friendly MWs we could find in the market and pitted them for the ultimate swipe test competition!


Editor's Note: I've been a HUGE fan of Bifesta for years now, but I recently heard that the Japanese brand is pulling out of the PH. Yes, cue the ugly cry! We didn't include it here since it is no longer easily accessible. - Liz


Cost per mL (the Garnier bottle that I have is the small one but it would be cheaper for the 400ml bottle)

Cost per mL (the Garnier bottle that I have is the small one but it would be cheaper for the 400ml bottle)

To keep everything as uniform as possible, I picked eight of my most used products to approximate what my daily face looks like. I decided to swatch everything on my arm so that my face doesn’t get rubbed raw from all the testing (the things we do for love of Project Vanity). Here’s what I used for the throwdown!

Happy Skin Glam Squad Contour & Color, Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette, Inglot HD Lip Tint, Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil, Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara, MAC Studio Fix Concealer, L’Oreal Brow Artist Chisel Straight, Happy Skin Don’t Get Mad Get Even Liquid Foundation

Happy Skin Glam Squad Contour & Color, Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette, Inglot HD Lip Tint, Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil, Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara, MAC Studio Fix Concealer, L’Oreal Brow Artist Chisel Straight, Happy Skin Don’t Get Mad Get Even Liquid Foundation

Biore Micellar Cleansing Water (P189 for 90ml / P2.1 per ml, at Watsons)

Biore is one of the most popular cleansing waters in Japan, but at P2.1/ml, we certainly want to get value for our money. It removed most of the makeup in one swipe, save for the waterproof eyeliner mascara as well as the formidable matte liquid lipstick. In the end, I needed to do six passes or swipes to get it all off completely. Not bad though!

L’Oreal Micellar Water 3-in-1 (P225 for 250ml or P0.90 per ml, at the beauty section)

I was happy to see that the L’Oreal Micellar Water 3-in-1 is available in two variants – a blue one for oily skin, and a pink one for dry skin types. At P0.90/ml, it’s a sulit multi-purpose product for cleansing, removing makeup and soothing skin in just one go. Most of the makeup was already gone after the second swipe, but I had to make six more passes to completely remove the waterproof mascara and liquid lipstick.

Maybelline Micellar Water (P199 for 200ml or P0.99, at the beauty section)

Did you know that the Maybelline Micellar Water quickly sold out within days of its release? As one of the first affordable micellar water brands that came into the market this year, almost everyone I knew got a bottle or two! Does it deliver? It did well for normal makeup but long-wearing formulas such as the eyeliner and the liquid lipstick are more challenging to remove. It took me a total of 12 swipes to finally get everything off.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water (P499/200ml or P2.49 per ml at Watsons)

The internationally-lauded Simple Micellar Cleansing Water excited many beauty lovers with its arrival on the Philippine scene. The brand is a fave of Lisa Eldridge and Gwyneth Paltrow, so I wanted to know if the raves were true! The results did not blow me away though: waterproof makeup refused to budge completely until the tenth swipe. The up side is that Simple's mild formulation makes it a great pick for those with sensitive skin!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (P149.75 for 125ml and P249 for 400ml / P1.20 or .62 per ml, at Watsons, SM beauty section, and supermarkets)

Released just last month, the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water immediately proved itself as a tough contender. Assuming you purchase the larger 400ml bottle, this is as cheap as micellar water can get at just P0.6225/ml! Considering the super affordable price tag, I was ready for a performance that would lump it somewhere in the middle. Well, guess what: I could have actually stopped at just two swipes! It's a powerful makeup remover that takes everything off cleanly without any residue.

In every competition there can only be one left standing, and we found a clear winner in the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water! It completely removed all traces of makeup fast and easy, including the notorious waterproof liner, mascara, and liquid lipstick combo that the other micellar waters struggled with. Garnier is currently also the most affordable option in the drugstore. It definitely deserves the sash, scepter, and crown for the Most Effective Micellar Water in town!

Ranked in order of easiest to use

Ranked in order of easiest to use

Do you use micellar water? Did your favorite brand come out on top? What other product comparisons would you like to see on Project Vanity?