Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Review & Swatches

I had been using my favorite cleansing oil (Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil) for the longest time but recently I was introduced to the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm by my good friend Rachelle in Singapore (she had asked me to send her one). Since I was running out of the Origins cleansing oil, I thought I'd try something new for a change and get one for myself, too. And wow! What a world-changing experience in the history of makeup removal! (OK, maybe not that dramatic, but close!)

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Right off the bat, I was drawn to the pretty purple jar! And it's a humongous jar! Not exactly travel-friendly here but you can always transfer to a smaller jar to take it with you. The surface of the balm reminds me of candle wax but it is not as solid and will melt immediately into oil upon contact with warmth. The product is formulated without mineral oil and is 100% fragrance free.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

The way I use this balm is simple. I usually just dig it out with my clean fingers (if this sounds unsanitary to you, or if the balm gets stuck under your long fingernails, try a spatula) and massage it on my dry (made-up) face. The warmth from the skin will instantly melt the balm and turn it into a layer of soothing oil. I find that if I begin with a small amount of balm, it will stay oily during massaging (much like cleansing oil) but if I start with a little bit more than necessary, the balm will turn milky, and thus making massaging so much more fun and relaxing!

Whether to emulsify (lather) during massaging depends on the type of makeup. I find that light makeup (non-waterproof) can be easily dissolved and washed off without emulsifying but for long-wearing or waterproof makeup especially eyeliner/mascara, adding a little bit of water helps to break down the product easier.

Final step is simply rinse clean with warm water and pat dry. My face always feels soft, refreshed, clean, and most importantly, non-stripped after using this balm. The formula is so gentle, non-irritating, and never tugs at skin. There is no oily/greasy residues left behind so you can probably get away without a second cleanse. But I am acne-prone so I always follow with my usual cleanser to make sure my face is as clean as possible. To test whether all traces of makeup is gone, simply wipe your face with a toner-soaked cotton pad. There shouldn't be anything transferred onto it if you have cleaned properly.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

The test

Now, let's see it in action! Below is a swatch of some of the waterproof/long-wearing/staining makeup.

01 - Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain 02 - Benefit Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain 03 - Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation 04 - MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer 05 - Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor 06 - Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick 07 - Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow 08 - Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner 09 - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil 10 - Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Eyeliner
01 – Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain
02 – Benefit Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain
03 – Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation
04 – MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
05 – Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor
06 – Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
07 – Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow
08 – Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
09 – Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
10 – Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Eyeliner

After applying a generous amount of the balm over it and massaging for a full minute, you can see that the balm now turns milky and the majority of the makeup (1 and 3-9) has started to come off already.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm - massaging
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm – massaging

Since 2 and 10 don't seem to budge at all (good job Benefit and Marc Jacobs!), I add a little bit of water to further emulsify, rub a little more, and then rinse clean with warm water. They are still not completely removed after rinsing (see below) but most of them is now pretty much dissolved. If I were to continue rubbing, I'm pretty sure I'd get every trace of it off, but I had to stop because my skin was getting red and in reality, you are not supposed to rub this hard especially on the skin around the eyes.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm - added a little bit of water, massaged some more and rinsed clean with water
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm – added a little bit of water, massaged some more and rinsed clean with water

It doesn't completely remove the Benetint and Marc Jacobs eyeliner as easily as I'd like but it's not a big deal for me because I always do a separate step to remove my eye makeup (I use Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover) before cleaning the rest of my face anyway.

I have to say Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is the best (face) makeup remover I've tried to date. It hasn't irritated my skin, clogged my pores, or made me break out since I've started using it. While digging out the balmy texture is not as easy as pumping (cleansing) oil into the palms, you can't beat the soothing sensation of massaging the balm on the skin. It really just feels so relaxing that I always look forward to removing my makeup every night! :)

Have you tried any cleansing balm? What do you prefer: cleansing oil or balm?

Purchase

US$28.50 at SephoraNordstromClinique

At Clinique counters

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13 Comments

  • Jaa, this was such a helpful and thorough review — thank you for taking the time to share this info with us!! Once I’m done with my current cleansing oil (Tatcha) I will definitely look into getting Clinique’s instead. Thanks for sharing this :)!

    • You’re welcome, Carolyn! Thank you for reading and commenting! :)

      Once you try the Clinique, please come back and share your experience with us! :)

  • Hey Jaa, this is definitely on my to-try list! I personally prefer cleansing balms, because cleansing oils can dry my skin out a little (especially in winter). This seems like quite a budget-friendly option!

    • I agree. It’s hard to find cleansing oils that don’t strip the skin! Though I have a feeling I’ll go through this balm a lot faster than the cleansing oil (I tend to use a little too much each time haha!).

  • That’s my name up there!!!!! I’m famous now!!! LOL

    Thanks for mentioning me Jaa! Hehe and I’m glad that you like this cleansing balm if not I’ll feel so bad.. Is there any chance of you showing your entire makeup collection? That will be absolutely bad-ass… But I figured it might take you a considerable amount of time on that post.. (((p(>o<)q)))

    • Yay! You are SUPER famous now, babe!!!! I DO love the balm so thanks to YOU! :D

      I don’t think showing my entire makeup collection is a good idea! LOL! That would be wayyyy too much work!! Haha!

    • I just tested it with my only sunscreen that I have (Diorsnow White Reveal UV Shield SPF 50) and it came off very easily! :)

  • I’ve been eyeing this for a while. Like you, I’m a cleansing oil user as part of a double-cleanse, and I’ve wanted to make the switch to a balm because my current cleansing oil has mineral oil in it. I’m sold and will definitely be trying this!

    • Same here, Amanda! I tend to avoid cleansing oils that have mineral oil in it at all cost. Glad this one is free of it! Works like a charm, too!

      Let me know/write a review when you’ve tried it! :D

  • Hmmm, very interesting. I love using cleansing oils to dissolve my makeup, but it always drips all over the place. I may have to give this a try.

    • I have the same problem, too, Ellen! Pain in the butt to clean! But the Origins one the formula is a bit thicker than most cleansing oils so I don’t have much of the dripping problem. What cleansing oil do you use?

  • I LOVE it how you do the examples! SO COOL! Must be the scientist in you! :) I’ve always liked the looks of this beautiful product. Maybe once I get my acne under control I can branch out into this cleanser!

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