I think we can all guess what happened just from the title of this review. Yep, I ran out of my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm (review here). As tragic as it was, I had to move on and find a replacement. Of course, I was tempted to just repurchase it but the price tag scared me away. So when I heard that there was a cheaper, but just as good version of it by Clinique, I swooped in right away.
Let me just start off by saying I much prefer the packaging of this balm. The Emma Hardie one was constantly cracking all over and just breaks very easily, whereas this one is a beautiful purple and very sturdy.
This cleansing balm does everything a cleansing balm should do: removes all makeup effortlessly, cleanses the skin, helps clean out pores and reduce the size of them (particularly on your nose), and doesn't strip the skin from any moisture. It also has zero fragrance whatsoever, whereas the Emma Hardie does have a fragrance, though a very pleasant one. Personally, I think the Clinique one is better suited to those with sensitive skin because there really is nothing in the ingredients that could possibly cause a reaction. The Emma Hardie balm does contain essential oils, which might irritate the skin of some people, though I myself never experienced any reaction.
So the question is: is it better or just as good as the Emma Hardie cleansing balm? The answer is no. And I only have one reason for saying this: it doesn't add moisture to the skin. The Emma Hardie can be used as a moisturizing mask, whereas the Clinique balm just doesn't really moisturize the skin. It does leave the skin feeling soft, but you instantly feel like you need to slap on some moisturizer after using it.
Though it does have two perks over the Emma Hardie balm - it doesn't stain towels. And secondly, it will last you a lot longer because it's much more solid. You literally have to rub your hand in it to melt it a bit so some oil will come off, which allows you to then apply it your face and massage it in.
I completely agree with Caroline Hiron's thoughts on it (link here), it's a really good cleansing balm, but it doesn't give you that "Ahhh" feel when you put it on like the Emma Hardie does.
But still, really awesome cheaper alternative! I'm quite shocked that I like it because I generally have a huge dislike for Clinique skin care products. They're usually way too harsh, which in turn makes my skin react, and tend to do more harm than good *cough* 3 Step System *cough*. This is the first item of theirs that I have used and actually liked, so bravo to Clinique! Though the one big down side to it is finding it. I don't know why, but Clinique has made this task very difficult. I could only purchase it online on Douglas, since for some reason they don't actually sell them in the stores.
But do be sure to try it out if you can!
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($28 in the U.S./ €29.99 in Europe)