Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm Review

beauty review

I do love a good cleanser – a proper, massage-it-in, take-it-off-with-a-cloth kind of cleanser. If I have a full face of makeup (and actually, even if i don’t) I like to spend a good while massaging, cleansing and rinsing thoroughly, usually repeating the process to make sure that I’ve got all of that deep-seated grime and oil. Cleansing balms and creams (“hot cloth cleansers”) are my product of choice for the evening cleansing ritual, and you’ll probably already know that if you’ve been reading A Model Recommends for a while. I do use face washes and micellar waters and cleansing lotions, but usually as a hasty morning wash or, very occasionally, as a lazy quick-fix if I’m extraordinarily tired or if I’m on an aeroplane.

My latest cleansing discovery is Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm from Clinique. It’s not new, but it’s new to me. I don’t know how I haven’t used this before because I have used the bi-phase eye makeup remover for years and years and I really like the cleansing milk in the pump action bottle. I suppose that the balm, in its little flat pot, must have simply escaped my notice. Next to the tall bottles, it’s rather forgettable, but despite that I really like the packaging; it feels compact and neat and – furthermore – the cat can’t knock it over. (His latest funny “game” is to get onto shelves and knock things off with his paws. Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Inside the squat pot [ugh, I’ll edit that out once I’ve found a better phrase] there’s a hard, lard-like substance [again, find a better description] that can be scooped out and then melted between your fingertips. You don’t need very much at all, in fact the hard texture makes it more difficult to scoop out excessive amounts. (Unlike my Emma Hardie balm, the fragrant cleansing delight, which I slather on as though the world’s about to end.) The Clinique balm is unfragranced, which I imagine will be a huge bonus for many, and the formula is gentle and non-stripping. The balm melts to an oil that slips nicely across the skin so that you can really massage it in. It removes every last trace of makeup but rinses clean and if you have oily skin and are worried about using oil: fear not. This cleanser rinses completely clean – there’s absolutely no residue left behind and it’s not greasy at all. Surprising considering the initial waxy, lardy texture, but there you are. Never judge a book by its cover and all that.

The balm is £20.50 which I’d say is an extremely fair price for such a thorough cleanser – it’s not a luxurious product, by any means, but it’s very well put-together and will fit nicely into most beauty regimes. If you want to read other cleanser reviews then please click here

Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm is at

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  1. Nadia
    February 11, 2013 / 7:13 am

    This balm sounds lovely! I use the Emma Hardie one at the moment but I would love to try this one out. Do you know if there is mineral oil in this product? Thank you X

    • pluton
      February 11, 2013 / 2:00 pm

      nope there is no mineral oil in it

      • Nadia
        February 11, 2013 / 3:01 pm

        Thanks! X

  2. LilyLipstick
    February 11, 2013 / 7:43 am

    I really want to try this. I love the Clinique eye make-up remover so am surprised that I haven’t heard of this product before. Emma Hardie is on my wishlist too but this is much better value by the sounds of it. x

  3. Carly Wilde
    February 11, 2013 / 8:39 am

    I love this balm! Bought my pot 5 (!!!!!!) years ago and still going strong. Use it for my first cleanse to remove make up then something else to target whatever problem I’m having at that time :)

  4. Eli Doinoff
    February 11, 2013 / 9:17 am

    I simply adore this one – it’s a must have, really!

  5. February 11, 2013 / 10:39 am

    It reminds me of Lush’s Ultra Bland, really like that one

    • RuthCrilly
      February 11, 2013 / 5:30 pm

      Oh yes, I had forgotten about that! It’s one of the only things from Lush that I can use without sneezing! x

      • pluton
        February 11, 2013 / 9:00 pm

        I think Ultra Bland is much ticker. I tried it 3 years ego and I couldn’t rub it. I had to remove it with another cleanser:)

  6. February 11, 2013 / 10:43 am

    Similar to RMK’s.

  7. kamidozono
    February 11, 2013 / 11:06 am

    Ruth, you should cross your fingers and hope Mr. Bear doesn’t decide he likes your makeup brushes …. My monster will sniff them out (literally), try to open draws to get them, and sit watching the whole time I use them. Smart enough to watch where I hide them, too :( If he does get them, he’ll run around playing with them like a mouse with a handle …..

    • RuthCrilly
      February 11, 2013 / 5:29 pm

      They are terrors!

  8. pluton
    February 11, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    Its my favorite makeup remover ever. As you mentioned It can remove every last trace of makeup. HG!

    • RuthCrilly
      February 11, 2013 / 5:29 pm

      : )

  9. ARachelsays
    February 11, 2013 / 3:22 pm

    I just picked this up after reading your review. Can’t wait to get it in my hands!

    • RuthCrilly
      February 11, 2013 / 5:29 pm


  10. Tiff
    February 11, 2013 / 3:49 pm

    Hi Ruth, what is the best product you have come across that can help to solve eye bags? Thanks!

    • RuthCrilly
      February 11, 2013 / 5:29 pm

      Honestly? I’m not sure that there are really any that can work absolute magic and I think that some of them out there actually make things worse. If mine are puffy, I tend to grab some kind of cooling eye patch and get back into bed, propped up on pillows, for 10/15 mins. I’ll do a bit more research, but I know that I get them if I drink the night before or if I’ve (ironically) slept really well! x

      • Tiff
        February 11, 2013 / 11:00 pm

        how about the zelens triple action eye cream? do u think that helps?

        • RuthCrilly
          February 11, 2013 / 11:25 pm

          It’s definitely very “lifting” and firming, but…let me do a bit more research. I don’t want you to waste money x

          • Dee
            February 12, 2013 / 9:56 am

            I have the world’s worst eye bags! (may have exaggerated, but they are BAD). Looking forward to your post Ruth! Thank you! x

  11. Shenanigans
    February 11, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    Really enjoying your Blog (and Youtube… and Twitter) Ruth!
    I’ve just ordered some Alpha H Liquid Gold, and Molecule 1 Fragrance – allllll thanks to you!
    (Much to the dismay of my bank balance haha)

  12. Alessandra
    February 11, 2013 / 11:07 pm

    Hi Ruth! Thanks for the review. How about the Bobbi Brown lemon-y balm? Any comparisons there?

    • Alessandra
      February 11, 2013 / 11:09 pm

      The make up removing balm from the Extra line

      • Alessandra
        February 11, 2013 / 11:11 pm

        Thank you.

        • RuthCrilly
          February 11, 2013 / 11:25 pm

          Haven’t tried! But lemon-y? I’m there!!!! x

  13. Marion
    February 12, 2013 / 7:36 am

    Hi Ruth!

    I don’t know if the problem is with my browser but your latest posts don’t appear on the main page.
    The last one I can see is about the Dior dinner in Paris, I checked your twitter feed because I was wondering why you weren’t blogging and that’s when I saw you had actually posted articles.

    Have a nice day !

    • Vicki
      February 12, 2013 / 1:31 pm

      Me too! Exactly the same problem

  14. Selvi
    February 13, 2013 / 6:23 am

    Great review as always, Ruth. How would you compare this (in terms of effectiveness and after-feel) to Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils or TheBalm’s Balms Away? Thank you! :)

  15. yujanet
    February 14, 2013 / 4:12 pm

    I use the Eve Lom version at the moment but that’s fairly pricey in comparison. I should grab a sample of this and try it out as a cheaper alternative.

  16. Stacie
    February 15, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    Thinking of trying the take the day off balm, you seem to like it.
    I wonder if sephora would sample it. Before I buy? Don’t really like to return stuff.

    • Jing
      March 10, 2013 / 7:43 am

      I went to Sephora another day to get a sample of this. So yes, they do sample it.

      • Stacie
        March 10, 2013 / 12:01 pm

        Thanks, I did end up going and asking for a sample. And then a few days later I purchased it. I would never have thought I would like a balm to remove makeup! Always concerned about breakouts. So far it’s been working well :)

  17. Sera
    February 16, 2013 / 12:06 am

    I’m the same as you Ruth with regards to massaging on lovely hot cloth balm products, and although you may not be a fan of Lush products I had to mention the Ultrabland balm cleanser…main ingredients are almond oil and honey and it literally has not only helped with makeup removal but with the actual condition of my skin! Sometimes I even put it as a spot treatment on any dry patches!

    • Selma Gabela
      March 20, 2013 / 9:21 pm

      I also have and use Ultrabland and couldn’t help to think that this Clinique cleanser is really similar, “lard-like” just as Ruth mentioned. I’ll join the Ultrabland praise, it’s really good and I think it’s a shame to overlook Lush completely because they do have amazing products. I would recommend to Ruth (if she’ll ever find the time) to try Mask of Magnaminty, Fair Trade Foot Lotion, Lemony Flutter, Jumping Juniper and some massage bars (Wiccy takes away muscle cramps and knotty areas). There are loads and loads of other Lush fantastic things but these are the first that popped into mind.

  18. Beautystargalatica
    February 23, 2013 / 8:14 pm

    Would you say you prefer it to the Pai cleanser? I’m nearly out of the Pai, debating if I should try this next or go for more Pai!! :0) xxx

  19. Charlie
    March 4, 2013 / 9:23 pm

    Hi ruth read your review on the Clinique balm, which I had not heard of and I use the Clinique system, it took the 3rd distributor of Clinique to actually find the balm it was not on display I had to ask for it. It’s brilliant love it. Just cannot understand why it’s not readily assessible..

  20. kirstycalderon
    March 17, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    I love ponds cold cream cleanser . It’s so cheap and does an amazing job at melting away a full face make-up and eye make up . I have really sensitive skin and it doesn’t irritate it one bit .

  21. Itziar Acosta
    March 26, 2013 / 3:24 pm

    Ruth, do you like this one better than the Emma Hardie? Thanks!

    • hb
      May 27, 2013 / 10:10 am

      I am hesitating between the two, so i’d love you to answer ? I am a student and the EH one is more expensive so if clinique is quite of a dupe …

  22. Itziar Acosta
    April 3, 2013 / 11:40 pm

    Ruth, do you like this one better than the Emma Hardie? Thanks!

  23. Oily skinblog
    April 27, 2013 / 8:27 pm

    I’ve never used a cleansing balm although I know they are used a lot in beauty saloons because they are so convenient. It’s on my must-haves, thanks for the tip. Livia

  24. Astrid Menz
    May 4, 2013 / 6:21 pm

    Hello Ruth!

    I have a big problem. My Skin is sensitiv, but not dry. In the last jears i take my make up away with the Erno Lazlo Sea Mud Soap,Sisley Cleansing Milk and many more.But my skin sream” help”. The Pai Claensing and eve loom it”s not for my skin-unfortunately.Have you a great tip for my sensitiv but not dry skin for cleansing and moisturizes? Please help me! Ps.Sorry for my english, it`s not sooo good. greatings from Hamburg Astrid

  25. Luiza Veiga
    May 5, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    Ruth, have you ever tried REN no.1 Purity Cleanser Balm? It seems very similar to Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm…

    • Luiza Veiga
      May 5, 2013 / 7:40 pm

      Also, between Clinique Redness Solution Cleanser, Jurlique Purely Bright Cleanser and Perricone Nutritive Cleanser, which one should I use with the Clarisonic?

      Thanks xx

  26. Laura
    May 12, 2013 / 12:09 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    Would you say this was more of an everyday cleanser than your Emma Hardie one? I am so undecided :) x

  27. AshvinSandhu
    October 1, 2013 / 11:44 am

    I never knew about this cleanser till I read this..bought it and I am absolutely in LOVE with it!Works great with a muslin cloth and its so efficient..sure saves a lot of time!Thank you Ruth!

  28. Priscila
    October 4, 2013 / 10:48 pm

    Hello Ruth,
    I just got mine through the mail today, it is a GREAT product! Thank you so much for the review, I really love this cleanser and my skin feels amazing.

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