Sephora Favorites – The Great Cleanse Set (Limited-Edition)

I picked up the Sephora Favorites The Great Cleanse Set ($48 for 12 items) while I was in store the last week of 2014. I went in for one hand cream and of course left with more than I intended. I’ve been putting several new cleansers to the test and when I saw this set had some that I had been wanting to try for a long time I decided to give it a try. This set has deluxe sizes of 11 cleansers, I like that they are larger than the usual freebies you can occasionally find which means you can give each one a serious test drive to see whether or not you like it. There are two items in the set that I’ve already tried, purchased and loved which include the Caudalie Cleansing Water and Ole Henriksen Foaming Cleanser. The remaining items are new to me and in the past couple of weeks I’ve given each item a test 2-3 times.

I have some initial thoughts to share although I will have to do more testing to give a thorough review. Since it does take time for skincare to show how effective it is, how long do you test a face cleanser before deciding whether or not it works for you? For me if there is irritation on the skin or if the scent is unpleasant, I usually don’t go past the first use. In addition to these cleansers, I’m currently testing a few others, I think by the end of the month I’ll be able to have a good idea of how they all work and I’ll have a roundup post on what worked and what didn’t.

Back to the Sephora Favorites Great Cleanse set. Sephora has created a set that has a variety of cleansers to try. They’ve split the items into categories like Remove Makeup, Cleanse Skin and Cleanse and Treat. Some overlap with each other. I’ll list the sizes of each item and my initial thoughts. If you have tried any of these I’d love to hear about your testing experience as well. There are a couple that I know I don’t like – if you love them tell me what you loved so I can figure out what it is that I’m doing wrong. For reference Sephora.com has the ingredients listed for each item in their set in the set product listing.

  1. Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water 3.38 oz is a long-time favorite. It’s gentle but effective at removing face makeup without stripping the skin. I love the soft scent and soothing feel that leaves my skin refreshed and soft. It won’t remove waterproof eye makeup but for the face and lips it’s reached holy grail status for me.
  2. Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil 1.7 oz is new to me but has been on my list to try for ages. I was thrilled to see a mini in this set. I found it went on the skin smoothly and emulsified nicely. It removed all traces of makeup (although I did remove eye makeup with a cotton pad and eye makeup remover first because I don’t like oil getting in my eyes). It left the skin feeling residue-free without stripping.
  3. Nude Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil 0.5 oz is another one I was really excited to try. I have almost bought the full size on numerous occasions because of all the raves. After trying this one I am glad that I did not. This one didn’t work for me. Several customer reviews indicated this one just sat on the skin and didn’t emulsify. This was what I experienced. I applied it on dry skin and then tried to rinse off with warm water. The oil just thickened and my face was covered with a thick paste of foundation, powder and oil and just sat there. I had to use cleansing water and a second cleanser to remove everything.
  4. Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser 1.5 fl oz is a long-time favorite. It cleans the skin really well and has a lightweight feel. (A more detailed review here).
  5. Origins Checks and Balances™ Frothy Face Wash 1 oz is a foaming cleanser. It has a super lightweight texture and foams up really nicely. It smells minty like toothpaste which I wasn’t a huge fan of. I found it a bit too strong for my skin, it left my face feeling super clean but there was a tight almost dry feeling afterwards. It didn’t make my skin peel, but I suspect for right now with the dry winter weather this will be too strong. If you have oily skin and need something that does a super cleanse, this one is worth looking into. I’ll be putting this to the test a few more times before deciding for sure, but the scent alone is making me not love this.
  6. Glamglow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment 0.5 oz is one of the newest masks from Glamglow. I tried a sample packet before and it left my face feeling a bit irritated. It didn’t burn, it just felt like there were tiny areas of slight irritation around my face after use. I gave it another try twice (the small tube will last about two, maybe three uses if you use it sparingly). This time there was no irritation, but I found it didn’t really do much for my skin. I prefer the Youthmud and Supermud to this one.
  7. Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover 1.69 oz is a dual-phase eye makeup remover. It is very gentle and does remove regular eye makeup, but I found that it wasn’t really effective with waterproof or long-wearing cream shadows and mascara. For example it didn’t take off the NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks, By Terry Ombre Blackstar or Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof with two swipes of a soaked cotton pad. I’ll keep testing this with other brands of makeup.
  8. Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser 1.5 oz is a unique cleanser that turns into an oil when you massage it into the skin. It is on the thicker side and there is a scent to it that smells almost like almonds. If you have super dry skin this might be a good one to try. I found it a bit too moisturizing and rich for me, but it did take off all traces of makeup and left the skin feeling moisturized after rinsing with water.
  9. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser 1.7 oz has been a miss for me in the past. It was a miss again. If you love this please tell me what I’m doing wrong. I find it is a lightweight cleanser in texture but I don’t find it effective in cleansing and it leaves a film on my skin.
  10. Philosophy Purity Made Simple 2 oz is another popular cleanser that I always thought was over-hyped. I tried it for the first time and think it works ok, but I will have to test it more to see how I really feel about it. It left the skin clean without stripping, irritating or leaving any film. So far it seems to be a good one but I’ll have to test it a few more times.
  11. Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder 0.36 oz is water-activated powder cleanser. It foams up nicely and lathers well, but as many others have noted, the packaging makes it quite messy. It comes in a jar with a lid, but unlike Tatcha’s Enzyme powders, there is no dispenser or small opening to help control how much powder you pour out. I’ve tried this with bare hands and also tried pouring this over the Boscia cleansing sponge. Either way, it does take a bit of work and I found that it was hard to get just the right amount and I ended up wasting product because of over pour. That being said, it does clean the skin really well. For right now it’s too stripping for morning use (probably because of dry weather) but I do like this in the evening. I’ve tried this as a single cleanser and it does take off all the makeup.
  12. Boscia Mini Konjac Cleansing Sponge is an interesting item. Dry it is quite stiff, but it softens when you rinse it with warm water. I was worried it would be too rough for my sensitive skin but it really is just the right texture to exfoliate the skin. It’s not as harsh or rough as a washcloth but not too soft to feel like your bare hands. The one that comes in the set is small, I’m not sure if the one sold individually is larger but if it is, it’s something I would seriously consider purchasing. 
Have you tried any of the Sephora Favorites sets? This is the first one I’ve tried although I always find them tempting when I see them in stores. The sampler minis are so appealing but I try not to buy unless I think I’m going to try 75% or more of it. I’ll have a more detailed review with thoughts on all the cleansers I’ve been testing recently at the end of the month. For now, I hope you find this introductory post helpful. As always I’d love to hear what you think or if you’ve tried any of these.

The Sephora Favorites Great Cleanse Set retails for $48. Online and in stores now, it is listed as limited-edition. 
  • I've become a big fan of the Konjac sponge and have stopped using my Clarisonic in favor of them. The one I like best is The Japanese Konjac that I get for about $10 on Amazon. I actually think they work best and last longest with just water and no cleanser. Since I need cleanser in the evening, I usually use the konjac in the morning when my face doesn't have dirt and makeup on it.

    I've used the Boscia black cleanser and I like it a lot but I'm interested in trying their others, especially the makeup remover oil. I'm using Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm right now and I love how hydrating it is! It removes all traces of makeup.

    • Thanks for the feedback Denise! I'll have to look into the Japanese Konjac sponge.The Boscia Black Cleanser sounds so interesting. I wonder if they do trial/travel sizes.

  • I just finished a full sized bottle of the Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, liked it very much. I wasn't impressed with the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser either. I've tried a few samples of it, usually after removing my makeup with an oil cleanser first. No way would it work to remove makeup on it's own, IMO.

    • Thanks Lulubelle – glad to know I'm not the only one on the Soy. Some others have suggested using the Clarisonic, I'm going to give it a try.

  • Love Nude cleansing oil ❤️

  • I love using the Fresh soy cleanser with my Clarisonic- maybe give that a try!

    • Thanks Carly, I'll give that a try.

  • Anonymous

    I also love the Fresh soy cleanser. It does a good job removing my makeup and leaves my skin feeling… fresh. Sorry that one didn't work for you!

  • I felt the exact same way about the Glamglow, Philosophy and Origins.

    • What's your current fav cleanser? Open to recs!

  • I like Boscia's Makeup Breakup. I used to buy it frequently. I haven't used the NUDE in ages and I'm pretty sure it was reformulated in the last year or two. The old one was lovely and my first cleansing oil. I used to love the Purity too. But then they changed it too in the late 2000's and it stopped being good for sensitive skin.

    • Interesting about the reformulation! The current one doesn't work for me at all unfortunately.

  • Anonymous

    This looks like a useful kit. In my routine, cleanser is one of the most important components. In the morning, I use the Caudalie Cleansing foam in the shower. At night, I use Seba Med Face and Body Cleanser. This is something I used as a teen, then for a lot of years, I used various Chanel cleansers. With the Chanel cleansers, I used to break out on the cheeks but couldn't trace it back to anything until I tried the Seba Med cleanser again. I haven't had those break outs since and am happy with the price and the product.
    Thanks,
    Tanja

    • I haven't had much luck with Chanel cleansers either, although I do like the Oil Gel cleanser as a makeup remover.

  • Jo

    The only one of the group I have tried is the Nude, thankfully I just got a sample of it to try because it is way to heavy for me and does not rinse or towel off cleanly. The rest have too much fake fragrance in them for me to be even interested in trying them. I think you would like Yuli's Halcyon. I will gladly send you a sample if you are interested. I really do not think department stores or Sephora are the best place to shop for cleansers and other skin care products.

    • Hi Jo, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who had that experience with the nude. What makes you say department stores aren't good to shop for cleansers/skincare?

  • The kit is nice if you want to try new cleansers but I already have the Boscia Cooling Oil and konjac sponge, Fresh Soy cleanser and the Purity cleanser so not sure I would purchase this.

  • These look great!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves
    ♥♥♥

  • would love this, shame sephora shipping is so expensive to the UK!

    Alice x
    Sheer Beautiful l Bloglovin'

  • Another Konjac fan here! I use the sponge by Oleavine and sold on Amazon for $10. I have become addicted to the extra gentle, but effective, cleansing and daily exfoliation that it provides. I wear a full face of makeup most days and so I use my beloved Tatcha ritual for nighttime cleansing, but in the morning, I simply use my Konjac and tepid water. It leaves my skin super soft with a refined and radiant appearance. The Konjac I purchased is a palm sized, teardrop shaped sponge which is perfect for covering large areas as well as getting into smaller areas like around the eyes or nose. In addition to plain Konjac, the sponges also come infused with different clays or essences to make them better suited to different skin conditions. So, if you're interested in trying one, I suggest learning about the different variations before purchasing.

    I've tried Purity Made Simple in the past and it stripped my skin and left it red and irritated. I was given a sample of Bosica's powder, but gave up on it because of the mess. I'll stick with my Tatcha Gentle Rice Enzyme powder which is ideally suited to my skin type and comes in a mess-free container. The Nude oil was a disaster. I've used cleansing oil for over 50 years and so I know exactly how a high quality, efficacious one should perform. Nude didn't even come close. I had to keep adding more and more water in an attempt to thin the mess so that I could remove it with a washcloth. I then had to cleanse my face again to remove the remaining residue. My skin is very reactive and simply couldn't tolerate all the handling. So, once again, I'll stick to my beloved Tatcha cleansing oil. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! 🙂

    • Thank you Eileen, I'm going to try the Tatcha with the Konjac sponge. I agree if it aint broke don't fix it, but I'm still relatively new to exploring skincare and my skin was a nightmare last year – it wasn't due to skincare products or makeup. I spent a lot of time trying different things and this past month it's finally getting back to the normal state (thankfully).

    • Hi Sabrina,

      As you know, I have dry, mature, sensitive skin and so I use the Konjac infused with French red clay which Oleavine recommends for my skin type. There are; however, many different variations from which to choose. Konjac is soooooo much gentler than the Clarisonic and yet it is every bit as efficacious. My morning cleansing routine is simplicity itself and I find that my toner/lotion (currently loving La Mer The Treatment) and serums soak into my skin in the blink of an eye. Don't let the fragil nature of the sponge and the soft feel of it on your skin fool you, though. It does an excellent job of cleansing and exfoliating.

  • Anonymous

    I love Origins Checks and Balances! I have oily skin and love how clean it makes my skin feel. I agree though that if your skin isn't oily it might not be the best cleanser.

  • I've only tried Purity (which I love) so I'm interested in trying this set. I've been wanting to try a few of these formulas for a while but you reviews have me extra anxious lol. I really want to try that Caudalie cleansing water, Ole Henriksen cleanser and Boscia powder

    Follow me to Fancieland!

  • stephanee

    This kit looks interesting. I currently use purity but only at night with clarison. ut is a deep cleanse I put some on my face then some on brush and it foams perfectly. For the nude I add to dry face and add water and rub just like any other oil. it breaks down with heat and i use seperate hot washcloth lay on face like a sheet mask and then it just melts off. i was the opposite for caudalie water the grape smell is too strong for me I cant finish the bottle. checks and balance is better in summer too much for winter and I am also in southern cali. fresh soy I dont care for I dont like cream cleansers always leave a film on my face. I havent tried the rest in the kit might pick up just to test the others. Great post than you for sharing!

  • eve

    such a fantastic review of products. I am always loathe to try new things as my skin is very sensitive and reacts to a lot of products. There is nothing worse than forking out money for a product, only to end up binning it or gifting it to a family member. These kits are a wonderful way of trying out products and in the end, everyone benefits from it. the companies sell product and the customers are not continually wasting their money on unsuitable products. But for now I think I will stick to my tried and tested First Aid Beauty facial cleanser!!!!!

  • I was thinking whether or not I should buy this set, but I think I'm sold now. I need it! x

    FARFROMPERFECTIONXO

  • I've been on the fence about purchasing this set but I think I am going to pass. I was mostly interested in the Fresh cleanser and the Boscia powder.
    I liked the Boscia oil, it was effective at removing my most stubborn eye makeup but it really messed up my contacts and blurred my vision even without them (for a few minutes!) That can't be good, right?

    I love the Caudalie Cleansing Water, it is so refreshing, but I agree it doesn't tackle hard to remove makeup.

    Thanks for a great review!

  • I've tried the Caudalie cleansing water. It was my first try at one. The SA at Sephora suggested Sephora Cleansing water which I'm working through at the moment. No preference between the two.
    I've also tried the Fresh soy cleanser. I use it as a second cleanse or as a morning cleanse since it seems lightweight. I like it but don't use it all the time.
    I have Sephora Favorites Skin Wonderland. Most of the products/brands are new to me. I've slowly been working through it.
    Lauren