Project Focus 10: Muji Cut Cotton Ecru

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Today’s Project Focus 10 review is not makeup, but something to help remove makeup; the Muji Cut Cotton Ecru:
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This is my most used Project Focus 10 item – I’ve been using it nightly to remove my eye makeup since starting this series.

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My basis of comparison will be against the Shiseido Facial Cotton, which to me, is the pinnacle of cotton perfection. There is really NO need to stray from it, except for the fact that it now costs a whopping CAD $11 for a pack of 165 pieces. I did a comparison between Shiseido and 2 drugstore “dupes” last year and Shiseido blew them out of the water. In the comments of that post, it was recommended that I try the Muji cotton, since it is also made in Japan and costs a fraction of what Shiseido costs.
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The package comes with 140 pieces and only costs CAD $3.00 which is 68% cheaper than Shiseido’s per sheet!
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Originally I set out to buy the white version of Muji’s cut cotton, but they were out of stock so I settled for the ecru version, which is unbleached. Right away, I can see that Muji’s cotton is slightly smaller in size, measuring 60 x 50mm whereas Shiseido’s is 65 x 55mm.
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When I applied the Muji cotton to my skin, I can definitely feel that it is rougher than Shiseido’s – this is especially apparently when I’m using it to remove eye makeup around my delicate eye area. I suspect this may be due to the fact that this is unbleached cotton which is less refined – you can see little specks in the Muji cotton.  I know that for some people with  allergies, unbleached cotton is a better alternative – as well, less processing means that it’s better for the environment.
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I do find the Muji’s cotton is very thick and strong – it holds its shape even when soaked with remover / toner.  You can see that 10 pieces of Muji stacked  is much fluffier than 10 pieces of Shiseido.  The Muji cotton has no rough edges and there’s absolutely no lint or fluff coming off it. I did notice that it’s not as absorbent compared to Shiseido’s – liquid seems to sit on top for a second before it is absorbed. I also chalk this to the fact that this is unbleached cotton. Overall, it outperforms the Chinese-made drugstore “dupes” I reviewed before, but it’s not nearly as good as Shiseido’s.
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I don’t read Japanese but from what I gather, the instructions on the back advises how to hold the cotton (the same as how Shiseido recommends) to use this to remove makeup.  It also recommends that you can use the cotton as a mask by first soaking it in toner / essence / lotion – this is a common thing to do with facial cotton in Japan, it seems.
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I do really appreciate the resealable bag of the Muji – ahem, Shiseido!

I’ll use this bag up but likely won’t repurchase the ecru type – I do wonder if the Muji white version would be more similar to the Shiseido?

Pros:
• Very thick and strong
• No lint
• Affordable
• Resealable bag
• Unbleached

Cons:
• Not as soft
• Not as absorbent
• Smaller size per sheet

Stash worthiness: 7/10

What facial cotton are you currently using?

Tidbits about the other items:
• I managed to use the Smashbox palette almost daily this week – I’ve tried every shade in the palette now but I definitely gravitate toward the peachy / brown shades
• I started wearing the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation that I got recently and I’ve been enjoying mixing it with the Guerlain Lingerie De Peau BB cream
• Haven’t touched the Smashbox Primer Spray at all – still debating adding glycerin to it to see if it’ll help


Please go check out my collab buddies for their Project Focus 10 post:
♦ Ingrid of Curly.Spring.Blossom
♦ Jodi of A Brash Attitude
♦ Joy of Styled With Joy

63 thoughts on “Project Focus 10: Muji Cut Cotton Ecru

  1. I had a look at the Muji Site here to see if I could get my hands on the Muji cleansing oil you’ve raved about and we don’t seem to be able to get anything of note from the beauty range here – at least online, next time I walk past one in London I’ll go in and have a look and see if there stores are different.

    The cheapest I’ve seen Shisedo cotton for here is £28. So over $50 CAD! I think I’ll be sticking to the ones from the baby range I’m currently using at those prices!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Muji site definitely does not list all of the products they sell in stores – I’ve noticed that with the North American site too.
      Are you KIDDING about the price of the Shiseido cotton in the UK? Are you sure the price isn’t for a BULK quantity?! 😆

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        1. Oh yes, I’ve seen that comparison. I looked it up online and Amazon sells it for $9.50 which is just a $1.50 savings from the Shiseido (although you do get a more sheets: 220 vs 165 pcs) but there is shipping charge. I might test them just out of curiosity! Thanks for reminding me of them. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always used cotton balls, but it’s always been rather annoying that they kind of break apart when I use them to tone or remove makeup. I’ll definitely be looking into cotton squares because they seem much more sturdy.
    Hopefully the white version of these will be a closer dupe for your Shisedo squares!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t used cotton balls in YEARS. I find them SO linty and I hate finding little fluffs on my face. I’m telling you – once you go to cotton squares you won’t look back! Target sells some good ones, you don’t need to go nuts with the Shiseido (yet… work yourself up there! 😛 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I might still have some I picked up at a Walmart to take care of Luna when she was attacked on Christmas because the vet said they would be better than cotton balls because they wouldn’t leave lint in her wounds. If I have any left I’ll definitely try them for removing my makeup tonight!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the thorough review! When I first saw the comparison picture, I was wondering why the Muji one had little specks in it. Crazy how much thicker it is than the Shiseido cottons. Would be interested in seeing you compare the unbleached one with Shiseido, if you ever got your hands on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised how thick the Muji one was too – don’t get me wrong, the Muji one is a great facial cotton, I’m just spoiled by Shiseido – it’s just so soft! I’ve heard that Chanel and Cle de Peau cottons are even better but I draw the line at $11 cotton!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just looked up the Chanel and Cle de Peau cottons…$27 and $32 for cotton pads?? No thank you. At that price, they BETTER be even better than Shiseido! Would make me feel super glamorous to take my makeup off with a cotton pad imprinted with the Chanel logo though, hah 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm interesting observation – not sure if it’s primarily an Asian thing or not. I know that I have Yve Rocher cotton and they’re square (with slightly rounded corners). The Chanel and Cle de Peau ones are also square. Efficiency-wise, it makes much more sense to have them square rather than round – less wastage! Who knows! I hope you get Muji soon – it’s such a great place to shop for essentials! I can’t wait to visit the REAL Muji stores when I’m in Japan!!! They sell Muji MAKEUP there! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, I’ve only ever seen round in stores here in the Netherlands. I will be on the lookout, maybe I’ve just missed them. Does make more sends from the eco view of wastage and packaging.

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  4. Next week, I’m working on a post about all the goodies you sent me (Thank you again) !!! To tell you the truth, I HATE the Shiseido facial cotton … I HATE the fact that I won’t ever use something else for the rest of my life Lol 😛

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  5. A well versed, great comparison with Shiseido is definitely worth to bring the actual quality of the Muji cotton ecru pads right in front of everyone. When it comes to me, I mostly stick onto Boots and Superdrug cotton pads.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve just discovered a Muji store in Sydney so am excited to hear of a brand I know – yay!
    I just use regular cotton for toning and removing makeup…It’s probably best for my bank account I don’t try the fancier cotton :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must go! The store is very stroller friendly, it even has a ramp to get from the lower level. You will DIE… of pure happiness! I have to stop myself from buying every acrylic container they sell there. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, it sounds awesome! I sent DH to get a nail clipper for me last year. Asked him how it was and he was like, “What? I went in, asked for the nail clipper, paid and got out.” No comment on ANYTHING else. I’ll have to go soon, since I need to pick up some stuff at CanTire anyway, and…uh…TBBS. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LMAO @ your DH! I dragged my SO into Muji and he was actually quite intrigued – mainly by the kitchen stuff. He even remembered that I wanted a nebulizer and was thinking of getting it from Muji but in the end he went with the Saje. 🙂 I already warned him that we will be going to Muji in Japan!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah right, your SO is the chef of the household! 😀 Mine couldn’t give two hoots about kitchen or organizing stuff. Muji in its native habitat will be awesome!!

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  7. The Shiseido cotton is just so nice! Even though it’s pricey for what it is, it’s still only about ten dollars here so I don’t mind the price. I don’t go through them very fast either though so there’s that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, when I consider that I really only spent maybe $30 a year on the Shiseido Facial cotton, it’s not horrendous. I just think it’s kind of fun to try to find a cheaper alternative. 😛 For me, the thrill is in the hunt!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally understand the thrill of the hunt! Have you tried the Cotton Clouds? They’re by Merle Norman Cosmetics and are supposed to be a close dupe. We don’t actually have Merle Norman’s where I live and I’m too lazy to try ordering them 🙂

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    1. I think I got hooked when I bought some Shiseido stuff and they gave me a free box of it (just a small box containing maybe a dozen pieces)… it was the classic “first one’s free, but the next one will cost ya!” model! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never tried these but they look rather good. I normally use cotton balls or cotton rounds lol I’ve never used these types of products but I wouldn’t mind I’ll probably try and get them through amazon once my cotton rounds finish and see how they go:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with the entire review. Especially the part about the zip closure, SHISEIDO!

    I really wanted to like the muji ones just as much as the Shiseido ones but the Shiseido ones are next level holy grail. The search continues!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for my late reply but yes… Shiseido, please add a closure to your packaging!

      I feel that people who say the MUJI ones are dupes for Shiseido either have never tried the Shiseido, or they have nerve damage on their face… 😆

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  10. Have you tried the white muji ones yet ? I love the shiseido ones and have been using them for eye makeup removal the past 3years? In between i ordered the cotton clouds from their website in bulk. I tried them for a while and even though they’re not bad by any means they’re definitely not as soft as shiseido. Towards the end I switched to using them for toner to finish them up and bought a new pk of shiseido, haven’t looked back. Now I’m in the market for new toner squares. I usually just p/u the basic cotton rounds from target but think I wanna pop into muji tomorrow to try the white ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have great timing because I’m JUST about to open the MUJI white ones to try! Fingers crossed but I’m not holding out hope… the Shiseido ones are just THAT good!
      I had no idea you can order the Shiseido in bulk – were they less costly that way?
      I’ll be sure to do a thorough review / comparison once I’ve given the MUJI white ones a try!

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      1. Oh no lol. I ordered the cotton clouds in bulk from their website. I wish I could order the shiseido in bulk but the shiseido website id having fnf right now so I’m probably gonna stock up. What are you currently using for toner ?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh sorry, I misread. I have heard of Cotton Cloud as a possible dupe for Shiseido – good to know they’re good but not the same. They’re quite expensive for me to order – in fact, more costly than Shiseido so that defeats the purpose of a dupe!

          I’m using the MAC Lightful toner right now:
          https://www.maccosmetics.ca/product/14779/39544/products/vips/lightful-c/lightful-c-marine-bright-formula-softening-lotion-spray
          It’s really nice – I am surprised how much I like it. 🙂 If you’re looking for cheaper toner options, 2 that I really like are:
          MUJI Sensitive Skin High Moisture Toning Water
          http://www.muji.us/store/sensitive-skin-high-moisturizing-toning-water-6-76-fl-oz-200ml.html
          Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner:
          http://www.thebodyshop.ca/en/skin-care/facial-toners/vitamin-e-hydrating-toner.aspx

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          1. Are you using the shiseido pads with toner too? I’ve only tried it a handful of times since I didn’t want to blow through them. I’d imagine it costs more for you, I know some people have purchased the cotton clouds from Amazon too. I can’t remember exactly what I paid but I just went to find the cotton cloud website under wabbit inc and it’s not there anymore , strange lol. Any who the hunt continues, il possibly pop into muji tomorrow during work 😉

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