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Milani

Green Goddess Makeup Melter

1.59 fl. oz. for $ 13.99
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Milani’s Green Goddess Makeup Melter is an all-around disappointment as far as makeup removing balms go – a definite misstep for the brand in a category that has some great options!

Housed in a plastic jar, the only real positive this balm has is its texture – it starts out solid, but quickly “melts” once it contacts skin, transforming into an oil that’s easy to smooth across your face. (A side note: while this product’s jar packaging isn’t ideal, it’s not as much of an issue here, since it has no claims tied to beneficial ingredients and is not water-based, so hygiene is less of a concern.)

While this does an okay job removing dirt and some makeup, it does little in the way of handling waterproof makeup – and Milani says this removes even the most stubborn formulas. You will need to go in after with either an additional cleanser or makeup remover to completely wipe away waterproof makeup, which tends to just get smeared with this slimy formula.

That aside, the real issue here is this balm’s problematic formula: it’s loaded down with skin-irritating ingredients. They include numerous citrus peel oils, two kinds of lavender oil, plus pine, patchouli, resin, and geranium oils – not to mention two fragrance ingredients (linalool and limonene). You can smell the oils this contains as soon as you open the jar, and even though this is rinsed from skin, this potent mix has strong potential to irritate skin, especially skin around the eyes (see More Info for details on why this is such an issue). This would also be bad to get in your mouth or nose, two areas you’ll need to use a balm in order for complete makeup removal.

Skip this one and instead opt for one of the vastly superior options you’ll find on our list of best cleansing balms.

One note: while this does contain Cannabis sativa seed oil – an antioxidant rich plant oil commonly known as hemp – its presence here can’t counter the problems with the rest of the formula. Also, despite the marijuana-inspired puns Milani makes about this product, it doesn’t actually contain any CBD (cannabidiol).

Pros:
  • Balm-to-oil texture is easy to use.
Cons:
  • Doesn’t do a good job removing waterproof makeup as claimed.
  • Contains numerous fragrant oils that put skin at risk for irritation.
  • Includes fragrance ingredients that add an additional risk for skin irritation.
  • Poses strong risk of irritating the eyes, nostrils, and mouth unless used with extreme caution.
  • Jar packaging isn’t the best option (but isn’t as much of an issue with this product).

More Info:

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

Removing your makeup will become the highlight of your day! With a shapeshifting formula fit for a goddess, our Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil-infused makeup melter goes from solid balm to silky oil the second it hits your skin. The duo-oil complex works instantly, transforming from balm to oil for effortless makeup removal without a greasy residue. Suitable for all skin types, it removes the most stubborn makeup, sunscreen and pollution with a spa-like blend of bergamot, vetiver and verbena.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Diisostearyl Malate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Squalane, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

Milani Cosmetics At-a-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive with some excellent options for women of color; good Baked Blush; silky pressed-powder eyeshadow palette; Infinite Liquid Eye Liner and Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner have amazing staying power; Smooth Finish Cream-to-Powder Makeup.

Weaknesses: Baked Bronzer; numerous products that contain potentially irritating fragrant ingredients; several mediocre to poor products including Color Perfect Lipstick, Crystal Gloss, and The Multitasker Face Powder.

Launched in 2002, Milani Cosmetics prides itself as being an affordable beauty line with a "passion for color and a recognized need for a broader variety" for women of different ages, skin tones and income.While many brands have a limited selection of products designed for medium to dark skin, Milani has succeeded in catering to women with deeper skin tones, which is this makeup line's chief point of difference. We admire Milani for celebrating the beauty in diversity, and their dedication to providing color options that are appropriate (and appealing) to a wide range of skin tones.

Milani focuses on face and eye products, and this is where they excel. Despite being a smaller brand (compared to the likes of Cover Girl or L'Oreal), Milani products can be found tucked alongside the big makeup lines in many drugstores and stores like Target and Wal-Mart. They've definitely added a splash of color to the cosmetics aisle, and several of their inexpensive products are definitely worth a look. But as with most makeup lines, there also are some poorly executed products to avoid.

This is a diverse line with a mix of bold, classic, and trendy makeup. Although the products may be aesthetically pleasing on the shelf, their visual appeal doesn't always translate well to actual application and performance quality. In some instances, Milani's philosophy of "color, color, color and more color" misses the boat by offering glitzy, ultra-vibrant shades, instead of more options for a classic makeup application (women of color have to go to work, too, not just out for the evening). Just because you have dark skin doesn't mean your color choices need to be shocking or ultra-bold. Still, as mentioned, Milani offers some worthwhile products and their prices are budget-friendly. On balance, you'll find more to like than avoid.

For more information about Milani Cosmetics, call 1-866-789-8002 or visit www.milanicosmetics.com

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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