Glossier's New Product Is a Departure From Its No-Makeup Makeup Roots

Milky Oil is made to tackle high-pigment, long-lasting, waterproof formulas, and we put it to the test.
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Glossier Milky Oil, $12, available here. Photo: Courtesy of Glossier

Glossier Milky Oil, $12, available here. Photo: Courtesy of Glossier

Glossier may have built its brand largely around subtle, no-makeup makeup, but its newest launch is a bit of a departure, considering it was created specifically to target those who wear high-pigment, long-lasting, waterproof formulas. On Tuesday, it released Milky Oil, a dual-phase liquid makeup remover. 

The formula is bi-phase, meaning it combines micellar water (a common staple of French skin care, beloved for its non-greasy cleansing properties) with moisturizing pro-vitamin B5 for a two-pronged approach to dissolving and whisking away makeup. Like the brand's popular Milky Jelly Cleanser, Milky Oil contains calming comfrey root extract and is hypoallergenic, meaning it won't irritate sensitive skin types.

Other claims behind the product include that it's neither greasy nor sticky and is capable of "gently lift[ing] off and melt[ing] away long-wearing and waterproof makeup, without any rubbing or tugging on skin," according to a press release from Glossier. The brand sent me a sample of Milky Oil ahead of its launch, and after briefly shuddering at the name (sorry, I strongly dislike both milk, the beverage, and "milky," the descriptor), I set out to put these claims to the test for myself.

I'm a big fan of the aforementioned Milky Jelly Cleanser, which I find to be both incredibly gentle and also effective for removing the makeup I wear on a daily basis (which, admittedly, isn't much: this BB cream, this concealer, this matte bronzer, this highlighter and this mascara). But for testing purposes, I piled on my most pigment-dense, long-lasting formulas: waterproof mascara, black liquid liner, glitter eye shadow and a bold, matte lip color. 

The provided instructions for use are as follows: "Shake well and squeeze onto facial cotton or cotton swab. Press against eyes, lips or anywhere you're wearing waterproof makeup, then gently wipe makeup away." Simple enough. 

Removing waterproof mascara is usually the bane of my existence (so much so that I avoid even wearing it); I hate the idea of having to rub at my eyes with a greasy makeup remover that will turn my vision blurry and irritate the delicate skin in the area. To its credit, Milky Oil is indeed not the least bit greasy or oily feeling, and I didn't experience any blurriness after using it. It has the same pleasantly mild rose scent as Milky Jelly, and I didn't find it to be irritating.

That said, was it effective at doing the actual job of removing makeup? Yes. Mostly. It did, indeed, dissolve my eyeliner, lip color and even my waterproof mascara with relative ease, though being the impatient New Yorker I am, it could have done so more rapidly. I went straight to gently rubbing on my first eye, and it did require a bit of elbow grease to really do the job. When I held the cotton pad in place first on eye number two for about 15 seconds, there was much less rubbing involved, but it wasn't quite as "immediate" as the product claims led me to hope. The formula was also not quite as adept at removing my glitter eye shadow as I would have liked; but then again, glitter is glitter, and it never claimed to have actual magical powers. 

Overall, I liked this product and would use it again, especially for removing stubborn eye makeup without leaving a heavy, oily residue behind. Do I think it's a revolutionary concept or a game-changing formula? Not really. But costing a pretty modest $12, I do think it's a decent product for a reasonable price. 

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