When cool New York City–based beauty brand Milk Makeup landed in the UK back in January 2019, beauty editors—myself included—went into overdrive. Despite the fact that the brand only launched stateside in 2016, I felt like I'd already spent a lifetime begging my American friends to hit up Sephora on my behalf for my Milk Makeup fix. And I clearly wasn't alone—Milk Makeup accumulated an incredible 17,000-person waiting list on Cult Beauty. Yes, this was one beauty brand that had some serious social media hype, and I was already obsessed.
Milk Makeup is all about good ingredients, clean formulas and payoff that you can actually see. Every product is cruelty-free, paraben-free and 100% vegan. Many of its products come in the form of twist-up sticks for easy, fuss-free application, even when you're on the go. Its skincare products are simple and slip effortlessly into your existing routines, and its makeup products offer sheer pops of colour that can be customised to fit your look. In short, this is a beauty brand that even people who aren't that into beauty can get on board with.
But with such an array of innovative products (I'm talking tattoo stamps and cannabis face masks), Milk Makeup can be a bit of a tricky brand to decipher, especially if you haven't dabbled in any of its products before.
Luckily, after two years, I've now tried pretty much everything that Milk Makeup has to offer. And while it was lust at first sight for me with basically everything in the collection, there are a few products that have become my true, long-term loves. Packaging aside, there are plenty of Milk Makeup products worth splashing your cash on. Not only do they genuinely work, but they've also become staples in my everyday beauty routine.
This Sunshine Skin Tint probably has the biggest cult following, and it finally arrived in the UK after much anticipation. I have to say it was truly worth the wait. As the name claims, this is definitely a skin tint rather than a full-on foundation. But if you like your base products to be dewy, natural and full of glow, then you'll love this. If your skin is particularly oily like mine is, then this skin tint will benefit from a light dusting of powder to improve its longevity, but there's no denying how luminous it leaves the skin.
I'm a big fan of using face powder to keep my oily skin in check during the day, but it can be difficult to find powder that doesn't cling to dry patches and end up looking cakey. This one is a revelation thanks to an infusion of moisturising hyaluronic acid and avocado powder. It might sound counterintuitive, but this powder actually blurs fine lines and evens skin tone while keeping oil under control.
I was blown away by what brilliant coverage this concealer has. It truly makes light work of covering everything from blemishes to dark circles. The best thing about it, though, is how well it blends almost undetectably into your skin (a true master of disguise). Plus, it stays put all day long.
I don't really use bronzer, so it's a big deal for me to recommend this one. I don't know if it's the smooth texture, the matte colour or the way that it hydrates my skin, but this is possibly one of the best bronzers I've ever tried. I basically just scrawl it all over my cheeks, nose and forehead, and then I blend it in with my fingers for a really subtle, sunkissed glow.
This primer promises to keep your skin hydrated all day, but the thing I love most about it is the way it "grips" to the makeup I apply over it, improving its longevity. To apply, smooth a couple of pumps onto clean skin, and leave it for a minute to set. I love that my skin always looks glowy and moisturised before I apply my base. Oh, and I'm also here for the all-day hold.
The ultimate product for girls who don't really do makeup or just don't have time for it in the morning. Just twist up the creamy colour and swipe it onto your cheeks and lips, then pat it with your fingertips for an effortlessly pretty flush of colour. I always have one of these Lip + Cheek sticks in my handbag for when my complexion needs a little livening up during the day. Werk, this dusky rose shade, is my favourite everyday hue, but I must mention Quickie as a close second. It's a lively berry colour that would look amazing on deeper skin tones, too.
This mascara was the best-selling Milk Makeup product at the brand's UK launch, and pretty much everyone that tries it raves about it. It's the first-ever mascara to contain hemp-derived cannabis oil, and its seriously creamy formula is infused with fibres that glide onto lashes and impart them with mega volume. If you need a new mascara in your life, then make it this one.
This features the same formula technology as the Kush Mascara (hydrating cannabis oil and volumising fibres), but it's for your brows. I'm very loyal to my Glossier Boy Brow, so I really wasn't expecting to like this product as much as I do. It really does the trick on days when I want to have bushy, glossy brows. It does a great job of boosting volume and setting hairs in place without leaving them feeling stiff or set.
At first glance, this eyeshadow chalk might look a little intimidating, and I have to say that I initially thought the whole concept was a bit gimmicky. But this pigment-packed eyeshadow is surprisingly wearable and requires very little effort to look good. I love Jump, a warm copper that can be scribbled directly onto eyelids and blended in with fingertips for a shimmery wash of colour. There are also some fun lilac and pink shades if you're feeling adventurous.
The Holographic Stick is for anyone seeking a major sheen. It contains real meteorite powder (seriously) for a holographic finish that l love when applied to the top of my cheekbones. Stardust is my favourite shade (a gorgeous pastel pink), but there are other options available, too.
Rich in olive and jojoba oils, this lip balm does an amazing job of moisturising parched lips and boasts a minty, wonderfully refreshing taste. It comes in a clear formula (which actually looks green in the tube) if it's pure hydration you're after, but this tinted formula treats and looks good.
I adore this oil-infused multipurpose formula. Much like the brand's original Lip + Cheek stick, the Glow Oil adds colour to your face, but the formula is more sheer with a beautifully dewy finish. Astro is my favourite—a soft, radiant blackberry hue that I think would work well on all skin tones.
This is basically a stick of solidified water infused with aloe, and it's honestly like magic. I recently gave a stick to a colleague who was heading on a humid holiday to China because it cools and refreshes skin like nothing else. I like to use it after cleansing my skin on mornings when I'm feeling particularly puffy and congested, as it really helps calm things down. But you can apply it over makeup to boost glow throughout the day, too.
I was a bit dubious of the idea of a face mask in a stick, but I have to say that this application method is a dream, especially when the thought of applying a face mask seems like way too much effort. I apply it to clean, damp skin (you can also apply it to dry skin) and leave it to dry for around 10 minutes before rinsing it off. It's clay-based, so it has detoxifying benefits. It also contains protective vitamins C and E, hydrating hyaluronic acid and brightening watermelon extract for more luminous skin.
Toner is often one of those skincare steps that I'll skip entirely, but since discovering this one from Milk Makeup, it's become a more regular part of my skincare routine. It's the world's first-ever solid toner, and it's crammed with matcha green tea and witch hazel to decongest and purify oily-combination skin. I just swipe it over my skin after cleansing to calm any inflamed areas and control oily patches before applying my moisturiser.
This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.