Finding the perfect mascara is no easy feat. Much like finding the ultimate pair of trainers that are both comfortable and versatile, the ideal mascara is a unique kind of discovery.
Having worked in the beauty industry for a while (and having been blessed with long but annoyingly straight lashes), I have tried hundreds of mascaras and been disappointed by most. Don't get me wrong—I've had long relationships with a few faithful ones. I've flirted with a couple of raved-about newbies for a week only to be underwhelmed. I've even cheated on mascara altogether with lash extensions and LVL (lash lift and tint), but if I'm being honest, The One has not been found… until now.
A quality mascara will complement your natural lashes and make them look bigger and bolder in the most natural-looking way possible. It has to be buildable and flake-proof so that it doesn't land on your cheeks or roll-neck when changing outfits in a rush. Lastly, it should melt off your face with a swift swipe of makeup remover, leaving no trace of black inky residue come bedtime. Yes, the criteria are tough.
Upon a recent scroll through Instagram, I noticed something stirring in the product world that looked like it could be my lash saviour. People were talking effusively about one particular new mascara, and this enthusiasm wasn't limited to die-hard beauty girls. Milk Makeup's Kush High Volume Mascara has a growing fan club across the world.
Milk Makeup was founded by the New York–based photography studio Milk Studio in 2016, and it's gone from strength to strength in a short space of time. From a multiuse cheek and lip tint to its most recent launch (a matcha and watermelon face mask in stick form), Milk Makeup just gets it. The brand understands that its customers want easy-to-use, multipurpose products that look cute on a shelf and feel great on the skin.
As a brand, Milk Makeup has held a bit of a fascination with us Brit girls for some time now, mainly down to the fact that it wasn't stocked or sold in the U.K. Well, that's just changed, as we can now buy it at Cultbeauty. According to our intel at Cultbeauty, the Kush mascara was the best-selling product at its highly anticipated pop-up on 26 and 27 Jan in London's Covent Garden.
But what is it that makes this mascara so special? Well, aside from its hemp-derived cannabis oil conditioning properties (known for delivering serious hydration), its creamy texture provides the easiest application of any mascara I've ever used. It's buildable—tick!—which means if you're one of those people who likes to up the ante after work for an evening out, you can coat your lashes again and not have to worry about clumping.
The tapered, tree-shaped applicator uses crisscross bristles that help coat every single lash to create major volume. To be honest, I'm not sure you could ask much more from a mascara. I'm wearing it in the below picture, and I've never seen my lashes look more dramatic without extensions or a lash lift. It's the perfect everyday mascara when all you want is a little drama on your eyes and not much else.
And you can't forget the tubing. This stuff comes in a heavy silver packaging that's weighty enough that it feels sturdy in your hand as you apply it (a must if applying on the move) but sleek enough that you won't feel embarrassed whipping it out on the tube.
Fashion girls are huge fans. Influencer, copywriter and freelance writer Anna Heaton told me, "Kush gives lashes an instant volume boost, making my eyes bright. I did need to top it up throughout the day, as it does flake ever so slightly on my eyes."
Not only have I seen this mascara all over fashion girl's feeds, but beauty editors love it too. Freelance beauty editor Amy Lawrenson told me that it's "a dream for anyone who wants thicker, fuller, longer-looking lashes. Not for the fainthearted, this product separates and volumises so well you’ll be done with fiddly false lashes." If that's not enough to tempt you over to Milk Makeup's side, I'm not really sure what is.
The Lip + Cheek sticks are the perfect product for girls on the go. This multiuse balm slides seamlessly over your cheeks and can also be worn on the lips. I love this dusty-rose shade during the winter months to give my pale complexion some colour.
For anyone who loves Glossier's Boy Brow (£14) but wants a little more hold, this product is gold. It contains the same hemp-derived cannabis oil as the Kush Mascara, so your brows are hydrated and bushy but not unruly. I've been using it daily for a week now, and it's my new go-to.
You know when you wake up and your face feels puffy and tight? Reach for the Cooling Water. This handy little stick is perfect for late nights, early mornings, hangovers or whenever you're feeling like you need a little pick-me-up.
The newly launched Flex Concealer just replaced every other concealer in my makeup bag (I have about three on rotation). Yes, it's that good. It's creamy but not too heavy, leaves a subtle sheen on your skin so you look dewy (not greasy) and covers up under-eye bags and spots. Dream product? I think so.