I’m always looking for new makeup brands to play around with to feed the beauty addiction beast, so I was super excited when both Sephora and Birch Box started having samples and promos of a new (I’m assuming?) makeup line called Milk Makeup. I loved the sleek, modern packaging and some of the products looked very interesting so I decided to grab up a few and try them out, and then report back to all of you Glamazons!
I wanted to know more about the company, so I checked out their website; I saw that they had an “Us” section and thought, “Great, I’ll find out how long they’ve been around, their design philosophy, something useful.” Well…not really. The page is just a short video full of saturated images and jump cuts and confusing hipster bullshit. At this point, I think I know less about them when I did when I started. Apparently, Milk is a New York institution, but the makeup line is new…whatever that means. Anyway, if you want to see the video, you can watch it HERE. Their models represented a variety of ethnicities, skintones, and even genders (though there is a line about “By Milk girls, for Milk girls”), so I appreciate that.
Sephora carries the line on their website, and they had a sample of two of the Milk lipsticks available, so I ordered a few of the products I found the most interesting. I show them off and talk about them briefly in the video below:
I’ve used the eye pigment at a show; the other products I’ve just played with and sampled at home. So let’s get into the review, shall we?
Product #1: Lip Marker – TKO (Hot Pink) – $20
This was the one I was most interested-in-slash-confused-by. As I mention in the video…it’s a highlighter. The chisel tip is indistinguishable from the felt tip of a highlighter. The product itself is a pretty aggressive lip stain – it took a lot of scrubbing with my Tyra Beauty Pop It Clean Wipe to get it off (and my lip still showed some staining for at least a day). This product is exactly as bad as you would imagine. It literally is the same as coloring on your lip with a highlighter. The marker tip is stiff and uncomfortable on the lips, the product dries way too quickly and is hard to blend, and removal is tricky. And it feels like coloring on your face with a fucking highlighter. Did I say that before? Trust me, it bears repeating. I kept waiting for the moment when I’d “get it”…and that moment NEVER came. Milk is supposed to be for people who want makeup that is simple and easy to apply. This…is not that.
Product #2: Lip + Cheek – Swish (Pink) – $24
This one was a mixed experience for me. I’ve repeated this many times before, and someday these words will probably be carved on my tombstone: I don’t trust products that claim to do more than one thing. Ever since the first time I tried Pert Plus and discovered what a hateful fucking lie that was, I’ve been a skeptic (though Wen has won me over, at least in terms of hair care). Lip products and cheek products are generally pretty different so I went into this expecting to be disappointed. And for the most part, I was. As a cheek product, it’s not terrible. The formula goes on lightly and seems to blend nicely. It was fine on my bare skin, but when I tried it over a spot with my cream foundation, things got rocky. There’s a slickness to it, almost greasiness though I wouldn’t go so far as to describe it as oily, that pulled up the foundation without actually blending into it. As for a lip product? Ugh. The promo video on the product page (linked above) showed someone dabbing it onto her lips, but unless you’re willing to spend a fair amount of time finessing it with your fingers or a brush (or just using a brush out the gate) then be prepared for clown math. Not as bad an experience as the Lip Marker, but still not something I’m living for.
Rating: Just past expiration – consume at your own risk!
This one has some potential. It’s a super creamy formula that is pigmented to the gawds, so you really only need the tiniest amount to get really dramatic results. It also blends well…if you’re fast. That’s the primary drawback – once it dries, it’s like cement. It’s not moving for anything. I actually had really good results with the green shade because I used it as my middle range shade. I laid down a nice blanket of color and then lighted the inner corner and darkened the outer corner. I was able to work around the lack of blending once dry by layering on a green Urban Decay shadow that was very close to the same color (Graffiti, I think). It’s not going to become a regular in my routine, but I’m sure I’ll play with it from time to time.
Rating: Mostly Fresh
Just when I was ready to give up on this brand! It’s ironic and a little sad that the products I got as samples were a million times better than the junk I bought to get the samples! The formula is creamy and smooth and applies like a dream. The colors I received, a bold tomato red and a pinky neutral, both applied with tons of pigments and went on evenly. I did feel like there was a waxy smell that wasn’t entirely pleasant, but it wasn’t terrible and I was working with a sample and not the full size product. The shape of the full size product looks like perfection, with an angled tip and a tall but skinny tube. If I go on a lipstick spree, O.G. Red will definitely be one of my first new acquisitions. Shade selection is limited and not terribly versatile, but there’s room to grow. This will probably be the one Milk Makeup Product I come back to.
Rating: Straight Out of the Cow – Damn, That’s Fresh!
Product #5: Cooling Water – Clear – $24
To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what the hell this is – but I like it. It’s the same size tube as the Lip + Cheek, it’s a gel formula that is thinner than a gel deodorant, and the website says…well, this:
Portable savior. Soothing seawater and firming caffeine combine for instant refreshment in one convenient stick. Hydration lasts all day. Infused with rich marine minerals, this unique gel stick feels refreshingly cool to the touch and provides an instant boost of moisture. Caffeine increases micro circulation to energize skin and restore glow. Smooth onto neck, face and body to cool and invigorate. Apply around eye area to depuff. Use prior to makeup application to prime skin.
So…it’s a primer and a hydration boost and an eye de-puffer and a skin energizer? Sounds legit, she says skeptically. But as I’ve been playing with it, I sort of enjoy it. I don’t think I’ll be using it as a primer – Too Faced Hangover RX is just too good! – but on days when I’m not wearing makeup I love to put some on my temples and under my jawbone to help me feel cool and refreshed. I also put it on my pulse points at the wrists. I’ve used it on my under eye area and on my cheeks, and though it feels nice, I’m not sure I notice a huge transformation. It’s a fun little product, but when I run out will I replace it? Maybe, maybe not. And the promo video on the product page (linked above) is the dumbest thing.
Rating: Dairy Case Fresh
Overall, Milk Makeup strikes me as the epitome of hipsterdom: ten tons of “concept” with almost no substance. This is only a small sampling of products from a fairly wide-ranging line, and if I kept sampling and playing it’s possible I might find other products I like as much as the Lip Color, but at their price point I’m not willing to keep throwing money at a brand that has disappointed me more often than not. Plus, many of their products use a lot of oils; I tend toward oily skin, and the last thing I need are products that just layer more oil onto my face.
If you have the opportunity to “try before you buy,” that definitely the way to go. Otherwise, I say “buy at your own risk.” This Milk didn’t do my body good.
Now Go Forth & Get Painted
Tags: C.R.E.A.M., Champagne Dreams Productions, Cooling Water, cosmetics, drag art, drag performance, drag queen, drag show, eyeshadow, Hipster, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, lip color, Lip Marker, makeup, makeup forum, Mermaid Parade, Milk, Milk Makeup, Miss Jaye, O. G. Red, Sephora, Sephora Inside JC Penney, Swish, TKO, World of Champagne