We should have known when Milk Makeup launched its Roll + Blot hemp papers that it was only a matter of time before the brand would bring us the next best development in 4/20-friendly beauty. But while we could have foreseen the cool-kid company formulating, say, a line of chic eye drops, we weren't expecting that its latest cannabis-laced launch would actually be makeup... and mascara, at that.
Aptly named Kush, this brand-new formula uses one special ingredient from the cannabis plant: CBD-rich cannabis oil. Injecting CBD into your beauty routine isn't that groundbreaking of a concept: There are bath bombs, body lotions, salves, lip balms, and pedicure treatments that already exist in the market highlighting the non-psychoactive ingredient. However, this is one of the first mainstream makeup products to launch in a mass retailer and, because of that, it's hard not to expect its controversial formulation to shake up the industry.
Dianna Ruth, co-founder and COO of Milk Makeup, tells Refinery29 that ever since its inception, Milk Makeup planned on working cannabis oil into its product formulations. Kush is the first because, as Ruth explains, it just made sense. To create a mascara that was vegan, worked as effectively as the top-rated finds that shared Sephora shelf space, and utilised a formula that didn't leave your lashes dry and crusty meant seriously considering cannabis oil (without traces of THC) as a hero ingredient in makeup.
Let's be real: Some brands are attracted to "controversial" novelty ingredients like CBD because it gets people talking, and therefore, gets product moving. Like sex, weed sells. But Ruth tells us that Kush is no mere publicity stunt: Milk discovered that using the oil in a mascara made for a super conditioning, flake-free formula that leaves lashes healthy and comes off easily at the end of the day. Although there aren't any clinical studies to prove it just yet, Kush's formula feels like a treatment and product all in one: After using it for three consecutive days, my lashes felt softer and less tangled with and without the mascara on.
But a mascara can't just condition lashes and expect to sell out. What really ups the ante are the heart-shaped fibres, which are the first to be formulated in the U.S., emulsified inside Kush's formula. When applied to the lashes, the fibres lay evenly together, like a puzzle, to add drama and volume without any of the fuss of its string-like predecessors. Ruth explains that when mixed in a lab vat, the formula fills the hollowed-out fibre hearts, like tiny cushions, ultimately leading to the mascara's volumising effect.
No matter where you sit on the marijuana-reform debate, CBD in the beauty world is here to stay. And if you're in the market for a seriously dramatic mascara right now, Kush might be the best purchase you make this summer. Kush officially launches on Sephora next Saturday, April 20th (go ahead and giggle) — so, if you didn't have plans for 4/20 yet, now you do.
Milk Makeup Kush Mascara, £16.75, available 20th April at Sephora and Milk Makeup.