If you aren't already obsessed with the Instagram-famous brand, let us introduce you. Hailing from New York and dreamed up by the founders of Milk, a photo studio in New York and Los Angeles, the aesthetic is one part Glossier (think minimal packaging and a focus on healthy, glowing skin) and one part Illamasqua (holographic colours and intense pigments), with cruelty-free, paraben-free and 100% vegan credentials to boot. From heart-tattooed lips and negative space eye makeup to glossy lids, the brand serves up cool, creative but totally wearable looks, which is why their US fanbase is enormous. Setting up shop here, too, was a total no-brainer.
"I’m beyond excited to be bringing Milk Makeup to the UK," Zanna Roberts Rassi, cofounder of Milk told R29. "People have been DM’ing our Instagram for well over a year asking when it will be launching in the UK, so it’s amazing to be able to tell them that it’s finally happening. It was a natural next step for us. We launched in the US just shy of three years ago and we have worked so hard on our products and formulas to create something for everyone. We already have some great supporters in the UK and we can’t wait to officially welcome the UK into the Milk Makeup fam."
Like all the cool brands, including Ouai, Kat Burki and Sunday Riley, Milk Makeup is making its debut on Cult Beauty on 28th January, with an exclusive pop-up in London at 6a Langley Street, Covent Garden on 26th and 27th January. Prices start from £10.25 for their infamous tattoo stamps, and range up to £34 for foundation (similar to other luxury brands, like Charlotte Tilbury and NARS). But which products are really worth your hard earned cash? Here's what we tried – and loved.
Think of this brow gel as a hybrid of Glossier's Boy Brow and MAC's Brow Set. The spoolie is small and expertly grabs hairs to thicken and define sparse brows without the 'wet' feel or overdone look. The formula dries almost instantly and stays put, but it comes clean off with a swipe of micellar water.
R29's fashion and beauty writer Georgia Murray likens this serum to a cooling, hydrating face mist – in stick form. A few swipes floods skin with moisture. Vitamins C and E also provide protection against things like pollution and other environmental aggressors before they can latch onto your skin and cause damage.
This twist-up bronzing stick is pretty perfect for contouring on the go. Swipe it onto cheekbones, your jawline and forehead and use your fingertips, a sponge or a fluffy brush to buff the colour into your skin. It isn't at all greasy, like some solid makeup can be.
Any good makeup artist will tell you that the key to flawless makeup lies in the skin prep. If your face is falling off despite a heavy helping of moisturiser pre-foundation, give Sunshine Oil a go. It absorbs into parched patches fast so that makeup glides on. The rollerball applicator makes it a handy desktop cuticle oil, too.
Not only does this help relieve taut skin when swiped under the eyes but it feels super soothing pressed onto the temples when you feel a headache coming on. Another handbag staple thanks to the travel-friendly packaging.
Take your makeup off with micellar water first (R29 rates Cinch Face It 5-in-1 Cleansing Water + Glow, £11.14), splash your face with water and then swipe this stick cleanser all over until it produces a lather. Use your fingertips to massage it in for about a minute and rinse. The result is squeaky clean skin minus the tight, uncomfortable feel some cleansers leave behind.
This does exactly what it says on the tin. Just be sure to let the ink dry before doing anything to avoid a sooty smudge wherever you decide to stamp.