Milk Makeup Launched Its First Foundation—and It's Preservative-Free

When Milk launched its makeup collection this January, it debuted with a whopping 85 cosmetic and ski-care products. With that many items, you'd expect to find everything you need (heck, they even have blotting papers that double as rolling papers). But there was one very integral piece of makeup missing—foundation. "We didn't want to come out with just any foundation," said the company's product developer and chief operating officer, Dianna Ruth, when she stopped by the office last week to show off the product. "It took a while to create something new that no one had seen before." The result of Ruth's efforts is the Sunshine Skin Tint, a foundation that's not only innovative but also completely preservative-free—and it went on presale today.

Ruth's "aha!" moment came a few months after Milk launched and people began gushing over their Sunshine Oil—a paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free hydrating oil they packaged in an oversized click pen. "The concept was that we loved the Sunshine Oil and the portable delivery system, so how could I build that into a foundation?" said Ruth, who then took the Sunshine Oil formula and cut down the amount of oils, loading in pigments until she had a liquid with good coverage that was still thin enough to be dispersed through the pen's rollerball tip. Another benefit of the oil-and-pigment emulsion is that the foundation has a completely natural finish. "We wanted a foundation that you could walk into sunlight and wouldn't see," said Ruth, explaining that they achieved that effect by blending the oil and pigments together at such a high speed that "the pigments actually mash with the oils." And while they definitely reached their goals of a true skinlike finish, if it's a full-coverage foundation you're looking for, then keep looking, 'cause this isn't it.

The formula, as well as the packaging, also allowed the company to make the formula preservative-free (something you could previously only get in powder foundations, according to Ruth). How'd they do it? First off, the ingredients don't separate because they're blended so well. Secondly, the inner tube of the pen is airtight, keeping any oxygen from seeping into the liquid. And finally, the plastic is infused with silver particles, which are antimicrobial, keeping everything on the inside squeaky clean. "When you have preservatives in your products, they actually cover up the ingredients, which makes them last longer but alters the lay-down and the texture of the formula," said Ruth. "If you feel a formula with preservatives versus something without them, you can feel the tact, the grip, and the texture is different." According to Ruth, this foundation will last two years without going bad. But it's so good (if you're looking for light-to-medium coverage, that is) and so easy to use that we're pretty certain it will take you half that time to click through your first tube.

Learn how to prep your skin at home like a makeup artist: