Milk Makeup Brand Overview: Are They Clean & Sustainable?

4 min reading time

Milk Makeup is a beauty brand launched in New York City in 2014. They offer a full line of makeup, skincare, and fragrances. Milk Makeup is known for being innovative, colorful, and clean.

The brand took advantage of the modern social media landscape to propel itself into the spotlight. At the time of writing, they have over 2 million Instagram followers and are available at Sephora stores worldwide.

Milk Makeup’s mantra is “Clean, cool beauty that works.” So naturally, we at Better Goods need to dive deep into the brand to ensure its claims are true.

Our Methodology

At Better Goods, we rank brands on our three pillars: ingredients, sustainability, and animal welfare.

Brands are rated on the three pillars as follows.

Best  – This ranking is for the best of the best. Only exemplary brands will receive a ranking of best for any category.

Good – This ranking is for brands that are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.

Iffy – This ranking is for when we find something we find iffy. Not a good sign.

Bad – This ranking is reserved for the worst of the worst.

Ingredients (Rating: Good)

We analyzed the ingredients in Milk Makeup’s line of products for safety. The following are the noteworthy ingredients worth knowing about:

Fragrance – Many Milk Makeup products have fragrance. The brand claims that its fragrance ingredients are not synthetic; however, the exact ingredient makeup is unavailable.

Synthetic dyes – Colorants are extremely common in makeup products. We found Blue 1 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake in Milk Makeup products like their lip balms, which is a concern. These two colorants have been linked to organ system toxicity and neurotoxicity, which is troubling when used on a product that can be ingested accidentally.

Oxybenzone – While the brand’s ingredient blacklist states they never use chemical sunscreens, their Holographic Stick highlighters contain oxybenzone (listed as benzophone-3). For this reason, we don’t recommend these particular products.

Phenoxyethanol – This preservative is somewhat controversial, but we believe it’s a safer alternative to harsher preservatives like parabens.

Other than these ingredients, we didn’t find anything else that leaped out at us as unsafe.

We give Milk Makeup a rating of “Good” for ingredients.

Sustainability (Rating: Iffy)

Most Milk Makeup products use plastic containers. However, the brand is making some steps toward sustainability.

In 2021, the brand transitioned to sustainable shipping boxes made in the USA and printed with plant-based inks. The inner bag is made from 100% post-consumer waste, and both of these are 100% recyclable.

The brand launched a few refillable products, namely their Sunshine Skin Tint and Sunshine Under Eye Tint. They claim that this reduces plastic by about 60% when purchasing a refill, which means there’s still plastic waste. As of the current time of writing (April 2022), these are the only two products with refills.

According to the brand, they’re incorporating post-consumer recycled plastic into new launches.

While it’s good that Milk Makeup has some sustainability practices in place, it’s clear that there is still a lot of work to do.

We give Milk Makeup a rating of “Iffy” for sustainability.

Animal Welfare (Rating: Best)


Milk Makeup is a 100% cruelty-free brand, meaning its ingredients and products are not tested on animals at any point in the manufacturing process.


Milk Makeup is also 100% vegan, meaning none of its products contain any animal-derived ingredients.

We give Milk Makeup a rating of “Best” for animal welfare.

Brand Ratings

Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Bad” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated Milk Makeup as follows.

INGREDIENTSGood – Apart from a few iffy colorants, the ingredients in Milk Makeup products are good.
SUSTAINABILITYIffy – While Milk Makeup has some sustainability practices in place, overall its still not a very sustainable brand.
ANIMAL WELFAREBest – Milk Makeup is both cruelty-free and 100% vegan.

Overall Rating: Good

Overall, we think Milk Makeup is a good brand. It’s cruelty-free, vegan, and mostly clean. However, we would like to see more sustainability practices in place and more transparency regarding its fragrance ingredients.

Hopefully, as the brand grows, it will further its sustainability practices.

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