It probably seems a little weird for me to review a mattifying, pore-filling product when I'm incredibly dry-skinned and don't have too many visible pores. I do, however, have a nose that is irritatingly more oily than the rest of my face, and since my face is rather parched, my fine lines are generally very visible. Also, I got this as a free sample and there was a ton of buzz around it. Forever intrigued by Milk Makeup, despite the fact that only a couple of their products have actually worked for me, I decided to give the Blur Stick a shot.
A full size Blur Stick contains an ounce of product and retails for $36. While Milk's prices per unit are about right for Sephora, I will point out that their sticks tend to be quite hefty, and this one is no different. Seeing as this little sample has been used several times and still looks almost new, a full-size Blur Stick should last you a while. It has a slight citrus scent, but it's nothing overwhelming, and I can't smell it when it's on my face.
Milk makes several claims about this product. They say it is "colorless, oil-free, and silicone-free." In the most technical sense, they have two out of three right: this applies completely clear, and I'm not seeing any oils in the ingredients list. I do see silica, though, which is an oxide of silicone; hence, if you're extremely sensitive to silicone, this still may not work for you. As for its actual effects, Milk states that the Blur Stick will "minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines," provide a "smooth, matte finish," "lock in your makeup," and "will not clog pores." I've also noticed that some of their product posts and videos on social media have mentioned that you can use it on bare skin, under makeup, or over makeup, so I tried all three for this review.
For reviewing purposes, I photographed the Blur Stick when applied to bare skin; in this instance, I brushed it on my nose, in my smile lines, on the slightly larger pores on my inner cheeks, and around my eyes. Here's a before and after macro shot. (The "after" picture is a bit blurry because I suck at standing still, but you can still see some of the effects.) The results:
- Minimizing Pores: A slight effect. This did make my pores like a tad smoother and smaller, particularly on my nose, but it's not as "filling" as some other primers I've used. I had no problem blending blush on top.
- Hiding Fine Lines: No effect in real life, but a moderate effect in photos. Actually, this looked a bit bad on my smile lines in real life because it settled in to them. But in these photos, my smile lines definitely look less visible after applying the Blur Stick.
- Eye Area: Very slight effect; it mostly made my undereyes feel a bit smoother and made my eyelids look a tad more matte. Again, I had no problem blending makeup on top of it.
- Mattifying: This certainly gave my nose, eyes, and cheeks a very soft matte look. It's super natural, which is kind of nice for days when I'm not wearing foundation. I did test it as a blotter after wearing foundation for a few hours, and while it did seem to take off some of the excess shine, a blotting sheet or a powder is more effective and easier to use.
- Works on bare skin, under makeup, and over makeup: This worked about the same in all three instances for me. That said, I think I preferred it most on bare skin. The Blur Stick is quite slippery feeling on my face, and I wasn't really fond of the feeling of foundation on top of it.
While this product is incredibly lightweight and easy to use, it doesn't have the best staying power. Here's another macro shot of my face after about three and a half hours of wear. As you can see, my concealer has creased as per usual; the pores on my cheeks and my smile lines are fully visible. The one area where it really held up was in mattifying: my nose and eyelids are getting a little shiny, but they're definitely more matte than they'd be without the Blur Stick. Of course, you can layer a bit more Blur Stick on to your skin to get more blurring--it went on clear over this blush, for instance--but some people might find that 3-4 hour wear time a nuisance.
As a final note, I did not experience any clogging or breakouts with this product, and when you run the ingredients through Cosdna, it doesn't list any major cloggers. However, Milk warns that this product is "not recommended for those with a sensitivity to citrus or coconut oils," which makes me think this may aggravate skin that's sensitive to coconut-based ingredients or citrus.
I think I'll finish this deluxe sample up, just because it's an easy way to get "summer satin skin" on my no foundation days and the tube fits in my purse. But while the Blur Stick isn't terrible, I'd hesitate to recommend it to others. I just think there are better mattifying, blurring, and pore-filling primers on the market.
RATING: 3 out of 5
You can buy Milk Makeup products at their website.
NOTE: I stole the comic in the header from Kate Beaton's hilarious Hark! A Vagrant! strip. I swore I'd get HAV in here some day and now I have.