Milkweed Lash Stain Review: Better Than Expected, But Not Quite Perfect

Lash stains are good, just not as flawless as advertised. (Image Credit: Annie Walton Doyle)

Lash stains are good, just not as flawless as advertised. (Image Credit: Annie Walton Doyle)

Lash stain: what the hell. Am I right? It sounds great (if terrifying), but the more I write, the more it seems lash stain is my makeup kryptonite.

I think I love and hate mascara in equal measure. It does open up eyes and attract attention and all that, but it always looks so makeup-py. And I’m not opposed to unnatural makeup, but I don’t know. Something about obvious mascara sometimes grates on me. It’s so standardized pretty, and so difficult to wear subversively. It isn’t subtle, or nuanced, or ugly-pretty. It’s boring old pretty-pretty, and I don’t know if I’m really on board with that.

But my eyelashes are, for one thing, mousey brown, and for another thing, they point directly forwards. Looking at me head on, it can appear I have no eyelashes at all (the dreaded prawn-eye). I want my eyelashes to look like someone else's un-mascara-ed eyelashes. Basically, I want them to be black and curlier, but still retain a fluffy and natural sensibility. And that seems to be a specific and impossible thing.

But the clever people at Milk know what I’m talking about. Their weekend lash stain promises hold and color, without any mascara-y feel, and all the while lasting for up to two days. I was thus sucked in.

The reviews on Sephora are absolutely appalling, but I’ve never let everyone hating something stop me before! (See: sack dresses, clunky shoes, roots). So I bought it anyway, and here are my thoughts. (Suspense!)

I like it! It is not without fault, and I do have some problems with the claims it makes, but overall, I like it. It does what I want, and that’s all I can really ask for, overall.

It comes in a squeezy tube, which is fine, whatever. The formula is incredibly liquidy, and the brush is tiny, bristly and cylindrical. It’s black as hells, which is a Good Thing.

Application takes some getting used to, but I have some learned and wise tips. First, if you curl, curl. I use Shu Uemura because they’re the best and I won’t hear otherwise. Curl twice, once at the base and once at the middle. If you don’t want to curl (and sometimes I don’t – sleepy, side swept eyelashes are a good cute-tired-girl look), don’t.

When you pull the brush out, try to get a lot of the product off. Pigmented black liquid all over the face is bad in everyone’s book, I reckon. Here comes a properly great tip: do your bottom eyelashes first. If you do your top first, then open your eyes and bend forwards to do your bottom ones, all the product at the tips of your eyelashes will touch your brow bone, and need a clean. Avoid this whole debacle, if possible. Here I am with just my bottom lashes “stained.”

After you’ve coated your top lashes, get a brow brush (or “spoolie,” as I refuse to call them) and start to sort of sculpt your shape. Like with Wunderbrow, you get about two minutes of playtime before this sets, so use it wisely. You can get a brow brush by buying one, or by pinching a handful from the mirrors by Sephora (pro tip).

Another thing I like about this is that because it’s designed to be slept in, it doesn’t ruin your eyelashes. After removal, they feel soft and springy, not haggard and tired. Vg.

Now: this two days business. I do find the Lash Stain long lasting for a normal and even strenuous day, but I don’t know if it’s particularly longer lasting than a good waterproof mascara. It does not “stain.” It certainly does not last through a watery face washing, but nor does Wunderbrow. I don’t know why companies tell these sorts of lies, because I never believe them, and thus they never make me buy the products. Why they can’t just stand alone as products that work, I don’t know. Because this does work in the way I want it to – defining and curling my eyelashes while still making them look like eyelashes. Isn’t that enough??

Ok, enough about lies. If you, like me, both dislike mascara and dislike not mascara, this will be a good compromise for you. It’s more expensive than cheap mascara, so if you want a cheap one, I recommend Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Waterproof for a similar but less natural effect. But it isn’t horrendous-expensive. Plus, you use so little that I think it will last a really long time, so the cost-per-wear might work out better. Beauty maths!

Do you forgive products that lie?

What beauty product do you have the most complicated relationship with? Let me know @annieannieannie. 

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