With thousands of beauty brands crowding virtual shelves and influencers touting a new product every day, how do you decide what's actually worth a shot? You leave the trial and error to the pros. In Elite Daily's new beauty review series, What's The Deal With..., we'll sift through and test the buzziest products to give you an honest, no-bullsh*t look at how it works IRL, from the price and packaging all the way to the actual results. From there, you can decide which ones deserve a coveted spot in your beauty arsenal.
The sheer amount of times Milk Makeup's Hydro Grip Primer has popped up on my TikTok For You page or been raved about by a BeauTuber is both amazing and concerning. Concerning because, personally, my philosophy toward primers has always been, "Why?" I know, I know, call it beauty blasphemy, but the thought of adding another product to my already-long makeup routine makes me wanna scream. With this Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer review, though, I admit I might just be a changed woman.
Though the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer ($30, Milk Makeup) has been around for over a year now, the product has seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to myriad TikTok and YouTube beauty vloggers touting its magic makeup abilities. In other words, so many beauty lovers have sworn they've seen a noticeable difference in the quality of their complexion makeup, particularly over time, when using the primer, noting a smoother complexion appearance and that their makeup boasts greater staying power even in the heat.
A good primer is a great tool to create a more even canvas for complexion products — and to prevent those products from clogging your pores — but, I gotta be honest, I was skeptical. What makes this one so good, apart from cool packaging that makes this product look like I wanna drink it? The ingredients, naturally. To my surprise, the primer is positively packed with aloe water, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins B3 and B5 that hydrate the skin, but not to the point where your makeup will slip off. Rather, it's just enough to ensure a nice, smooth coating of foundation, so pesky flakes and fine lines don't peep through.
I've given the product a go a few times, and reader, this stuff is good, even to a Nonbeliever. Here's how I scored it in the following areas:
I applied about a pump-and-a-half of the primer all over my face and waited a minute for it to ~activate~. The hydration was real, which me and my dry skin love, but I'm always just a little put off by the tackiness of this primer. (Although, this isn't a problem once you put your makeup on.) Smell-wise, any scent is minimal and totally pleasant. I am incredibly pleased with this easy-to-use packaging and the fact you get a ton of product for the price. From there, the product is essentially foolproof. It blends into skin easily, and when I tell you the difference to me, someone who spends an inordinate amount of time staring at her face, was striking, I mean it.
After several hours of wearing the Hydro Grip Primer under a full face of makeup, you'll see in the first picture below foundation and complexion products that appear just as smooth and vibrant as they did when I first applied them, save for a teensy bit of line settling under my eyes and around my mouth, which is par for the course. In the second photo, sans the primer but using the same complexion products, you'll notice a stark difference. My complexion settled much more into the fine lines around my eyes, cheeks, forehead and mouth. You can also tell around my nose and chin — my typical dry patches — where my foundation has started to separate.
Overall, the Hydro Grip Primer gets a whopping five stars from me. My complexion in the second photo is still beautiful, but after seeing the difference, I'm gonna milk this product for all its worth.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.