Reviewed: A Makeup Artist Puts Milk Makeup's Hydro Grip Primer to the Test

No makeup slipping or sliding here.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

milk makeup hydrogrip primer review

Khera Alexander/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Gives skin a natural glow without sparkle

  • Extremely lightweight and hydrating

  • Effectively extends wear of face products

What We Don't Like
  • Too hydrating for those that want a matte finish

  • Dries to a tacky finish

  • Too much product can produce patchy makeup application

Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer is a must-have product if you’re in search of a primer that will make your skin look as if it’s glowing from within. On top of that, this product is vegan, nourishes the skin and extends the wear of your complexion products.


Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

milk makeup hydrogrip primer review

Khera Alexander/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put Milk Makeup's Hydro Grip Primer to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Primers are somewhat controversial in the beauty space; some people swear by them, while others don't notice a difference in the longevity of their makeup after using even a high-quality primer. Personally, as a professional makeup artist, an important step in my beauty routine is prepping my skin for my complexion products—and I love a good primer that will help get the job done. One such primer is, apparently, Milk Makeup's Hydro Grip primer (in case you haven't seen, the formula recently went viral on TikTok). Ever skeptical, I decided to take it for a trial run myself. Ahead, read my full review of Milk Makeup's Hydro Grip primer—I'll reveal if it's worth your coins.

Milk Makeup HydroGrip Primer

Best for: Gripping makeup to create a long-lasting finish

Active ingredients: Hemp-derived Cannabis Seed Extract, Blue Agave Extract, Aloe Water, Hyaluronic Acid

Potential allergens: Sweet cherry extract

Price: $30

About the brand: Known for its high-performing, vegan products, Milk Makeup has been a disruptor in the beauty industry for the past several years. Designed for self-expression and an active lifestyle, many Milk products are multifunctional and aim to inspire creativity without any harmful ingredients.

About My Skin: Acne-prone and sensitive

I’ve dealt with acne for many years, and I tend to break out when I am stressed, hormonal, or consume too much dairy. Knowing all of this, I am pretty vigilant with my skincare routine and use gentle products that soothe my sensitive skin. To cleanse my skin, I use the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (view at Amazon). I moisturize my skin with my La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Soothing Repair Moisturizer (view at Derm Store), and I use my prescription retinoid cream every other evening. This has been my routine for a couple of years now, and it’s helped keep my breakouts to a minimum. My moisturizer is lightweight but hydrating, and I love the fact that it makes my skin look really plump and supple. Since I like that type of look, I was curious to see how the Hydro Grip Primer would work on top of my skincare products before I applied my foundation.

woman applying milk hydrogrip primer
 Khera Alexander

How to Apply: Fingers or a makeup brush will do the job

The Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer has a cooling, semi-watery, gel-like texture that spreads easily and evenly. Because of the consistency of this product, I pressed the pump twice into my hand and spread it over my skin like a moisturizer. The Milk Makeup website suggests to pump the product onto the back of your hand and apply it to your skin from there with your fingertips, but I think either method works well. If you prefer to use a brush, you can also use a brush with synthetic fibres that will disperse the product onto your skin.

The Results: Fresh, Beautiful Skin

After waiting one minute for Hydro Grip to absorb, I applied my foundation and was instantly impressed by the natural, soft glow that appeared. This product gave me everything that I was looking for in a primer; it’s hydrating, refreshing, illuminating, and long-wearing—all without looking artificial. Because the Hydro Grip Primer is translucent, it worked well with my skin tone and elevated the look of my makeup application without my skin looking sparkly (like many other primers that claim to help with a glow have done in the past). Concerned about my T-zone looking too shiny, I was doubly amazed at the fact that my forehead and nose didn’t need much touching up midday; Hydro Grip contains niacinamide, an ingredient that helps to balance oil production. Milk was thorough when this product was created, striking a solid balance between moisture and oil control. The Hydro Grip Primer is exactly the type of product I will gladly spend money on. 

woman's skin after applying milk hydrogrip primer
 Khera Alexander

The Hydro Grip Primer is exactly the type of product I will gladly spend money on.

The Value: Worth your coins

A radiant glow is integral to my beauty routine, and I consciously purchase products that contribute to giving me the look of fresh, luminous skin, regardless of if I am wearing foundation or not. Even for the amount of primer you get in the bottle and its high-performing ingredients, I think that $30 for 1.52 fl. oz is a tad pricey. Dropping the price of this product by a few dollars would make it much more attractive to me, but, to be honest, I’d probably still repurchase it anyway—even with the $30 price tag.

Milk Hydrogrip primer swatch
 Khera Alexander

Similar Products: You have options

MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Natural Radiance: MAC’s Natural Radiance is a hydrating primer that feels like a gel or lotion when you put it on, disappears upon contact, and leaves skin with a stunning glow. Available in two shades, this product accommodates fair and deep skin tones beautifully but is a little more expensive than the Hydro Grip primer.

e.l.f. Jelly Pop Dew Primer: Circulating through the beauty community as the quintessential dupe to Hydro Grip, e.l.f.’s Jelly Pop Dew Primer is a skin-friendly product jam-packed with nourishing ingredients: hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamins E, A, and C. If you’re looking for a product similar to Hydro Grip that’s more affordable, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Primer: Another primer that feels like a lotion Fenty’s Hydrating Primer leaves skin supple and radiant. Softening skin and creating a filter-like effect underneath makeup, this product is perfect for normal to dry skin. If your skin is super sensitive, though, exercise caution with this product: it contains fragrance, and fragrant products don’t always agree with sensitive skin.

Final Verdict

Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer is an ideal product for anyone that is on the hunt for a primer that will help give them a fresh, natural look to their skin that works well alone or underneath their makeup. Be prepared for your look to be (practically) permanently locked in place, because this is truly a formula that grips makeup in place.


  • Product Name Hydro Grip Primer
  • Product Brand Milk Makeup
  • Price $30.00
  • Release Date March 2019
  • Weight 1.52 oz.
  • Product Dimensions 1.5 x 4.27 x 1.5 in.
  • Full Ingredient List Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, PEG-150 Distearate, Alcohol Denat., Polyglyceryl-10 Eicosanedioate/Tetradecanedioate, Diglycerin, PVP, Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Pullulan, Inositol, Betaine, Carbomer, Maltose, Xylitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Benzophenone-4, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Agave Tequilana Stem Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Vegetable Amino Acids, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Prunus Avium Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Benzoic Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Red 33 (CI 17200).
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Wohlrab J, Kreft D. Niacinamide - mechanisms of action and its topical use in dermatology. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(6):311-5. doi: 10.1159/000359974

Related Stories