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Blending the rules with Milk Makeup's gel applicator

Milk Makeup Dab + Blend Applicator

The product

Milk Makeup Dab + Blend Applicator, $17 through and at Sephora stores August 4.

The promise

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Milk's easy-to-clean gel applicator glides smoothly onto skin for an even application of liquid foundation or skincare.

How it works

Made with non-porous gel, Dab + Blend won't soak up any liquid, so the product will last longer than if applied with a foam sponge; the applicator will have a longer shelf life, too.

How to use it

Squeeze one to two drops of foundation or skincare onto the applicator and apply to your face by dabbing repeatedly or blending outward in circular motions. Clean the applicator with soap and water and let dry before storing it in its pouch.

The bottom line

No one loves the Internet quite like the beauty biz; new trends, products, techniques, brands and personalities regularly go viral among the devoted online community of beauty fanatics, and many of YouTube's top beauty vloggers have millions of followers. One recent craze in the online beauty sphere is the silicone sponge – a transparent, gel-like applicator that originated in Hong Kong.

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Milk Makeup, a New York-based brand founded in 2016 and born out of media and photography company Milk Studios, has brought the trend to North America. Milk is known for its millennial-focused approach to skincare and cosmetics, and their version of the sili-sponge is infused with glitter and sold in an irresistible holographic package.

I've never been one to really go for the full "Instagram" face (defined by stencilled brows, clown contouring and matte, puffed-out lips), and I typically use my fingers to hastily apply a wash of lightweight foundation with SPF before I leave the house. This applicator replicated my preferred look in a more evenly-applied way, and also made it easier to apply a matte formula product with heavier coverage for a night out. Maybe, with the right tools in hand, it's time I join my online counterparts and give Instagram face a chance.

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Toman Sasaki, a model and pop band member who goes simply by Toman, does not regard his manicured and made-up look as feminine, so much as genderless. As one of a small but growing group of “genderless danshi” — “danshi” means young men in Japanese — he is developing a public identity and a career out of a new androgynous style.
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