Got milk? On your face? Wearing a milk mustache has become something of a fashion statement, thanks to the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board's $112-million advertising campaign featuring celebrities from Lauren Bacall to Denver Bronco John Elway with foamy white upper lips. The ads are photographed by Annie Leibovitz, but those capricious, creamy mustaches are the work of L.A. food stylist Norman Stewart.
How does he do it? The puckish Stewart, 40, takes a swig from a mug of cappuccino; when he sets it down, he is wearing a picture-perfect, cinnamon-flecked milk mustache. No one walking past our outdoor table at Caffe Luna bats an eye. "It's all done with dairy products," says Stewart, wiping away the froth with a napkin. He won't reveal his recipe, but confides it contains whole milk and heavy cream. "The celebrities don't actually have to drink it," he assures me. A good thing, because it is reapplied many times.
The trick to wearing a milk mustache, for anyone trying this at home, is facial hair. "Even women and children have natural peach fuzz, like a little down comforter, above their lips that the milk clings to," Stewart says. "If a woman waxes her lip, it's very hard to get a mustache to stick. I won't name names, but it's been a problem with a few of the celebrities."