Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Milani Shocking Pink Powder Eyeshadow
Milani Shocking Pink Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Shocking Pink Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Shocking Pink Powder Eyeshadow ($4.49 for 0.11 oz.) is a vibrant magenta pink with strong blue undertones and a very subtle dusting of silver shimmer. This might be one of the most vibrant shades I’ve seen, period, but particularly from a mass brand. Sugarpill Dollipop is less blue-based, pinker. MAC Magenta Madness is a little more intense, darker, and pinker. Make Up For Ever #75 is much, much darker and pinker.

The formula is described as “super pigmented, easily blendable, creaseproof, [and] silk-like.” It’s a pretty tall order, but Milani actually delivers well on all four claims. It’s extremely pigmented; it’s rich in color, and it has a soft, buttery texture that’s dense and so very soft. It’s one of the softer, denser mattes (like Inglot), as compared to MAC’s regular matte formula, which is a drier, firmer matte. The soft, silky-smooth texture enables really easy blending and diffusing of color. It applies and adheres well to the bare lid, lasting about eight hours with no creasing and minor fading around the edges.

It will be available exclusively at select CVS stores this May. I’ve linked to Milani’s website for the time being, as it’s a good starting point for tracking down where Milani is sold near you.  These are packaged in a clear-cover plastic compact and contain almost double the amount of product as the average eyeshadow (0.11 oz. vs. 0.05 oz.).

The Glossover

P
product

Shocking Pink

A
Intensely pigmented, soft as silk, smooth as butter, and easy to blend--what's not to love? Oh, and it's less than $5--even better. Fans of matte eyeshadows who also love their brights will definitely want to keep an eye out at their local CVS!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss
Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss ($7.49 for 0.18 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink with hot pink shimmer.” It’s a bright, vibrant, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a heavy dosage of lighter fuchsia shimmer. MAC Athena’s Kiss is a bit darker, not as neon. OCC Pageant isn’t as bright or as blue-based. The underlying base color is similar to MAC Quick Sizzle, which is a touch darker. The overall look is closer to MAC Pink Pigeon. MAC Show Orchid is a bit darker and more iridescent with less obvious shimmer.

Milani describes the formula as yielding full-color coverage with an extra glossy, non-tacky finish that won’t feather. It’s definitely rich in color–it’s opaque in one pass, and the finish is extremely shimmery and fairly glossy. The one characteristic I disagree on is the texture, because it’s incredibly sticky. It has a thicker consistency, so it’s not a lightweight formula, and the shimmer seemed to clump up in a few places. It feels very much like MAC Dare to Wear Lipglass, though. Swatched, it actually looks like it might be a potential dupe for Gimme That, but it’s very different–Gimme That is a rich fuchsia that goes on as more color and has less shimmer. Milani’s variation has much, much more shimmer. It also has a sweet vanilla scent.

Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile.  The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn’t always easy.

The Glossover

P
product

Flashy

B+
Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile. The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn't always easy.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Video Review: Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

The companion video to the written review :) This video also has the most epic auto-generated thumbnail–thanks YouTube!

P.S. — Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette
Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) contains six shades arranged as thin strips inside a clear, plastic compact. It comes with a dual-ended sponge-tipped applicator (not particularly useful). The product can be used dry for a sheerer, shimmery color, or it can be used damp for greater intensity.

The last time I tested one of these palettes, I wasn’t particularly impressed (see this review), but I was pleasantly surprised with Milani’s latest addition to their Runway Eyes line-up. Primary packs a lot more color payoff both wet and dry! It’s an excellent buy if you’re looking for really bright pops of color and don’t want to spend a lot.

The first shade is a primary canary yellow with warm undertones and a shimmery finish. It has good color payoff both dry and wet–when it’s wet, it’s just slightly brighter, but it’s opaque color either way. MAC Bright Sunshine is similar, slightly lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is a bit darker, almost more orange-y (but not orange at all). Inglot #370 is matte and not as sunshine-yellow.

The second shade is a shimmery red with subtle orange undertones. When it’s applied dry, it has more of a brick red hue, whereas when it is applied damp, it appears redder and the orange tones become muted. Milani I Heart You is similar to the dry swatch. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm isn’t as shimmery.

The third shade is a medium orange with a tangerine orange shimmer and sheen. The color payoff when it is applied dry is a bit faded/muted, and when it is applied damp, it’s better, though it is one of the softer shades in the palette. MAC Fresh Daily is similar but a touch darker. MAC Rule has a matte finish and is a bit darker.

The fourth shade is a blue-based purple with a soft, shimmery finish. When applied dry, there’s a noticeable sheerness to the color, which does improve when applied damp. Urban Decay Ransom is similar, slightly cooler. MAC Pink Union is richer, more intense. MAC Parfait Amour is bluer.

The fifth shade is an aqua-teal with a shimmery sheen. This was one of the sheerer shades both wet and dry, though it does intensify to get to good color payoff when used wet. MAC Shimmermoss is a bit greener, more opaque. Make Up For Ever #302 is very similar but more metallic in finish. MAC Rain Drop is darker.

The sixth (and final!) shade is a medium-dark blue with a hint of violet. It looks more navy blue when applied dry, because the sheen disappears and there’s some sheerness in the hue. When applied damp, the color intensifies tremendously and has a lovely sheen that’s glowy without being metallic. MAC Love Cycle is darker, bluer, no violet in sight. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is lighter. MAC Blue Storm is darker. NARS Outremer is matte.

I don’t love the overall setup of the palette, because each strip of color is too thin. I usually use MAC’s 239 eyeshadow brush to apply eyeshadows, but it was a little too big–I ended up using the MAC 213, which worked better.  Each strip is fairly soft–if you pressed your finger against it, you could flatten it out with medium pressure, so the palette is a little fragile.  The texture of the eyeshadows is soft and smooth, and the color payoff is fairly good to great when applied damp.

When I tested this palette, it wore well both with and without a primer, though it did perform better with a primer–no creasing though very subtle fading around the edges with a primer after eight hours, but there was minor creasing after seven hours without a primer.  What I did really like was how much intensity remained when using these wet!  Typically, when you use a product wet, it often loses some of its vibrancy as it dries back down, but these really retained their color. Milani didn’t mention that these were long-wearing, crease-resistant, etc. on their own, so longevity is based on wear with a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Primary

A-
This is one of the better pigmented products I've found at this price point for shades like these--it's not always easy to find really vibrant yellows, reds, or purples. Milani does each shade fairly well to exceptionally well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, February 13th, 2012

5 Pretty in Pink and Red Lipglosses for Valentine’s Day

In case you’re not into lipsticks, or maybe you like to mix, here are five of my favorites that would make for a perfect lip for Valentine’s Day!

  1. MAC Driven by Love — ruby red with ruby shimmer
  2. Chanel Trimphal — pinky-red with lighter pink and red shimmer
  3. Illamasqua Indulge — bright, yellow-toned pink
  4. Milani Photo Flash — glittery, glitzy pink-red
  5. Hourglass Siren — metallic orange-red

What’s your favorite gloss for Valentine’s Day?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil
Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil

Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil

Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil ($6.49 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “fuchsia with gold and fuchsia shimmer.” I wouldn’t really describe it as fuchsia; it’s more of a pink-tinged red with fuchsia and red micro-glitter. When applied, the color coverage is mostly opaque, and it looks like a really juicy red with just enough translucency to give it that pinky-red coloring. The formula is supposed to be highly pigmented, extra glossy, and contain “moisture-rich” ingredients. It’s not supposed to feather or feel sticky either.

Like Flashy, it yields great color payoff but doesn’t look as glossy as a lipgloss. It looks more like a shiny lipstick to me than a lipgloss, and it feels that way, too. This particular shade wore for just over five hours, but I did notice the grit of the glitter after an hour or so of wear.

This shade also has a very similar Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color dupe in Adrenaline. The two formulas feel very, very similar; I doubt I could point out the differences in a blind test. Some other similar shades include Guerlain L’Heure Bleue (redder) and Dior Technicolor (less pink).

Even though I love the way they look and how much color they deliver, I don’t love that noticeable grittiness after an hour of wear. Luckily, the glitter doesn’t travel! You may want to freeze these pencils before sharpening, as their soft, creamy consistency make them harder to sharpen and messier to deal with. You should also expect some waste during the sharpening process if they are at room temperature.

The Glossover

DC
product

Photo Flash

B+
I love how the glitter looks but not so much how it feels after an hour or two of wear--slightly gritty--and sharpening these types of pencils could be improved. The color is, however, lovely!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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