Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Milani Berry Tempting (05) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss
Milani Berry Tempting (05) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss

This spring, Milani launched a new gloss formula, Brilliant Shine, in fourteen different shades. The new formula is supposed to have “rich color, extreme high shine, and comfortable lasting wear,” plus be “moisturizing and non-tacky.” I have several more to try (and not all of them are even photographed yet!), but here are the first three I tested. The texture is thick but smooth and mostly non-sticky, and the gloss smells like sweet vanilla but has no discernible taste. It comes with a paddle-shaped, sponge-tip applicator that fits along the curve of the lip. The formula has a high-shine, glossy finish, and they wear between three and four hours on me. I notice a slight tackiness that develops after an hour of wear, but it never feels full-on sticky, but it’s not 100% non-sticky. In some ways, the formula reminded me of MAC Lipglass, just not as thick and not tacky. Based on these three, they’re somewhat hydrating while worn.

Milani Berry Tempting (05) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss ($5.49 for 0.21 oz.) is a cool-toned, pink-tinged berry with a cream finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly for the most part. Sometimes deeper shades like this can look splotchy on lips, but I thought this one managed to still allow the natural lip color to come through without looking too uneven. It wore well for four hours. Maybelline Amethyst Potion (045) (P, $8.99) is similar. NARS Penny Arcade (LE, $26.00) is brighter. MAC Real Posh (LE, $15.00) is darker, shimmery. MAC Mall Madness (LE, $15.00) is shimmery. MAC Colour Saturation (LE, $20.00) is slightly brighter. See comparison swatches.

Ravish Raspberry (06) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss ($5.49 for 0.21 oz.) is a brightened, pinky-berry with a cream finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly overall. It lasted just over four hours on me. It’s brighter and pinker compared to Berry Tempting. Maybelline Amethyst Potion (045) (P, $8.99) is more muted. Urban Decay Big Bang (P, $19.00) is shimmery. NARS Penny Arcade (LE, $26.00) is similar. MAC Colour Saturation (LE, $20.00) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Pink Lady (07) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss ($5.49 for 0.21 oz.) is a cool-toned, blue-based medium pink with a cream finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation, but it wouldn’t apply evenly at all! It looked splotchy and as if it had settled into lip lines yet not fully. When I wore it, the color lasted for three hours. Edward Bess First Kiss (P, $30.00) is warmer. NARS Coeur Sucre (P, $26.00) is cooler-toned and shimmery. MAC Long Love Love (P, $19.50) is lighter. MAC Pink Nouveau (LE, $15.00) is similar but more pigmented. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Berry Tempting (05)

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Ravish Raspberry (06)

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Pink Lady (07)

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Milani Spring 2014 Launches
Milani Spring 2014 Launches

Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss ($5.49)

Rich color, extreme high shine, comfortable lasting wear, moisturizing & non-tacky.

  • Bare Secret (01)
  • Mai-Tai (02)
  • Luminous (03)
  • Mauve Fetish (04)
  • Berry Tempting (05)
  • Ravish Raspberry (06)
  • Pink Lady (07)
  • Rose Blush (08)
  • Sweet Grapefruit (09)
  • Coral Crush (10)
  • Nude Touch (11)
  • Red My Lips (12)
  • Brownberry (13)
  • Black Cherry (14)

Power Lip ($6.49)

New non-drying formula, long-lasting shine, stain, & color coverage. Available at CVS.

  • Red Control (01)
  • Cabaret Blend (02)
  • Raspberry Tart (03)
  • Pink Lemonade (04)
  • Macaroon (05)
  • Strawberry Sugar (06)
  • Mango Tango (07)
  • Creamy Cafe (08)

Lip Intense Liquid Color ($6.49)

Infused with pure pigments for a shockingly intense full lip color. Application of a gloss with the longevity of a lipstick. Lightweight, full coverage formula.

  • Red Extreme (01)
  • Pink Rave (02)
  • Fiery Coral (03)
  • Violet Addict (04)

Anti-Feathering Lipliner ($4.49)

A smooth easy glide-on, mistake proof formula that prevents lipstick & liploss from feathering. Serves as lip primer & line filler when used all over lips & extends
the wear of any lipstick or lipgloss. Enriched with vitamins & moisturizing ingredients for a creamy application. Sharpens with Milani’s Duo Pencil Sharpener.

  • Transparent (01)

Brow & Eye Highlighters ($6.49)

Perfect duo for a luminous effect around the eyes. Can be used as a brightener, highlighter & eyeshadow. Brow lifting, light diffusing pigments.

  • Matte Beige/High Glow (01)
  • Matte Cream/Luminous Lift (02)
  • Vanilla/Natural Taupe (03)

Brow Shaping Clear Gel ($4.49)

  • Clear (01)

Brow Shaping Clear Wax ($4.49)

  • Clear (01)

Eye Tech Perfection Liquid Liner ($7.49)

Ergonomic handle for easy application. Full color definition in one stroke application. Extreme fine-tip point creates three line styles.

  • Black (01)

See more information and photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Here is a compilation of my favorite budget-friendly lipsticks and lipglosses that I’ve tested over the past year! I’m really excited to have found an affordable, high-quality lip scrub this year. Bonus points for being an indie brand to boot! It does seem like 2013 was the year of bright lipstick–fuchsia, red, and orange!

What were your favorite budget-friendly lipsticks and lipglosses from the past year?

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

I have a whole slew of fun top tens to share with you over the next few days!  You may even see some of these pop up again in a few other top tens.  I wanted to put a spotlight on some of the best affordable and budget-friendly products that I enjoyed and reviewed over the past year.  I hope you’ll take a moment to share your own favorites that you discovered this year.

What were your favorite budget-friendly eyeshadows and eyeliners this year?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

One of my favorite colors of all-time is emerald green. It has so much depth, and I love that it can be cooler or warmer and be so, so different.

  1. Zoya Logan — a very cool-toned, glittering emerald green polish
  2. Milani Green Safari — an amazing emerald green cream eyeshadow that can be used as eyeliner or as a base
  3. Illamasqua Violate — because I can’t have a list that doesn’t include an emerald green lip color
  4. Zoya Holly — vibrant, warm-toned emerald green
  5. Make Up For Ever #80 — a smoky, slightly blackened emerald green eyeshadow

Have you worn any emerald green beauty products before?

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Milani Golden Eyes Sparkling Top Coat Mascara
Milani Golden Eyes Sparkling Top Coat Mascara

Milani Sparkling Top Coat Mascara ($4.99 for 0.32 fl. oz.) is described as a “glamorous sparkling mascara top coat that adds a beautiful shimmer to lashes … the gel based formula allows for easy, even application.” It’s not shimmer, it’s glitter–it’s definitely larger and chunkier, which is really a good thing as shimmer would be harder to see, but in case you were thinking, “oh, fine shimmer!” it’s really glitter-sized particles. It’s also a top coat, which means it can be used over mascara, not just bare lashes, and it will perform better over mascara (more to cling to).
The formula is very wet, not too thick or too thin, but wet. When the glitter gets caught on a lash, it does adhere, and it doesn’t fall out during wear, but the glitter applies in a scattered, sparse way. If you apply it similarly to mascara, where you’re running the wand through the lashes, you’ll need three coats or more to get visible sparkle. Now, the problem with this, is it has a tendency to clump and pull lashes together, so you’ll also need a lash comb or clean spoolie to help bring back definition and lash separation. It’s a lot easier to just use the glitter that’s on the tip of the wand to sort of tap and press and slide through the lashes, as you’ll get a denser application and minimize how much of the gel base on lashes.

The major upside of this product was once on, it stayed put, but the downside was in the application and lack of density of the glitter. I had better results with this formula than I did with Chanel’s glitter top coat, though you can get similar results using a liquid glitter eyeliner and dabbing or combing through lashes.

Just as a note (this had no impact on the rating), but you might concentrate the glitter on the tips of lashes, rather than the whole lash, as I saw pops of blurred sparkle throughout the day, which might be distracting for some!

Golden Eyes Sparkling Top Coat Mascara ($4.99 for 0.32 fl. oz.) is described as “gold shimmer.” It’s true, metallic gold glitter particles suspended in a clear base. Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy (P, $19.00) is a liquid eyeliner, and it is a paler, less yellow gold. See comparison swatches.

Bronze Glare Sparkling Top Coat Mascara ($4.99 for 0.32 fl. oz.) is described as “bronze shimmer.” It’s a warm-toned, gold and copper mix of glitter suspended in a clear base.

Silver Gaze Sparkling Top Coat Mascara ($4.99 for 0.32 fl. oz.) is described as “silver shimmer.” It contains light-medium, metallic silver glitters suspended in a clear base. Urban Decay Glamrock (P, $19.00) is a liquid eyeliner but is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Golden Eyes

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Bronze Glare

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Silver Gaze

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →