They've gone and done it again!
The folks at Milani have launched an absolutely enormous Spring 2014 lip collection that includes gloss stains, regular glosses, a clear lip liner/primer, and some new shades for their Color Statement range of lipsticks. I was lucky enough to be traveling yesterday and decided to give the local CVS a whirl, since these aren't available yet within about a 50-mile radius of my town.
I was able to pick up two of the lipsticks - Pretty Natural and Cabaret Blend, and one of the gloss stains - Creamy Cafe. And they are lovely!
I'll start with the lipsticks, first with Pretty Natural. If ever there was a more fantastic MLBB shade, I've not found it. This color is amazing. It's very close in color to the similarly named Naturally Chic, only this is significantly pinker. It's less of a rosy nude and more of a muted, warm pink. I would say if you have one, you don't need the other, but I do own both shades and imagine they will get a lot of use, depending on the look I'm going for. Pretty Natural brightens up my fair complexion in a way not many understated shades can. I really love this. It's pink enough to not look completely "natural", but not so pink that your lips enter the room before you do. The texture is also one of the creamiest that I've tried from this line, while still maintaining a long wear time.
Cabaret Blend is another stunning shade. It's similar to Milani's Black Cherry, only redder and not quite as dark. The formula is almost exactly the same as Black Cherry, which means your lips will need to be perfectly smooth and exfoliated so as to avoid any dry patches showing. However, once that's accomplished, the color you're left with is a gorgeous deep wine red. It's not as cool-toned as I was expecting. In fact, it's quite neutral-leaning. But dark. So dark. Think Manic Panic's Black Rose, only with a thicker, longer-lasting consistency. I really love this shade, and I'm looking forward to sporting this with some smoky black liner.
The Power Lip gloss stain is also pretty great. The color, as I previously mentioned, is called Creamy Cafe, which implies a quite brown-toned color, however this definitely has a rosy hue to it, which makes it quite wearable for those of us with fairer complexions. The consistency is interesting - it's by far the creamiest gloss stain I've ever used. It doesn't feel heavy or sticky, doesn't cement my mouth shut like the YSL gloss stains, and doesn't feather before it sets. It does transfer, but not so much that it makes a big old mess, and the color and sheen last for quite a while. It's not a glassy gloss to start with, in fact, it seems like more of a very soft cream lipstick. But it maintains that satiny, creamy sheen until the gloss itself wears off. The stain that's left behind is considerably pinker than the gloss itself, but unlike some other gloss stains, it doesn't magically turn neon pink or coral. It just leaves a nice flush behind.
The packaging on the gloss stain leaves a lot to be desired, however, as the twist-up/brush design makes for uneven application and over-dispensing of the product. Let's face it - the twist-up packaging never really works. The brush is too stiff to give an even coat of the gloss, so it often requires a quick smoothing out with your finger, which isn't always ideal. I suppose dispensing a small amount onto a separate lip brush would make application more even, but it seems like an unnecessary step to what should be an easy process.
Overall, I'm pleased with what I've tried from the line. The lipsticks, as always, are a knock out of the park. Milani's Color Statement line is high-priced luxury at a drugstore price point, and that's very hard to achieve now that so many drugstore and luxury brands are owned by common parent companies. Milani, however, is not owned by L'Oreal or Estee Lauder, so they can make high-quality items without worrying about answering to a higher entity. I think this helps to ensure a high standard when it comes to the quality of their products.
Love these products, and will repurchase (as I have time and time again).
TL;DR - These products are amazing and you should get them...