So guess what popped up on Milani’s Facebook page. “We’re starting the July 4th celebration early! Through July 7th, save 30% off your ENTIRE purchase from www.milanicosmetics.com. Just use the code HAPPY4TH at checkout.” I think Milani is a really great brand that is often overlooked, and I have loved all of the Milani products that I have gotten in the past. This is a great time to pick up some of those Rose Powder Blushes that I mentioned in my Favorites post. If you still haven’t tried the Milani Baked Blushes, stop what you are doing and go buy them right now. I especially recommend Rose D’Oro and Luminoso. I am definitely going to finally grab some Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows that I have heard so much about, and possibly some lip products. Milani always offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more, so have fun and happy shopping!
With June quickly approaching, I have my Monthly Favorites and Fails for May ready for you today. For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month. Fails are products that simply did not work out and I do not recommend, because it is just as important to know what products to avoid as it is to know which ones to get. May was a much better month for me than April (otherwise known as that time I came down with the Plague). Though was still dealing with sickness for the first week or so of May, I felt much better and much more myself during the rest of the month. I also did some traveling in May, and my Favorites reflect the items that I took with me on that trip and just kept using. So let’s get into it.
I received this Beauty Without Cruelty AHA Facial Cleanser in my December Ipsy bag. I didn’t use it right away because it claims to be designed for normal to oily skin and my skin is dry. However, it was nice and compact, and I didn’t have any other cleansers that would fit in my travel bag, so I decided to bring it with me to North Carolina. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It cleansed my skin thoroughly without making it feel stripped or tight. The formula will be problematic for some because of the inclusions of aroma-therapy essential oils. They did not seem to bother my skin, and the scent is very subtle and not bothersome at all. Beauty Without Cruelty AHA Facial Cleanser is not going to become one of my go-to products, but I am glad that I got the sample from Ipsy because I have really enjoyed it this month.
My next Favorite for May is the Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer. I reviewed this concealer back in February and said that I really liked it. I stand by that assessment. Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer goes on so smoothly, doesn’t look cakey in the slightest, and I do not have issues with creasing or settling into fine lines around my eyes. At the same time, it has really great staying power, especially if you set it with a light powder. It is a great concealer, and you should definitely try it out. I have it in the shade Light.
I ran out of my beloved Revlon Nearly Naked Powder (so sad) and have been using this L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Powder instead. It is a completely different formula than Nearly Naked, but I have been enjoying it. It is very finely milled, and looks good on the skin. The Infallible Pro Matte Powder has some pretty decent coverage on its own. Though it is a setting powder and not a powder foundation, it does have some of the same qualities that a powder foundation has. If you have good skin, you can get away with just using Infallible Pro Matte Powder. I am not that lucky. I like the Infallible Pro Matte Powder a lot, but I do have to be careful to use a light hand because it goes from light and airy to overly powdery rather quickly. I do think that it is a good option, and have been using it a lot all through May.
A product that I have been using so much that I couldn’t not include it is the Wet n Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine palette (also known as I (Heart) Matte palette). I usually try not to include limited edition items in my favorites because I want to make sure you can get your hands on it if you see a product you like, so I apologize. Because I was traveling I needed something compact that I could do some quick and easy looks with that could go with any outfit. I have been loving applying the creamy browbone shade all over the eye first, and then using the peach shade liberally in the crease. I then deepen the crease with the brown shade using a small pencil brush, and use the black shadow for liner. I have probably worn that simple eye look 60% of the time this month. It was so easy that I didn’t need to think about it, and it looks beautiful. You do not need this palette to accomplish the look. Any collection of similar matte shades (and there are many) will do the trick, but this is the product that I have been using and I love it.
When I wasn’t using the Wet n Wild palette, I went for the Coastal Scents Go Palette in Beijing. The pinks and mauves in this palette were exactly what I wanted for some sweet and romantic pops of color. I used to avoid pinks and purples but over the last few years I have seen the error of my ways and now I love them. I know that I have talked about how great Coastal Scents is and how much I enjoy their shadows. The Coastal Scents shadows are pigmented and smooth, and they are so affordable. The Go palettes are a great bargain, especially because Coastal Scents often offers them in a bundle sale.
For blush this month, I pulled out an oldie but a goody, the Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro. You’ve seen it before, you know what it is. It has been too long since I used Rose D’Oro, and I almost forgot how much I truly love this blush. Once I pulled it out again, however, I haven’t been able to put it down. Just look at it! It is a rosy peach shade with gold veining throughout. The gorgous shimmer means that you can skip a separate highlighter. It can be sheered out for a soft glowy flush, or layered for intense color. It looks amazing on the cheeks. Rose D’Oro is the perfect shade for spring and summer, and I am not putting it back in my drawer. I am going to be wearing the heck out of it over the next few months.
A new (to me) product that I’ve been enjoying this month has been the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm in Fresh Plum. I have been going for a barely there lip all month, and when I am not wearing my Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments, I have been wearing this. I have one word to describe the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm- comfortable. You all know how obsessed I am with the Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey and Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon lip balms. They are Holy Grail, can’t live without them status. Well the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm feels very similar. It is so moisturizing and comfortable on the lips. The color is very sheer, so it is perfect for days when you couldn’t be bothered to do a lip color, but you want something there. It’s a great product to throw in your purse and go.
That does it for my favorites, now onto this month’s Fails. Always keep in mind that my reviews are based on my specific experience with these products, and good or bad, you may have different results. So, just because I give a product a bad review, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad product. It just means that it did not work for me.
I tried this 6-Piece Anti-Aging Starter Kit from Eclos Skincare. Eclos is a branch of Freeman Beauty. I really love Freeman facial masks, so I decided to try their skincare line the last time I made a purchase from Freeman’s website. You can also get this set from Ulta. Eclos touts their Apple Stem Cell Technology as truly amazing stuff that is clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture. I call shenanigans. The products were generic at best, and some were truly terrible. Not only did these products do absolutely nothing for my skin, but the scent was unbearable to me. These are not large sample sizes, but even so, I couldn’t finish several of them. Even the clay mask, something that Freeman does very well, was just ho-hum for me. The primer was so bad that I tossed it after one use. I like Freeman Beauty a lot, and their masks are wonderful. I really wanted to like the Eclos skincare line. Ultimately though, I hated all of it and do not recommend that you try any Eclos products.
That is all for my May Favorites and Fails. I hope you saw something that you might want to check out for yourself. If you have used any of these products, I’d love to know what you thought of them in the comments below. May was a good month for me. I am finally feeling back to normal. I have several projects on the horizon, and am nervous but excited. I am not looking forward to the intense heat of a Southern California summer, but at least I won’t have to endure the humidity like I did in NC. Are you looking forward to the summer? Any big plans on the horizon? Let me know. 🙂
I was hoping to get my June favorites post up last week, but I’ve been pretty busy lately. Hopefully you don’t mind that I’m a little late. Can you believe that half of the year is almost over? I feel like every month I say the same thing, but 2013 is advancing at a breakneck speed. June was a really good month for me. The Husband™ and I have made several big decisions and positive changes that are now in place and ready to pick up steam over the next few months. I’m doing better now than I have been in a long while. But enough yammering. I was pretty minimal with my makeup throughout June and my favorites reflect that.
First up is the Sweet on Paris Shimmer Mist from Bath & Body Works. I picked this up during the recent Semi-Annual Sale and have been really enjoying it. B&BW says: “Spray on the sparkle with an enticing medley of juicy blackberry, lemon meringue and creamy vanilla, inspired by the sweet temptations of a Parisian patisserie. Our deliciously delicate mist comes in an elegant Eiffel Tower shaped bottle and leaves skin sparkling and fragranced. It’s love at first mist!” I don’t normally go for such sweet fragrances, but this is just fresh enough to balance out the sugar and avoid ending up cloying. And I can’t get enough of the subtle gold shimmers this spray provides. It’s great for summer.
I pulled out my Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro, and have been loving it all month. Rose D’Oro isn’t new to this blog and has been featured in many Monthly favorites posts before. It’s a gorgeous pink-toned coral with gold shimmer. Of all of the beautiful Milani Baked Blushes, this one is my favorite. It’s pigmented, long-wearing, and so pretty. If for some reason you haven’t checked them out yet, you really should get a couple of the Milani Baked Blushes for yourself.
I’ve been using the Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder almost exclusively this month. I really like the finish that it gives and think that it’s one of the best pressed powders in the drugstore at this point. It has a smooth, oddly creamy consistency that look lovely on the skin. I never have an issue with it clinging to dry patches, and it looks really natural. It’s a great choice for powder.
It took a really long time, but I finally got around to buying the Wet N Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells. This is one of the most popular trios, and I have gifted it in the past, but never had it for myself. I normally like bolder eye looks, but I’ve been going more natural in June and this trio was perfect for a sweet and effortless look. The shades are beautiful and natural, and an excellent choice if you are in a hurry and need a no-brainer eyeshadow look. If you are a neutral girl this is a must-have in your collection, especially for how inexpensive it is.
I’m a big fan of Neutrogena makeup Remover Wipes, so I wanted to give the Neutrogena Oil Free Cleansing Wipes in Pink Grapefruit a try. I’ve been using them in the morning to cleanse my face when I wake up and am enjoying them. The grapefruit scent is very strong, but I find it invigorating and it really wakes me up. I don’t know if they will become a staple, but I am glad that I tried them out and would certainly purchase them again.
Here are some swatches of the color products that I mentioned. On the top of my hand is the Walking on Eggshells Trio, L-R: the lid, crease, and browbone shades. The bottom swatch is the Rose D’Oro blush which is reading a little brighter than it is in real life. This is a heavy swatch. On the cheek, the shimmer sheers out and is hardly noticeable.
I hope you enjoyed my June favorites. Let me know in the comments below what some of your favorites were. I’m excited that it is July because July is Birthday month for me. So far it has been a really rainy summer. We’ve had thunderstorms almost everyday. Hopefully the weather will clear up now that we are in summer proper. I have a ton of products to review over this next month, so be sure to sign up to follow BiBB by email so that you don’t miss anything. Also, next month is my Blogiversary so expect to see a giveaway announcement coming up soon. 🙂
Can you believe another month has come and gone? All of a sudden it’s November. That means it’s time again for another monthly favorites post. A couple of these items should come as no surprise, if you’ve been reading along this month, but hopefully the others are new to you. So let’s get started. If you are interested in last month’s favorites, click here.
Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer has been a life saver this month. A combination of allergic reactions and hormones gave me some skin issues that needed serious coverage, and this concealer is definitely serious coverage. It has a thick and creamy consistency that is best applied with a flat concealer brush and set with powder. I would never recommend that you use Glamoflauge under the eye because it’s too thick, but for trouble spots it’s awesome. A little goes a very long way, and this tube is going to last me forever. Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer comes in three shades, Light, Medium, and Tan. I have it in Medium, and it matches my light-medium skin really well. Hard Candy is sold exclusively at Walmart, and Glamoflauge retails for $6.00.
Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse is the foundation that I have been reaching for over and over again this month. It’s a great formula for my dry skin and doesn’t flake up on me at all. It is a medium coverage foundation and has a very natural finish. There is the tiniest bit of scent when the foundation is first out of the bottle, but it’s hardly noticeable unless you are specifically looking for it and dissipates quickly. I find that I get an almost air brushed finish when I apply Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse with my favorite foundation brush (which is actually the e.l.f. flat top powder brush). I stipple it on and then blend it out with the brush and it looks gorgeous. There are only two flaws that I can find with Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse foundation. The most glaring issue that I have with it is that it doesn’t have a cap. I love that it has a pump, but I would really prefer it if it had a cap to go over the pump. I haven’t had any issues with mess after months of use, but I am still paranoid that I’m going to find foundation spilled out everywhere. The other issue is that the color that I have, Nude Light 4, can have a slightly orange cast. It still manages to look fantastic on my skin, but I may try a different shade next time. I will definitely be repurchasing when I run out.
I have been really impressed with my e.l.f. Studio Pressed Powder. I’ve been using Loreal True Match for my pressed powder for years, but I wanted to try to find something that cost less because Loreal is kind of pricey for drugstore. I didn’t expect much from e.l.f., but I figured that for $3.00 what could it hurt to try. I really need to stop underestimating e.l.f. just because it’s cheap. I was shocked by how good the powder actually is. I am not a huge fan of translucent powders, and like a powder to have some coverage of it’s own. This ceratinly fits that bill. E.l.f. designed the studio pressed powder to be used wet or dry for more coverage and I have seen reviews that this makes a great powder foundation. Despite it’s great coverage, e.l.f. Studio Pressed Powder doesn’t come on too strong and is a great setting powder on top of foundation for a natural look. I find it best to press the powder on with the sponge it comes with and then lightly buff with a kabuki, or a large blush brush. This is one of the e.l.f. products available at Target, and of course it’s available at e.l.f.’s website.
Another e.l.f. product that I’ve been loving is the Studio Cream Eyeliner in Metallic Olive. Usually I’m a pencil liner girl, but this eyeliner is fantastic. It is so creamy and smooth! The swatch above is one smooth swipe with the brush it comes with. It couldn’t be easier to apply, even for someone who isn’t used to applying eyeliner with a brush. There is no dragging or pulling, just a smooth solid line. E.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner is smudgeable when first applied, but once set, won’t budge. I really like Metallic Olive for fall. I’m wearing a lot of browns and greens on my eyes, so this is a great color to go with that. Again, despite the low $3.00 price tag, e.l.f has put out a really great product.
I’m going to mention these next two products together because I have covered them here already. I’m loving the Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro which you can read about here, and the Revlon Colorbust Lip Butter in red velvet, covered here. They are fabulous, fantastic, wonderful. Buy them now. Do it. Really.
My last favorite is my Coastal Scents Fall Festival Palette. This eyeshadow palette has some fantastic shades for a ton of fall looks. I especially love the coppery orange shade in the middle row. According to Coastal Scents, “Transition into autumn with our Fall Festival Palette, including twelve season appropriate metallic, matte, and shimmery shadows for a variety of looks. The shadows can be applied dry or wet for a longer lasting effect with any eye shadow brush in your collection. All twelve eye shadow pots are held magnetically into our matte black palette imprinted with the Coastal Scents logo and palette name. These shadows can also be purchased separately as individual Hot Pots.” The Hot Pots seem to be the same size as MAC shadows. Coastal Scents shadows are soft, highly pigmented, and really well priced. Because they are so soft, there is a certain amount of fallout, but it’s worth it. Primer always helps the fallout issue. They blend really well together and, over primer, will last all day. The palette has a full sized mirror, which is awesome, and retails for $21.95. The Fall Festival Palette can be found here.
I hope that you enjoyed this month’s favorites, and that you saw some products that you want to try for yourself.
These products aren’t exactly new, (I believe they came out early this year) but they are kind of hard to come by, so you may not have picked up any of the Milani baked line of products. I encourage you to do so, if you see them, because they are awesome. This is another product where I feel like I want to buy one in every color, they are that good. I have three blushes and one bronzer to swatch for you today.
Milani Baked Blushes and Bronzers are, according to Milani’s website: “A luxurious powder that features a mélange infusion of colors baked on Italian terracotta tiles. Easy to use, sensorial in texture, the nuances of color become extraordinarily luminous. Silky smooth application leaves your face looking healthy and radiant all day.” Although that description is a bit over the top, it is completely accurate. The product is soft, not chalky at all, and blends like a dream. And pigmented, boy howdy! Fairer complexions need to use a light hand because the pigmentation, on the blushes especially, is really intense. Although there are veins of shimmer running though most of these products, it’s not glittery and easily buffs away if shimmer isn’t your thing. When buffed out, they leave a luminous healthy glow on the cheeks without turning you into a disco ball. There are nine blush shades in this collection and three bronzers. I’ll be covering Rose D’Oro, Red Vino, Terra Sole and Soleil. I’ll start with the bronzer.
Of the three bronzer shades, Soleil is in the middle between Glow and Golden. It’s a medium bronze with veins of milk chocolate and shimmery gold running through it. Soleil is not a muddy brown bronzer, but instead gives a rich golden peach glow. I think it’s a good universal shade, because a light application would suit even very fair skin, and Soleil would make an interesting subtle highlight for very dark skin tones. I have often heard that the Milani Baked Bronzers are a dupe for MAC Mineralized Skin Finishes, but I don’t own and MSF’s so I can neither confirm nor deny how true that is. I can say that I am 100% pleased with this bronzer, and can’t think of a way single to improve it. Now that the weather is turning colder and skin tends to get dull and lifeless, Soleil would be a wonderful addition to your makeup routine. It’s the perfect golden sheen to brighten up your cheeks.
Red Vino looks kind of frightening in the pan, but don’t be scared off. This melange of dark rose, berry red, and gold make a beautiful blush for darker skin tones. Red Vino will be a great blush to have as we head into the winter months, where darker blushes are more acceptable. It’s insanely pigmented, so use a light hand, but this gorgeous color is worth the extra effort. The golds and berries blend together to make such a beautiful cheek color. I would say that fair skin should stay away, but a light application (much lighter than this swatch, obviously) will still work for those with light-medium skin looking for a bolder cheek. Remember, blending is your friend. *wink*
Terra Sole is my newest addition and I am so glad that I got it. Terra Sole is a terracotta color with hints of orange and pink. It gives off a sunkissed, almost tanned look. I’ve seen swatches of Terra Sole on dark skin, and the pink seems to stand out more than it does on lighter skin. Unlike the other three shades discussed in this post, Terra Sole doesn’t contain the marbleized swirls of color. There is a very faint luminosity when first applied, but that is easily buffed away making Terra Sole almost matte. For this reason, Terra Sole would also make a terrific contour shade. Again, fair skin be advised that Terra Sole may be too dark for you, but unless you have very light skin, you can probably make Terra Sole work.
Rose D’Oro is my favorite of the three Milani blushes that I own. It is a simply gorgeous shade. This is a universal shade which gives off a lovely rosy peach shimmer. It looks like a natural flush and, I swear, it takes years off. It’s a sweet shade that reminds me of blushing brides and film ingenues. If you only get one Milani Baked Blush, get Rose D’Oro. I have heard it compared to the infamous NARS Orgasm, but then again, what hasn’t been? I don’t own Orgasm, so I can’t tell you how close they are, but I believe that Rose D’Oro is a little darker and a touch more rosy than Orgasm is. Rose D’Oro is a golden rosy peach that is the star of the show for me. This swatch doesn’t do it justice. You have to see Rose D’Oro for yourself.
All in all, Milani Baked Blushes and Bronzers are fabulous products that get two thumbs up. With nine blush shades and three bronzers, anyone can find a shade or two in this lineup that will look fantastic on their skin. Prices vary by location, but they are usually $6-$9. Now, for the hard part. Milani is found at most drugstores, Target and K-mart. However, only a few of these stores carry the baked product line. The only places that I have seen these in-store are CVS and Target. I have heard that Terra Sole is online only. I purchased mine through Cherryculture.com, but you can make purchases through Milani’s website milanicosmetics.com.
Speed Read: Milani Baked Blushes and Bronzers are fantastic, highly pigmented baked powder products that are comparable to products many times their price. Rose D’Oro is an especially flattering, universal shade.
Best for: Those who like well pigmented blushes and don’t mind shimmer. Also, those who don’t mind ordering online because these are hard to find.
Keep walking: If you can’t handle hard to find items and are not willing to buy online. Also, with the exception of Terra Sole, don’t bother if you can’t stand shimmer.