Monday, December 26, 2011

Milani HD Advanced Lip Color in Modern Mauve Review and Swatches

Another item from my Milani 50% off haul, oh goody! I've been wanting to try this lipstick for awhile, but between it not being available anywhere near me and being $9 for 0.06 oz, I couldn't quite take the plunge. But half off with free shipping is an offer I can't refuse, so I did some research and figured Modern Mauve would be the closest thing to MLBB in the line for me. Herewith, my musings.
Milani Modern Mauve
Modern Mauve is a semi-opaque rosy pink cream (not sure where they got the "mauve" from) that closes in on red when heavily applied. I purchased it in the hope that it would become my HG MLBB, but it's too pink for that purpose (Revlon Sugar Plum has taken that crown, anyways...which is not to say the search is over, don't be crazy).

1 swipe Modern Mauve (top) and 3 swipes (bottom)

Modern Mauve on my lips; you can see how the pinkness in my lips modifies the color somewhat, and also how much peach fuzz I have around my mouth

It's really smooth and creamy, too much so for me. It tends to migrate on my lips when first applied, though it becomes less problematic as it dries down (after a few minutes). I find applying it first thing in the morning, after my shower, to bare lips is the best way of cutting down on slipperiness and migration. It's got a fruity smell that's actually pretty strong, though not offensive, and it lasts for most of the wear of the lipstick; I can't detect any taste.

Speaking of wear, this lacking. It feels great on, and it's pretty moisturizing, but it's pretty much gone on me after half an hour. It does leave a bit of a stain behind, but even that only lasts around an hour before disappearing, and I feel the need for reapplication or lip balm soon after this is gone. I imagine a darker color would stain more.

Lastly, the size. 0.06 oz is tiny. Yes, most slippery moisturizing thin lipsticks like this are ~0.07 oz––annoying, since such formulas don't last very long and you go through the product really quickly, and they don't generally cost any less than normal lipsticks (which are in the 0.10-0.15 oz range). But dropping it down to 0.06 oz is a decrease of nearly 15% compared to similar products, and at $9 for a drugstore lipstick, I feel like they're getting you coming and going.

Who might like this lipstick? Well, those who covet Dior's Sérum de Rouge, for one. From what I've read, the formula is somewhat similar, but the real draw is in the packaging. Compare the images below and you'll see what I mean:
Images via (left to right) Milani and Nordstrom
Extremely similar. Dior's is navy with silver, while Milani's is black with gold, but the idea is definitely the same. If you like classy packaging, Milani's HD Advanced line is a great budget choice for the class of high-end at a fraction the price ($9 vs. $34, though Dior's is 0.07 oz). It even has a satisfying clicking noise as you rotate the product up, and it goes really slowly, so you don't have to worry about wasting product from over-application.

Those who want a lightweight, creamy lipstick that feels comfortable on and don't mind reapplying often could also find love with HD Advanced Lip Color. There's a lot of other colors, too, so even if Modern Mauve doesn't appeal, you should be able to find some shade to love. I do suggest waiting for a sale, though, because these are $150/oz at retail (compare to Revlon Lip Butters at $77.70/oz and Jordana Easyshines at $28.43/oz, two roughly comparable products, though definitely inferior in packaging).

$8.99 for 0.06 oz, available at drugstores and Milani; $7.99 for 0.06 oz, available at Cherry Culture

Quality: 7.75
Effectiveness: 3.5 (supposed to provide "long-lasting moisturization")
Ease of Use: 5 (pretty much impossible to overdo)
Senses: 4.5 (strong scent, but it feels really smooth and soft on)
Pigmentation: 4.25 (more opaque than they claim, and that contributes to the uneven application at times)
Duration: 2.25
Consistency: 4.5
Price: 3 ($9 for drugstore lipstick? Nein nein nein!)
Value: 2 (see above for my issues with its size)
Packaging: +1 (it is really very classy and luxe)
Grade: C

I so wish I loved this, but the awesome packaging just doesn't make up for its lackluster wear and subpar moisturization. But many people really love it, so let me know if you've tried it and liked it!
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