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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencils

Here's the first of many reviews to come, Milani fans! I received all of the new 2012 releases from Milani for review, and I'll be tackling the rest of them this month (I've already review some of them, which you can see by selecting Milani in the Categories section on the right-hand sidebar).

If you haven't been reading other beauty blogs lately, then you might not know that these new Shadow Eyez pencils are causing QUITE the stir. I've seen nothing by raves about these jumbo pencils for weeks now, but of course I wanted to give them a nice, long testing period, and try them in a variety of different ways, before I shared my thoughts with you. So let's get started:

Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Eye Eyeshadow Pencils
(retail: $6.99, 0.1 oz each)




Paraben-free and made in Germany, these jumbo pencils come in six shades:


NOTE: These pencils are not self-sharpening, so you'll need a separate sharpener that can accommodate a jumbo pencil.

Winter white is a frosty white shimmer.

Champagne Toast is a shimmery, almost metallic champagne that leans warm.

Brown Deluxe is a deep metallic bronze.

Royal Purple is a satin-matte with a slight violet duochrome effect.

Aquatic Style is a vivid metallic electric blue that leans a tiny bit teal.

Green Safari is a metallic kelly green.


Naturally, I wanted to do a smudge-test, so here are my lines BEFORE the smudge-test:


And here are the exact same lines AFTER I took my index finger and rubbed all six lines with a good amount of pressure for about 10 seconds:


Pretty impressive, right? All that really changed is that some of the shimmer from the more metallic shades transferred to the purple shade, which is actually more of a matte. You'll notice that the purple swatch looks a lot more shimmery than it did BEFORE the smudge-test. Otherwise, these pencils did not budge.

Here's an eye look I did incorporating ALL SIX SHADES (applied with just my fingers, no primer beforehand):



 

Here's a diagram showing placement of all six shades:

 

 And here's the same eye look, taken eight hours after application:

 

As you can see, all six colors are still hanging in there! The rest of my face is a giant greaseball, but I wanted to show you that even after eight hours on my super-oily skin, in 85 degree weather, the Milani Shadow Eyez still retain their vibrancy:


There is some smudging under my lower lash line, in the area where I used Brown Deluxe as an eyeliner, but other than that, it's quite impressive that the color and vibrancy is still there on my lids, and that the blue, green and brown shades didn't all blend together when they mixed with the heat and natural oils of my skin. Also impressive is the fact that the first two things to fade in my usual eye looks (the highlighting under my brows and in the inside corners of my eyes) are still going strong after eight hours. That literally never happens after eight hours in the summertime for me.


Now let's take a look at what happened when I wore just one of the Shadow Eyez as EYELINER (not as eyeshadow) without any primer beforehand. Excuse my extremely-matte-looking face, but I was testing an unrelated face powder at the same time:



Eight hours later:



You can see that there's some smudging under my lower lash line, which pretty much always happens with any pencil liner I wear in that area. However, Also notice that the color and vibrancy on my upper lash line are still going strong after eight hours.

And finally, here's a fun eye look I did using Green Safari on my lid, Champagne Toast on my brow bone and Winter White in the inside corners of my eyes:




This look also held up strong after eight hours (sorry, I forgot to take an "after" pic!).

I also want to share with you how these pencils work underneath powder eyeshadows:


For the above swatches, I took a random matte eyeshadow (I think it was from Stila) and swatched it three ways. You'll notice that over Milani Winter White, you can see a bit of the shimmer from the pencil itself, but look at what it does to the pigmentation of the shadow. It's stronger than over the Urban Decay Primer Potion. I've worn both Winter White and Champagne Toast as a primer underneath various eyeshadows and have been very pleased with the results. There's been minimal creasing when worn this way, and the color and vibrancy of my eyeshadows lasts all day and into the night with no fading even after eight hours.

Texture, finish and consistency: These pencils are not as smooth as gel pencils, but they also do not tug or pull during application. Most gel pencils run and crease on me in a matter of hours (even higher end varieties) and these pencils do not, due to their drier consistency. You might experience a learning curve with these pencils because of their drier consistency--they set quickly so you'll need to blend them quickly with your fingers (they don't blend as well with a brush for me personally).  With the exception of Royal Purple, all of these shadows have a shimmery finish that borders on metallic in some cases.

Blendability and pigmentation: The pigmentation of these pencils varies a bit from shade to shade. The blue and green shades are intensely pigmented, while the white and champagne shades are a little less so. As mentioned above, blendability can be a challenge with these because they're drier and they set quickly, so just be prepared to blend with your fingers immediately after you swipe them and you shouldn't encounter any problems. I do want to note that there were a few times when I tried to go back over these pencils to add more color, and I ran into some problems doing that. It's difficult to blend more color into these after your first application has already set, so try to apply as much as you need the first time, since these won't be very forgiving.

Staying power: I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Milani has set the bar for all future drugstore jumbo eye pencils to come. I simply cannot think of a drugstore jumbo eye pencil that has this type of staying power on my super-oily skin. Once these shadow pencils set, I defy you to try to make them smudge or fade. It simply does not happen for me, and believe me, I've put them to the test this summer. They're waterproof (you don't want to rub your eyes when they're wet though, because they will smudge) and I tested that by literally dunking my face in a sink-full of water to see what would happen. Nothing happened--they didn't run or smudge. I am one giant greaseball in the summertime, and I cannot express to you how shocked I was to see the color and vibrancy still intact after eight hours on a hot day. Other jumbo pencils I've used wouldn't be able withstand three hours in this type of weather with no primer, but I find that I absolutely do not need eyeshadow primer with these pencils. The colors retain their individual pigmentation even when worn together (they don't end up smearing together), and they maintain their pigmentation and vibrancy until you take them off. By the way, they remover easily with my regular facial cleanser--no special makeup remover required. If you're planning to wear these as traditional eyeliner, I don't think you'll have any complaints with how they perform on the upper lashline, however I did experience some running on the lower lashline.

PS: I also want to point out that Milani offers this tip on their website:

Tip: To extend the wear, apply your foundation or pressed powder on entire eyelid before applying your eye shadow. This eliminates any oils your lids may have which can cause your eyeshadow to crease.

I agree with this completely--if you apply a little bit of your foundation and/or pressed powder on the lids before application, it seems to give these an extra boost, but I have never felt the need to apply eyeshadow primer before application--they just don't need it (for me personally).

FINAL VERDICT: Used as eyeshadow, I honestly cannot think of a jumbo pencil from the drugstore that can even hold a candle to Milani Shadow Eyez. Like I said above, Milani has set the bar for every future drugstore jumbo pencil.  If you're a lover of color, or you're a dancer, cheerleader, or do anything else that may require bold, vibrant color that can last through hot weather, perspiration, water or even tears, then meet your new best friend. If you're looking to wear these strictly as eyeliner, then I think you'll be quite impressed with how they retain their color and vibrancy on the upper lash line. If you have normal to dry skin, you'll probably be equally impressed with how they perform on the lower lashline, however on my super-oily skin, they don't perform quite as well in that area. Used as a primer for powder shadows, these pencils work wonderfully. Creasing is minimal and they really help to keep shadows rich and vibrant all day and night. I also want to reiterate that Champagne Toast and Winter White make excellent highlight shades for under the brow and the inside corners of the eyes. I've never worn a highighter on the inside corners of my eyes that lasts the way these pencils do, and I cannot recommend them enough in that capacity. Just remember that these are drier pencils and they set quickly so you've got limited time to blend them and place them where you want them...but boy are they worth it. I honestly can't recommend these highly enough.

You can purchase Milani ShadowEyez at CVS, Walgreens, select Target locations and online.

Do you already own any Milani ShadowEyez? I'd love to hear about your experienced with these pencils!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on NouveauCheap.blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.

68 COMMENTS:

  1. I have been waiting for the drugstore to come up with a dupe of the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow pencil. Those things are 20 bucks a pop and I could only afford one but I knew it was just a matter of time. I can't wait to get some!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't own the UD pencils, but from what i'm seeing from other readers below, these sound like an excellent alternative! :)

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    2. I don't own any of the milani ones but they look EXACTLY th same as the pencils UD put out. Sin and champagne toast look like dead on dupes. I thought about buying Milanis version to properly compare but really can't justify it. Too bad Milanis color selection isn't bigger.

      Delete
  2. Another US only lemming! I'm a huge fan of eye crayons but found the NYX ones turned into a big greasy, creased mess on me. I'm hoping I'll be able to swap for some Milani goodies.

    Lou x

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I can only use most of my NYX pencils in a very thin layer as a base for powder shadows.

      Hope you can swap for these soon! :)

      Delete
  3. I am so glad I don't have to pay for UD 24/7 shadow pencil in sin and can get champagne toast instead! I hope the extend the range and include some matte colors

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    Replies
    1. The purple one is pretty matte, but yes, I hope they come out with even more shades, eventually! I would loooove a golden olive, and a taupe too! :)

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  4. I hear great reviews about Milani products. The colors are pretty and I like how they slide on easily. Good review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I think Milani has some awesome products, many of which i've reviewed here. Their baked blush in Red Vino is my holy grail powder blush. :)

      Delete
  5. I have been loving the brown deluxe!!! I freaking LLLOOOOVVEEE IT!!! I am actually in the middle of reviewing it right now. I have been wearing for a couple days, trying to see the goods and bads. I agree 200 percent with what you said. Drugstore future eyeshadow pencils better take head. Milani does NOT play!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol!! Soooo glad to hear you agree with my assessment of these! :)

      Delete
  6. These pencils look AMAZING. Milani really stepped up their game for me this year - pretty much everything in their line has impressed me! Question - how do you think these pencils compare to the Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow pots? I went a little overboard and bought way too many of them. I am now thinking I should have waited since these pencils seems to be a better option.... :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I would like to know this too - especially since I have the White On color tattoo - not sure I need the white pencil - however I don't think the color tattoo has that kind of staying power!

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    2. I can tell you I replaced both my white and purple color tattoos with the Milani pencils, and have not touched those two CT's again. Both of those colors were duds in the CT's, chunky and hard to blend... and the Milani pencils blow them out of the water. I DO continue to use and enjoy my other CT's though- I own all of them.

      Delete
    3. Hey guys! I only own one Colot Tattoo, but based on the one I own (taupe), I would say that these pencils are more pigmented, and I like them to wear alone, whereas the CT I own works better for me as a base for powder shadows. On the other hand, the CTs seem a bit easier to blend because they don't set as quickly as the pencils. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  7. Wow, I'm so impressed with these after your review. I want the Champagne and Brown ones now. Hope CVS has a BOGOHO sale soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just saw in a comment below that there will be an extra bucks deal on Milani next week! :)

      Delete
  8. Fantastic review! I only wish they would've put out these crayons in grey and black, my go-to eye makeup colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Hopefully they will eventually. :)

      Delete
  9. Hmm--I might try brown deluxe. Maybe if they expand this line to include more neutrals, it would make a good option for me, but the jewel tones are not practical for me. Champagne would be fine, but I have so many similar champagne shadows already. I'd rather have them both as eyeliner, to be honest, but they are very chubby for that--do they make a similar product in a skinny pencil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do make gel liners (UD 24/7 dupes) that are similar to these.

      Delete
  10. Now that I've read this I'm totally heading to my local CVS!

    PS - I've been a long time reader and never posted but this rave review has made me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaaw, thank you! It's so nice to finally ”meet” you, Jane! :)

      Delete
  11. There will be a deal at CVS next week where you get back 3 Extra Care Bucks when you spend $10 on Milani.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo - thanks for the comment - I already have about $5 in EB waiting in the wings. I can definitely wait until next week!

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    2. Thank you SO much for the heads-up on that!!!

      Delete
  12. Wow! Especially the green one... Gorgeous :)

    Nea -Fashioned in Finland-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Nea, you NEED the green one! It would look GORGEOUS on your beautiful eyes! :)

      Delete
  13. Thanks for the review G! I love the looks of these! I heard that the champagne one is a dupe for UD Sin! :)

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    Replies
    1. Did you see graziaplena's comment right under this? Sounds like it's an exact dupe! :)

      Delete
  14. As someone who got the milani pencils in champagne and green, then found an awesome deal on a set of 5 UD 24/7 shadow pencils at Nordstrom Rack, I can confirm that you don't need both Sin and Champagne, they're essentially the same in color and quality. And milani's green is so perfect-- not at all teal!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much for confirming this, hun!! :)

      Delete
    2. Here's a photo I just took to confirm, swatched on underside of arm (probably nc15?). Sin on the right, Champagne Toast on the left:
      http://i45.tinypic.com/swxtmv.jpg

      The Milani might be the tiniest bit pinker and more opaque, but you really have to stare at them to tell.

      Delete
  15. I keep passing these up and after seeing these again on you... I don't think I can do it anymore! Must get at least 3... or 4. Ugh Milani kills me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. you should do a comparison of these and the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils (: great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my opinion, these have MUCH better staying power if you're going to wear them on their own. The NYX pencils tend to fade and crease on me within a few hours unless i'm wearing them as a base for other powder shadows. These do not fade or crease for me after eight hours when I wear them alone as shadow.

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  17. OMG these looks amazing. My first jumbo pencils are from NYX and they were so creamy that they creased on me in a matter of minutes. But these are getting me excited. All the colors looks soooo pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh girlie, I think you are going to LOVE these pencils!! I cannot wait to see what you think of them. :)

      Delete
  18. I definitely need to pick some up @ work on Thursday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't try to talk you out of that! Lol!! ;)

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  19. I have 4 of these and use them primarily as liners. ThR brown is actually my favorite shade for my lower lash line. I love the consistency of these pencils

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    Replies
    1. Sooo glad to hear you love them as liners! Yay!

      Delete
  20. Yep - I agree with your review TOTALLY. I have Champagne Toast and Royal Purple and LOVE them both. I started my chubby shadow pencil adventure with 2 (blue and green) from Wet N Wild: MAJOR FAIL. Crease city. Good thing they were VERY inexpensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Jean, I am SO glad to hear you agree with my opinions!! Yay! :)

      Delete
  21. Omg I did a review on my YouTube channel that milani ones are the exact dupes to the urban decay ones. How do I know for sure? Not only is one of the colors an exact dupe, I also checked the ingredients between milani and ud and they are exactly the same. So they are from the same manufacturer. I can pretty much confirm that. Some colors are definitely different but I'm hoping that milani will come out with more neutrall shades. These are gems!!!

    Xoxo
    Wing aka Divamakeupqueen

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    1. Thanks for all the great info, Wing!!! xo

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  22. I have tried a few different versions of the jumbo pencils. I want love them so much, but I cannot find one that is creamy AND long wearing. The ones I have tries are extremely dry. I know Champagne Toast is pretty close if not an exact dupe for UD's jumbo pencil in Sin. I own Sin. Everyone said how great the UD pencils were, how creamy they are and easy to apply. I just did not find that to be the case. I found it difficult to apply and tugs on my eyes like crazy. That is why I have been hesitating buying the Milani pencil because I keep getting burned on these stupid jumbo pencils. I guess I am going to have to break down and try the Milani one. I have to decide between the brown and the champagne.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have the champagne, brown, and green, and can vouch for these particular colors as far as non-tugging. In fact, it's why I reach for them. I have sensitive eyelids prone to eczema. Whenever my eyelids act up and need a break from brushes, shadow primer, and powder shadow, I just use these pencils bc they don't tug or irritate AT ALL. :)

      These DO fade on me, but I DO wear these over eye cream so it's understandable. I'm just super happy these are non-irritating.

      I don't own the UD jumbo pencils so I can't compare but I do own various colors in the normal-sized UD 24/7 liners and these Milani pencils apply more smoothly than those.

      Delete
    2. Yep, these don't tug for me either! :)

      Delete
  23. These are amazing, and the white and purple have replaced my color tattoos in those colors- much better consistency, the CT's in those colors were duds.. chunky and hard to blend. I do still use and enjoy my other CT's though. Anyone tried to sharpen them yet? I have had problems in the past with similar pencils smushing and breaking when sharpened, curious if these will do the same. I do know about the freezer trick, which works great btw. If you are afraid of the colors, I have had a lot of success sheering them out, they blend so nice it's easy (fingers work best)... you do have to work fast though, so do one eye/area at a time. You can also top them with a lighter/less bright color to make them more wearable, yet still retain the great staying power. Hoping for more colors, but I doubt it. If you want more colors try the Palladio eye crayons, very good performance (a bit dryer in consistency than the Milani) and come in some very nice neutral/soft shades. Oh, and I have worn these in the waterline, but they did not work with my sensitive eyes. If you are normally OK with a waterproof liner you should be fine. I believe it would have had great staying power because it was a chore for me to take it off- I had to literally scrub with a wet Q-tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for all the helpful tips!! I don't own the CTs in those shades, so that's good to know. By the way, I was able to successfully sharpen these without any issues. Hope that helps!

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  24. These look absolutely amazing!!!

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  25. So intriguing! I own a number of the UD24/7 pencils, but I will nevertheless check these out when I have a chance. My Wags does not carry Miliani. Boo.

    But I go to Kmart once in a while (it is kinda off the beaten path for me) and I think they have Milani. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Can anyone confirm that Kmart does carry this line?

    What a well-researched, comprehensive review! Thanks again, G.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know that my local kmarts do carry milani, as well as e.l.f. (which is harder to find for me!), so i would think that you would be ok. i also know that sears carries milani as well. try both (hopefully one is closer than the other for you!).
      :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for another great review - much appreciated. will be looking into these this weekend (after payday, of course!)... looking forward to your next post! :)

      Delete
    3. My Wags doesn't carry Milani either, but my CVS does. Maybe you can check there?

      Delete
    4. Wow! Thank you both so much for the kind words! xoxo

      And YES! I totally forgot that KMart sells Milani too! Thanks for the reminder! :)

      Delete
    5. Hee hee, good to know I am not imagining things. Not this time, at least. :)

      And ohmigoodness, thanks, JennJenn, for mentioning Sears as an option to investigate. There is one near me, but I always forget about it. Excellent tips, everybody. :)

      Delete
  26. I bought the champagne toast and the brown today at CVS. When I scanned my card I got a coupon for $2 off any $10 beauty purchase so I used that. Their retail was $6.49 where I am so $11 for both, not bad!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love your blog! And, I also own these Milani shadow eyez and they are fantastic. I most often use the champagne and brown to create a neutral eye in a hurry. I wore the blue as an eyeliner today, outside in the Florida humidity all day, and it didn't budge a bit. I was so surprised when I came home and found my eyeliner right where I'd put it. These are great for travel, too, if you don't want to risk breaking your eyeshadow palette - they really are multipurpose.

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  28. Wow, these Milani pencils sounds great :) too bad they arent available in Europe, but I can probably get them from ebay.

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  29. I bought the champagne one and the green one with a coupon, and got $3 ExtraBucks. I haven't tried the pencils yet but they sure do look awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Can the white pencil be used on water line to mae eyes look bigger like NYX jumbo pencil?plz email me the reply apsparklingsparkle@gmail.com ill be greatful:)

    ReplyDelete
  31. How do you sharpen the pencil??? I've tried a make up sharpener (a big one) but the pencil is too soft to sharpen ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try popping it in the freezer for about 20 min! It will make it easier to sharpen to a fine point. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  32. I really like the look of Champagne Toast!!! Wish I could find those at my CVS... =(

    ReplyDelete

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