Don't forget to check the beauty sale pages at Macy's here and
Nordstrom here for new beauty deals plus free shipping!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Swatchfest: New 2012 Milani Nail Lacquer shades

Two weeks ago, I gave you a preview of all of the new 2012 products from Milani, including these new additions to their core Nail Lacquer line. Well I'm happy to tell you that I'll be swatching all of the products I previewed, and I thought I'd start with these new shades!

Milani Nail Lacquers retail for $4.99 each (0.45 oz). They are made in the U.S.A. and are DBP, toluene & formaldehyde free. You can find these polishes at CVS and select Walgreens and Target stores, as well as online. If they are not yet in your area, keep checking; they should be there soon.

New 2012 Milani Nail Lacquer Shades

I have not yet received the shades Chocolate Sprinkles, Sunflower, Key West, Mint Candy, U Pinky Swear or My Lady, but you can view bottle shots of those colors here.

PLEASE NOTE: I used two coats of polish for all of the following swatches and no top coat. The third picture of each shade was taken with flash and is NOT color-accurate (I included then to illustrate shimmer/sparkle when present). For color accuracy, please look to the first two photos of each polish.

 Beach Front is a very opaque baby blue creme with lots of silver shimmer. As opaque pastels have a tendency to do, this one gave me a little bit of trouble during application. The formula is thicker and wants to clump on the nail. The second coat helps even things out considerably though, and I don't think anyone would need to apply a third coat.

Juno is a beautiful pastel peachy-pink creme with ever-so-subtle pink shimmer. I have historically had very bad luck with light, pastel pinks since a lot of them tend to be thick and streaky. Well, this one was streaky, but not as bad as others I've tried in the past. You can see the streaks on my ring finger best.

I circled the pink shimmer in the bottle:

Teddy Brown would fall under the category of "greige" but it leans a lot warmer than other greiges in my collection (in the photo above you can see it's got some yellow undertones). If cooler-toned greiges don't work with your skintone, you might like this one. Application was a tiny bit sheer on the first coat but a  second coat makes this one perfectly opaque. The formula of this polish is very nice--smooth and not too thin, yet not too thick.

Orchidia is a bright, cheerful orchid with silver shimmer. I love that it looks cool at certain angles and then warm at others. The only problem I have with this polish is that two coats didn't seem to be quite enough (if you look at the photo below, you can see some streaks on my pinky finger). So I think this one will require a third coat for most people (which I think is worth the effort, but that's just me).

Dark Coffee should really be named "Melted Chocolate" because I swear to you, when you open the bottle and look at the brush, you'll be tempted to take a taste (please don't!). This polish LITERALLY looks like someone filled the bottle up with melted milk chocolate instead of nail polish. The opacity is perfect and so is the formula. It reminds me of  Sally Hansen Bittersweet, but a touch warmer and a touch lighter.


Silver Stilettos is a pretty standard silver metallic foil. As most polishes of this nature, brush stokes are unavoidable but I didn't find them excessive or any worse than others in my collection. Two coats gives perfect opacity.

Signature Gold lacks the sparkle of Silver Stilettos; it's a more subdued metallic. I couldn't help but think of liquid gold when I was painting this color onto my nails--that's exactly what this formula reminds me of. Very smooth and easy to work with.

Deep Thoughts has that beautiful hidden shimmer that I love. It's a deep, rich royal purple with subtle violet-magenta shimmer that's only visible at certain angles and lighting. This purple has a bit more red to it than what you see in my pics and I think it's just stunning in person. The formula is a breeze to work with as well.

My favorite shade of all of the polishes featured today, Sail Away is like no other polish in my 500+ bottle collection. My photos do NOT do this one justice. First of all, the formula of this polish is perfection. I could have stopped at one coat but I did two because, well, I always do at least two coats of any polish. This one's super opaque and flows onto the nail effortlessly. In fact, I waited until the end to swatch this one because I wanted to wear a full mani of this shade AND I did my toes with it too because I couldn't help myself. 

In person, Sail Away manages to look like faded (but not too faded) denim. The dense silver shimmer gives it a vibrancy while, at the same time, it also gives it a slight dusty quality. I just...I don't have words for how gorgeous this polish is in person. It's a demin blue with silver shimmer, sure, but I really think it looks more complex than that when on the nail. 

PS: After looking at swatches of OPI I Have a Herring Problem and I Don't Give a Rotterdam, I don't think Sail Away is a dupe for EITHER because the base is a true denim blue.

I have always loved Milani's core collection of nail lacquers. I love the old-school brush because, even though I love the one-swipe easiness of flat, thick brushes, the thinner old-style brushes allow for such precision. I hope Milani never changes these to the flat, wide brushes.

As far as these new shades go, I think they have a lot offer a wide variety of tastes. The only two problematic shades were Beach Front and Juno because of their thicker, streaky consistency. So if you buy either of those, just be prepared to work with them a bit until they even out on the nail. Other than that, I found ALL of these polishes to dry fairly quickly and NONE of them required more than two coats (Orchidia probably needs three but you could get away with two). In terms of color, my favorites are Beach Front, Orchidia, Sail Away and Dark Coffee.

Have you already spotted these new Milani shades in your area? Any must-haves or colors you have your eye on?

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 are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. Beach Front and Juno are gorgeous. Too bad they are streaky...but I'm willing to work with them!

  2. Okay so basically I need all of these.

  3. I've never tried any Milani polishes but really like the looks of Deep Thoughts and Orchidia. Thanks for the swatches.

  4. Teddy Brown, Dark Coffee & Deep Thoughts are my favorite, very pretty!

  5. been looking for a great dark brown, definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for dark coffee :)

  6. Sail Away also reminds me of Skylar from Zoya although I believe it's lighter.

  7. Wow! I am surprised by how beautiful these shades are. Gorgeous! Beach Front and Juno might be my faves as well.

  8. Oh boy! Sail Away, Juno and Beach Front are screaming my name! Not just calling it! I can only hope that Walgreens near me has these! or else I am going to have to hike to the country to the only CVS in a 50 mile radius! And then I won't be guaranteed to get them there!!! UGH!!! But either way, I have to have these!!! Thanks G for the great photos along with major lemming!!! :)

  9. I already got Beach Front (love it) but I see now I need Sail Away, too! Thanks for the swatches.

  10. I will be purchasing Beach Front, Juno, Silver Stilettos and Sail Away.

  11. ohhh the possibilities with Teddy Brown as a base with those other colors and accents!


  12. love the swatches! just one question out of curiosity, why don't you paint your nails all the way down to the cuticle? it seems you stop short right before the cuticle, is that for a reason? If so, am I painting mine wrong?

  13. Love these. Only use Milani cuz it is much more chip resistant than OPI.

  14. I finally found some of these in my area, but the display only had a few of the colors featured here plus one old one (Tip Toe Pink). I picked up Beach Front and it is so awesome! I had no issues with the formula at all and I did not expect it to be so opaque. Also, I got the last bottle on the display, yay! Haha.

  15. I need Teddy Brown and Dark Coffee SOO badly now!!!


I love and encourage comments here at Nouveau Cheap, and I do not censor comments unless they violate my comment policy, which you can view here.

Please refrain from comments that contain:
• Links to your own blog or website
• Advertisements or referral links

Thanks very much for your help in keeping this a spam-free zone.

© 2009- Nouveau Cheap. All rights reserved.