Milani

Milani Cosmetics At-a-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive with some excellent options for women of color; good Baked Blush; silky pressed-powder eyeshadow palette; Infinite Liquid Eye Liner and Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner have amazing staying power; Smooth Finish Cream-to-Powder Makeup.

Weaknesses: Baked Bronzer; numerous products that contain potentially irritating fragrant ingredients; several mediocre to poor products including Color Perfect Lipstick, Crystal Gloss, and The Multitasker Face Powder.

Launched in 2002, Milani Cosmetics prides itself as being an affordable beauty line with a "passion for color and a recognized need for a broader variety" for women of different ages, skin tones and income. While many brands have a limited selection of products designed for medium to dark skin, Milani has succeeded in catering to women with deeper skin tones, which is this makeup line's chief point of difference. We admire Milani for celebrating the beauty in diversity, and their dedication to providing color options that are appropriate (and appealing) to a wide range of skin tones.

Milani focuses on face and eye products, and this is where they excel. Despite being a smaller brand (compared to the likes of Cover Girl or L'Oreal), Milani products can be found tucked alongside the big makeup lines in many drugstores and stores like Target and Wal-Mart. They've definitely added a splash of color to the cosmetics aisle, and several of their inexpensive products are definitely worth a look. But as with most makeup lines, there also are some poorly executed products to avoid.

This is a diverse line with a mix of bold, classic, and trendy makeup. Although the products may be aesthetically pleasing on the shelf, their visual appeal doesn't always translate well to actual application and performance quality. In some instances, Milani's philosophy of "color, color, color and more color" misses the boat by offering glitzy, ultra-vibrant shades, instead of more options for a classic makeup application (women of color have to go to work, too, not just out for the evening). Just because you have dark skin doesn't mean your color choices need to be shocking or ultra-bold. Still, as mentioned, Milani offers some worthwhile products and their prices are budget-friendly. On balance, you'll find more to like than avoid.

For more information about Milani Cosmetics, call 1-866-789-8002 or visit www.milanicosmetics.com

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