Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Milani Retro Glam Collection- Swatches & Review

* I received the following product in exchange for my honest review by Milani.

This post is pretty wordy, but I felt a need to explain many factors when writing up this review.

I have the Milani Retro Glam collection to show you today. This is a collection of soft shades that includes Sprinkles black and white glitter topper.

Almond Bliss

Almond Bliss is a pale yellow off white creme.

Mint Chip
Mint Chip is a medium muted green creme.

Strawberry Shake
Strawberry Shake is light pink with a subtle shimmer.

Creamy Pistachio
Creamy Pistachio is a soft pale green creme.* I want to apologize for not having a swatch of this with Sprinkles on top. It truly slipped my mind as I was swatching tons of Milanis and didn't realize until editing that I had left that one out. 

Raspberry Delight
Raspberry Delight is a medium pink with a subtle shimmer.

Sprinkles is a mixture of black and white hex glitters and black bar glitters in a clear base.

Colors: This is a nice collection of colors. I think for a drugstore brand these are definitely on trend and fun colors. I especially like Almond Bliss and Creamy Pistachio.

Formula: These were a challenge to apply. I am sure you notice that from my photos. These were uneven, streaky, and did not self level. I really struggled with these, so much so I couldn't wait to get through this collection. I'm sure that's why I inadvertently forgot to swatch Creamy Pistachio with Sprinkles. Sprinkles top coat was nice though, but was a bit tricky to apply with the bar glitters.

Let me go into this further. You will see bloggers who have reviewed this collection with pristine swatches of these. I have also seen bloggers who have had similar problems that I had. Who is right? Who is wrong?

Neither one of us. Did some of us get "bad bottles".  No, I highly doubt it. Even though I have been blogging for a long time now I still consider myself an everyday polish user. One of the reasons I love nail polish is because of how easy it is to apply in comparison to other cosmetics. I don't want to fuss with a polish to make it work. I don't want to have to adjust  how I regularly apply nail polish to make it look nice. My nails are also not perfect. They aren't perfectly smooth and I do have nail ridges. Part of what I consider a good polish is a polish that covers up my imperfections, not one that highlights them.

These are the problems I had with these Milani polishes. They did not perform in the way I would  personally expect from a nail polish. I even used a ridge filling base coat and still noticed issues. That's not to say like some other bloggers you cannot get nice results with these. You may have a smoother nail surface, you may be more willing to work with these to even them out, you may have a better base coat than me. Personally, these were more of a struggle for me than I care for.

Price: These are $4.50, and will be available in select CVS and Meijier stores in August. They will also be available on the Milani website.

Overall: These are probably some of the most challenging nail polishes I've worked with in a long time on a personal level. If you identify with me on what I explained above, I think you will struggle similarly. If you have a different approach and don't mind working with a polish you may like these. This really boils down to personal preference and experience. These colors are beautiful, but that is as far as my recommendation can go on my part.

My Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Paint Splatters
* I received these products in exchange for my honest review. 

Happy Tuesday!


  1. Good review Steph! Thanks for being so honest. Polish will definitely work differently for everyone!

  2. I'm glad you were honest about it. Every polish works differently for everyone. I really appreciate an honest review. Not everything is sunshine & sparkles all the time. :-) The colors are pretty, especially creamy pistachio, but it sucks about the formula.

  3. I forgot to add, that's like me & Essie. I love their colors, but I find them such a pain to apply. They are runny/streaky/bubbly for me.

  4. Very thoughtful review. We don't have Milani in Canada - at least not that I know of - but I think you raised some important issues. I aim to make my swatches as nice as possible, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to that, but I'm afraid a lot of people equate great swatches with great polish. I'm always honest when something gives me trouble, but a lot of people tend to skim the blog posts and just look at the pretty pictures.

    Out of this collection my favourite is Almond Bliss, but I think that's because it reminds me of OPI My Vampire is Buff, my all time favourite polish EVER! :)

  5. Great review and swatches! Thanks for being honest that these polishes didn't work well for you too. It was nice to see and know.

  6. Thanks for your honest review! I will probably pass on the cremes, since I don't see anything I absolutely need and I'm not sure I'd want to put up with the formula. But, I will probably get Sprinkles. I have Hardy Candy Black Tie Optional, which is super similar, but it's such a small bottle.

  7. great honest review, love your swatches.

  8. Thanks, Kat!

  9. I love Creamy Pistachio as a color same goes with Almond Bliss. I wish they had better formulas too!

  10. I love Almond Bliss too, I think I should check out the OPI and see if I like that formula better. I think there are quite a few people who equate great swatches to great polish, but I think a lot of people also do their research. I know I will look at a handful of blog reviews before purchasing colors I'm thinking about. Everyone's experience with a polish is different especially since we all have different nails, polishing techniques, base coats/ top coats. I hope most people would consider that before purchasing a product or completely neglecting a product based on one persons pictures or review!

  11. I'd get Sprinkles! It will be nice to have another affordable black & white glitter on the market. I found Sprinkles applied really easily, the long bar glitters can be tricky to get them situated on your nail, but that wasn't a big deal.

  12. Thank you for your honestly!

  13. Even though they were a struggle to work with...you make them look good. I personally do not have the patience whatsoever to work with finicky polishes, so these will definitely be a pass for me. Thank you for your honest review.

  14. Steph, OPI My Vampire is Buff is gorgeous but I found it very challenging, too. I reviewed it, here in case you're curious about what I thought. http://www.icynails.blogspot.com/2013/04/opi-my-vampire-is-buff-swatch-and-review.html YMMV, as always but that beauty was a bit of a beast, to me! LOL

    These Milani polishes are pretty but nothing special and unique enough to make them worth the application angst. I may pick up the glitter topper, tho. It looks fun. :)

  15. I have the entire set and they weren't an issue for me at all. 2 coats and done. I did half of them while eating dinner at my desk and playing video games. Still no hassle. Everyone is different though, but I found them to be super easy to apply.

  16. Loving all these colors, kinda sad your experience wasn't great though.

  17. You're welcome!

  18. I don't have the patience either, that's why I was SO over these in the middle of swatching them. I think you definitely find comparable colors with better formulas for sure.

  19. I'm glad they worked for you, and I wish they were that easy for me. I spent hours trying to make these work. It was so frustrating!

  20. Thanks. Me too.


I love and appreciate all comments. I will respond to any questions in comments ASAP. Please refrain from linking your blog in the comment section. These comments will be deleted. I'd be happy to view your blog if you email me your link.