A bold lip or sheer color – Find your match with Milani’s new spring gloss shades

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Our review of Milani’s new Haute Flash and Crystal Gloss hues

photos: we heart this

I’m a lipstick girl. If I’m going to wear lipgloss, I either want it to be a liquid lipstick consistency or balm-like. Milani offers new Spring 2012 shades in two formulas, Crystal Gloss for Lips and Haute Flash Shimmer Lip Gloss that fit both bills!

Before we get to the review, don’t forget that you can WIN all these shades, plus many more Milani goodies (48 pieces to be exact) in our Mega Giveaway! But act fast, today is the last day to enter – click here to get in on the Milani Madness.

I’ll be honest, before I received these lipglosses, I had only really seen Milani products in drugstores. I’d never purchased or tried any of their products; they were the unknown and I hadn’t heard enough about the brand to branch out of my cosmetic comfort zone. Now I feel like I kind of missed out all these years.

Their Haute Flash full coverage shimmer gloss is a thicker, liquid lipstick-style gloss, while their Crystal Gloss fulfills all of my balmy desires. Whether you’re striving for drama or just a perfectly kissable pucker, Milani has got the gloss for you!

Quick Flash, In A Flash, Flashy

Milani’s Haute Flash full coverage shimmer gloss ($7.49) is not for the faint of heart. The glosses apply thick and stay put. The sponge doe-foot applicator gives a precise application. The end result is impossibly shimmery lips with a patent leather shine that is perfect for a night out.

Hot Flash, Golden Flash, Star Flash

The new spring shades include six on-trend hues:

Hot Flash – Vibrant cherry red gloss with red shimmer
Flashy – Hot pink with hot pink shimmer
In a Flash – Violet with blue and purple shimmer
Golden Flash – Cocoa Gold with copper shimmer
Quick Flash – Coral pink with holographic shimmer
Star Flash – Icy pink with blue iridescent shimmer

Quick Flash, In A Flash, Flashy, Hot Flash, Golden Flash, Star Flash

Overall, I found that most of these were probably a little too dramatic for my usual daily wear, but those that love a strong lip will be sold on this formula. As I tend to favor towards darker lip colors, my personal favorite shades were the Hot Flash and In a Flash shades, though the shimmer level was a little much for me.

These are supposed to be vanilla scented, but I did not detect much vanilla in this formula at all. If you are in search of a warm weather lip shade, I highly recommend that y’all try Flashy – the hot pink shimmer is just the right pop of color required for spring and summer.

Raspberry Icing, Sheer Dark Honey, Pucker Up, Fruit Punch

Milani’s Crystal Gloss ($5.49) provides a sheerer, more natural lip. It also has a sponge tipped doe-foot applicator, which is my preferred method of applying lipgloss. These almost are barely noticeable once applied, despite the colors they appear to be in the tube, the coverage is very sheer.

This is a gloss I seem to reach for when I’m just hanging around the house or heading to the gym (I’m so vain, I totally think this song is about me…). These definitely feel like a balm and my lips feel very soft and kissable when I’m wearing these.

Fruit Punch

For Spring 2012, Milani has introduced five new shades:

Sheer Dark Honey – Blackened purple with gold and multicolor shimmer
Raspberry Icing – Bright raspberry pink with shimmer
Pucker Up – Milky peachy coral cream
Fruit Punch – Medium punchy pink cream
Clear – Crystal clear

Raspberry Icing, Sheer Dark Honey, Pucker Up, Fruit Punch

These are almost like a liquid balm – they feel pretty magical once applied, super soft and smooth. I also love that you actually can smell vanilla in this formula – it’s a nice perk.

Out of all of these, Sheer Dark Honey (imo, the most frightening in the tube) gives the most natural lip – it looks like you’ve been eating blackberries. It leaves lips with a slight tint that will flatter most.

The awesomeness of Sheer Dark Honey

Raspberry Icing was also a good look for me and gave my lips a bitten look. Fruit Punch is a very soft, face-brightening pink that I seem to be constantly wearing lately.

Sadly, I really can’t pull off a pale lip like Pucker Up due to my skin color being the absence of color. I need a bit more color just to leave my house, lest some townspeople confuse me for the walking dead and come for me brandishing torches and pitchforks. (Not again!) But if you love the nude lip that’s been all the rage lately, Pucker Up is for you.

Haute Flash colors are gorgeous and bold
Crystal Gloss colors are natural and highly wearable
Both Haute Flash and Crystal Glosses feel almost balm-like
Both glosses wear well
Both gloss lines are made in the USA

Shimmer in Haute Flash may be too much for daily wear

Am I the only beauty junkie to never try Milani before? If you’re into Milani, join me in the comments and tell me what products you would recommend.

we heartsters and testers – did your lips meet their match with one of Milani’s new lipgloss hues?

Krista currently lives in a semi-haunted house in New England with her hubby/best friend and obscenely big-eared dog. She thinks the world would be a better place if people smiled more and ate more dark chocolate. She is a firm believer that humor can be found in everything and that Tom Selleck’s moustache has healing properties…

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • krista

    Lives in the middle of nowhere with her amazing hubby and two codependent dogs that love to hate each other. She enjoys dance parties of one and last minute road trips, prays for Angela Lansbury's immortality and can never own enough blush. She averages one "Silence of the Lambs" quote a week and feels no shame over this. Perhaps she should. skin tone: NW15 skin type: sensitive/oily favorite beauty product: Blush, lots and lots of blush


  1. Milani, how do I love thee? I love thee so stinkin much! I think these are all pretty but I have the prettiest of all them all! I have Quick Flash! It’s giving me a hot flash! Haute Flash line is without a doubt the fullest coverage shimmer gloss’ I’ve seen in a while without spending a small fortune! It’s thick gloss, which has electric-like pigmented color on a serious level. Look at those swatches above again. WOW!. I like to wear this at night but for fun will load it on in broad daylight. Can something be so glossy and not be tacky? Yup! I like the packaging and think the sponge applicator is great. It’s compareable to some of my high quality glosses but it’s so very affordable at, sit down, $7.49! Five stars from me! *****

  2. Okay, and then there’s Milani’s Crystal Gloss, yet another winner for only $5.49.in “Pucker Up” a very light hint of creamy peach/coral which has found a forever home at the office.. It’s perfect for that more natural and sheer finished look. I really really like the doe-foot applicator. Good golly, can there be any other rating for these but five stars!

  3. Two more reasons I’m thinking about founding a Milani Fan Club and running for President: Haute Flash in Hot Flash and Crystal Gloss in Raspberry Icing. Haute Flash packs some serious pigment into a dense gloss, perfect for a bold nighttime lip that requires no touch-ups. I wore Hot Flash out to dinner one night and my lips were still rosy the next morning!
    Raspberry Icing is such a bright, pretty color. I love the light, glossy texture of Crystal Gloss, and because I’m a sucker for coral gloss, I’m going to buy Pucker Up if I can find it.

    @krista , I know just what you mean about feeling like you’ve missed out on years of Milani treasures. But at least we’re in the know now! 5 stars for both of Milani’s glosses!

  4. Milani is quickly impressing me with their product quality in all forms, and I’m happy to add lip color to that list of impresarios. Upon first seeing Hot Flash in its glittery, fiery orange-reddishness, I doubted anyone other than Carmen Miranda-inspired/inclined folks would be able to pull it off. Sure, drag queens and telenovela actors would look great in that, but me? Outlandish, smolderng performer I am not. But, I learned, I did not have to be. This may be an isolated case of glitter plus red does not equal too much. Well, not too, too much… I still wouldn’t wear it before noon, but after 5–absolutely. The glitter is not subtle, but not dance club, either, and it really lights up the glowing ember nature of this red. The formula is smooth and long-wearing. I love the doe foot applicator since it allows for pretty precise application. I see using this a lot for those wild summer nights. 4 stars

  5. And I’m buying that Sheer dark honey…I was addicted to Cliniques Black Honey for many years and that looks better!

    1. I am with you, Sheer Dark Honey, you will be MINE. !
      And I just so happen to have some money off due to my over-shopping at CVS (it’s a problem) so I can probably pick up Fruit Punch too for about the same price! WOO HOO!

  6. I also have never owned any Milani products – but I did stand up in a wedding a few years ago and the makeup artist the bride hired used Milani exclusively on us. I was very impressed with how I looked that day and how well the products held up under the wedding party pressures!

    I received the creamy gloss in Pucker Up, also to test and am impressed again with Milani! The soft, moisturizing formula feels great on my dry winter lips. It’s thick but not tacky at all. I only smell a very light hint of vanilla in my tube, and also something a little medicinal…camphor? I love that the gloss is shiny, but not glittery. It’s a great every day gloss for just some extra shine, or for a neutral lip with bolder eyes. I, like Krista, am pretty darn fair, so I wouldn’t wear this for the wow factor unless I also wore a dramatic eye – I also tend to need more color on my lips. But it does deliver as promised – a really good product for a great price. You are only getting 0.17 oz for the price – it’s a pretty tiny tube – but it fits great in small purses or a pocket easily. Four stars from me!

  7. Alas, I discovered I am allergic to the shimmer in the majority of these beauties. I was fine for a brief try on, but wearing for any length of time is out of the question. Especially the Haute Flash glosses. While they look gorgeous, they triggered a pretty nasty reaction. I think it took about 10 minutes to get hives creeping from my lips and outward. The Crystal glosses that had shimmer took about an hour to have a reaction–they didn’t have as much allergy-inducing shimmer in them, so it wasn’t as bad, but no lip rash is a good lip rash. I was so bummed about that. I ended up giving these 4 stars, deducting 1 star for the wicked lip rash I sported for a couple days afterwards. :P *sad clown*

  8. I also got to try Pucker Up. With just a hint of color, this one is perfect for layering. I love applying this over a darker shade to lighten it some and give it some pop. By itself this gloss gives you just a hint of peachy color. The gloss is thick without being sticky. It has great staying power and I love that Milani is so affordable. 4 stars from me.

  9. I tried out In A Flash & Raspberry Icing. In A Flash is gorgeous on, a purple gloss with shimmer in blue, pink and purple. It’s terribly glittery but doesn’t have that gritty texture that many glitter glosses have. It’s not what most would wear during the day time but it’s perfect for night time or dressing up for an event.

    Raspberry Icing was a little bit of a let down when it was sheer compared to the hot pink in the tube. Good consistency and nice smell but on my pale lips the color seemed to sink into my liplines and I didn’t like the effect.

    My lips tingled when wearing these. At first I checked to see if these were plumping. I think I may have had a milder reaction than @krista

    I would take off a star for the tingling and settling into lip lines, but the color of In A Flash is simply gorgeous to look at.

  10. I got to try Sheer Dark Honey and I am in love with this color! This is also my first time using Milani products but I’m definitely a convert now. The Crystal Gloss is very smooth and has a nice smell. The color, as @krista, described, is super intimidating in the bottle, but it’s surprisingly sheer on. Very very subtle purple with lots of shine and shimmer. Totally easy to wear daily. This would look great on anyone.
    5 stars!

  11. Ok, I have to admit it, I was not excited to try these glosses. In the tubes Haute Flash in Star Flash and Crystal Gloss in Fruit Punch did not look like colors that I would typically purchase. I am glad that I gave these a try because boy, I was wrong!! These glosses have a pleasant-mild scent, fairly smooth(not too tacky), and they blend beautifully with other colors. Star Flash has such beautiful subtle shimmer. It is great for day or night. Fruit Punch really looks like its name sake. It is going to be just perfect for fun, summer looks. I adore theses glosses. They are true winners. 5 big stars from me!!

  12. I tested out the Golden Flash and was blown away by Milani yet again. This is a gorgeous, shimmery taupe and the doe foot applicator is so smooth, I just can’t believe what a great price these are. It’s a large tube and the gloss itself is thick, rich and packs a punch of shimmer. Yes, it may be a bit much for a day look, but I found putting a small amount on top of a lipstick gave a subtler shimmer that made the lipstick pop, and I wore it all day. I am so impressed and happy I tried Milani products and have yet to find something from them I haven’t liked. Five stars for these hot glosses!

  13. I tested out Haute Flash full coverage shimmer in Golden Flash also. I’d describe it as a metallic/frosty shade of bronze. The shade was not particularly flattering on me, but I agree with Erin that it could definitely be a good layering shade. The texture was nice and smooth–not too sticky and not too thin, and the tube contains a good amount of product while still maintaining a slim profile. It’s easy to apply, has good lasting power, is fairly moisturizing is inexpensive, and is overall a pretty good product. I’d give it four stars, although this particular shade isn’t the best, I’d like to try Flashy.

  14. Yikes, how did I get so late in leaving my feed back?!

    Milani, lets talk. This genius you’re hoarding? It needs to be shared! Seriously, if y’all ever decided to venture into nuclear fusion or something I’d be behind you 100%, ’cause you’re made of awesome.
    I tested out the Crystal Gloss in Sheer Dark Honey and I totally agree with @Krista – a little scary in the tube, but MAGIC on the lips! It’s not super pigmented, so I prefer to wear it with a dramatic eye or a casual look overall. The tube is the PERFECT size to stick in a pocket or small clutch without being obtrusive, but also easy to lose! (I admit it- I’ve totally bought another shade (Raspberry Icing) and lost it within 3 days. Whoops! Hopefully it’s safe under my car seat or something…)
    My one complaint- while the texture is nice (a tiny bit sticky) going on it tended towards gritty once it was wearing off. Still! Small potatoes when considering how great it really is. 4 Stars!

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