Art doesn’t have to be expensive: Milani Eyeshadow Palettes

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Get high-end color on the budget of a starving artist!

Milani Eyeshadow Palettesphotos: we heart this

There’s been a lot of we heart this space dedicated to Milani Cosmetics recently, and with good cause. Milani is a fine quality, affordable line that catches every trend as they drop. In makeup, as in Project Runway, one minute you’re in, the next you’re out. That, my friends, is what limited editions were made for.

But the Paint Eyeshadow Palette (center, above and below), originally released in a limited run last summer, created such a stir Milani had no choice but to bring it back. So like an All Star season, Milani is bringing back Paint along with two new Eyeshadow Palettes. So welcome back to these unique and eye-catching palettes. Trend-followers take note, these Spring 2012 additions will be available soon, exclusively at select Walmart stores.

Milani Eyeshadow Palettes

The three palettes ($7.99 each) are: 01 Paint Eyeshadow Palette, 02 Impressionist Powder Eyeshadow Palette, and 03 Abstract Powder Eyeshadow Palette. There’s a little inconsistency in Milani’s naming of these that bothered the part of my soul that craves parallelism. I feel that the first palette is missing a descriptor like “Modernist” and they all should be called “Paint” or all “Powder.” I digress.

Paint Eyeshadow Palette Paint Eyeshadow Palette

Paint Eyeshadow Palette swatch

Paint Eyeshadow Palette swatches

The first palette, Paint, is a joyous explosion of bright colors, perfectly on trend for this spring’s neon brights. Instructions suggest using these colors alone or swirled together. While individually the colors are vivid, and I was particularly impressed with the saturation of the brighter colors in this palette, I’m going to suggest not swirling these together unless you want a muddy mess.

I think these look best as individual blocks of color for those who would rather wear trends on the face than the body. I’m begging you now not to do both…while this palette will pair fantastically with a little black Mod dress; it will look whack with an all-bright wardrobe.

Impressionist Eyeshadow PaletteImpressionist Eyeshadow Palette

Impressionist Eyeshadow Palette swatches

Impressionist Eyeshadow Palette swatches

The second palette, Impressionist, consists of the same colors as “Paint” but in a more muted, pastel form. These colors are a little more wearable for every day. Together they remind me of an Easter basket…or a Monet painting…or April in New York.

If you’re searching for some soft, feminine beauty colors this spring, you’ll find a bouquet of flowery colors to wear on your lids with this sweet palette.

Abstract Eyeshadow Palette Abstract Eyeshadow Palette

Abstract Eyeshadow Palette swatches

Abstract Eyeshadow Palette swatches

Abstract Eyeshadow Palette swatches

The third palette, Abstract, is hardly that. Abstract consists of different shades of brown and beige, some (unlike the two other palettes) with shimmer. While hardly like a painting at all, Abstract is clearly the most useful, least trendy and universally flattering.

This is the only one of the palettes that I recommend swirling or using separately. Swirling provides a lovely medium brown with the tiniest hint of shimmer. Using separately, there are lid, crease and highlighting colors. If you’ve been dying to get your hands on a Naked palette, but bulk at the cost, this large pan of browns will fill the void.

All palettes have a very fine consistency with good saturation.
The pans are huge and every bit of it is product.
These color palettes run the gamut from uber-trendy to ultra-conservative. There’s something for everyone!
At $7.99, these are an incredible value.
These look similar to high-end inspirations.

These shadows aren’t long lasting, tending to fade on me after only four hours (though primer kept it from creasing).
Using colors individually can be difficult, especially the brighter colors.
Tip: I found using a small brush to pick up the color and put it on the lid, then using a larger brush to blend once it’s there, is easiest for me.

As with fashion, I find it perfectly fine to spend less on trends in cosmetics, while shelling out the big bucks for the basics. With Milani, I hardly feel like I’m making a sacrifice.

Review Team, what’s your take on thee artistic palettes?
we heartsters, do you spend less on trends? If so, is Milani on your list for affordable, of the moment beauty?

Shoppers: These palettes are not yet available online, but you can check if your local Walmart has them on the shelves by clicking here – Abstract Eyeshadow Palettes

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.


  • sherrishera

    Sherri is a writer, dog lover, old movie fanatic, history detective, political junkie, fashion pundit and social media consumer advocate. “A fancy dinner and expensive champagne are better than writing a rent check any day of the week.” skin tone: NC 25 skin type: oily/sensitive favorite beauty product: anti-aging anything

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  1. I tested the Abstract Eyeshadow Palette in Paint, which immediately brought me back to the 80s. At first, I thought the colors would be way too bright and garish to be wearable to anyone but a teenager, but you’re right, @sherrishera , these are high-quality shadows. The palette is huge and well-constructed, and at $7.99, it’s an inexpensive way to sample the latest trends. I had the most fun with the blue and green in the Paint palette. True, they’re not the longest-lasting shadows I’ve used, but the color saturation is great and I got 4-5 hours of wear before the color faded.

    At such a reasonable price, I’ll be picking up the more practical (for me, at least) Abstract palette for sure. Another winner from Milani! 5 stars.

  2. I do like a lot of Milani products but this was the first time I really tried one of their palettes/eye shadow. I don’t think the color lasted all day, like everyone else said 4-5 hours. But I like the consistency of it and that the colors weren’t crazy bright even though the palette was so colorful. I still love this as a great drugstore brand, I did buy myself one of their creamy jumbo eye pencils the other day and that gives off insane amounts of pigment and really lasts.

  3. I tested the Paint palette and I do love the way the palette looks. It does remind me of a bunch of color paints squirted together. I think this is a good palette to experiment with brighter color. However I found the consistency a little too powdery for me and didn’t blend well. I’m much more a fan of the Runway Eyes line for bright color at a good price.

  4. I tried the Milani palette in Impressionist. I am a nude shadow girl, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone and I think a small whimper came from me when I saw the shadow colors!
    I was pleasantly surprised to see how soft the colors are on the lid. For fun, I applied the bright lime green shade on my lids and added a swipe of black liner. It was a welcome springy change to my otherwise beige lids! The shadows were not long lasting, but would be good for a night on the town.
    For such an affordable price, one can experiment with these fun colors for spring and summer without having to break the bank!

  5. I need Abstract. Like, NEED, as in I will be stalking Wal-Mart until these come in. Thanks for the review, @sherrishera, you have once again enabled me and I’m makeup obsession. :-)

  6. I agree, @lyssachelle – I need Abstract, too! All those browns in one place is just too perfect! I got to test the Impressionist palette though, and was impressed. The amount of product in these is just outstanding, and I really like that they gave more space to the white and pink, since those are typically the most used for browbone and lid colors. All the colors are just subtle and pretty. I also don’t get much wear time either from them – four hours is about accurate here too for the amount of color I actually place on, but I still have a light amount on at the end of the day. These are a little too light for me for a main eye color, but I like using them as highlight colors and then a darker color for my crease or outer corner. The palette just looks so pretty too, it’s just fun to have. I really like the palette but do have to knock off a star for the wear time and saturation. The price can’t be beat though for the amount of product, so I wish I could give it 4 1/2 stars, but will settle for 4. Well done again, Milani!

  7. These are really cute! The first two are a bit hard for me to wear but Abstract looks amazing!!!

  8. The Abstract one looks promising. Although you mentioned that they have good pigmentation, the swatches of the other two weren’t as strong as I’d like though. I’m sad they creased on you after only four hours.

    1. Well, the bright colors were super-bright on me. I honestly didn’t feel my 40-plus year-old self had any business wearing them…I felt a little Annie Potts in Pretty In Pink sporting these. They are a little chalky (yet smooth, nonetheless) and just don’t have the staying power of some of their other shadows. I think the bright colors would be great fun for teenagers. I’d skip the brights, but Abstract is a good value and doesn’t seem to fade as quickly.

    2. Annie Potts in Pretty in Pink – what a visual!

  9. First, I love everything Milani. Second, I got to try out Abstract. I LOVE it!! Such a great product to bring on trips or in your purse for a day. I use primer and the fading for me wasn’t tooooooo bad. But otherwise, I love it. 4.5 stars from me :]

  10. I tried out the palette in Abstract & the colors are wonderfully neutral and I can see this palette being a great basic addition to any cosmetic wardrobe. I was able to create a lighter eye, good for every day, but this palette really shone in doing a smokey eye. I tend to prefer a smokey eye using brown shadows instead of grey or black and the darker shades in this are very saturated. I love that there is a range of shimmer to matte shades in one palette. I wish there had been something like this out there when I first started getting into makeup b/c you get a lot of bang for your buck. Sadly, this had horrible staying power on me. It wasn’t too bad when I did a lighter look, but when I did a dramatic eye, I really only got about an hour of wear before this started traveling and creasing. After a few hours, I just looked a hot mess. Weirdly, while some of the shades in the same palette seem finely milled, one shimmer shade in particular was chalky and applied rather poorly. I’m giving this 3 stars. The colors are great, but weird/varied textures and poor wearing power accounts for a 2 star deduction.

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