Be a model or just look like one – Milani’s Runway Palette Eyeshadow review

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Milani's Runway Palette Eyeshadow photos: we heart this

Milani Cosmetics is shaking up the conventional eyeshadow palette this season with Runway Eyes. These palettes ($8.99) are works of art in themselves with shimmering bars of color. Runway Eyes contain six shades of baked eyeshadow in different hues inside a simple black case. Each palette comes with a two-sided sponge applicator.

We received two palettes for testing, Complementary and Primary. What I love about these palettes is the variety of colors in each instead of the monochromatic palettes I usually see at the drugstore. To be honest I didn’t want to break open my case at first for fear of disturbing these perfect bars of saturated color. Of course my love of eyeshadow won over and it was time to grab a brush and play.

Like most baked shadows the dry application results in a wash of color that you can build upon – and a wet application instantly intensifies the pigment for a nice solid color. I found the dry application to be a little hard to blend and just a slight bit chalky. It has a nice shimmer with a soft but bright color.

Milani's Runway Primary Palette Eyeshadow Primary palette

Milani's Runway Palette Eyeshadow swatchesPrimary’s yellow, red and orange applied dry and wet

Milani's Runway Palette Eyeshadow swatchesPrimary’s purple, teal and blue applied wet and dry

The Primary palette has golden yellow, brick red, sunset orange, deep purple, teal, and a dark, almost navy blue. Using this palette I could create a softened “sunset” eye that is perfect for spring.

Most drugstore shadows shy away from including actual, true reds. This brick red shade is a perfect way to experiment with red, which can be a little intimidating, but is lots of fun.

Milani's Runway Complimentary Palette EyeshadowComplimentary palette

Milani's Runway Palette Eyeshadow swatchesComplimentary’s colors applied dry and wet

The Complementary palette contains a pearl taupe highlighter, dark mahogany brown, gold, azure blue, light grass green and bronzed pink. The Complimentary palette has a more neutral color palette with added pops of color from the pink, green, and blue. It’s great for a pretty daytime or low-key look that doesn’t stick to just brown hues.

I always use a primer with my eyes, so shadow wear lasted beyond six hours without creasing or fading with dry application. Using these palettes wet however makes the colors really vibrant, and perfect for applying as eyeliner. The Primary palette in particular makes great eyeliner with the navy blue, deep purple and orange to follow the tangerine trend. I simply wet my eyeliner brush and applied for a budge-free color look.

The down side of these pretty palettes comes from their construction. The bars of color are fairly thin, making it easy to transfer color from an adjacent bar. Application has to be fairly precise if using a normal shadow brush. Personally I skip most sponge applicators which are useless, especially with high pigmented bright shades. The bars of baked eyeshadow are also fairly soft and easy to crush or break. The palette itself can get messy fast with use, but luckily I didn’t experience any fallout when applying to the eye.

However the downfalls are easy to overlook with Milani’s affordable price and the amount of shades you receive in each palette. I’m rather in love with my Primary palette and plan on using it wet as eyeliner all spring long!

Nice color choices, red is rare for drugstore!
Good wear
Versatile wet/dry application

Fragile construction
Need a steady hand for application

we heartsters – are you looking like you’re ready to hit the catwalk with a little help from Milani’s Runway Palettes?

Lucy loves Lady Gaga, lattes, trashy television and anything zombies. She’s a geeky girl who likes tech gadgets, reading tons of books, playing with gender roles and is constantly surrounded by a small army of cats.

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.


  • lucylemonade

    Lucy loves Lady Gaga, lattes, trashy television and anything zombies. She’s a geeky girl who likes tech gadgets, reading tons of books, playing with gender roles and is constantly surrounded by a small army of cats. skin tone: NC15 skin type: Dry to Normal favorite beauty product: lip balms of all flavors and colors


  1. I love the color combos that were used for each palette! Milani rules.

  2. This is a great drugstore palette. I got to try the Complimentary. I did find with primer, they are long lasting and blendable as well. I also used the dark brown shade as an eyeliner and it held up very well in the rainy Pacific NW. (Plus, it totally saved me as I forgot eyeliner on a recent business trip.)

    The downside is that the bars of color are very close together. I unintentionally picked up some blue on my brush. It was not a welcome addition to my morning look.

    Overall, I give this product four stars based on price, accessibility, quality and numerous color combinations.

  3. I also tried the Complimentary palette. The browns/neutrals were quite wearable, especially together (@hao9703, I also used the dark shade as an eyeliner!), but the other three are quite bright. Like Lucy and Holly, I found that the length of wear was decent. The pigmentation was alright, and as others said–it was nicely buildable. However, at $8.99 for a small-ish amount of product, and with thin bars that made application difficult, I’m not sure I would purchase it again. Even using a smaller eyeshadow brush, it was hard to ONLY get one color at a time. I’m going to say three stars.

  4. Great for a low-priced brand. The color is pretty saturated. The wear time is not great. Absolutely fun colors! Milani is really great at these trendy bits…if they could only figure out how to make it last. I tend to like Milani’s less saturated colors (marbleized shadow was stupendous!) with primer. These bold colors have a strong start but poor showing at the finish line. Extra points for bringing runway trends to the masses, though. 3 stars.

  5. I received Milani’s Primary Shadow palette, and I ahve to admit, I was scred when I saw the crayola bright colors. I am a strict neutral gal and these colors were out of my comfort zone. I took a risk and tried the pretty palette and found that the colors are soft, although a bit chalky and tough to blend (I hear you @Lucy). For an inexpensive drugstore find, I think this palette is a great was to experiment witl color! 3 stars

  6. Seems like I may be a bit more impressed with these then the other testers so far. I thought this palette was FAB! I kept the Primary palette and I’ve reached for it every day this week so far. The colors are bright and fun, the pigment is phenom and I thought the wore for a substantial amount of time. The Sunset eye that @lucylemonade describes above (yellow, orange and red) could easily become my go-to summer eye look.

    The only think I don’t like is that the strips are too skinny. It’s hard to pick up only the color you want. And because they’re raised, the excess falls off on to the plastic of the palette, and you can’t quite grab it again (versus if this was a flat, wide surface, your brush could get it again).

    That reason alone keeps me from giving this 5 stars (I’m going 4)But otherwise, I think this is an amazing drugstore palette!

  7. I like the variety of shades within each palette too. And you are right, they are oh, so pigmented. :)

  8. I really am loving the huge collection that Milani put out for Summer/Spring. I had the pleasure of testing the Complimentary palette. I felt like it was a great mixture of neutral and bright shades. And after working with all of the shades for a bit I did truly find that they were complimentary with a variety of other shadows. With primer I found that the formula lasted for much of the day. I too found the design to be pretty but impractical. It is difficult to be precise with this packaging. But the price point is very good in general and I feel comfortable giving this palette 4 stars. WTG Milani!! What a pretty collection of colors!

  9. Whenever my local CVS stocks up on Milani’s palettes they’re gone within days! I’d definitely steer towards the Complimentary palette as it seems more versatile. Perfect for bringing along on a vacation/trip!

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