Milani Cosmetics

I’m not on Facebook that often anymore, when I can’t sleep my obsession turns to all things Instagram. I float from stranger to stranger usually starting with a celebrity makeup artist, then bouncing around to all of their friends to see what products they use so I know how closely my kit matches up to theirs. Typically I’d say we’re all using pretty much the same thing, but when I found one artist who posted a huge table loaded with Milani cosmetics boasting about how it’s the only drugstore brand in his kit I was totally stumped. What’s Milani?

Apparently it’s a family owned business focused on producing high quality cosmetics at drugstore prices (I didn’t see anything over $10 online.) They’re rumored to be pigment-rich and long wearing, it’s an under-the-radar cult fave that I’ve somehow missed.

Noted from the artist in the photo was their shadows, including their long-wearing shadow crayon called Shadow Eyes 12 He Wear and their Liquid Eye Liquid-Like which is an eyeliner that gives the look of a liquid but with the ease of using a pencil.

I hear they’re at Sears and Walgreens, but most people just buy online which is what I’ll probably do, then I’ll report back of course and let you know my thoughts.

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milani eyes

Neutrogena Cleansers

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years it’s that you don’t have to pay a lot for a great cleanser. I always grab one from the drugstore and spend around $10 because it’s something you wash right off since it’s only on your skin for a few minutes max. I have some preferences of course (can’t burn my eyes, needs to remove makeup, should foam) but other than that, something basic is fine by me. I’ve found that my Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser is good to use daily because the exfoliating beads are tiny and encompassed by tons of thick cleanser so it doesn’t scratch your face and leave it red. I can even use it with my Clarisonic for an extra skin-smoothing boost. You can’t use it around your eyes of course, so morning use is probably best.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

Their Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is in my shower and has been getting some good play time lately too. The pump makes it so easy to use and I like how it foams up and doesn’t leave my skin dry or tight. It’s dense without being heavy which also makes it good for shaving. It’s a huge 12oz bottle for just $7 so I’m not worried about blowing through it too quickly.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

Don’t overspend on cleanser when you don’t have to. Just find the one that works with your skin and save your pennies for a bigger splurge like a serum or a foundation. It’s all about balance.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Primer with SPF 50

Drugstore skin care doesn’t get much better. Now available at Walgreens, La Roche Posay has a new sunscreen/primer duo to add to their popular Anthelios sunscreen line that’s sure to become a huge hit. It’s a broad spectrum SPF 50 that’s as much a true primer as it is sun protection. It has the feel of a Smashbox or professional grade silicone primer that fills in fine lines and blurs out skin imperfections instantly. It works so well to prefect skin that you might need a lot less foundation after using it- or even none at all. It’s that fantastic.

I love everything about it and can’t wait to use it as my new daily sunscreen especially after my skin treatment tomorrow that I can’t wait to tell you all about!

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Buy This Palette: NYX Wicked Dreams

NYX is one of my favorite all time brands because of their quality offerings at a great price. I use it, I buy it, it’s in my kit. This palette reminds me of the iconic Naked palettes from Urban Decay that have the same sort of shades but half as many and for $50. Wicked Dreams has 24 shadows valued at $130 but for just $15. In it you’ll find every shade you’ll ever need: neutrals, plums, flats, shimmers, and a few that double as liners.

I buy NYX at Ulta, but click HERE to see where else they might be offered in your area.

Makeup Before and After: Shimmery Beautiful Bridesmaid

I have my mainstays in my kit, yes, but I also carry rotate out makeup that companies send my way so I can put them to the ultimate test and see how they perform for a professional makeup application. A few weeks back, I gave some Pixi stuff a whirl. I was already sure that I’d like it all because Pixi’s whimsical look with serious product reminds me a bit like Stila in its heyday. It feels like that play makeup I’d tote around as a kid, but don’t let the fun packaging fool you- its girly-chic line hasn’t disappointed me yet. Here’s the before and after:


Before… Gorgeous Kate wanted to amp it up for her friend’s wedding.


…And after. A little smoky with some shimmering touches.

Fairy Dust ($14). Cute name, great product. I used it on Kate’s brow bone and inner corner of her eye for a hint of brightness to offset the depth. The sponge tipped applicator gets the pearl shimmer right where you want it, but you can also sprinkle a little out of the container if you’d like to sweep it on your cheekbones with a loose brush for even more glow.

I’m picky about eye pencils and I can’t use anything that smudges so I carry the best of the best in my kit. I tried Pixi’s beforehand and realized that it stays put as well as my others. Their Endless Eye Pen ($15) is the one I used on Kate, a rich brown with a splash of khaki and a kick of shimmer built right in. It’s a fun way to add drama to the eye when you’re bored of using a flat liner.

Skinnygirl Lip Care and Tinted Moisturizer

I was so happy when my good friend Bethenny Frankel finally came out with cosmetics and body care adding to her Skinngirl empire. Oh wait, I don’t actually know her do I? Well I feel like I do (don’t you?) which is why I’m extra glad that the line is actually pretty good. I’ll have a post later this month where I used her Tinted Moisturizer for a video which will air on Walmart.com, but just know that it’s probably one of the better tinted moisturizers you’ll find especially for the $11 price. Known for her signature red lip, it’s no wonder her lip care products are so right on. For a softer version of her firey pout, check out her Tinted Lip Balm in Red Ruby $5. For a more subtle daytime shade, I’ve been loving her Shimmer Balm ($5) with Shea Butter and a great scent packaged thin enough to slip in your pocket when you’re out and about sans purse.