Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Milani Lip Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Gloss Pencil in 05 Hot Flash Swatches and Review

Something's smokin' hot in here, and no, it's not Singapore's disgustingly warm and humid weather. It's Milani Lip Flash in Hot Flash! 

The above picture is a shameless attempt at getting you to read this post. After my posts about Dentiste' Plus White Nighttime Herbapeutic Toothpaste and Mini Babybel Emmental, I did promise you something else that would make your teeth look better. Milani Lip Flash in Hot Flash really gives you bang for your buck - great pigmented colour that lasts long, statement-making lips and whiter-looking teeth because of its blue undertones. I believe it works well on most skin tones even though it leans blue. I have rather yellow undertones but managed to pull off this blue-red quite well. More after the jump!

I can't emphasise enough how I think more women should try such gorgeous, bold lip colours. It's really different from the usual neutrals and nudes that are more work/school appropriate, and as a fashionista on a budget, Milani Lip Flash in 05 Hot Flash really channels that sultry, sexy and confident side of me. I hope the rest of my swatches and review convince you to channel that side of you too!

More details, please.
Milani Lip Flash is a 2.8ml (0.1 oz) lip gloss pencil that's 1cm in diameter and about the height of my iPhone 4. It retails at 5.99 USD (without shipping) and comes in 8 different shades on Beauty Joint, the online store where I purchased it from. It's supposed to be highly pigmented, easy to use, anti-feathering and non-tacky, according to the Milani website. Read on to see if it lives up to these big claims.

I couldn't resist taking a shot of the pencil against my new set of vintage-print envelopes from Daiso. I love them so much, and for 2 SGD it's really worth it! Will be blogging about my most recent Daiso haul next.

Pretty Daiso stationery in the background

I've really used quite a lot of the pencil already! Now the tip is very blunt. Shall have to sharpen it again soon.

Swatches (top is unblended, bottom is blended out):

Under white light

Under natural daylight

Can you see the red microshimmer? Expand the pictures and feast your eyes upon the colour and creamy consistency. I wasted a fair bit of product because I used a little too much pressure (it's very creamy and soft) when swatching, and a small lump of it ended up on the left end, as you can see. The red microshimmer is a lovely and subtle way to complement the red base (which has blue undertones), and gives Hot Flash a really nice metallic finish that's wearable and chic.

 Other swatches on my lips:

And just because I can, here's the first lip swatch picture again. I love the way the red colour makes my teeth look so white.

Application and smell
Application was relative fuss-free. It is recommended to colour in the lips from the center to the outer lip corner, for both lips. Just use it like a normal lip pencil, only the gloss finish on this one is unbelievable. If you want the metallic finish to stay, don't press your lips together or lick your lips (both common bad habits). Oh and by the way, there's no noticeable smell. Rejoice, girls with sensitive noses!

Can you see how much whiter my teeth look in the above picture as compared to in other pictures of lip swatches here? Hot Flash is a really amazing red with blue undertones that absolutely pops and draws attention to the lips. The subtle red shimmers lend it an air of playfulness and sophistication.

Staying Power
It is highly pigmented, and one swipe with the pencil across the lips is enough to pack on enough colour to last a 3-4 hours. After a full meal of curry rice at Coco Ichibanya Curry House at 313@Somerset (which serves great Japanese curry, by the way), the metallic finish had disappeared and the colour had faded to a stain much like the blended out swatches on my hand, shown above. It did not feather either, and gained much love for that.

Apart from being highly pigmented, Milani Lip Flash Gloss Pencil in Hot Flash has a lovely texture to boot - it glides on the lips so smoothly you would think it was a gloss masquerading as a lipstick masquerading as a lip crayon... That's where the analogy fails. Let's just say if the extremely pigmented OCC Lip Tars (which I have to get around to trying) had a baby with Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss, you'd get the Milani Lip Flash Gloss Pencil. It is not tacky, much like Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss, and yet packs a punch with its traffic-stopping red. I absolutely love it, and would recommend it to anyone willing to try something bolder than the usual nude/darker red lip shades.

One thing to note: If you have extremely chapped lips, be sure to exfoliate (I use The Body Shop's Lip Scrub) and apply lip balm for at least 5 minutes before applying Lip Flash. This is to prevent the lip product clumping up on your lips, as the metallic finish will really accentuate little irregularities and bumps.

Sharpening the pencil
You'll have to sharpen it sooner or later, but this wastes quite a lot of product. There are ways of depotting eye pencils (e.g. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil) but I'm not too sure if it will work the same way on the Milani Lip Flash pencils. I'll try to find out and update everyone when I do!

Here's a quick FOTD and OOTD I did with Hot Flash quite a few weeks ago. It's a "gothic lolita" look inspired by the classic figure of Vladimir Nabokov's young and seductive ingénue in Lolita. It's a pity you can't see my shoes (couldn't get anyone to help snap shots of me). I was wearing these lovely black oxford heels from itti & otto. Comfortable as heck even after 6 hours of walking in them.

My shoes looked a lot like this.

Let's Break It Down
Product Name: Milani Lip Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Gloss Pencil in Hot Flash
Product type: Lip gloss pencil
Amount of product: 2.8ml (0.1 oz)
Price per product: 5.99 USD
Number of available shades: 8
Comments: Perfect blue-based red with red microshimmer and a metallic finish. No feathering, no tackiness, creamy texture. Easy to use. More like a lip stick than lip gloss, but has a rather glossy finish. Those with chapped lips should exfoliate and apply lip balm before applying Lip Flash.
Where to buy: and other websites. BHG at Clementi Mall carries Milani cosmetics, but the last time I checked, they didn't carry the Lip Flash line. A huge pity.
To buy or not to buy: If you need a change from neutrals and more boring colours, you should definitely try Hot Flash. I believe it works well on most skin tones. I have rather yellow undertones but managed to pull off this blue-red quite well. Apart from colour, which can be perceived subjectively, every other aspect of this lip product is just perfect. Only inconvenience: you'll have to ship it from overseas.

Product approved 4.5/5.

Have you tried Milani Lip Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Gloss Pencils? What do you think of them?

EDIT: Added "Sharpening the Pencil" section (see above).

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .