Thursday, May 14, 2015

La Vie En Corail: Milani Rose Powder Blush in Coral Cove

I'm an ocean away from the product I'm about to describe, writing through a haze of jet lag. Let's see how this post turns out.

For the longest time, I avoided any hint of orange in my face makeup. My desire for knowledge of colors and undertones turned into a harmful strictness, and I assumed that because I was relatively cool-toned, I should wear warm colors sparingly. I kept buying vivid blue-red lipsticks, ignoring my suspicion that they looked a bit off against my complexion. They were cool-toned and I was cool-toned, so they must be my most flattering colors, right? Right.

In the same spirit, I wore my warmest blush, Sleek Life's a Peach, only occasionally until this spring. One day, on a whim, I applied a little more Life's a Peach than usual before putting on Urban Decay Streak, and I was shocked at how the milky peach blush and lipstick lit up my complexion. Part of the reason was no doubt that I'd finally put on an appropriate amount of blush instead of dusting a few particles across my cheekbones, but also? Peach looked good on me. It was a revelation.

I still didn't think I needed more than one peachy blush, but that changed last week, when one of Milani's new rose-shaped powder blushes caught my eye during a CVS run.


I left it on the shelf, thinking that between Life's a Peach and Face Stockholm Paris, I was covered for warm pink blushes. But I made the mistake of posting the above photo on Instagram, which somehow cemented my desire. Funny how that happens, isn't it? I read a few reviews, all of which agreed that the formula of the rose blushes had vastly improved since last year, when they were released as limited-edition products. I believe the new ones are permanent, and there are three colors: Coral Cove, a bright peachy coral; Romantic Rose, a mauvey nude similar to Illamasqua Zygomatic; and Tea Rose, a midtone cool pink. It didn't take me long to succumb to temptation and bring Coral Cove home.

As you can see, it looks softer and more orange in natural light than it did under the harsh fluorescent lights at CVS:


What this photo may not make clear is that the rose blushes are absolutely massive, at 17g (0.6oz). By contrast, Illamasqua blushes weigh 4g, NARS blushes are 4.8g, and my second-largest blushes, by Sleek, are 8g. The packaging of the rose blushes is hefty and sturdy, and I wondered briefly if the thick plastic made up some of that 17g. But the FDA mandates that the weight listed on the label of a beauty product "must accurately reveal the quantity of cosmetic in the container"; in other words, if I understand correctly, the 17g is all blush. Buying a Milani rose blush is something of a commitment: not a monetary commitment (I paid just under $8), but a more metaphysical commitment. For us beauty addicts, the satisfaction of using up a product is a close second to the satisfaction of buying it, but I know very well that I won't hit pan on this anytime soon. Not even if I adopt the Meadham Kirchhoff SS12 aesthetic:


The good news is, that rose pattern won't be worn away for a good while. I left Coral Cove unopened for days because I was so afraid to swatch it and ruin the pristine design, but this blush is built to withstand more than a tentative swatch.


Speaking of which, here's Coral Cove swatched between Sleek Life's a Peach (left) and Face Stockholm Paris:


In both temperature and intensity, Coral Cove lies almost exactly halfway between those two. (Making these swatches reminded me how infrequently I wear Paris, which never seems to flatter me as much as I thought it would when I ordered it. I might just blogsale the thing and have done with it.)


The photo above gives a slightly better idea of the textural differences between the three. Coral Cove is the most matte, but it's also soft and finely milled, which makes it sit quite naturally on my skin. Here I am wearing it with Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin lipstick, a new dress from Urban Outfitters, and post-shower frizz:


And with Urban Decay Streak the next day:


Due to its intensity, Coral Cove stands out on my complexion slightly more than Life's a Peach does, but I don't think it looks unnatural.


Because of its size, I decided not to bring Coral Cove with me to England this week, but now I'm kind of regretting it. Then again, the current weather doesn't exactly make me feel like adorning my cheeks with coral:


I did not pack warmly enough for this nonsense.

14 comments:

  1. That's a great colour on you. I too have succumbed to the idea that I should avoid certain colours because of my undertone - I'm still working up the courage to try an orange-based red lipstick.

    This blush seems like one of those things I would buy solely for how pretty it looks. Honestly, I probably will next time I'm in the U.S. Especially since the new formula makes it a functional product!

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    1. Not gonna lie, the design was at least 50% of my reason for buying it. If it makes me happy every time I use it, why not?

      I have yet to find my perfect orange-based red, since many warmer red lipsticks turn into neutral reds on my lips (ColourPop Frenchie comes to mind).

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  2. I bought the Tea Rose Milani blush - this is the blush I will be bequeathing to my great-grandchildren. It is lovely, though!

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    1. And the tragedy is, our great-grandchildren will probably be wearing green and yellow blush and will think pinks and corals are SO dated. I am considering Romantic Rose as a replacement for my Illamasqua Zygomatic when it runs out, though. I'm just asking for frustration, aren't I?

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    2. On the upside, you'll never have to worry about hitting pan on a favoured colour. Because you never will. So...yes. But also no.

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  3. It's so pretty, though! Haha but I agree 17g is way too fucking much haha. It's like it's asking to be resented when it's not completely gone in 5 years or something.

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    1. It also makes me wonder how cheap the ingredients are, if they're selling that colossal amount for less than $8!

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  4. I have been picking this up (then back to the shelf)several times in the drugstore and I think the ginormous pan is the only thing stopping me from getting it..It's way too much commitment and I think I would buy it in a heartbeat if the pan is half the size/ even with the same price(it would look so much cuter as well).

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    1. A smaller size would absolutely look cuter, and it would also be better for travel (I didn't even think of bringing Coral Cove on my recent transatlantic trip). Milani could also have made single colors in smaller sizes, and used the larger sizes for some sort of marbled or ombre pattern. I definitely had a moment of "wtf was I thinking" when I got the blush home and saw the size on the label! I love the color and texture, though, so I think it will get a decent amount of use.

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  5. I gave up on thinking about undertones because my opinions on different colours on me changed all the time. For exampl, I'm warm toned but am not a huge fan of warm corals on me. I also like the occasional blue toned re, depending on my mood -- sometimes I feel like going against your undertone can result in more "pop". I'll still never wear a barbie pink lipstick though.

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    1. Ugh. I hope you fan make sense of my fat fingered ramblings.

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    2. Yeah, I think knowledge of undertones can help people only so much in choosing makeup. You also have to consider eye color, hair color, and which colors you actually LIKE, regardless of whether they might be considered "flattering." And no one can seem to agree on whether red lipstick, in particular, should match or contrast with undertones. Some articles advise me to wear orange-reds, because pinker reds will make me look "too pink." Others advise me to wear pinkish reds, because orange-reds will "clash" with my complexion. There's just no right answer, and I think most people have an instinctive sense of what flatters them, anyway.

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  6. I used to think warmer colors all look terrible on me but now I'm slowly learning that whether a color looks flattering on me or not greatly depends on color clarity and finish as well.
    I couldn't believe Milani came out with such huge pans of blush because they used to make blushes that looked like eye shadows, so I googled it up to see if anyone was holding these Rose Powder blushes. No I believe it is 17g each. ;o
    This would be totally depressing for me (no blush of mine has visible dips), but I must say Coral Cove looks really lively and beautiful on your complexion! :)

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    1. Thanks! When I get back home, I'll edit this post to show Coral Cove next to my other blushes so you can see how large it truly is. I'm confused about why the rose blushes are so big, since Milani's regular blushes (Luminoso and its cousins) are a perfectly normal size.

      I have yet to make a visible dent in any of my powder blushes, either, and I've had NARS Mata Hari for over two years! In fact, it was the only blush I wore for almost all of 2013. I can't believe I haven't hit pan yet...

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