Milani Crystal Gloss for Lips Might Be Making MAC Jealous

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Lips, Makeup, Milani, Product Reviews

milani crystal gloss for lips 1
Milani Crystal Gloss in Cotton Candy on lips

At a quick glance, I might assume that this brownish pink gloss with golden pearl, creamy brownish plum and soft, shimmery neutral pink were all members of the MAC gloss family, but the $4.99 price tag is all Milani.


Yup, the Milani Crystal Glosses have a rep for being drugstore MAC gloss dupes, and I can definitely see the similarities in the three new shades Milani recently released for summer.

Take Milani’s shimmery pinkish brown Fascination. Now, is it just me, or does Fascination look like a shy, sheerer, less golden version of MAC Viva Glam V Lipglass?

And then there’s shimmery pink Cotton Candy, which reminds me of a bookish tween version of MAC’s Creamsheen in Right Image.

And if MAC Spite wasn’t so intense, I’d call it Precious, as in Milani’s Precious.

milani crystal gloss for lips in fascination, precious and cotton candy
Crystal Gloss for Lips in Fascination, Precious and Cotton Candy, $5.45 each (three new shades available at select CVS/Pharmacy stores)

milani crystal gloss and glitzy glamour gloss swatches
Glitzy Glamour Gloss in High Status and Show Stopper; Crystal Gloss in Fascination, Precious and Cotton Candy

milani crystal gloss for lips 2

milani crystal gloss for lips 3
Show Stopper

But for all their similarities, the Milani and MAC versions of these colors differ wildly in some key areas.

Straight up, I think the Crystal Glosses smell and taste funky. LIKE ALL CAPS FUNKY. Even with everything else I like about them, including the spectacular price, for me, the flavor holds them back. It’s like plastic toy action figures served between two giant vanilla wafers dipped in frosting.

And the scent? — like eau de fresh Band-Aid.

The Milani Crystal Glosses in Fascination, Precious and Cotton Candy, new for summer 2012

  • The thick, sticky texture doesn’t dry out my lips
  • They last about three hours for me, which isn’t bad at all
  • They come with a convenient doe-foot applicator
  • Might be a good fit for bargain hunters or MAC-aholics looking to save a little money in their gloss budget without sacrificing much in quality

Given the choice, I’d probably still reach for a MAC gloss, but mostly because of Milani’s flavor and scent. Overall, though, and especially if you do try one of these and don’t mind the taste or scent, you could do a lot worse.


For sure, if I ever lost my makeup bag on a trip and could only access a CVS/Pharmacy to restock, I’d grab one of these shades.

PRICE: $4.99 each
AVAILABILITY: Available now at CVS/Pharmacy stores and

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. For the makeup lovers among us! — we’ve got two ongoing giveaways and contests today, and both only take a minute to enter. Don’t miss this weekend’s $50 Sephora eGift card giveaway or the MBB Buxom Photo Contest, which has a prize worth more than $600 (a $500 Visa gift card and $109 in Buxom cosmetics).


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So far, 14 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. lmbo at “eau de fresh bandaid” hilarious

  2. Alyse says:

    Seriously hilarious- those descriptions are worthy of having the writers of Family Guy bow down to you! It’s too bad about the scent and flavor, because the colors are truly beautiful.

  3. Joyce says:

    My Target has a limited stock on Milani products =(, but I’m gonna go back and check if they have these lip glosses. I’m digging Precious! =)
    Joyce recently posted … Beauty Blog Sale 2012: MAC, Dior, Urban Decay, Shu Uemura, Becca

  4. musical says:


  5. musical says:

    The phone ate my comment! I meant to say that it’s an all-time favorite!

  6. Nina says:

    Pretty! 🙂

  7. musical says:

    Hello, lovely lady! Just back after my “meow time” (kisses to Tabs for inventing that term), which involved some yumminess (tea and munchies) and make up (‘course)! Restocked on my mascara (naturally glossy), clarifying lotion, spot treatment cream (all Cinique) and MLBB lipstick (Chanel Elise’).

    I also get hormonal acne on my jaw-line. My favorite products to tame it are: Tea tree oil cleanser and wipes by The Body Shop, spot treament with Benzoyl Peroxide and clarifying lotion for dry-combination skin (Clinique) and RES-Q ointment (Burt’s Bees). The last product is a miracle. It has a good blend of essential oils that are not only antiseptic, but also help to calm the skin down. It also works great as a layer of serum under Lush’s fresh masks (I learned this tip from a Lush representative-she wanted me to use their serum bar, which is rich in essential oils, under the mask).

    Hope you are having an awesome long weekend.

  8. gio says:

    These are very pretty! Too bad Milani isn’t available here.
    gio recently posted … Know Your Ingredients: Petrolatum

  9. I am LOVING Precious and Show Stopper. I *coincidentally* (wink wink) have to make a stop by my CVS tomorrow–so might as well pick them up while I’m there. Yeah…
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Caudalie Cleansing Water Review

  10. Jenna N. says:

    Your description of the scent killed it for me! Lemming successfully quashed!

  11. Sassy says:

    I honestly have not heard of Milani before, but both colors look great on you. What I also like is your eye make-up! What colors/brand were you using?
    Sassy recently posted … Makeup Tips For Redheads

  12. Agata says:

    Karen, what are you wearing on your cheeks in those pictures? Whatever it is, it looks terrific!

  13. Liz says:

    New to this site, but loving it. Is the tabby your baby? If so, I’m really loving this site! Lol. Anyone who works their cat into pics & reviews is good in my book!

  14. vrei says:

    I LOVED this article, and your swatches are beautiful and accurate! – Thank you!
    I’m purchasing Fascination today…I agree about the scent, though it fades. I’m wondering if the formula contains lanolin which has a signature “funky” smell? But, scent aside, lanolin is a superior emollient! Thx again 🙂

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