Missed out on the Milani sale earlier this month? Don’t fret, because this brand is as amazing and affordable as they come.

Little else excites me more than a GOOD, QUALITY, and AFFORDABLE makeup brand. I can find the need to buy makeup anywhere I’m at – whether it’s Walgreens or Nordstrom, if lost, you can pretty much 98% of the time find me in the cosmetics department. But little else disappoints me more than drugstore beauty duds. Those eyeshadow palettes that look so pretty in pan, then blend terribly; those lipsticks that feel more like slippery paint than a luscious lip color; those foundations that oxidize and splotch after 2-3 hours of wear.. the list of drugstore beauty finds gone wrong can go on.

But then there are the classics, that though they let you down once in a while, for the most part always seem to come in so clutch!

Milani has been around for a WHILE. I think their Baked Blush was one of my very first purchases from them after being recommended by a highly reputable Youtube guru (I’m thinking it might’ve been Marlena of MakeupGeek?). But since then had only ventured out of my comfort zone with the brand once or twice, trying out their pencil & liquid eyeliner, a couple of their lipsticks and glosses. But with NYX dominating the affordable/drugstore makeup world, Milani has been upping their game. So over this past summer, I accumulated a handful of their other products to see if they live up to their hype..

[I’m contemplating doing full reviews on the foundation and the lipsticks, if interested – please leave a comment!]
  • The first purchase was the Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer; a friend of mine had raved about it, and a foundation that cuts out a step in the glam process is what I’m all about! I liked it so much, I decided to continue expanding my collection
  • Next came the highlighters – another friend of mine used one of these highlighters on her daughter. I halfway blinded myself by looking too directly at the glow. For $11, I had to try these out. While at Walgreens though, I noticed this really pretty warm blush palette, so I threw that in my basket as well. The collection needed to keep growing!
  • Liquid lipsticks are my jam! They’re easy to apply, have longer staying power on average over a regular stick, and the colors come off much more vibrant. Since bright colored liquid lipsticks can sometimes have a splotchy formula, I didn’t want to risk too much (even though these are only $9), so I opted for 2 neutral colors
  • THEN I noticed they had METALLIC LIQUID LIPSTICKS!! *swoon* Considering I had already grabbed 2 neutral colors in their regular matte liquid lipstick formula, and I was so impressed by the wear, color pay off and formula; I decided to bet on a richer, brighter color like the one in the lower left corner in the picture above
  • The products listed above were so amazing, I decided to continue branching and grabbing a concealer/highlighter & their eyeshadow primer. After a couple uses, do I think they’re life-changing and revolutionary?? Not exactly, but for their price range, they are ROCKSTARS!

Milani products used as pictured above : Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer in Golden Tan, Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in Sunglow & Color Harmony Blush Palette in Berry Rays

Milani products used as pictured above : Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer in Golden Tan, Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer in Light, & Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in Dayglow

Milani product used NOT pictured above : Amore Matte Lip Creme in Obsession

  • Foundation – wears very well and covers EVERYTHING. Redness, blemishes, discoloration – this foundation + concealer has got you covered… literally. It’s very thick, but doesn’t feel like a mask. Although, granted, it doesn’t feel light/airy either.
  • Highlighter – BEAUTIFUL!!! Probably my favorite Milani purchase so far. The pigmentation is incredible alone, but adding a little Fix + to your brush at application will help you be seen from outer space.
  • Blush – what can I say? Milani blushes are some of my all-time favorite, affordable cheek colors. I like these “sun-dial” type blushes in particular because the colors work together to give a gorgeous wash instead of “in-your-face”, loud color. I also think that the formula for this blush in particular helps to achieve the light “flushed” cheek look as well since the product isn’t too powdery, lessening the chance for user error
  • Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting concealer was strange. I found the formula and color to be GREAT! It blended underneath my eye area seamlessly, although I did have to work it a little; but what bugged me the most was the applicator… it was a sponge with a hole in the middle where the product dispenses from. The sponge was a little too hard to use for blending in, so I just applied the product straight to the areas I needed and blended it in with a separate Beauty Blender.
  • BUT THIS LIP COLOR THOUGH!!! I inadvertently found my lip color for this coming fall season. And for $9, this puppy stayed on for about 5 hours, and lasted through a traditional, greasy, messy Sunday-night football dinner of sliders and jalapeno poppers without smudging too much or giving that dreaded chola lip. It’s also a fairly moisturizing formula, so my lips didn’t appear cracked but the lipstick didn’t adhere to my cups or utensils too much either!

This tried and true brand is expanding their presence in the makeup world, and their research & development team is making sure they’re not getting left behind in the dust. Their products are amazing, as they’ve pretty much always been. If you’re looking to try out new makeup products, Milani is the way to go as their products are affordable, good quality and will keep you on trend.

 

xoxo
The Glam Greek

I don’t care what anyone says – back to school is exciting! 🍎✏️📚 I understand it can be a bit of a drag, but think of all the new school supplies, the new pieces for your wardrobe (!!!), getting to see all your friends again, everyone (including parents) getting back into a routine, and if you’re of age, it’s a good excuse to beg your parents to help spot you some money alongside your babysitting earnings for makeup for the new school year!

Taking into consideration how much time you’ll be giving yourself each morning to prepare for the day, here’s a few tips and a before and after of my muse, Dena, for a fresh and light back-to-school look!

Always start by washing your face! Your skin at this age is BEAUTIFUL, young and supple. If you invest more in how you clean and take care of your skin and the less makeup you’ll have to use.

Skin Prep

• Rodan + Fields Soothe or Unblemish Regimen – start with the cleanser, tone, treat and apply moisturizer with SPF

• PRIME! this will help your makeup stay on longer, and when school starts at 730, add in extracurricular activities, this step is essential to an all day face. For Dena, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – great for combination/oily skin types. Apply with fingers.

Face

Typically when doing a full face, I like to start with the eyes. But for everyday makeup, starting with the face is good in case you run out of time, at least you’ll have any discoloration covered and can jet out the door. Seeing as young skin is beautiful and you’ll be wearing makeup for a long day, wearing something light like a tinted moisturizer is ideal – I recommend the Nars or Laura Mercier tinted moisturizers. Or if you prefer fuller coverage, I really like using MAC Studio Fix fluid – pay the extra $10 for a pump, and mix with your favorite moisturizer to sheer out the coverage. Here I mixed one pump of MAC Studio Fix Fluid with a touch of MAC Strobe Cream to keep the coverage light & fresh. Use a beauty blender to apply all over the face, including under eye area.

Eyes

One of my most tragic makeup mistakes in my younger years was not doing my eyebrows. Now that thick brows are in and plucking is out – I always like to start with these bad boys first. As mentioned before, if you’ve only got a few minutes before the bus leaves – brush through your brows with a good, tinted brow gel to tame and fill.

If you have about 15-20 minutes :

• brush A tinted brow gel through the brows – I used NYX tinted brow gel for my model

• apply a shadow primer or cream shadow – I absolutely LOVE MAC Soft Ochre or Painterly Paint Pots. Either are great on their own or applied under shadows to prevent creasing. This can be applied with the fingers or a fluffy blending brush.

• invest in a good neutral palette – the Urban Decay Heat palette has become an essential and warm toned colors are complimentary to all skin tones for any season. For an everyday look:

1. apply a shade just a touch darker than your natural skin tone in the crease (like Sauced) with a fluffy blending brush like the MAC 217

2. apply a light creamy shade to the lid (like Chaser) with a flat shader brush like the MAC 242

3. apply a light, soft shimmery shade (like Ounce) over an off-white shimmery pencil like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Yogurt to the inner corner of the eye with a pencil brush like the MAC 219

4. apply a dark brown shadow (like Ashes) along the top lash line in place of a pencil or liquid liner for a more natural looking liner, use a flat defined brush like the MAC 212

5. (*optional) apply a nude eyeliner like Rimmel London’s Kohl Kajal liner in Nude to the water line to create big, open, awake & sweet doe eyes

6. Apply favorite mascara! Here I used L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara

The rest of the face

I really like an angled blush brush, like the MAC 168, to apply blush and bronzer. Taking the very edge of the brush, apply a light bronzer like MAC’s Give Me Sun to the perimeters of the face and directly under the cheek bones. Then taking the flatter side of the brush, apply a peachy blush color like MAC’s Peaches lightly to the apples of the cheeks. Finish with MACs Soft n Gentle at the tops of the cheek bones, nose & Cupid’s bow for a bit of glow, using a fan brush like the MAC 187.

Lips

I know many young girls prefer to not use lip products, so either finish off with your favorite chap stick or lip gloss. For my model, I used MAC’s lipstick in Lovelorn. It’s a “lustre” finish which means it’s creamy, moisturizing, gives of a bit of a shiny finish and comes off very sheer. It’s a beautiful light pink color but doesn’t come off too crazy, so it’s like your lips – but better!

 

This face is simple, easy and the ENTIRE process including eyes should only take about 20 minutes.

What are your favorite products for a quick morning look?

xoxo,

The Glam Greek

In the spirit of graduation season, I felt the need to pay a visit to my own alma mater. Luckily, it’s not far, and right in the heart of the city. A few weeks ago, Bae’s sister graduated nursing school from the University of St. Thomas – Houston, the same school I earned my own Bachelor of Arts degree. Being at the commencement ceremony, 5 years from having walked the stage myself, so many thoughts came to mind.

Shoes : Forever 21 (10 years ago!) || Dress : Lulus || Earrings : Sugar Fix, Bauble Bar for Target

This post is for anyone graduating from high school and staying in town for school, this is for anyone currently at university in their home town and wondering if they’ve made the right choice, this is for anyone who graduated from a great university but are unsure of what’s next and if staying in your home city was the best decision.

In hindsight, I LOVED UST!

As a senior in high school, your mind is pretty much on only a few things – “thank God I’m almost done”; Prom, Graduation, and “OMG – where am I going next year?!” The application process and trying to get into your dream school is incredibly stressful! And let’s not even mention NOT getting into your dream school… That’s still a bit of a sore subject for me. I chose not to leave Houston after not getting into the one school I wanted to get into SO. BAD. despite acceptance into a number of other really renowned universities. I was quite depressed for a while after school started – all my friends left town, I developed BAD hormonal, cystic, adult acne, and I was dealing with a toxic relationship and an even more toxic, bitter and dangerous post break-up. I commuted to school since I lived at home, and worked part-time while taking 15-18 hours a semester. I had my plate fairly full, which made the 4 years fly by.

I chose UST because of its location – museums and restaurants galore, close vicinity to many different shopping districts – it’s down the street from my place of worship, it’s in an area I grew up in thanks to the location of my place of worship, and it’s a private school – although I did worry that might’ve been a little more detrimental when it came to the post-college job search. My largest class throughout my college career was only 25 people, I only had ONE auditorium style class, which was held only on Fridays during the first semester of my freshman year that held the entire freshman portion of the student body, and my commencement ceremony included ALL schools, Bachelor of Arts AND Sciences, Masters degrees AND Ph.Ds. We are a small school, but we are mighty.

It’s a Barbie World

But it took me a long time to realize this.

I wanted to go out of town like the rest of my friends, I wanted to get out of the house, I wanted to live on my own in a city unknown to me! Little did I realize the PERKS of staying in SUCH an amazing city. Nine years after having graduated high school and 5 years after having graduated college, being at the 2017 University of St. Thomas commencement ceremony and seeing the multitude of different cultures of the family and friends that were in attendance to see their friend or kin receive their diploma gave me an excitement I can hardly describe.

REASONS WHY I’LL NEVER REGRET STAYING IN HOUSTON FOR SCHOOL

  • This city is amazing beyond words – it’s the 4th largest city in the United States. The larger the city, the more things to do
  • You get to learn the city – Buffalo Bayou, Museum District, Eado, Rice U; the list can go on and the city has grown SO much over the years, and I’m glad I’ve gotten to see it’s development
  • You learn to commute – Houston everywhere, anytime has traffic. If you need to get to the other side of town, be prepared for at least 45 minutes of traffic. Get to learn that, because it’s very beneficial for when you start working.
  • Build your network!! If you’re planning on working in Houston (which is OBVIOUSLY a great idea, we’re a “working/commercial” city) get a jump start on your career networking before you REALLY have to once graduation comes
  • “Travel” without leaving town – Houston is home to such a beautiful melange of people, making friends with people from all different races and cultures is an amazing way to expand your horizons, without even having to spend money on a plane ticket.

In front of Malloy Hall

The time I got to spend here in school, discovering my city between classes, I cherish more than anything. I’ve seen this city grow. And now that I’m working, I tend to be the liaison for when out-of-towners come and want to know where to go and where to eat to enjoy the gems of this city.

Lips : Anastasia Beverly Hills Party Pink & Baby Pink liquid lipsticks

Moral of the story – wherever you choose to attend for higher education is the right choice, because choosing to get your degree is always the right choice. But if you happen to stay in your home-town, and if your hometown is Houston, consider yourself very lucky.

 

xoxo
The Glam Greek

While I’m not much of the casino-gamble-all-my-money-away-kinda-girl, Las Vegas entices me to lose money in other ways. The Forum Shops at Caesars are MY personal favorite place to be on the Strip. They have everything for every price range. Wanna throw a G on a Louis Vuitton bag after too many cocktails? The Palace gotchu. Wanna throw down a few hunnits on some makeup because you’re addicted and admitting you have a problem is the first step but you don’t want to admit it yet? The Palace where it’s at. Only have a few bucks and want a cute choker to go with your outfit for Tao tonight? The Palace got that too, boo.

Makeup shopping in the western United States is so much better than here in Texas. Nothing beats L.A. (next on my bucket list), but Las Vegas has a MAC Pro, free standing Nars, a large Sephora (you can never go wrong with the mothership), Inglot, and probably a couple of others that I’m missing, regardless, I can lose my way into the abyss of makeup shopping.

The mothership calls me wherever I go…

Even though I practically own all of the pro store, I needed to stock up on a Light Boost and a Radiant Rose. I can’t remember the last time I purchased a MAC collection… but when I arrived at MAC Pro LV, MAC’s Work it Out collection had just come out. And as per usual (sorry, MAC) I walked right on by. But since I had been having a little drinkies, the MAC artist that had greeted me, quickly talked me into the lavnder and rose scented Fix +’s.

Even though I didn’t like the fact that they only have travel sizes (which I’m assuming was the idea behind Work it Out – sweat proof makeup essentials to throw in your gym bag to enhance your post work out glow..) I still snagged a couple for my collection. **note – travel size MAC containers are NOT eligible for B2m**

I controlled myself fairly well considering I had the candy shop at my finger tips. And being early Sunday afternoon, there weren’t a ton of people there.. but I had my eye on the prize.

I already own a ridiculous amount of MAC products, Sephora has brands on brands on brands, on products on products on products; and I need to expand my horizons.

After the Stila Metallic Foil eye shadows came out a few summers ago, they’re pretty much all I need and use to add the PERFECT pop of glitz I need in a look. So naturally, when Stila came out with their new Metallic Glitter liquid eyeshadows, I had to snag a few for myself.

I actually restrained myself and ONLY picked up 4…

L – R : Kitten Karma, Gold Goddess, Smoky Storm, Retro Rose Gold

Then I made my way around and grabbed a couple of powder products. A Sephora Collection blush in “Sweet on You” I received as a sample last year, the perfect summer cheek color, so I finally picked it up in full size. A new bake powder from Kat Von D, a powder foundation from Sephora collection, for science. And of course… a highlighter.

Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter – Transcendence

Applied with finger – subtle. Spray Fix + to hear angels sing

Being a Libra, I’m all about balance. With powder products and eye products already in my bag, I had to pick up some face and liquid products to try out. I’m obsessed with lightweight, natural finish foundations lately because, I can be! I’d had acne for such a long time, nothing besides medium to heavy coverage would cut it for me. I’ve been loving the UD Naked concealer for a while, so I went ahead and picked up the foundation. Seeing that I was on vacation, I also picked up 2 travel sizes of my favorite primer and setting sprays OF ALL TIME! And a lip creme from Marc Jacobs to try… again, for science!

Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme – Fawn Over Me

After this HUGE haul, Bae and I grabbed a taxi and headed to the airport very makeup and cocktail drunk! 🙁 Anytime a vacation involves having enough leftover coins to spend on some new makeup goodies, is a dream vacation for me.

Until next haul…

xoxo
The Glam Greek

“You can never be overdressed or over-educated”

– Oscar Wilde

During the week, I normally don’t wear any makeup; so the weekend I’m finding any sort of reason to dress up. And pasxa had 3 good reasons. Sometimes though, I feel I can get a little extra. But when I get new makeup and a good reason to wear it, sometimes the brush takes a mind of its own!

Face : Urban Decay Naked Foundation 7
Concealer : Urban Decay Naked in Light Warm
Powders : Laura Mercier Brightening || Laura Mercier Transluscent
Contour : Kat Von D Shade + Light palette
Blush : Nars Sin
Highlight : Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Kitten

Brows : ABH Dipbrow
Lid : Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter Liquid Shadow in Kitten Karma (OMG!! I LOVE)
Crease : MUG Cupcake + ABH Dusty Rose, MUFE M928 to deepen crease
Inner Corner : ABH Blushing + Pink Champagne
Lashes : Lashes in a Box No. 19
Waterline : MAC Coffee eye kohl
Under Eye : MUFE M928 smudged with ABH Dusty Rose

Lips : Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte liquid lipstick “Festival”

xoxo

The Glam Greek