It’s spooky season again, Champagne Dreamers, and even though this year has been a real shitshow, I’m super excited! Even if I’m just painting my face to sit around my office or to watch scary movies in the Champagne Manor, I’m ready to get spooky and glam!
I feel like I didn’t see very many Halloween collections this year, but I did manage to find enough ooky spooky options that we’ll be able to have one Halloween-themed review each Monday in October, starting with this one: Milani’s Alter Ego Halloween Collection.
I like that for this collection they gave options for those of us who like to be monstrous in our looks, but also tried to give options for the softer, more pastel “Spooky Lite” Halloween devotees! The collection includes two 9-pan palettes, four new shades of Metallic Shimmer Lipstick, four new shades of Ludicrous Lip Gloss, two options for Face Gems stick on rhinestone decorations, as well as a few darker shades of their Amore Satin Matte and Amore Matte Metallic Lip Cremes. I didn’t pick up absolutely everything, but I did go in pretty hard: I got both palettes, two lipsticks, two glosses, and both sets of Face Gems.
For the palettes, I swatched them over the ABH eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash. The lipsticks I swatched with no primer of any kind, and the lighting is the same. I didn’t try on the rhinestones…because they are rhinestones. You see what they look like, don’t play me.
Let’s start with the darker, spookier vibe: The Beautiful Nightmare palette and the lip products I picked up to match it.
L t R: Bad Blood, Bow Down Witches, Goodnight Hissss
Bad Blood is a deep matte red, sort of an oxblood or a maroon. It’s got nice coverage and wasn’t streaky or patchy. Bow Down Witches is a lovely blackened red shimmer, sort of like Black Tied from MAC but the black is not as intense at the base as that shade. It’s pretty, but I’m a Black Tied devotee from way back. This one is good, but it’s not as intense. Goodnight Hissss is a black matte, not the darkest or most opaque black I’ve used, but it’s decent. It’s got enough performance that you can really work it to get some deep black color, but it’s not so intense that it will scare off makeup novices.
L to R: Night Terror, Mischief, Forever Falling
Night Terror is a pretty taupe champagne shimmer. I really like this sort of cool taupe shade that has some sparkle but it isn’t overly silvery or bright. It’s very cool in tone and I enjoy that. Mischief is a bright electric lime matte that is pretty god. It’s blends out nicely enough but needs a little extra care. You can kind of see the edges of the finger swatch compared to the edges of the brush swatch: the finger swatch has much less control and isn’t as smooth of a blend, but the brush swatch turned out beautifully. Forever Falling is a bright silvery white shimmer.
L to R: Grave Digger, Ill Will, Up To No Good
Grave Digger is a matte dove grey. It’s great with a brush, but with a finger it was the same sort of experience as Mischief. I’m not bothered by that – as I’ve said before, I never fingerbang mattes onto my eyes – but it’s a good indication that a shadow might need a little more TLC to give you the best performance. Ill Will is a blackened base with blue shimmer, sort of the blue sister to Bow Down Witches. I think this one is better, but that’s probably just because of my early 2000s obsession with Black Tied. Seriously, Elsa, let it go! Up To No Good is a bright blue matte. This bright struggled a little, and you can see that it sort of faded into patchiness around the edges, and you can sort of see in the brush swatch that the more you go over it, the more likely you are to wipe away product and leave bald spots. I think it’s workable, but it definitely is the most persnickety shade in the group.
All of the Lip Products that I bought were technically from the lighter, fairy side of the collection, but I thought a purple lip with a glitter gloss would pair nicely with this palette.
L to R: Let’s Bone (lip gloss), Make Believe (lipstick)
Let’s Bone is a pretty basic white pearly gloss that applies pretty sheer with lots of white and pink sparkle. The gloss has a slight scent, maybe vanilla, but it’s not super strong or super distinct. Just a pleasant smell that is definitely more of an edible type scent than a floral type scent. Make Believe is a gorgeous deep purple shimmer with lots of blue shift to it. I love the Milani lipsticks; I don’t even wear tube lipsticks all that often, and I would rank them as some of my favorites. This have great coverage and I love the metallic sparkle.
Next up is The Fairy Tale palette and an electric pink mouth to coordinate.
L to R: Sugar Deady, Boo’d Up, Enchanted
Sugar Deady is a pale gold with maybe a hint of peach note at the base. It’s nice enough, but it’s not super pigmented, so it’s maybe better as an accent or highlight. Boo’d Up is a matte white, and it’s pretty good (especially for a drugstore brand). It’s not the best white I’ve ever tried (that crown is still firmly held by SugarPill’s Tako!) but it’s got pretty solid pigmentation and it blends out pretty well. Enchanted is a deep violet shimmer, definitely more red at the base, but has a subtle blue shift to help create an interesting balance.
L to R: Ever After, Sugar Skull, Spellbound
Ever After is a bright orchid pink matte. It needed a little building up to get full opacity, but it wasn’t streaky or patchy. It’s a nice color, but I prefer a slightly lighter variation on this sort of shade – good thing this palette has a matte white to help me achieve my hooker pink dreams! Seriously kids, a matte white is a necessary shade! Sugar Skull is a pale blue icy shimmer, great color and very full. I’m not sure why the gold was so week; the shimmers in this row are much fuller and have so much more impact! Spellbound is a pale minty green shimmer, and it has a subtle gold shift as well.
Fairy Dust is a rosy gold shimmer, a little better Sugar Deady, but still weaker than I would like to see. Baby Doll is another meh shade, a light bubblegum pink with some silvery shimmer (though not a lot – and certainly not enough!). Ethereal is much more impactful, and the coppery gold notes of this are really quite lovely.
For this palette I chose a coordinated lipstick and lip gloss duo that are bright pink and very glittery!
L to R: Love Bite (lip gloss), #SquadGhouls (lipstick)
Both of these lippies are a bright fuchsia pink base. The gloss, Love Bite, has a good deal of base pigment, so you can absolutely use it on its own, but it will really hype up the color of #SquadGhouls. Both also have a great blue glitter to it that helps create a fun play of color. This is the sort of pink I have loved since I was a little baby queen, and I still have a soft spot for it. The eyeshadows may say sweet, innocent fairy, but the lips will tell the truth on me every time!
I don’t do a ton of stuff with random rhinestones on my face these days (though I will occasionally dabble – like I did with my way out there orange monochromatic Face Friday look that you can check out HERE!), but I thought these were fun. Like the rest of the collection, there was an option for the darker, spookier side as well as some for the lighter side.
I ordered one of each, but because of an error with packing the order, they accidentally sent me 3 sets of the Beautiful Nightmare jewels. Of the two, I’m glad that’s the one that got duplicated, as I can see myself using more of those colors, but I still may end up gifting at least one of the sets out to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.
I am always excited when I see that brands have put together Halloween collections; so many brands do collections for other holidays, but Halloween is such a perfect match! It’s a time of parties and disguises, and people are already looking for makeup to help them transform into their best spooky selves! Christmas collections might lead you to believe that holiday makeup is always terrible (I mean, I know that not EVERYTHING released for holiday is straight up trash, but most of it is…not great), but Milani’s Alter Ego collection is reminding me that you can do limited edition makeup tied into a holiday, and it doesn’t have to be garbage! Milani is one of my favorite drugstore brands, and this collection is every bit as good as their regular line.
And if they can do it, other brands can absolutely do it!
Let’s get spooky!