Milani Neutral Shadow Eyez Pencils Swatches & Review

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Milani Neutral Shadow Eyez Pencils - Black Ink Almond Cream Golden Bronze

Yesterday, I posted display photos of Milani’s new Naturally Chic Shadow Eyez collection – six neutral toned shadow pencils in their fabulous Shadow Eyez formula.  I know a lot of people are disappointed that these are limited edition instead of permanent – and after swatching and doing some testing, you can add me to that group!

Milani’s permanent lineup of Shadow Eyez contains only shimmery shades, though some are labeled as metallics and some are labeled as pearls.  I own one of the permanent shades, Champagne Toast (metallic). The texture of the limited edition metallic shade I purchased, Golden Bronze, is identical to Champagne Toast – both are extremely creamy when applied and blend out very easily, but set to an immovable finish.  They are easy to sheer out, but it’s also easy to apply them at full strength for an almost-opaque finish, as contrasted with Rimmel’s Scandal Eyes Shadow Sticks, which always blend out to a sheer finish.

Milani Golden Bronze Shadow Eyez Swatches

Golden Bronze: one swipe, blended swatch

Above, the line on the left is just one swipe of the pencil, and the swatch on the right is blended out.   You can see how opaque the pencil is – it’s easy to use as either liner or shadow.

I was more curious about the matte pencils, since I don’t think I’ve ever tried a matte eyeshadow pencil.  They are FANTASTIC – the texture is just about the same as the metallics: very creamy and blendable at first, but then the pencil does not budge once applied. They are completely opaque in a single pass, and completely opaque when blended out.

Milani Black Ink Almond Cream Shadow Eyez Swatches

Black Ink // Almond Cream: Each has one swipe on the left & a blended swatch on the right

Check out that pigmentation! And if you’re wondering, I removed the black swatch from my arm with a combination of cleansing oil and scrubbing.

I also wanted to compare Almond Cream with MAC’s Paint Pot in Soft Ochre, which is one of my favorite bases. The texture is quite similar, but Soft Ochre is more yellow, while Almond Cream is more neutral. I bet that Painterly Paint Pot would be a touch more pink than Almond Cream, but I don’t have it to compare.

Milani Almond Cream MAC Paint Pot Comparison Swatches

Milani Almond Cream // MAC Soft Ochre

Since I purchased these yesterday, I haven’t tested them out extensively for weartime yet.  The permanent metallic shades last extremely well on me (and on everyone else, it seems), so I think it’s a safe bet that the limited edition ones will too.

I’ve tested out both Black Ink & Almond Cream on my waterline.  I think one of my eyes must have been watering a lot when I tested out Black Ink, because it had worn off of one eye in about 90 minutes (which is typical for me – not much lasts well on my waterline).  However, Black Ink lasted about three hours on my other eye, and Almond Cream lasted about three hours on my waterline (of both eyes). So, I’d guess that waterline weartime is slightly better than average, but not exceptional.  I also tested out Almond Cream as a shadow base with a couple poorly pigmented eyeshadows.  Almond Cream does a fantastic job enhancing eyeshadow color, and I didn’t have any creasing at all.  However, my eyelids are normal to dry, so those with oily lids may want to layer another primer below if you’re using it as a base.

Overall, I really like the Shadow Eyez pencils permanent line, and I love these limited edition pencils – especially the mattes! I think this is the first time we’ve seen skin-toned, matte cream eyeshadows that can be used as a bases in a mainstream drugstore line, so I would definitely recommend snapping up either Almond Cream or Cafe Au Lait (depending on skintone) to use as a base if you see these! I may be going back for Cafe Au Lait and Espresso Lane myself.

Where to buy: According to Milani’s Instagram, these will be available at select Walgreens stores, and commenters have seen them at Kmart and Discount Drug Mart as well. They’re available on Milani’s website, hereCherryculture frequently sells Milani limited edition products; they don’t have these yet, but I’d keep checking if you’re interested (and they ship internationally and have great prices!).

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post.   This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

  • Amalia J

    Those look awesome!

  • Marina

    Wow! These look great! Can you try Almond Cream on the waterline next? I feel like it would be a great eye brightener but am worried that it will last even less than the black.

    • Testing it out now! It’s actually a little too pale for my personal preference for my waterline – it just looks a little stark to me – but I think it’s a great option that’s not white for those who are paler than I am but don’t want a white! It’s a step lighter than Rimmel Nude Scandal Eyes pencil, for reference.

    • The result – it actually lasted better than the black, a good three hours then it was barely visible (extremely patchy, mostly faded) after four. Rimmel Nude Scandal Eyes lasts better on my waterline, but this lasts quite well too!

  • Icequeen81

    great shades for an neutral look

  • Inés Arena

    Almond Cream is just what I’m looking for! I really hope Cherryculture sells them for those of us in Europe.

  • Freaking out, I need these before they get hard to find and disappear altogether! The mattes are gorgeous.

  • Thank you so much for showing these. I didn’t realize they came out with matte shades but I am so thrilled. With both these and the UD pencils (which are totally comparable in my opinion), I love the product, but my biggest complaint was the lack of matte or satin finishes. If I can get my hands on it, I will definitely snatch up Almond Cream in a heartbeat! I think you’re totally right about how it would compare to painterly, I have soft ochre and tested painterly long ago, but I remember it being a bit pinker against soft ochre than almond cream appears.

  • Oooh Golden Bronze is pretty pretty pretty! Gah, you also just reminded me that I have a few of the original shades waiting to be tested. They’ve been stuck in a box somewhere for almost a year now! Whoops! 😛 I will bring them out this week–I’ve heard good things about this formula and can’t wait! I hope they work as well for me because i really want Golden Bronze and Almond Cream. I’ve been curious about using flesh-toned liners on the waterline to brighten

  • Thank you for the info! It looks like they are at Kmart too – I wish we had better information about where they were going to be.

  • Hannah S.

    Do you think the Almond shade could be spread out over the whole lid to work as an eyeshadow base/primer?