If you have spent any time at the eastern end of Oxford Street in the past few months you will have noticed the Oud Milano shop. At first glance you would be forgiven for assuming that it is a fragrance store. Whilst fragrance is part of their offering, their primary offer is colour cosmetics. Oud Milano is an Italian store with middle eastern / Arabic sensibilities. According to the sales rep that I had, it is a ‘Chanel and Dior’ type brand rather than MAC.
For me the best way to find out about a brand is by using the products, but I did look at their website and found it really difficult to navigate. No prices, pages needed translating and just awkward to use. As they have a UK store, I was expecting a slightly easier experience and I dont think that I could buy products online even if I wanted to. Anyway, on to the products.
Lip Designer Lipstick (shade 117)
There are a selection of seventeen colours and of course I was looking for a purple shade. Sadly I did not find one so I picked up shade 117 which is a cool toned pink. None of the shades are unique, not blue, greens or greys, the edit is very wearable. The packaging is weighty with a super smooth mechanism and soft touch rubber case. Of the two products I bought, the lipstick definitely feels like the luxe product. The bullet has a triangular nib so application without a lip liner is easy. The texutre is smooth and there is alot of pigment in the bullet so it is opaque in one swipe. The finish is that of a traditional lipstick which I like and it is a long wearing lipstick. I really like it, I would like it more if it was purple, but I can make it work.
Personal Palette (shade 404)
I was drawn to this paltte as the warm plum shades were as close as I was going to get to purple. There are nine grams of shadow in the palette (Tom ford palettes have ten grams) which is a good size amount of product in a diddy compact. . There are three satin shades an a glitter shade (light pink) which actually is not too glittery. The satin shades are not so shiny so on the deeper tones, they can be placed where you would place a matte and they work well. No fall out and they pigmented shades last all day with or without a primer.
The packaging is quite basic. The sturdy plastic protects the product and I am not fussed about the fact that you can see the product through the lid. It just does not have the dressing table factor in the way that Dior and Chanel do. It looks like a drugstore palette or a pro-artist palette. The reason that the packaging is such an issue for me is becuase of the price of the palette. This palette retails for about forty pounds. There is no mirror, no fancy packaging, no brushes nothing. Yet the brand is using Chanel and Dior as a benchmark? Hmmm…
There is one more factor to consider and it is an important one. The shades in the quad are refillable. There are 30 refillable shades to chose from For that reason alone, this palette is worth the punt. I really like the colours in my palette but swapping out the lightest shade for a red or a black which would make this palette even better for me. If you are in London try to get to the store and swatch the colours for yourself. Get a palette that you like and then get ready to switch out colours.
The majority of the complexion products have four shades which we already know is not enough in a global market. Even if Oud Milano are only catering for the complexions of people in the middle east, four shades is not enough. In a couple of the products there are two outlier deep dark shades (sigh) but I do not have the time nor the inclination test them.
Despite the lack of complexion shade ranges, Oud Milano is a brand that piques my interest. The pigmentation is excellent across all the products that I have used. The packaging varies across the brand in terms of both aesthetic and quality. Put the lipstick and the eyeshadow quad together and they do not look like they are from the same brand. Whilst the quality of the product is on a par with Chanel and Dior the eye shadow quad definitely does not have the purse factor. Unsurprisingly, I wish there was more ‘true purples’ in the range but if you like reds and nudes you will find something you like.
If you have tried this range and love it, please let me know in the comments what your favourite products are.