Blend It Real Good: The Salt-N-Pepa x Milani Collection [Review & Memories]

First things first: I cannot be the first one to think of or to cheekily remix the lyrics of, “Push it real good!” to “Blend it real good!” when talking about the Salt-N-Pepa and Milani collection…am I??

I hope not! Because that was way too easy!

Anyway. Earlier today, I got my Ulta Beauty package and included inside were one of the Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palettes and one of the two Lip Kits from the Salt-N-Pepa x Milani collab.

I actually now have the full set as during a visit to Walgreens–it was one of those, I gotta get out the house, I’m tired of quarantining sojourns–I was so surprised to see that they had been carrying the collection. And just my luck, the palette and lipstick that I hadn’t ordered from Ulta were there. I was v excited, I couldn’t help myself, and I bought one of each. Retail therapy for real.

Salt N Pepa Dancing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The collection was released this winter. I most likely first read about it on TrendMood and didn’t have a chance to think it was random because I thought what was being offered was so cute! The packaging was a throwback, the shades looked gorgeous, and it was Salt-N-Pepa. Each product was also a nod to either Salt or Pepa indivudally.

That made me think of TLC and how by the time they had released their 1994 album CrazySexyCool and willingly adapted the roles of Crazy (Left-Eye), Sexy (T-Boz), and Cool (Chilli), it seems that the Hot, Kool and Vicious palette, of mainly rosy pinks and neutrals, and the Lip Kit in Shoop, were meant to represent Salt. And the Very Necessary palette, of mainly gem tones and shimmers, and the Lip Kit in Push It, is meant to represent Pepa.

Photo taken with no flash

(Shoop, a cool brown nude has been selling out the most. I got the last one at Walgreens! Push It is a stand-out tiger red.)

Sadly, the DJ of the group for 32 years, Spinderella, is not recognized one bit in the collection, and other TrendMood commentators noticed as well.

There’s been business issues between Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella, since the 2000s, off and on. And in 2019, Spin had disclosed on Instagram that she had been terminated from Salt-N-Pepa, and inferred how under-appreciated she was throughout the years.

Although, I remain a fan of SNP, and there are two other sides to this story, it really sucked to read it that from Spin. Especially since she is such a pioneering DJ in hip-hop. I don’t know about anyone else reading this, but for me, Spinderella was the first woman I knew to be a DJ and I thought it was so cool. It’s still so cool to me. She is iconic in her own right.

Salt N Pepa GIF by VH1 Hip Hop Honors - Find & Share on GIPHY

She was also integral to the Grammy Award-winning trio’s biggest moments. When the trio released their album Very Necessary in 1993, Spin even had a verse on ’90s fave, “Whatta Man,” and she did a great job on her rap! I’m also glad that she was present when, as a trio, Salt-N-Pepa were recognized by the VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors in 2016.

Push It Salt N Pepa GIF by New Kids On The Block - Find & Share on GIPHY

Let’s get back to the makeup. Because like I said, I still like SNP and knew I had to have this collection. ’90s me refused to resist it.

Now about Milani as a brand, I have purchased and continue to use their eyeshadows. They’re some of the best in the drugstore/Target-esque market. I believe the first I bought was Gilded Desires, which is awesome and I even hit pan on one or two of the shadows (rare!) And during a Target promo, I bought the Gilded Gold palette that could be regarded a potential dupe for Natasha Denona’s Gold palette.

SIDENOTE: Milani’s lipsticks are also fantastic. Perfect coverage, and in my experience, not all drying.

I haven’t used Very Necessary, Shoop, or Push It, yet, but have worn Hot, Kool and Vicious once. I wore (it in the house, because #QuarantineLife) the shades Chick on the Side (a dusty rose with a slight shimmer), I Desire (a jet black) for the drop shadow, and attempted the hot cocoa brown Showstopper in my crease.

I also placed the rose gold-ish highlighter Certified Platinum above my so-so checkbones (ha!) and inner corners. I loved the look, and the shadows were up to Milani’s standards.

UPDATE: I will say that I prefer “Hot, Kool & Vicious” over “Very Necessary.” The color payoff is not as great for the VN.

Photo taken with flash.

The packaging is also so fun. They’re shaped and styled like a CD case and a lot of the hues are named after Salt-N-Pepa’s songs and career achievements. Hence, Certified Platinum.

And the unmissable use of the images for the packaging, you likely recognize from their music video for “Push It,” and photos taken around that time. Those Kente Kufi hats with the Eightball varsity jackets and leggings are still such a LEWK!

The collection is definitely #90sGirlApproved. Look out for discounts on Ulta Beauty online or at Ulta stores (once they re-open). Stop by your local Walgreens too, and Milani’s own website, as just recently they had a Friends and Family sale.

And as always: look into your current makeup collection and see if you have a palette or two that resembles the #SNPxMilani if you can’t afford to purchase any of the products at this time. #Frugalista.

I definitely think Salt-N-Pepa are worthy of a makeup capsule. Their presence as rappers and a DJ in hip-hop and rap were crucial and very necessary (I had to. I had to) in not only the classics they ended up creating but for female representation.

As Essence.com pointed out, SNP tracks like “Let’s Talk About Sex,” were vital to encouraging safe sex and such a message was insurmountably important to share with communities and groups harmed by STDs and STIs the most. They also showed that talking about serious matters didn’t always have be so depressing even though the realities were.

I personally adore, and still do, their 1990 jam, “Expression.” (Which was completely written and produced by Salt!)

By the way, I hummed the beat of “Push It” the whole time I wrote this review.


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