I used to be so intimidated by bronzers; I didn’t think any of them would work on my fair skin. When I first became interested in makeup, I really didn’t even understand the purpose of bronzer. After watching a lot of makeup tutorials on YouTube and seeing people of many different skin tones using bronzer to add a sunny glow to their skin or to contour, I decided to take the plunge and try bronzer for myself. I got the very popular Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in the original Bronzer shade. I fell in love with it almost instantly and repurchased it after I ran out of my first compact. I thought that would always be my go-to bronzer until I found out that Physicians Formula is no longer cruelty-free (they started selling in mainland China).
I spent a lot of time looking for a cruelty-free alternative for the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. I had to be very picky since a lot of bronzers are too dark for fair skin. I’m a big fan of Milani’s blushes and I had heard some of the YouTubers I follow recommend the Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder. After looking at the shade options, I thought the lightest shade (Sun Light) might work well for me. I’m so glad I gave it a chance, because I actually like it better than my old Butter Bronzer that I’m still trying to work through.
Product claims directly from MilaniCosmetics.com
Light up your life and keep your glow game strong. Our silky matte bronzer will give you a hot girl summer glow, no matter the season. Available in four flatteringly bold shades of bronze, our silky matte bronzing powder is perfect for color and contour. The silky, lightweight texture blends seamlessly into skin without streaking, while hydrating Argan Oil offers anti-aging benefits and extends wear time.
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Other product details
- Price: $9.99
- Net weight: 0.34 oz.
- Made in Italy
- Shelf life: 12 months
- Four shade options
- Sun Light
- Sun Kissed
- Sun Tan
- Sun Drenched
- Where to buy: MilaniCosmetics.com or Amazon.com
- MilaniCosmetics.com ships internationally, but they currently don’t ship to Mexico, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Iraq, or Turkey.
- Amazon ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
- Overall rating: 9.4/10
- Inclusivity: 7/10
- Ease of application: 10/10
- Pigmentation: 10/10
- Staying power: 10/10
- Price: 10/10
Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.
Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder is available in four shades. That’s not bad for a drugstore brand since some competitors only offer one bronzer shade, and many offer two or three. I’ll put Milani’s descriptions of the four shades below:
- Sun Light is a light neutral brown
- Sun Kissed is a medium cool brown
- Sun Tan is a medium warm brown
- Sun Drenched is a deep tan with red undertone
At first glance, these shades might look sufficient. However, when looking at swatches of all the shades, the two medium shades aren’t that much darker than the light shade. That would be fine if there were a few more shades after the light and medium options, but there is only one more. Sun Drenched is definitely the darkest of the bunch, but to me it looks like it would be too light for a lot of people with deep skin tones. Also, it would’ve been nice if they offered a deep shade with a neutral or cool undertone.
I’m glad that Milani offers more bronzer shades than some competitors, but I think they really need to add a few more. This is a popular product and I’m sure they could reach a larger audience if they would expand the shade range.
I’m grateful that the Sun Light shade works so well for me. The color of that shade is warm enough to be used to warm up my complexion, while also cool enough to be used for contouring my cheekbones on the rare occasions that I want to contour.
Ease of application
This bronzer has a very soft smooth formula. It is so easy to blend into the skin and never looks streaky. Like I mentioned in the previous section, this bronzer can also be used for both warming up the complexion and contouring. It’s nice that this product can be used for both steps so that a separate contour powder isn’t needed.
I did a side-by-side comparison this morning of my makeup before and after applying Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder to show the Sun Light color and how natural it looks on me. I wanted to include this in the “ease of application” category because I’m not careful when I apply my bronzer, but it’s so easy to apply you can’t even tell. It always looks good!
One thing that helps with this product’s ease of application, is its pigmentation. I don’t have experience with many bronzers, so I will use Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer for comparison. That bronzer is not very pigmented, so quite a lot of product needs to be used, even on my fair skin. Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder has more pigmentation so less product is needed to achieve the perfect natural glow. While it is more pigmented than the Butter Bronzer, the Milani bronzer is not so pigmented that it’s intimidating in any way. I think it strikes the perfect balance as far as the level of pigmentation goes.
I usually wear my makeup for about twelve hours, sometimes longer. At the end of the day, this bronzer looks exactly the same as when it’s freshly applied! That still holds true if I’ve been rained on, taken a nap, etc. It wears so well and I’m always impressed when I see that it hasn’t faded. According to Milani, the argan oil used in this formula is what makes it have such a good wear-time. Thanks argan oil! 🙂
Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder is $9.99. I looked at bronzers from several other drugstore brands, and this price seems to be about the middle of the road. There are some that are around $5.00, and others that are $15+. My previous favorite, Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer, is $15.99 and I think that’s too expensive for a drugstore bronzer (though that brand usually is on the pricier side so that price doesn’t come as a surprise). I think that $9.99 for this Milani bronzer is very fair, especially considering that a little goes a long way.
I am so happy with the Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder, it will probably be quite some time before you see another bronzer review from me. This formula and shade are perfect!
If there is a shade available that would work for your skin tone, I highly recommend it!
What is your favorite cruelty-free bronzer? While I don’t feel the need to buy any others at this time, I’m always curious to learn what else is out there.