August 17, 2010

Milani Baked Bronzer Review and Swatches

Beauty recessionistas gather round because you’re going to want to go wild on the new Milani Baked Bronzer that should be popping up at your local drugstores shortly or maybe already have.

Check it.

Milani has three shades of its new Baked Bronzer available at the moment and it is such a hardcore dupe for Urban Decay Glided Baked Bronzer plus hello half the price. Loves that hard.

Only problem is Milani seriously needs to work on the packaging because boy is it crummy.


A easy to wear baked bronzer in a swirled, shimmering marble design with a budget price tag!

So you aren’t a bronzer goddess. News flash, neither am I! I avoid the sun like the plague and I avoid bronzers equally. I’m just not the tanning type even though I easily tan. However, a few years ago I tried Urban Decay Baked Bronzer and something snapped, I instantly became converted to the joys of bronzers. Now, it helped a whole lot that Urban Decay made it so damn easy to love on bronzer with such pretty, shimmering shades of color.


Milani introduces three gorgeous shades of baked bronzer that mimic the love of my life from Urban Decay and hey I’m on it like white on rice.

These bad boys come in three graduating shades that go from light to dark but run towards being a very similar shade in finish only darker in variation. These aren’t like traditional muddy shades of bronzer you may have tried in the past. They come across as a sparkling, glimmering, metallic shade of gold that gives cheeks and face a healthy, golden peach tint.

The bronzer is housed in a dual compartment compact which features the powder on top and a flat top brush on the bottom. The brush isn’t bad in the least but I prefer using a kabuki to apply. It’s quite soft with absolutely no shedding and delivers a quick flash of color onto cheeks however the best results are with a kabuki which gives a nicer pop of color. The compact also features a full size mirror.

The bronzer itself is so very pretty. It’s a swirl marble design which mimics that of a MAC MSF in some ways. The shades come across peachy bronze with swirls of gold. I think it’s the gold that really makes the bronzer easy to wear. Glow is the lightet shade and is a golden beige, Soleil is the next darkest shade and consists of more bronze with golden swirls, and Golden is the darkest with a brown bronze base and swirls of gold. No matter which shade you go with, I find they all apply really subtly with a very nice color pay off that can easily be worn alone or over your favorite blush or cheek stain. I like putting a little Vincent Longo Cheek Stain in My Sunshine on and following up with a dusting of this bronzer. Note: The bronzers come across very similar in color due to the flash of the camera.

As beautiful as the product is it suffers one major down fall. Packaging.

The packaging isn’t only impractical but also leans towards being ugly, uneventful, and in some cases cheap. It in no way mimics the gorgeous quality of the product inside which is rather sad.

For one thing I could possibly get over it being ugly however it’s also slightly impractical since the hinge on the bronzer seems to jiggle around a fair bit causing the product to knock against the lid thus cracking the powder. The bronzer pan sometimes comes off as well or snaps off. I’ve had this happened in two cases when purchasing brand new bronzers which had to be returned for new ones.

The gold packaging as I said just borderlines the edges of cheap and doesn’t match up with the gorgeous powder inside.

Milani also seals the product with a sticker that ends up leaving behind a sticky residue. Milani isn’t the only one guilty of this, it happens alot with drugstore cosmetics. Can’t we find stickers that don’t leave behind a gross, sticky mess?

  • Those scared of bronzers (These can easily convert you to the joys of bronzing!)
  • Anyone who ADORES MAC MSF (these have a similar feel and look)!
  • Anyone who loves flashy golden shades of color that can be used on cheeks and lids (go ahead use ’em as eyeshadow!).

  • Anyone who doesn’t like sparkle, shimmer, or glitter (these come across glittery but can be blended out to avoid the sparkle).
  • Anyone who likes pretty, practical packaging!

I love these and they get a big fat Muse Approval however Milani has to do some serious work on the packaging as that really brings these down. I could possibly get over the ugliness of it but I do not like having to be so cautious when using the bronzer for fear it’ll crack and the packaging basically does just that in most cases. They need to create a better hinged pan for the product so it settles in snugly rather than juggling around so much.

Overall, the bronzer quality is incredible and can easily convert you to the joys of using a bronzer plus it doubles up easily as an eyeshadow if you like. The quality of the product far exceeds its $8.99 budget price tag. If you’re a lover of MAC MSF, it’s a guarantee you’ll enjoy these.

A fabulous little bronzer that will work well into Fall for a kiss of warmth on face and cheeks!

(Sporting Milani Bronzer in Glow on Cheeks and Eyelids)

Loves ’em hard!

But that packaging needs some work…..

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • sillylilacs

    Oh wow! These look EXACTLY like MAC MSFs!!

    I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for these! =)

    And I don’t mind the sticky sticker thing, I wipe it off with alcohol =) but it IS nice not to go through the extra steps haha

    The only I’m worried about is it breaking =(

    • the Muse

      lilac I try that but it makes things a bit tacky sometimes 😛 grrr 😀 def check ’em. get some during BOGO 😀 def can’t carry it around or it will break 🙁 it’s not hinged so well so it knocks around a fair bit 🙁

      • sillylilacs

        ahh great, =( milani needs to UPDATE their packagin =( but yes…BOGOs are when I get all my drugstore stuff lol

  • Victoria/EauMG

    I like the Urban Decay bronzers and I saw these out Walgreen’s. I get sick of getting burnt on products so I’m glad that I waited for a review :). The shades themselves look so beautiful. I agree that the packaging is ugly but I can live with that (since my cosmetics are out of sight anyways) if the packaging is actually “functional”. I have found that many of these drugstore baked cosmetics break, the hinge of the compact and the actual product. If a product breaks after a few uses, it doesn’t matter how inexpensive it, it isn’t a good deal.
    And I thought I was the only one really bothered by drugstore stickers. They drive me nuts! In the past, I have put Windex on a q-tip to try to remove the adhesive. Even that doesn’t work!

    • the Muse

      victoria you have to just be REALLY careful. The hinge seems to snap up easy and the product juggles around ALOT causing breakage. Aside from being cautious they are a true SUPERSTAR of a product. Very much like UD’s version and oh so pretty. I try to do so with alcohol like Lilac said above but it makes the casing sticky sometimes 😛 the sticky stickers really drive me WILD.

      If you happen upon a BOGO I’d grab them and honestly even without a sale they are worth it. the packaging sucks but just be careful 😀

  • Stephanie

    Which one would you say is the lightest? Glow? These look sooo pretty. 🙂

    • the Muse

      glow is the lightest Stephanie yup 🙂 mentioned the shades in my review of which is lightest to darkest hope this helps!

  • sillylilacs

    @the Muse:
    cvs all the time lilac

    But but…I live right next to one…and and…=(

  • Tohnia

    I have never tried Milani, but their eyeshadow palette that has the strips of shadow has been tempting me everytime I walk past it at the grocery store! Their polishes look good too. I am not a bronzer fan, but I will be picking these up to try! And have you tried Goo Gone for the stickiness Muse? It works wonders! Just put a small dab on, leave it for about 3 minutes, then wipe. It’ll melt ickyness off! You can find it at your local drugstore or in a Home Depot in the home section. ^^

    • the Muse

      lol tohnia yea those are deadly tempting. They aren’t THAT good though the singles shimmering ones are way better. no…I’ll have to see if I can find that, thanks! 😀

    • Trish

      Thanks Tohnia!! YAY That sticky stuff has turned me off to plenty of things that could have been d/s gems. I gonna try that Goo Gone!

  • sammie

    oh, muse, you look lovely wearing “Glow!” and when i saw the swatches, the lightbulb went on in my head saying, “oh these would just make GORGEOUS eyeshadow shades too!” and lo’ and behold, you added the bronzer to your lids!! LOVELY :D. but, on another note, you are way more forgiving than i am; the packaging here will keep me from buying…and i’m not talking the practicality matter, i’m talking utterly tacky faux gold. can we say 1980s interior decor much?!!? (think: mirrored closet doors with faux gold trim, or even bathroom faucets and drawer pulls in a lovely faux gold finish.) i personally enjoy simply opening my makeup drawer (small as my collection is) and gazing in wonder at how beauteous it all is. and i am a huge sucker for packaging… oh, milani, please listen to the muse!

    • the Muse

      aw sammie you’re WAY too kind my dear girl! 😀 I know…sigh rant…ugh! I totally feel you about the packaging. I really wish they’d rethink some of their packaging b/c they do have seriously great makeup on their hands but the compacts, colors, etc…really need a revamp…faux gold? gag me!

  • clementine

    Try rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on the tape residue! It works wonders.

  • knownever

    I don’t know why (ok I can think of some reasons why…) drugstore cosmetics that include a mirror always go with that mirror on the bottom format. seeing your face and applying the product do kind of go hand in hand! i wonder if it’s possible to depot this bronzer so that the crappy hinge is not longer a problem.

    • the Muse

      mmm I dunno knownever I’d be scared I crack it during depotting 😛

  • mochamishmash

    Have this bronzer and LOVE it! I bought Soleil. Wish they’d make some baked highlighters too! Milani is the bomb!

  • Trish

    I just came across this post and OMG…I have this bronzer in Soliel an I absolutely adore it!!!! I haven’t seen many blog posts or vids mentioning this so I thought I was the only one who was completely blown away with this. I wore it all summer long and got so many complements on how my skin “glowed” or looked “gorgeous”. Yup..the packaging certainly does suck and I do HATE that sticky thing they put on it but other than that this product ROCKS!

    • the Muse

      hey trish. so happy you’re loving on these, I def love ’em too! packaging def sucks sigh but the product inside totally rocks it hard.

  • Adanary

    Hi y’all “3kidsandamom” here……., i live on a budget and really have been needing to freshen up my face. i love make-up but forget to buy any, LOL. So I’ve set out to add to my collection to look up-to-date without starving my kids. I’ve always admired the glowing skin on stars like Thalia, Kim Kardashian, J.Lo so after watching some how-to videos i decided I needed shimmer! MAC champagne skinfinish seems to have been a popular choice but it’s been discontinued and the alternative shades still cost $$. So I shopped around and picked this up just today at Walgreens’ hoping to imitate that MAC look. They still have it in the old packaging…as TanTastic? isn’t it the same thing you are mentioning here? anyway, i think it highly resembles the MAC product and I, too, googled and found very few comparisons on-line. No-one dares consider it as a dupe but I am confident that this is the best deal and you get a fabulous glam look at a serious fraction of the brand name price!! I bought the 03 Fantastic Sun Glow, maybe they will be discontinuing?? I don’t mind the container, the lid rotates open to the side rather than flipping open like a compact. Anyway, this shade has a warm pinkish tendency, so it is soft – not brown or grubby looking. use it anywhere you want to ‘glow’. I bet it is awesome as a highlighter, the swirl effect is so cool, can certainly be used as a shadow; I would even use it on lips, shoulders, collar bone…ooooh…on legs just after moisturizing! I’m even going to dust on my hair or mix in my curl creme…mmm…t’s gorgeous, no regrets.

  • Nicole

    hey! i always type in reviews for makeup and your site ALWAYS comes up lol i know you said that this could convert you if you dont usually wear bronzer but i have a quick question. i’m 16 and i dont wear a LOT of makeup; i like the natural look. so obviously its winter and so im paler than usual. i never usually wear blush or any color on my cheeks. i think blush would kind of overwhelm me and so i was thinking about bronzer for like a sun-kissed “lit-from-within” type glow lol i can only afford drugstore makeup so i was thinking about buying this but do you think it would be too intense for me? i dont want somebody to look at me and be like “oh, she’s definetley wearing bronzer” i’d rather it look naturally unnatural lol thoughts? thanks!

  • Maria

    Thanks so much for this review. I love the glow bronzer and Milani’s blushes. I was interested in knowing what other people thought and stumbled onto this site. xoxo