The "XL" part of this pressed-powder bronzer's name stems from the fact that it comes in a jumbo-sized compact. That can be inconvenient for storage space in your makeup bag as this takes up a lot of room.
The "2-in-1" compact is comprised of a deeper bronzing "matte" shade and a lighter "shimmer" bronzer. In reality both shades contain a subtle sparkle, so you don't get the option of a true matte finish for a believable faux tan (remember real tan skin doesn't glitter).
To complicate matters, the formula contains a small but potentially irritating amount of fragrant ingredients (see More Info).
- Flattering bronze colors.
- Contains potentially irritating fragrant ingredients.
- Despite claims, does not offer a true matte shade.
- Doesn't look like a natural tan because of the shine it imparts.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)
Milani Cosmetics At-a-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive with some excellent options for women of color; good Baked Blush; silky pressed-powder eyeshadow palette; Infinite Liquid Eye Liner and Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner have amazing staying power; Smooth Finish Cream-to-Powder Makeup.
Weaknesses: Baked Bronzer; numerous products that contain potentially irritating fragrant ingredients; several mediocre to poor products including Color Perfect Lipstick, Crystal Gloss, and The Multitasker Face Powder.
Launched in 2002, Milani Cosmetics prides itself as being an affordable beauty line with a "passion for color and a recognized need for a broader variety" for women of different ages, skin tones and income.While many brands have a limited selection of products designed for medium to dark skin, Milani has succeeded in catering to women with deeper skin tones, which is this makeup line's chief point of difference. We admire Milani for celebrating the beauty in diversity, and their dedication to providing color options that are appropriate (and appealing) to a wide range of skin tones.
Milani focuses on face and eye products, and this is where they excel. Despite being a smaller brand (compared to the likes of Cover Girl or L'Oreal), Milani products can be found tucked alongside the big makeup lines in many drugstores and stores like Target and Wal-Mart. They've definitely added a splash of color to the cosmetics aisle, and several of their inexpensive products are definitely worth a look. But as with most makeup lines, there also are some poorly executed products to avoid.
This is a diverse line with a mix of bold, classic, and trendy makeup. Although the products may be aesthetically pleasing on the shelf, their visual appeal doesn't always translate well to actual application and performance quality. In some instances, Milani's philosophy of "color, color, color and more color" misses the boat by offering glitzy, ultra-vibrant shades, instead of more options for a classic makeup application (women of color have to go to work, too, not just out for the evening). Just because you have dark skin doesn't mean your color choices need to be shocking or ultra-bold. Still, as mentioned, Milani offers some worthwhile products and their prices are budget-friendly. On balance, you'll find more to like than avoid.
For more information about Milani Cosmetics, call 1-866-789-8002 or visit www.milanicosmetics.com
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.