Milani is an affordable, American cosmetic brand sold at drugstores, big box retailers, and Ultas across the United States. Like so many trendy brands, Milani is loved by fans for its gorgeous packaging, high-quality products, and affordable price point. But is the Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette truly worth the hype? Keep reading for an honest review.
Milani Brand Ethos
Founded in 2001, Milani is an affordable, American brand that takes its inspiration from the art and culture of Milan. Milani products aim to embody the style and essence of Milan, from formula, to packaging, and shade offerings. However, unlike high fashion sold in Milan, the brand sells cosmetics at an affordable price point. Also, Milani releases products that reflect needs of the multicultural consumer.
Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette Claims
According to the Milani website, the cool-toned, Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette provides buyers with a mix of “iridescent neutrals” and “smoked out metallics.” Also, the palette contains twelve “pure pigments” – a mix of velvety mattes and intense metallics. Finally, this palette empowers wearers to create one-of-a-kind eye looks.
Price & Packaging
The Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette originally retailed for $19.99 on Milani’s website and across most retailers. While the price point puts this palette above that of the brand’s competitors, the price was not unreasonable. Sadly, this neutral palette looks like it is in the process of being discontinued.
The Soft & Sultry Palette packaging looks sleek and luxe. In fact, the overall design of the palette takes inspiration from the Stila Eyes are the Windows Palettes ($49.00).
The front of the palette has a sleek, minimalistic design, while the back of the palette contains helpful product details such as shade names, suggested pairings and as application directions.
Additionally, the large mirror that comes inside the palette makes this palette perfect for travel. Another bonus is that the palette not come with a brush. Thus, the palette minimizes some waste. However, I wish the brand labeled the shade names inside the palette.
Ingredients & Cruelty-Free Status
Unfortunately, these shadows contain Talc, Mica, and Dimethicone (as well as other silicone-based ingredients), and Phenoxyethanol. Although these ingredients are commonly used in beauty products, there are potential health concerns. Milani is Cruelty-Free – discover additional affordable, Cruelty-Free brands in this post.
Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette Swatches
The Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette comes with 12 cool-toned eyeshadows. The palette includes eight matte shadows, one shimmer, and three foiled shadows.
Although swatches are not always perfect, they provide clues to how an eyeshadow may perform in terms pigmentation and ability to blend.
I swatched the Soft & Sultry Palette using my finger and a brush over my bare arm. In the below photos, finger swatches are on top while brush swatches are below. The finger swatches represent one swipe of color, while the brush swatches represent two layers.
Weekday (Column One)
Milani suggests pairing the four shades in the first column of the palette together to create a soft, weekday look. Clearly the finger swatches showed up more pigmented than the brush swatches. However, the ability to build the brush swatches impressed me.
From top-to-bottom: Bare It All (matte beige), Tan-Tation (matte peachy nude), Foxy Lady (foiled chocolate bronze), and After Hours (matte deep taupe)
Weekend (Column 2)
When used together, the four shades in the central column create a bolder look. However, the two lightest shades in this quad, Diamonds & Pearls and Soft Touch, underwhelmed. In comparison, the foiled duo-chrome, Come-Hither, impressed me so much. It remains my favorite shade in the palette.
From top-to-bottom: Diamonds & Peals (shimmering icy white gold), Soft Touch (matte nude fawn), Come-Hither (foiled chestnut with silver reflect), and Untamed (matte expresso)
Funday (Column 3)
Milani describes the last column in the Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette as the go-to colors for a sultry look. The way that the swatches built up using a brush impressed me. However, the matte black shadow needed a lot of work to achieve full opacity.
From top-to-bottom: In the Buff (matte, pale cream), Smokin’ Hot (matte taupe), Sweeter than Chocolate (foiled chocolate with gold reflect), and Naughty-Night (matte jet black)
Application & Wear-time
Each shadow glided onto the eyelids with minimal effort More importantly, the shades built up nicely with a brush. However, given that Talc and Mica are the top ingredients in the Milani formula, I’m not surprised that the mattes performed well.
The Soft & Sultry Palette is a soft, both in terms of pigmentation and formula. Although this palette doesn’t provide intense pigmentation that are common in other affordable formulas, there is something special about the palette.
However, the palette is not perfect. Unfortunately, the lightest shades look nearly identical. Not only do those shades look similar, but they are unlikely to work well for anyone with a medium-to-deep skin tone. Also, formula-wise, the shadows create a lot of kickback.
One of my favorite looks I created with this palette is an ultra-soft Halo Eye. First, I blended Bare It All and Tan-Tation into the crease. Second, I lightly packed Untamed into the inner and outer corner of the eyelids. Finally, I finished by packing Come-Hither into the center of the lids.
When worn with a primer, the shadows do not crease nor do they fade, even after 10-12 hours of wear. As someone with oily eyelids, this is an impressive feat, especially when other high-end brands struggle to create shadows with the same longevity.
Where is the Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette sold?
Milani Cosmetics is sold in drugstores and big box retailers across the US, including CVS Health, Target, Walgreens, Walmart. Additionally, Milani is at specialty beauty retailer, Ulta, as well as online via MilaniCosmetics.com. To purchase the full range of products, visit MilaniCosmetics.com.
Currently, Milani only ships to the United States and Canada. However, Milani is available in Europe through Beauty Bay. To find the closest Milani distributor in the US, check out the brand’s store locator.
Final Thoughts on the Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette
I hate to make such grandiose claims, but the Milani Soft & Sultry Eyeshadow Palette is the best drugstore palette I’ve ever tried. In fact, it was my favorite eyeshadow find of 2018.
From the packaging to the price and the performance of the eyeshadows, this palette has it all. If you like neutral looks or are looking to experiment with cool-toned shades then I highly suggest grabbing this palette.
Have you tried any Milani cosmetics before? What is your favorite affordable or drugstore eyeshadow palette? Please let me know in the comments below.1