Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Bronzing Veil in Desert Nights - review and swatches


I've owned this bronzer for almost two years and I've kept meaning to review it, it's just been one of those products that has kept falling to the wayside for whatever reason.

But I recently introduced it into the custom palette that I'm working on as part of Pan that Palette 2019, so I've been using it a lot over the last fortnight and I'm keen to finally get my review up so I can cross it off my list.

Long story short, I think it's a great bronzer and I really like it, although it's not my favourite in terms of colour because it can look too warm on my skin and I need to be careful of how much I apply.

Still, it looks great on and it blends and applies well, and I've always enjoyed using it so it's a formula I recommend if the colour works for you. More on that below.

Kevyn Aucoin claims/product details:

  • This ultra-fine powder bronzes and sculpts the skin for a naturally sun-kissed look
  • Formulated with vitamin e, it leaves skin soft with a lightweight, velvety texture
  • Blends seamlessly into skin
  • Buildable matte formula sculpts the skin without any shimmer or glitter
  • Paraben free
  • Sulphate free
  • RRP $62 AUD for 10g

You'll note that my bronzer had a little accident when I de-potted it, although thankfully that hasn't affected the formula (or how it applies), and not all of it cracked so most of the original powder is intact.

There it is, direct sunlight:

Now for swatches.

Light and heavy swatches, indirect sunlight:  

Direct sunlight:

Below I've given you some comparison swatches alongside other matte bronzers I own.

Direct sunlight:

* L-R: ABH Saddle, Becca Ipanema Sun, Kevyn Aucoin Desert Nights, theBalm Bamama Mama, Benefit Hoola

Indirect sunlight:

* L-R: ABH Saddle, Becca Ipanema Sun, Kevyn Aucoin Desert Nights, theBalm Bamama Mama, Benefit Hoola


I think this is a lovely bronzer and I do recommend the formula, it's just that it's not my favourite in terms of colour (it's a little too warm for me) so I'll be happy enough to pan it and move on to something else.

It's a smooth powder that's finely milled, silky and creamy. I love the texture but I do find that it's a little powdery so I get quite a bit of kick-back when I stick my brush into it, and while that doesn't bother me because I just use the loosened powder next time, I know it will bother some.

It applies and blends well, and I appreciate that I can apply this over a tinted moisturiser that's still a little tacky and it will blend and diffuse beautifully, so it's never looked patchy on me. Not all powders blend well over tacky bases, but this one does and that's a huge plus for me because I have dry skin and don't like to powder myself too much before I go in with my coloured products.

The other thing I like about this is that it lasts well throughout the day and it's also not a completely flat matte so it doesn't look dry on the skin, which some bronzers can do if I try to build them. I don't have that issue with this formula, and for this reason it also works well on the eyes.

The other thing to note is that it does have a slight airbrushing effect (all Kevyn Aucoin powders do, in my experience), and while it doesn't airbrush as well as my Hourglass powders do, it still smooths out the look of texture and makes my skin look a little younger.

As for the colour, while it looks like a warm-but-not-too-warm brown in the pan, once it's on it does look too orange/red on my colouring (light/medium to medium, yellow-based skin) so it's not my favourite and I prefer it for summer. Still, I can get away with it and I'll be happy enough to pan it.

In other news it's pigmented and I find that because it's quite a loosely packed powder (hence why it kicks-back a bit), I do get a lot of pigment on my brush when I use it. Thankfully I can always blend it out because it diffuses so well, but I would approach this with caution and I do need to be more careful with this than I do with my other bronzers.

Overall I think this is a really lovely bronzer and I enjoy the formula - it's a pleasure to work with, it blends beautifully and it looks natural on the skin - but it's not my favourite due to the colour and I wouldn't buy it again. 

Lovely, but not my favourite.

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