Posts Tagged bronzer
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I struggle with bronzers – not necessarily how to wear them, but if they should be worn at all on my dark skin. The main purpose of bronzer is to fake a ‘faux tan’ and, well…I kind of have that on the regular. However, they ALSO are used to give one’s skin a healthy glow, and to this end that look is what I’m trying to achieve (I think). Last year I thought I found ‘THE’ product in NARS’ Laguna Illuminator, however it contains sparkly bits that look unnatural in sunshine and are better left for evening events. Earlier in the year I snagged MAC’s Refined Golden bronzer (which I think I’ve had before) via swap, but then I went away down South and was too tan for it to do much of anything. I was hoping to get NARS’ Casino bronzer through another swap, but that fell through. So all summer long I’ve been sans bronzer, which of course isn’t a big deal when you have 20+ blush to play with instead, but nevertheless, my hunt was not truly over.
A few weeks ago I engaged in a swap for a Too Faced Sun Bunny bronzer, and upon receiving it I was unsure how I’d feel about it. While I’ve read great reviews about the Too Faced bronzers, they seemed so shimmery and unwearable when I swatched them in-store (hence why I swapped for it!). I finally had a chance to try it on today, and I was very surprized to find that I really liked it!
The powder is smooth and finely milled, and feels soft on the skin. Once on, it actually doesn’t look shimmery but rather imparts a great glow to the face. I wore the bronze side mainly on the underside of my cheeks, with a light dusting around my temples, and then added a touch of the lighter side on my cheekbones for some extra illumination. I kept taking photo after photo to see if I could ‘catch’ the shimmer in action, but all that appeared was a natural, warm radiance.
It’s been a terribly hot and humid summer, and today was no exception. I applied this late in the morning and it’s still going strong sans primer 6 hours later, without making me look shiny or enhancing my pores. It’s only slightly muted, and I’m still rockin’ the warm and glowy, without the greasy-shiny. I’m definitely impressed! This bronzer is described as a ‘year-round’ shade, and I can definitely see that working – for my skintone as well as others. Blending the two shades together would create a lighter tone overall that perhaps even the fairest could use; however, it’s *just* deep enough for me, tanned, so it would be more of a highlight to anyone much darker than I (around NC42 for reference).
I have to admit, I don’t have much experience with Too Faced as a brand, but this bronzer far surpasses my expectations. I guiltily am affected by packaging, and I find that the line leaves much to be desired – I know some find it whimsical, but I merely find it juvenile. However, in this instance what you see is definitely not what you get. The quality of this bronzer is quite lovely and the $36CAD (0.33oz) price tag is fairly easy to swallow, though of course I didn’t pay that price I won’t go so far as to say I’ve found THE bronzer for me (I have commitment issues, OK?), but I’m definitely going to get use out of this product for the rest of the season and beyond!
What is your favorite bronzer? Do you go for a matte, or a glow (or more obvious shimmer)? What makeup do you wear to transition into fall?
Oh my goodness, it doesn’t end, does it!? Let me tell you, swatching all these blush took half a day to do; I can’t even imagine attempting something like this if you had a bigger collection than I (and I know some of you do!). If I hadn’t been off for a couple days before we left, this would never have gotten done. But, it’s been great swatching and categorizing some of my blush, as it allows me to see just where I can fit one more in LOL! And, more importantly I hope it helps you out too! I feel that you can never have TOO many swatches of a product
Today we’re going to look at something very fitting: orange blushes and bronzers, perfect shades for a tropical vacation The bronzer swatches were reworked several times, because some of these products could be considered illuminators too, making it tricky to decide where they should go. Again, I made a judgement call and I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out! We’ll begin with the orange shade first however, as the collection is VERY small:
Yep, that’s pretty much it!! And it’s not even because I fear orange – in fact, I think it’s gorgeous and I stare at other orange blush longingly (I was sorely tempted by MAC’s new Modern Mandarin from Tres Cheek!). However, it’s tricky to get a true ‘orange’ – usually they lean peach or coral one way or another, and it’s there that I start feeling like I might have a shade similar in tone. Of course, orange blush isn’t for everyone, and those mid-way shades are often more wearable, but with my darker skintone I like to be a bit more daring. Seems I need to get on that then, don’t I?
Anyway, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #10 is a ‘golden tangerine sheen’ which seems a bit misleading, like it might be sheer – if you recall my review on this, it is NOT. It’s a tough shade to wear, but I think with a little work it can be absolutely beautiful! (Note that it can also be worn on lips, but isn’t recommended for eyes) NARS Taj Mahal, described as a ‘blazing burnt orange with gold shimmer’ (wowza!), is pretty much THE orange blush if you’ve ever thought about indulging yourself. Let’s look at some swatches:
As you can see, neither of these are for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking to be a little bit daring, here are two options to allow you to have some fun! While both of these do require a light hand, as they’re orange and shimmery – c’mon! – the orange tone lends itself a great, warm glow to the skin that’s simply stunning come Summertime. I’m definitely wearing Taj Mahal while I’m away!! Speaking of which, here’s what it looks like actually worn (pre-tan):
Not so scary, right? LIGHT HAND people, and make sure to buff it into the skin well!
Now, onwards to the bronzers!! Half of these will not be getting much play while I’m away, as I’ll be too tanned for them to show up at all. I still sometimes shake my head at owning any, but they do add a nice warm glow during my more sallow months I guess!
I recently swapped for the MAC Refined Golden (in Style Warrior packaging), and while it gives me a really believable bronzed look (not too orange or brown), it’s almost too subtle. It’s going to be essentially useless until next Winter, so I might swap it away. Milani’s Sunset Duo in Sunset Beach is one of the cheapest products I own (I don’t own many!) and yet it looks absolutely amazing on, just really natural – and the bronzed shade alone is great for a contour as well. NYC’s Mosaic Face Powder in All-Over Bronze Glow is another cheapo product, but not as deserving of praise; it transfers to clothing etc. easily (if I use blotting powders, its everywhere) and it’s REALLY dark, even for me – I’m taking it to Jamaica in hopes that once I’m tanned it’ll actually look good. The NARS Multiples have a great consistency to them, not greasy at all and easy to use, but I don’t find they wear well – this bronze-y shade is no exception. Lastly, the Laguna Illuminator I raved about last year: I still love it, in indoor lighting – its just that the big chunks of glitter in it are deterring for wearing it outdoors. I’m going to pull this out for our evenings while away
Above, with flash. Left to right: NARS Laguna Multiple, NARS Laguna Illluminator, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset BeachAbove, natural light. Left to right: NARS Laguna Multiple, NARS Laguna Illluminator, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset Beach
The NARS Laguna Multiple is really more of an illuminator itself on me rather than a bronzer, but it’s got brownish tones – hence why I categorized it this way In the flash photos, you can see the glitter in the Laguna Illuminator – a shame, because otherwise the shade is a great match for me. You can’t tell how dark the NYC bronzer is here, and in fact the brown shade isn’t terrible, it’s just that it’s just so pigmented it goes on far too heavily. Alternatively, for the MAC swatch, I had to go over and over again with product to get it to show up as much as it did – it seems pretty goof-proof, so might be a good option if your fair and in the market for a bronzer. The swatch of Sunset Beach is only of the bronzer part and not including the blush; when you swirl the two together, you get the nicest plum-brown shade that is insanely flattering on my skintone. Here’s a few face shots for proof:
BAM! Another part of my collection, down! Are you getting bored/tired yet?? There’s only one more left to go!! And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part I and II!
And now I’d like your honest opinion – do you think I should bother with bronzers at all, or is it kind of silly? Do you wear bronzer year-round or just certain times of the month?
Welcome to the ‘Bang for Your Buck’ series! Each week for the next few months, I’m going to tackle certain types of beauty products, and list the offerings from popular department store brands and their sizes vs. costs. At a glance, you’ll be able to see which items are most cost effective in that category, and get a better idea if your money is being well spent, or if you’re being, well – a little ripped off! Also, if you’re hedging on picking up a certain product because of the cost, this will give you an idea of the true value of the product and if it’s worth your hard earned cash.
Many of the sizes and dollar values of products are taken from online websites; please let me know if anything is listed incorrectly and I’ll be sure to fix it! Also, for products which we don’t have here in Atlantic Canada, or for items that are more difficult to find overall, I’ll note in green where they’re located for your reference – though I tried to mostly include products relatively accessible as a whole.
**I’m posting this early this week as I hope to have a fun, Paddy’s Day-themed post for tomorrow – stay tuned!!
Week Four: Bronzers
Thought I know many people wear bronzer throughout the year, I find Spring to be the time when bronzers are really capitalized upon, as everyone scrambles to get a bit of color after a long Winter, and the anticipation of the approaching Summer sunshine builds daily. Therefore, I thought it was a perfect time to introduce a slew of suggestions for popular products that impart a great, sunkissed glow.
I could be missing something, but it seems like there are really only a handful of bronzers on the market that are truly well-known; I found I had to actually look up what other brands had to offer in the way of bronzers, even for top names in the biz. Whether that means that the more commonly heard products are as such because they truly are the creme de la creme, I do not know. Since I don’t really *need* a bronzer ~cough~ I’m brown ~cough~ it’s entirely possible I’m just unaware because it’s not on my radar. In any case, after doing the research for this post, I’m terribly curious to take a closer look at many of them – I’m sure I could always use a little extra sun-kissing
Illamasqua ($228.57 / oz)
Estee Lauder (0.74oz)
Best Picks (+0.35oz of product and $40 or less):
MAC (0.35oz for $28)
Cover FX (0.4oz for $28)
Lancome (0.45oz for $35)
Too Faced (0.35oz for $36)
Estee Lauder (0.74oz for $40)
Worthy Splurges (+0.35oz of product and more than $40):
LORAC (0.367oz for $42)
Dior (0.42oz for $45)
Guerlain (0.35oz for $56)
Chanel (0.38oz for $56)
Yves Saint Laurent (0.35oz for $60)
So – the Lauder bronzer is HUGE!!! Wowza, that thing’ll last forever! And how about the itty-bitty nature of the Illmasqua one – 0.14oz, for a DUO no less…shabby deal. You can bet I won’t be picking that one up! For me, aside from the Bobbi Brown and the Guerlain bronzers, the rest don’t interest me at all. I have a MAC bronzer I quite like, and I’m waiting on NARS Casino via swap, so for now I’m good! ~But of COURSE I am – I’m BROWN!~
Do you have a favorite bronzer? Is it on the list above? What lines am I sorely missing?
Ever notice how your favorite products often seem to rotate? There’ll be that one that seems to hold all your attention, where you find yourself wanting to wear it all the time and you modify your ‘looks’ just to make it work – and then after those few days or weeks (sometimes months), your eye falls on another product, new or already owned, and the love affair starts all over again. You know that feeling? Well, every month I’m going to note those products which have captured my heart (however briefly) and divulge my passionate affair to you; maybe even bring you over to the dark side with me
This month is a funny month to start with as I’ve only been back in the game four short days, but in the six weeks previous of which I had no fresh stimulation, I had to make my old stand-bys feel like new again to keep boredom at bay. Six weeks is a long time, however, and my rotation was on warp-speed as I grabbed a ‘new’ IT product every couple days. And, when the time came and I was able to indulge in my weakness once again, I bought so many products and was in a state of excitement so great that they all were getting ‘play’ equally with no real focus.
Yesterday I picked up NARS’ Laguna Illuminator, as I mentioned…and oh, BOY. This product is a freaking gold mine (literally and figuratively!). I tried it out as soon as I got my eager hands on it – over my hot pink blush (MAC’s Madly Magenta CCB) – and BAM! I was one sultry-looking gal. It gave my cheeks the most bronzed, lit-from-within glow I have EVER had, bar none. THIS is the ‘bronzer’ I’ve been looking for my whole life. Being of the caramel-colored variety, a bronzer as it’s typically used always falls flat on me. It either doesn’t show up, or is too dark and ends up making me look like X-tina in her ‘Dirrty’ phase. Yet I continue to fall prey to its charms because it just looks so damn fabulous on everyone else! Finally, one of my trusted SA’s at Mills Brothers was able to convince me to forgo the bronzer and instead try the NARS Illuminator to get the real effect I’ve been going for. Lo and be-freakin’-hold, by jove I’ve got it!! Bronzed loveliness like I’ve never had before!
Today I applied the sheer, slightly shimmery (but NOT glittery) gel to my cheekbones before applying blush, blending up toward the temples and swiping the remainder down the length of my nose. Afterward, a light dusting of NARS Torrid and I was good to go. I look naturally golden and fresh. The illumination this product imparts is simply fantastic. I have also been looking for a ‘highlighter’ for ages, not realizing what I really wanted was THIS. No obvious shimmer (so, totally work/beach appropriate), no OTT glitter (Orgasm in all your many forms, be very ashamed), just a healthy glow. Oh, yeaaaa.
OK. Crazy ramble is now over. But seriously – get out there and GET THIS PRODUCT! Or at least a facsimile of it – I have heard that Laguna (the Illuminator) is somewhat too dark/orange-y for some skin tones. I think the Illuminator in Copacabana plus the actual Laguna bronzer would do the trick.
FYI, the quick description from NARS is as follows: “NARS Illuminators light the skin from within. A collection of light-reflecting liquids that glide on to refresh and enhance the complexion to create a shimmering incandescence.” A fancy way to say it creates FABULOUS GLOWING SKIN. On top of all that, it contains antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory and soothing / comforting properties, contains Vitamin B5 which improves lipids in the skin, and Sodium Hyaluronate which binds water to the skin. Price: $29USD, $36CDN.
Gotta say, this makes me more excited for Summer than ever!!
Has anyone else tried this or the other illuminators? What is the Orgasm version of this like? Hopefully without the glittering chunks I have come to despise…