This is the third entry for the ‘series’ that I’m doing on my blog where I talk about my favorite face, eyes and lip products. If you haven’t seen the ones that I’ve already done, click here!
Today, I will be talking about bronzer. If you guys don’t already know, I have a medium skin tone (I’m an NC35 in MAC). I’m (technically) Asian, and where I’m from, people always want to have fair skin because they think it’s ‘beautiful’. It was considered ‘ugly’ if you were dark and elders would find a remedy (like a soap or lotion) for you so that you can get ‘whiter’. Through the years I’ve learned that pale people want to be darker, and darker people want to be lighter, which is funny because you realize you always want what you can’t have. I, on the other hand, am in between. I always had that mindset growing up and I avoided getting darker as much as I could. Now that I’m older, I’ve embraced my color.
Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, I don’t really know either. Haha. I just wanted to share that piece of information with you guys. Oh! Wait, I think I found my point! Bronzer is used to make you look more tanned and healthy, right? I didn’t get that when I first bought it. With my skin tone, I didn’t want to emphasize my ‘darkness’. So, I used it just to contour. I never understood the ‘all over bronzed’ look, but now I do. And now, through the years, I’ve discovered that these are some of my favorite products to use to emphasize my caramel colored skin. (Not really. Haha)
An overview of my favorite bronzers :)
1. MAC Skinsheen Bronzer in Billionaire Bronze*
This bronzer is really scary in the tube and when you put it on your face directly, it looks like you got poop on your face. But, when you blend it out, it really does look like you just got back from surfing at the beach all day! It’s very creamy and easy to blend, and it doesn’t make you look orange at all. It also doesn’t have any shimmer in, so you’re safe. If you want proof, check out the post where I put it to the test. You can use it as a contour or an all over bronzer, and you can opt to keep it really stark or you can blend it out to nothing. I actually prefer using a brush with this then build up the color instead of using it straight from the tube and onto my face.
Unfortunately, this is a limited edition from their Surf, Baby! collection last year, I think. But, if you like it, there are probably sellers somewhere online.
2. Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel
If you’ve been reading me for a while now, you’ll know that I use this bronzer a lot. I’ll be honest and say that I got this purely because everyone and their mother loves this thing. I was so mesmerized with the size and the beautiful packaging, and the scent… ah. But, when I tried it on my face, I could hear ‘flop’ sound effects in the background. I thought I could use it as a contour, but it just disappeared into my skin. I probably should have expected that since it is a bronzing makeup base after all, but meh… I put it away in my drawer and only picking it up when I want to look at the pretty packaging.
A couple of months ago when I was still a lot darker from being in the sun too much, I read an article that said you could put makeup on with just your hands, and it’s best to use cream products for easier application. I whipped this out and WOAH, I was amazed. It gave me a slight contour effect, but I was more surprised with the way it looked on my skin. It emphasized my tan and it made me look healthy and glowing. (Well, I think so, I don’t know about you guys. :P) It has gold flecks in it, but it doesn’t transfer onto the skin looking like chunky glitter. It just looks like you’ve got a golden complexion and it’s super lovely. I haven’t tried this as a base just yet, so I just use it when I want to make myself look less dull. Also, I think you can use this to mix into your foundation if it’s too light for you (or so they say).
L-R: Soleil Tan and Billionaire Bronze
A heavy and slightly blended out swatch of (L-R:) Soleil Tan and Billionaire Bronze
3. MAC Blush in Harmony
This is actually my go-to contour powder since I see a lot of makeup artists use this a lot in their tutorials, and I can see why. It doesn’t look orange at all; it just looks like a cool toned medium brown. Actually, in the swatch below, it looks like a dark and dusky pink which is probably why it’s in their blush range. It’s a matte shade so it really is great to use as a contour, although you could still use it all over. It’s the same texture as most MAC blushes: powdery, but not chalky at all.
4. Benefit Box o’ Blush in Hoola
Hoola is a cult favorite and there’s a reason for that. It’s amazing ’cause it’s a matte bronzer so you can use it both for your contour and to get you that sunkissed glow. It doesn’t have too much orange in it nor does it look at all muddy.The texture is very velvety in the pan, so I know that the powder is quite fine. Also, these Benefit blushes last you forever, I swear.
5. Bourjois Delice de Soleil in 52
…Or more commonly known as the chocolate bronzer. It actually smells pretty good, but I’m not really sure if it smells like chocolate exactly. Anyway, according to the swatch, this is my most orange toned bronzer, but I assure you, it doesn’t look orange at all. Well, the shade 51 on my skin looks pretty orange, but not this one. There is some shimmer in it but it doesn’t transfer on the skin. It makes you look sheeny, sort of like the Chanel bronzer, but this is less dewey looking since it’s a powder. The texture of this is powdery but again, it isn’t chalky. And it’s relatively cheaper than the other bronzers I’ve mentioned so far so actually, this is my best bet.
6. The Balm’s Bahama Mama
And now, I’m a bit sentimental about this one because this is the first ever bronzer I ever bought. I was actually looking for a contour powder in this makeup store, but I knew absolutely nothing back then. All I knew was that you could use bronzer for different things. So, I stumbled upon this one after swatching so many orange and unflattering bronzers. It looked scary when I first saw it since it’s so brown. I realized that, “Hey, I’m dark enough to pull this off! Plus, it’s for contour anyway.” And I was hooked on it ever since. I never dared put it all over as I was afraid I might look like a fat pygmy boy (sorry). When you look at the swatch below, it’s kind of scary and looks kind of muddy, but it actually isn’t. If you use a fluffy brush and use just enough product, you will actually look like you just came from the Bahamas. I mean come on, brown really is the color we’re going for, right? Also, there is some sliiight shimmer in it, but as usual, it just makes you look sheeny. It isn’t too expensive and it’s lasted me this long. I’ve hit pan on it but it doesn’t seem to be running out any time soon.
L-R: Hoola, Chocolate Bronzer, Bahama Mama, Harmony
Heavy swatches of (L-R:) Hoola, Chocolate Bronzer, Bahama Mama, Harmony
And those are all my favorite bronzers! Actually, I also have NARS Laguna, but I forgot about it since it’s in a blush duo, so I might include it there instead.
If you guys have any favorite bronzers you’d like to recommend, do comment them below! I’ve just started embracing the fact that my skin has a caramelized finish (er, what? Sorry, bad joke number two), and I want to get more into getting that sunkissed glow. :D Don’t we all? :P
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed and stay tuned for my next post where I will be talking about my favorite blushes, and we all know I love blush. Oh, you don’t? Well, now you do!