Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bronzer Bonanza!

I first came across bronzer when I was a tween, rifling through my mom's makeup drawers as per usual (Note: My cosmetic obsession started young. I drew all over my bedroom carpet with my mom's MaxFactor lipstick when I was in preschool...), and it was a Guerlain Terracotta powder, darker than anything I'd ever seen my mom apply to her face. The protective plastic round was still in place on top of the embossed Guerlain symbol, meaning my mother barely touched it. This wasn't too surprising, as being darker isn't in line with Indian cultural beauty norms or values. I, however, am first generation here in Canada, so bronzer and the idea of being tan appealed to me (thank you, media and pop culture) in a pretty serious way, and so began the amassing of bronzers. Here are some I've been applying liberally, willing warmer weather into existence -- and I think it finally worked! :)

This compact is hefty and expensive ($84 for 10 g), but this could very well be the only bronzer you need for year-round use. The powder is split into 4 quadrants (shown in "Natural Brunettes"), which I suppose you can interpret as seasons, the lightest being the shade used in winter and so forth and so on. This range used to be split into just Brunettes (warm tones) and Blondes (cool tones) with two depths for each (light aka "Natural" and medium aka "Moyen"), but last year, two new shades were added - Ebony (darker with a coral blush in one of the quadrants) and Nude (lighter and much more suited to fair skintones [not that that stopped me from buying it] with a lighter pink blush in one quadrant). Variety is there, the pigmentation is excellent and shimmer is minimal (nonexistent in the Brunette and Blonde shades, I believe). Perfect for warming up the complexion at any time of year.

My boyfriend gave this to me for my birthday after I was obsessing over its arrival at Sephora at the beginning of May (which really didn't pan out until mid-May). The motif is glaringly similar to the cover of Watch The Throne, which makes entire sense since Riccardo Tisci designed the album cover and he's the head designer of Givenchy. WTT is one of my favourite albums, so I half-wonder if I was drawn to this in a subliminal way, or if it was because I liked the powder's effect so much. Took the liberty of smushing these two together for your viewing pleasure:

This bronzer is gigantic, and at $71 for 16 g, it may seem like a big purchase, but I must point out it's a significantly better value than the permanent version of this product, which is $55 for just under 7 g. I use it as a blush-bronzer effect and it has a sheen to it (courtesy of very fine shimmer), so it's not one I'd throw on just about anywhere, but it livens up the skin in a gorgeous way. The formula is apparently a baked gel, so ...that's...something. I do like that it doesn't appear heavy or powdery on the skin and a little goes a long way. It was semi-heartbreaking to use the powder and mess up the design, but I gotta USE what I own, y'know? To not use it would be silly. This version only comes in shade #2, but the permanent version is available in 3 other shades if this one isn't your cup of tea.

I just started tinkering with a mini version of this bronzer the other day when I picked up a Sephora Sun Safety Kit. This bronzer has a matte formula that stays put nicely in warm temps that we've had for all of a few days this year, but if you're looking for something sweatproof, please direct your attention to Cargo's Swimmable products! I like the colour because it's dark enough for someone who's already medium to medium-deep (sorry, fair-skinned friends, this one isn't for you, but they do have a light/medium version), so the colour payoff is substantial. I also like the tone of this bronzer, because I do feel that natural tanning (A TOTAL NO-NO!) gives your skin a hint of red tint (which is obviously incredibly unsafe, unhealthy and dangerous), so this colour mimics that without being muddy and obviously in a much safer manner. The value is solid, at 10 g for $38, so apply as liberally as you like!

In terms of preferred brush, I've been using and enjoying the Sigma F25 tapered face brush and it's superb for both contouring (thanks to the taper) and bronzing. If you're perpetually terrified of overdoing it when applying bronzer, then opt for a duo-fibre brush (like the classic MAC 187) to make things a little more foolproof.


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