I’m Lili, and it has been two weeks since my last bronzer purchase.
This initially started as a declutter post, but I realized there wouldn’t be any point to that since I’m essentially keeping them all. Even the Kiko Milano Dolce Diva Bronzer in Cocoa and the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Bronzer, which are too light to bronze my face, I’m keeping as highlighters. At least for now.
Also, please excuse the fact that I really did not want to do a full face of makeup this week, particularly eye makeup. Or do anything with my hair. In a lot of these photos I just have on the bronzers with concealer and foundation. I try to get blog posts scheduled far in advance so that when I inevitably go through a short 4-7 day period of not wanting to wear makeup, I can skip taking photos. Unfortunately, I ran out of completed posts and I couldn’t afford to wait for it to pass, so I compromised by doing partial makeup looks.
Huda Beauty GloWish Soft Radiance Bronzing Powder in 05 Rich and 04 Tan
I’m in the Deep-Tan category of Huda’s foundations, but I was hesitant to purchase the 04 Deep Tan bronzer shade. I couldn’t tell if the combination would suit me because the darker swirl looked dark enough, but the lighter swirl appeared so light in the promo photos. I didn’t want to end up with another bronzer in my collection that needed to be built up like crazy in order to be seen, so I purchased 05 Rich.
05 Rich isn’t perfect for me, as I can see it’s a bit deep when I get too much of the darker shade on my brush. I have to be mindful of where I swirl it in the pan to get an equal amount of both shades, but my goodness, it’s worth the minor inconvenience! The finish of this powder is so skin-like and gives a beautiful sheen. It reminds me of the same finish the Nabla Skin Bronzing formula gives, but without so much effort getting product off the hard pressed bronzer and without having to build up it up to be seen. This bronzer is definitely pigmented and it gives a natural satin look to the skin even though it looks matte in the pan (likely due to being being a mica-based formula). If the two shades are applied evenly, it looks neutral but leaning red.
The texture is completely unique to anything else I have in terms of the level of creaminess it feels to the touch without actually being wet nor a cream-to-powder formula. It actually reminds me of the way a block of pottery clay feels, and I don’t mean a sticky wet consistency; I mean smoothness when you glide your finger down it.
This bronzer lasts a full eight hours on bare skin and foundation equally.
This is a little on the pricier end of my collection for a single bronzer, but considering it gives Kosas a run for its money and that bronzer retails for $34, I’m okay with this price. Also, because I’m such a fan of this formula, I took the risk and ordered 04 Deep Tan right after I finished the first draft of this post. It arrived on Saturday but unfortunately, came shattered.
Trying to get some product onto my brush out of the broken pieces led to very inconsistent mixtures of color, so I crushed it up even more before re-pressing it (no extra liquid needed). Sephora is sending me a replacement, but in the meantime, this is the best I could do at the last minute*.
04 Deep Tan seems to be my correct shade. It only takes a few dips in the pan to get the amount of bronze that’s slightly darker than my face and looks extremely natural (making it still easier to use than the Nabla Bronzer). When I say 04 is slightly darker, I mean it truly is subtle.
I’ve tested mixing 04 and 05 together, and I had to still be careful about how much of the darker swirl in 05 I pick up with my brush.
In the last minute photos above, I’m wearing a lot of new products including a sample of Make Up For Ever’s Watertone Skin-Perfecting Tint Foundation in Y445, Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops in Melon, Laura Mercier Roseglow Highlighting Powder, and the Sydney Grace x Temptalia Radiant Reflection (Deep) Palette. I was originally wearing the Danessa Myricks Contour Balm as I just wanted to try some new things in my collection and had no intention of taking photos that day, but when GloWish Deep Tan arrived, I removed it to try that shade out instead.
*UPDATE July 16th, 2021: Here are the additional photos I took after my replacement bronzer arrived.
Jaclyn Cosmetics Bronze & Blushing Duo in Be Rouge / Espresso Shot
I’m one of the lucky people that happened to only purchase the “good” Jaclyn releases that had no scandals attached to them. Because I haven’t been burned by the brand yet, I made the decision to cautiously try the products via Ulta. I’m not a Jaclyn hater, but I feel justified in being wary about Jaclyn Cosmetics considering the ridiculous number of things that have gone wrong with her collabs in the past. I don’t trust Morphe as a brand and Jaclyn Cosmetics is owned by Forma Brands (formerly Morphe Holdings), so that doesn’t fill me with confidence either.
I watched a ridiculous amount of videos to help me decide between the two darkest shade options and ultimately I picked this duo because the bronzer is listed as neutral, whereas the other option is very red. I generally avoid berry blushes, but Be Rouge passes for a dark pink if I use a light hand. So, I picked this one and while I do think this was the best choice out of the two, I was surprised to see that Espresso Shot wasn’t as dark as I’d expect for the deepest shade in the line, plus it’s more red toned than neutral. However, this range is more inclusive than the Patrick Ta and Wayne Goss duo launches, so I give the brand credit for that. Also, the formula really impressed me. When I applied both products over foundation, I was able to get a well blended look very quickly and with minimal fading after 9 hours. The result of the blush was similar to, but not better than, the Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Powder blushes. On bare skin, the powders cling to the moisturized areas and take longer to blend. I would recommend this duo for use over foundation only. I also only recommend this if the bronzer and blush are colors and tones you will like. The blend is flattering, but it’s definitely not worth $36 to only like one shade, and it’s still not worth it to somewhat like each.
Bee Shot is very pigmented. I used a medium amount and it showed this intensely on camera. I would use less on a normal makeup day.
Juvia’s Place Bronzed Duo in Dark
These bronzers look more different in their pans than they do on the face. They also look neutral until they’re actually applied to the skin. The lighter shade in the duo leans golden-orange and the darker bronzer has a stronger orange tinge. I think the lighter one is best suited for me, but it still looks nice when I mix both together. I just wouldn’t use the darker one by itself.
These bronzers are nicely pigmented, smooth, and last beyond eight hours. However, I should note that twice when I used this duo (the light shade alone and then again when both shades were mixed), it completely disappeared off the left side of my forehead. I hadn’t done anything strenuous and I wasn’t out in the heat. It was still going strong on my cheeks, so I think I might have rubbed it off by resting my forehead on my hand while watching a show.
Furthermore, when I swatched both shades on my arm, the lightest shade basically blended away if I kept rubbing at it. The darker shade only rubbed off a little. I found this to be so strange considering there is only one ingredient list printed on the box, so they should basically have the same formula. I don’t know why one shade rubs away and the other doesn’t, but that’s something to consider when deciding if this duo is worth buying. It will certainly last on the skin of someone who doesn’t touch their face a lot. Also, I have no way of knowing if it’s only an issue with the Dark duo or if the other Juvia’s Place Bronzer duos perform like this as well.
When I first bought this, I was very curious to see how it stacked up to the Coloured Raine bronzers. The Juvia’s Place bronzers feel slightly softer to the touch and are pigmented yet buildable (and perhaps too blendable)! The Coloured Raine bronzers are more pigmented and I think Cinna-Bae is the best shade for me out of the four. Also, besides the differences in tone, I think the Coloured Raine bronzers look a little nicer on the skin. Juvia’s Place gives a better deal at $18 for the duo versus $16 for an individual bronzer, but at least I don’t have to worry about Cinna-Bae coming off until I’m ready to remove my makeup.
Kaja Play Bento Cream Bronzer, Powder Blush and Highlighter Sculpting Trio in Mochamallow
This is my first ever Kaja purchase and I couldn’t be happier. I still haven’t gotten over how cute and compact it is. I think all three shades are flattering on me. I bought it during the VIB sale, so it was only $20 and well worth it. The highlighter is reflective from the shimmer but because it’s a somewhat dark gold and close to my skin tone, it’s not intense. It’s a nice middle ground. As the day goes on and the shine diminishes a bit, it looks darker, but still does it’s job as a highlighter. The blush is a pretty shade of dark pink that gives good color payoff. It’s not as smooth as some of my higher end blushes, but I still like it. It fades after about five hours on bare skin, but it doesn’t start to fade until after 8 hours when applied over foundation. The bronzer gives me a realistic looking sculpt. It performs a bit better than the Patrick Ta and gives me no issues for a full eight hours.
Regarding the application process, I prefer to use these with brushes. When I use a damp sponge with the bronzer, it can lift the foundation if I’m not careful. I also tried using the sponge with the highlighter and it gives a gorgeous dewy glow effect. I can’t apply it as precisely with a sponge, but the way it melts into skin makes precision not as necessary.
In the photos, I used a normal amount of everything, but these can all be built up even more. I also applied the three products with brushes only.
The Kaja Play Bento Sculpting Trios come in two lighter varieties as well.
Mented Cosmetics Bronzer in Yacht Life and Vacay
I have reviewed the Mented Cosmetics Bronzer in Vacay before, but I recently picked up Yacht Life on sale. Vacay didn’t have any shimmer, so I was shocked to see the gold colored particles throughout the Yacht Life Bronzer. However, I think most of the shimmer floats away when I apply the product to my skin because I can’t see it on my face when I wear it. It has the same smoothness that impressed me about Vacay, but as a darker shade, this one has a much easier time showing up. It’s also on the orange-red side, but it’s as nice and smooth as I expected.
One of the biggest reasons I held off on buying Yacht Life was that I thought it looked quite close to Fenty’s Mocha Mami. I can confirm that they do look extremely similar, though I like Mented’s formula better. It’s just so silky and easier to blend.
Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Creme Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo in She’s Chiseled
I am so conflicted over this duo. What I do like about it is the end result from combining the bronzer and contour together. The contour alone is a nice consistency and blends very well, but it sheers out a lot no matter if I use a damp sponge or brush. It’s the darkest duo Patrick Ta offers, and in swatches it looks nearly as dark as Kaja’s Mochamallow, but the Kaja cream has more pigment. The best that I’m able to build up the Patrick Ta contour, while keeping it looking blended, still isn’t rich enough in color to live up to the name of making me look ‘chiseled’. It also makes my skin look dull until I add the bronzer on top, which gives my face some life again. Unfortunately, adding the bronzer back loses a lot of the shadow effect, especially as the day goes on because I don’t find the contour to be very long lasting, but I still prefer the combination. The powder bronzer on its own is quite sheer and barely shows on me. I get that softer makeup looks are more on trend now, but I don’t think anyone darker than me will enjoy this duo. Also, the texture is also not very smooth at all. I bought it during the VIB sale and I could swear the powder felt smoother at the time, but now it’s a bit rough. Even the powder from my much older Patrick Ta Cream and Powder Blush duo feels softer and smoother.
Speaking of Patrick Ta’s blush duo, I only find that the bronzer and contour duo is exceptional when combined with it. I built things up in the photo above, but in person when I’m using the amount I normally would, the blend between both cream products and both powder products together is seamless and so beautiful. That’s when it really becomes impressive, and that’s also what has me feeling torn. I know they all work well together, but I don’t think anyone should have to spend a combined $72 to get both duos to make a great look. At this point, I don’t regret buying the contour/bronzer duo because I already had the blush duo in my possession and now I can continue using them both together. However, I really don’t recommend The Major Sculpt Creme Contour & Powder Bronzer Duos unless the shades happen to perfectly match you so the lack of lingering pigmentation isn’t a factor. I also don’t think the quality is there for $38.
SOL Face & Body Bronzing Balm in Deep
This is easily the most emollient of the cream bronzers I have. I bought it because The Fancy Face mentioned this formula is the closest dupe she’s found for the Chanel Bronzing Cream, and in a far better shade range. Though it has a lot of glide, making blending super easy, I still prefer the Kaja Hot Chocolate shade because Deep looks either beautiful and golden when I use a small amount or it turns a bit olive-grey toned if I use too much. It doesn’t look olive in the heaviest swatch above, but it turns that way on my face, which is darker than the inside of my arm where I swatch products. I think golden, neutral, orange, and red bronzers all look better on me than olive. So, I’m really not a fan of how this looks unless I keep it nice and sheer. Also, when I use my neutral color Dior Powder no Powder, it gives the bronzer a cooler toned tinge that looks more like a contour.
I know some people really love the smell of the fragrance in this product, but I wish it wasn’t there. The artificial-coconut-meets-tanning-oil scent reminds me of the Kiko Milano Unexpected Paradise Blush. It even makes me sneeze sometimes, though the smell thankfully doesn’t linger too long on the skin depending on how much I use.
In addition to the fantastic blending power this product has, it also comes with a drawback. It moves around so easily that I lose control of far it spreads and suddenly it’s covering half my cheek or is dangerously close to my jawline and/or my mouth. The Sonia G mini base is actually still too big unless I’m extremely careful about how I apply it. A sponge is even harder to apply precisely with, so I recommend using a very small brush or a flat thin contour brush that’s shaped like the Nars Ita.
One of my favorite aspects of this bronzer is that it completely dries on its own without having to be set with powder (up to 3 layers but the third takes about 45 minutes). I like the look of cream products, but I don’t like when they transfer or remain creamy or tacky feeling on the skin, so I’m happy I don’t need to worry about that. This also lends to it being a very long lasting bronzer, especially for a cream product.
That all being said, the undertone aspect is hard for me to overlook. I did consider getting another shade to see if I would like the tone better, but $15 is a little high for a Colourpop brand regardless of the whopping 30 grams in the jar. It’s certainly cheaper than Chanel, but I don’t use cream bronzers enough to really justify investing another $15* into something that isn’t going to last me as long as a powder. And considering I already like the Kaja cream so much, I’m challenging myself to use that up first. I think if I find a brush I really like for this task, I might continue to use it, but that’s a big if. For anyone else who has the right tools, doesn’t mind fragrance, and likes the undertone of either this shade or the others available, it’s worth checking out.
*As of today, Colourpop is still having a 30% off sale which would bring this bronzer down to $10. At that price, I thought it was worth testing out a second shade (Dark which is lighter and looked more golden toned). However, Colourpop orders take about three weeks to get to me, so I won’t be able to update this post for a very long time regarding how it worked for me. Plus, focusing on the Kaja is still my priority.
Beauty Bakerie Brownie Bar
Technically, according to Beauty Bakerie, the orange shade that I call a blush is supposed to be a bronzer and the darkest shade that I use as a bronzer is supposed to be a contour. For the purposes of this review, when I refer to the bronzer in this palette, I mean the darkest shade. I’m fine with an orange leaning bronzer, but that is a bit extreme! I will only use the orange shade as a blush, even though it looks subtle on the cheek because it blends in a lot with my skin tone. I always have a difficult time finding an orange blush I like, but this is one of them. I just keep forgetting I have it in my collection! On bare skin, none of the three shades last very long. Over foundation, the bronzer has fantastic staying power for 10 hours. The highlighter shine dulls down by the 8 hour point but is still visible. The blush fades a bit but is still there too.
The left photo shows all three together. I took this picture last December when I first got the trio. The right photo shows the darkest powder alone on the cheek, but all three are on my eyes.
The highlighter is super reflective and the glitter particles are very visible on my cheek, just a bit over the line of being too much for my taste. However, I will continue using it on the eyes because my goodness it’s so pretty! My camera doesn’t even do it justice. I may even transfer this face palette to my eyeshadow collection because all three lasted so well on my eyes without me using a primer of any kind. The dark brown didn’t blend as well on top of the orange, but I think a primer would fix that.
The swatches below are showing the four darkest bronzers in my collection. Despite this one being the darkest of them all, it’s a soft thin buildable powder, so it’s hard to over do it. It’s very pigmented in swatches, but it doesn’t go on the face as intensely. Even though Beauty Bakerie calls this a contour, it’s neutral rather than cool, which also helps to look natural on me. They also have a Neapolitan Bar, which they say are universal shades, but in my opinion they suit light to tan skin tones. The Neapolitan Bar actually was intended to have a bronzer, highlighter, and blush.
I would say the quality of the Brownie Bar is on par with the Makeup Revolution Bronzers. They’re surprisingly nice, but they’re not on the same level as some of the other products I’ve reviewed today. Also, $18 for a face palette with three options seems like a really good deal, but you’re getting very little product at a net combined weight of 3.8 grams (estimated 1.26 grams for each pan). To put that in perspective, the tiny $3 ELF Bite Size Face Duos contain a net weight of 4.6 grams. The $18 Juvia’s Place Bronzer Duo contains 32 grams! Will I still ever hit pan on the trio? Probably not. For others who actually use up their makeup, the Bar products from Beauty Bakerie aren’t the cost savings they seem in terms of weight. However, it is a savings in terms of variety, provided someone likes a glittery highlighter and the two other shades.
Comparisons Grouped Together
The bronzers are only applied to one half of my face (your left, my right) so the impact the bronzers make is easier to see. The Sol Body one actually blended too much to be picked up by the camera, so I added another less blended layer so it would be visible.
Update on Other Bronzers
Bronzers Previously Reviewed (and the remainder of my current collection): Makeup Revolution Glow Splendour in Medium, I Heart Revolution Tasty Coffee Bronzer in Mocha, LYS Beauty No Limits Matte Bronzer in Strength, Benefit Hoola Bronzer in Toasted, Nabla Skin Bronzing in Profile, Coloured Raine Bronzers in Cinna-Bae and Naughty Spice, Kosas the Sun Show Bronzer in Deep, Danessa Myricks Balm Contour in Deep 1 (technically a contour but it’s warm like a bronzer and more of a bronzer/contour hybrid), Fenty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer in Mocha Mami, and the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Matte Bronzer in Deep.
As I mentioned before, I still own all the previously reviewed Bronzers. My feelings on them have not changed, though my Hoola Toasted has some hard pan from continually swatching it for comparison purposes and it keeps crumbling with each use because of the crack in the pan I haven’t fixed. It has a 12M POA, and it’s nearly two years old, so I will either re-press it or declutter it. Of the other bronzers listed, I have only continued to use the Nabla, Coloured Raine, Kosas, Charlotte Tilbury, and more recently the Danessa Myricks Contour Balm. My absolute favorites have been the Kosas and Charlotte Tilbury, but I think Huda’s GloWish has overtaken CT for the second place spot! It might still be too soon to say for sure, but we shall see!
When I mentioned that it has been two weeks since my last bronzer purchase, I am referring to the Haus Labs Bronzer duo I purchased during the Amazon Prime Day deals when everything from Lady Gaga’s brand was 60% off. I have plans for an Amazon Makeup post in the future, so I’m reserving that review for another time. Reviewing eight bronzers at once was challenging enough.
That’s everything I have for today!
Actually, that’s everything I have for the next few weeks.
I want to keep the momentum going that I started by consistently posting every Monday since August 2020. However, I have some health/personal issues that I need to sort out which cannot be pushed back any longer. I will also be in Germany for almost the entire month of August. During that trip, I will be bringing very little makeup and will not be doing wear tests, which are required for a lot of the unfinished drafts I want to complete. So, I anticipate that it will take me a while to get back on a consistent posting schedule. My goal is September 13th!
In an effort to not be completely absent for two months, I intend to mix things up with a few article style posts, which are scheduled to publish while I am on my trip. There’s so much I want to write about and review, but my ideas are all very time consuming and I don’t want to rush through them. Hopefully, they’ll be worth the wait to you!
p.s. I may photograph some new purchases on my Instagram for those who are curious about what I’m buying, even without official reviews. I might also post a few travel photos during August. The website allows you to see the page without an IG account (just won’t let you click to see more or scroll through very far).