My bronzer usage is totally seasonal: it lives in a dark drawer all Winter while I embrace the pale - followed by a joyful reunion come Summer when the urge for a golden glow becomes irresistible. To me, bronzers are one of the most exciting Summer make-up releases and today I’ve picked four of my favourites from the 2014 line-up: Michael Kors, Bobbi Brown, Sisley and Liz Earle.
Packaging is important when it comes to bronzer. It’s gotta be pretty, practical and have a decent mirror. These four are on a par, apart from the Michael Kors which comes in a huge, heavy gold studded case. Practical? No. Beautiful? Yes. Set it on your dressing table and swoon.
This bronze quartet includes 3 different levels of shimmer and 1 matte - nb these are heavy finger swatches to give you an idea of the colour and intensity. None of them look this shimmery or intense on the face. Here’s my lowdown on each one…
Michael Kors Bronze Powder in Glow, £34.50 - the most user-friendly bronzer for pale skins that I’ve tried, I can sweep this on without having to be too careful or worry about overdoing it. I’ve been using it since my palest days and it’s one of the few that just might remain in my stash beyond Autumn. The formula is smooth, velvety and has a subtle sheen which is barely detectable unless you’re under a spotlight (not if I can avoid it).
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Medium, £28 - I’ve renamed this The Perfect Matte Bronzer, either for contouring or Secret Make-up days (just me?). I love its cool tones and even finish, which is great for deepening allover skintone, or adding colour to areas where the sun catches naturally - across cheekbones, temples and forehead. Although the Medium shade appears quite deep in the pan (also comes in two lighter shades) I find that it works really well on me - and is so finely milled that I have a lot of control over the finish. Speaking of which, its matte-ness makes this a great option for men looking for a subtle bronzed look.
Sisley Phyto-Touche Illusion d'Été, £66.50 - this gel-like powder is one of those that hurts to use the first time - it’s just so pretty! It applies beautifully, adding a gentle bronze glow to light skins and illuminating tanned skin. I find that one sweep gives a skin-evening ‘halo’ effect - almost like a bronze version of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. Building up the product adds a very natural looking wash of radiant golden colour to my skin. In the swatches, the colour looks very similar to the Michael Kors, but it’s actually more yellow-gold toned with brush application. Like all Sisley make-up, Phyto-Touch treats your skin, thanks to moisturising natural extracts of Gardenia, Mallow and Linden Blossom.
Liz Earle Radiant Glow Bronzer, £19.50 - the different shades in this quartet make it very versatile - and swirled together they give enough depth of colour to work on light, medium and tanned skins (I generally avoid the darkest quarter). As it has quite a lot of shimmer, I only use this in the evening - if you prefer a lighter, matte finish, the Natural Glow Bronzer is great. It’s worth noting that this has quite a distinct, sweet scent, which I find quite overpowering, though am not aware of after application.
Have you tried any of these bronzers - or which is your favourite this Summer? If you thinking these are a bit pricey, I’ll be featuring some more purse friendly alternatives soon.