Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks combine the effect of bronzer, blusher and highlighter in one compact, to brighten the complexion with a skin flattering glow. I’d describe the finish as mid way between their Shimmer Bricks and Brightening Powder, veering closest to the latter. I have four of the six shades to show you and think these will be a big hit for Spring skin or as a little boost in the dreary in between months. The powders feel smooth and finely milled, with subtle payoff… designed to be worn as a soft blush (my preference) or all over the face as a luminous veil. They do have a touch more shimmer than the likes of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders - and of course an added flush of colour - so I like to place them carefully on my skin rather than use all over, focusing mostly on cheeks and temples. Infused with Mulberry and Grape, they illuminate while absorbing excess oil, without drying or settling into lines.
Pastel Pink has been my most used out of the four, giving cheeks a lovely pale rosy sheen that pale faces will love. This is the only shade I would consider using all over my face (at this time of year when I’m at my palest) and while I do like the glowy effect of that, I prefer restricting it to cheeks. In each of the compacts, one square is more shimmery than all the others, but I find that holding my thumb over that one shade while swirling a brush around the others reduces any overkill. I then go in with a little shimmer on a small brush as highlight on upper cheekbones and browbones, which works really well. I’ve also found that the more I use the compact, the less shimmer there is, so I do think there’s some degree of overspray involved.
Coral is my second favourite and absolutely beautiful… I’ve been adding a pop of this in the centre of cheeks when I’m looking extra pale and will use this a lot more come Summer… it’s just pure prettiness in six little squares.
Pastel Peach is the palest of them all… I tend to suit cooler pink tones, so prefer Pastel Pink on me, but this is very pretty and the most shimmery of the bunch, so a good option if you’re after more of the highlighting element.
Cranberry is a stunner - I just love the tones in this - it will work well on medium to dark skintones for an overall brightening effect.
These swatches are heavy to give you an idea of the colour… this is about 3 layers of finger swatch swirled around all 6 shades in each pan; applied with a brush the colours are very subtle on the skin and nowhere near as intense as this. A light sweep with a loose bristled brush will add a glow with a sheer hint of colour, or you can add a little more intensity to cheeks with a smaller blush brush. Even as a blush, the effect is still quite subtle on me, particularly with the two pastel shades… I can add a pop of colour with Coral and Cranberry, but this may be less obvious on deeper skin tones. They really do add warmth and glow rather than a traditional blush or bronzer, so depending on your skintone, you may wish to add a pop of additional colour with your regular shades.
I’ve added swatches using a brush to give a better idea of how these actually appear on the skin. I used a stippling brush and really worked the product into my skin with the two pastel shades to get them to show up this much. Coral and Cranberry were done using a ‘pinched’ blush brush for more depth of colour. Note the tiny specks of glitter in the Pastel Peach shade in particular. Hopefully this gives you an idea of how these really can be used for both an allover wash or more intensely on the cheeks, a truly versatile product. (This is my third edit and I’m going to stop now… I know how frustrating it is to buy a product and find it turns out differently than expected - big part of my motivation for blogging - which Is why I’m passionate about giving as accurate a representation as possible!)
I’m wearing Pastel Pink in this pic and in the past week, friends have asked what product I’m using to make my cheeks look “soft and glowy”… that’s good enough for me!
EDIT: I’ve been asked how these compare to Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher and would say they are midway between the Ambient Lighting powders and blushes; veering slightly closer to the powders (review). NB the Hourglass blushers vary in intensity as each one is different; I own Radiant Magenta (review) which is so pigmented on me I barely touch my skin with it. These are very different - and more like what I was expecting from the Hourglass blushes. Subtle, skin-softening with a touch more shimmer and sprinkling of fine glitter (only visible under strong light) which seems to decrease with use.
Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks are available here