The ommorphia Beauty Vault: Bronzers part 1 – the powders
I recently began the daunting task of cataloguing & organizing my entire makeup collection – nail polishes included, but that’s a whole other story – and realized that this was the perfect opportunity to see exactly what I’ve been amassing (a ton), missing (not much), and need to supplement (really?). To make the job easier, I’ve decided to subdivide and subsequently store my products within several categories, which will make it so much easier to reach for a specific item in the future. Once my storage is complete, I’ll be following up with a comprehensive post – can’t wait to show you my upcoming storage units that I’ve helped develop!
Since Spring is still a ways off, I figured that sorting my collection of bronzers would be a great way to put me in a “sunny”, more warm-weather frame of mind; part 1 consists of the powders, with part 2 (coming soon) that will be all about the creams, sticks & the in-betweens.
Disclaimer: while several of the products presented in this post were limited edition items and no longer available, the vast range of bronzers available in the market today means that you can make use of my swatches as a guide in helping you find something similar. I encourage you to click to enlarge all swatch photos for a closer look.
CHANEL bronzers are relatively new to me, as my first splurge wasn’t until the Summer 2011 Collection where I purchased the two available, although those initial items turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment (see breakdown below), but my faith in the brand was definitely restored with the following Summer 2012 Collection bronzers – both of superstar quality. I picked up Terre Ambre after hearing Jennifer Anniston highly praise it (she & I share very similar colouring – I figured if it looks good on her, then it should suit me!) and it’s the bronzer I turn to the most – absolutely ADORE it.
The breakdown: (all previously reviewed here)
- Terre Ambre Moisturizing Bronzing Powder – the deepest tone of the group bearing no discernible shimmer, with an incredibly fine milled quality that leaves a seamless & flawless finish
- Bronze Corail 4 Facettes Bronzing Powder – along with Bronze Rosé, the most powdery of the group with the larger width of the colour bands making it easy to use each shade individually – warm toned
- Bronze Rosé 4 Facettes Bronzing Powder – cooler toned, also works well as a blush on medium skin types
- Sable Beige Luminous Bronzing Powder – along with Sable Rose, this finely milled powder also provides a gently glow-y effect. More suitable for lighter skin tones or for a subtle bronzed look on medium skin types
- Sable Rose Luminous Bronzing Powder – a slightly deeper bronzer hue, made warmer by its rose undertones and suitable for medium to darker skin types
MAC bronzers/face powders
My first bronzer ever, was MAC’s Refined Golden shown here (I believe this version was from the 2004 Tantress Collection – but I’m not 100% certain) and I was quite happy with it, until I realized that there were many more levels to using this type of face product, that I had been completely unaware of. Gold-Go-Lightly and Lush-Light-Bronze, both from the Surf, Baby! Summer 2011 Collection, are technically not bronzers, but their deep hue make them useless as face powders for my skin tone, so I’ve included them in this category as well.
Refined Golden Bronzing Powder – a universally flattering bronzer for medium skin types, with slight orange-y undertones to provide a bright tanned look. It does have quite a bit of shimmer, although the effect is of the scattered versus concentrated variety
Gold-Go-Lightly Careblend Pressed Powder – along with Lush-Light-Bronze, these are dense yet very finely milled face powders, with significant pigmentation. Incredibly smooth feeling, they need a light hand in application, preferably applied with a fluffier brush for an even finish, then buffed in (see below). This shade is suitable for light to medium skin tones
Lush-Light-Bronze Careblend Pressed Powder – a good shade for medium and darker skin types, it might be preferable to use a densely bristled (ie: kabuki) brush to buff this powder into the skin for a more natural-looking appearance
The cult favourite Laguna from NARS was my first high-end bronzer, a must-buy after having read countless of times how every celebrity makeup artist not only has this product in their kit, but relies on its usefulness. Yes, I bought into the hype (makeup addict, right?) but happily for me, this bronzer also delivered on its well-deserved reputation. With definitive yellow undertones, the shimmer of this finely-milled powder is of the subdued variety, leaving a natural looking & healthy glow behind – although this shade might be a touch sallow for paler skin.
When NARS released the Portrait of Paradise Collection for Summer 2011, I picked up the Laguna Bronzer/Orgasm Blush/Alabatross Highlighter trio in its limited edition zippered case, thinking it would make the perfect travel companion – even though with the exception of Albatross, I already owned the other 2 items. Imagine my surprise when I compared this set to the originals, and saw that THEY WERE DIFFERENT. Granted, not by much but definitely not identical either, as can be seen by the above swatch.
Bobbi Brown Beach Beauty Face Palette
Dior Sunset Healthy Glow Summer Powder
Guerlain Terra Azzura Bronzing Powder and Blush
Of the three shown here, the only one not technically a bronzer, is Bobbi Brown’s Bahama Brown Shimmer Blush from the 2005 limited edition Beach Beauty Face Palette – which I primarily picked up because of the words “beach beauty” (I’m a summer baby). It turned out to be a rather bland palette, but it also has excellent building-block appeal due to the universally flattering shades included.
As to the Dior, I initially had the lighter version ‘Aurora’ in mind – especially after hearing so many raves about it – but it turned out to look incredibly chalky on me, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself otherwise (and believe me, I really tried). Sunset, on the other hand, was a PERFECT fit; the beautiful basket-weave pattern gives a multi-dimensional look to to the product, so that the colour never appears flat on the face, while its barely-there glow makes your skin look incredibly revitalized and healthy. As this is definitely the other bronzer I turn to the most, I was thrilled to learn last year that it’s now part of Dior’s permanent lineup – no need to hoard this baby anymore!
Last year, Guerlain launched a stunning summer collection in collaboration with the colourful fashion house of Emilio Pucci, one of my favourite designers. Naturally, I wasn’t planning on skipping the included bronzer (previously reviewed here), whether it would suit me or not – thank God it does! As the compact also holds a complimentary blush & highlighter, it came with me on my summer vacation, where I made sure to put it to good use!
Bobbi Brown Bahama Shimmer Blush – even though this is not meant to be a bronzer, its deep hue with plummy undertones makes it much more suited to that task, than used as a blush. It works beautifully when applied just under the cheekbones for depth and definition (think: bronzing contour)
Dior Sunset Healthy Glow Summer Powder – a truly believable summery glow, with the perfect balance of hues & illumination to give a naturally sun-kissed look
Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzing Powder and Blush – scented and more orange-leaning than anything else in my collection, this powder is exceptionally milled and pigmented enough that a little goes a long way. Long-lasting and seems to get better as your natural oils bind with it
Final thoughts: Once all my present blushers were accounted for, I realized how quickly my obsession with them had actually grown; the past 3 years has seen the majority of my “accumulation”. The good thing about a project such as this, apart from the organizational aspect, is in the rediscovery of each item. The bad thing, is that I feel guilty in adding to the list; we’ll see if that last resolution holds when brands start showing their Summer 2013 collections. Another positive is that in having such a variety means I can mix & match or combine some products to produce varying results, from a light dusting of colour, to that coveted been-playing-at-the-beach-all-day look. If only …
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series.