I not so long ago spoke of having finally found my perfect cheek product combination here, but fast forward a couple of months and I had panicked purchased a few products in Space NK when my voucher was about to expire. I have no idea what sparked this bronzer obsession but perhaps it is because it was part of my makeup collection that I could justify expanding or simply I yearned for another version of Nars Douceur. This is a comprehensive flick through my bronzer favourites that I might preface by saying that my preferences for contour and bronzer is a pinky brown.
I might argue the reason why I never bought bronzers is because the most popular likes of Nars Laguna, Benefit Hoola or Hourglass Luminous Bronze, will look either muddy or orange on my warm toned fair skin. Not until finding that pink highlighters were the most flattering on me, something about counteracting yellow with pink I gather, have I realised what I need to be shopping for is pink and red toned bronzers. Quite a challenge when the lightest shades of bronzers, most notably Nars Seaside and Becca Bali Sands will be peachy browns and I simply can’t imagine orange tones being flattering on my colouring.
As such, contrary to reason what I was shopping for were bronzers for darker skin that were blendable enough to work with my skin tone. Hence why my picks from Nars and Becca were Falaises and Maui Nights which are both ‘marketed’ as product for deep skin tones. Frankly I’m amazed at the lack of cool toned bronzers on the market, not only for someone as fair as me but for others who are not fans of the warm toned craze. When I say cool toned, I mean pink and not grey which I find equally as unflattering unless you’re shooting in black and white. I can see how a golden brown might work well on most skin tones but finding something cooler was quite a challenge.
Nars Contour Blush in Paloma – Paloma is darker and softer version of Douceur so if you do like a softer powder this might be it (soft in the realms of Nars powders). In terms of the colour it compares to the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Bronzer which has sparked this whole search (I love the colour and hate the formula). The product is blendable but kicks up a bit of product which is why I just spent an obscene amount of money on a Surratt Highlighter Brush. If you like a more pink toned contour, this is my top recommendation.
Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra – in comparison to Paloma, this is quite a neutral tone. This is still my favourite formula for contour as it doesn’t kick up any powder and the brush picks up the perfect amount of product to the point where it’s a matter of placement with no blending required. I have finished a whole one of these and keep coming back despite overfilling my collection with bronzers.
Nars Sun Diffusing Bronzing Powder in Falaises – the makeup artist rolled her eyes at me when I asked to buy this colour because surprise it’s the darkest shade but it is one of those hard formulas that you need a rougher brush for (e.g. Nars Yachiyo). Because of that it deposits the colour lightly, can be built up but diffuses evenly over the cheek. I absolutely love the tone of Falaises because the red does in fact mimic a sun burnt look (as if I knew since I never go out in the sun).
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Bronzing Veil in Tropical Nights – this is similar to Paloma as far the density of the formula goes but paired with a soft brush it works a charm. This is of course a slightly metallic bronzer but Kevyn Aucoin manages to add that glow without shimmer particles. Nights is darker of the two shades, Days being a lot more neutral, but I’m obsessed with the cool bronze. It’s got a certain amount of pink to it but isn’t too obvious and seeing you have a gradient of shades, it’s versatile as well.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Diffused Bronze Light – I’m like a broken record but I have been pretty badly burned after using Luminous Bronze Light which looks like a gorgeous pinky bronze in the pan but swatches straight up orange. This one looks like an odd mix of yellow and dark brown but swatches like a lighter version of Tropical Nights. How they mix I have no idea but I loved Diffused Light back in the day so that might have something to do with it. Again, the powder is quite soft and I use the Kevyn Aucoin Blush Brush with it.
*Becca Sunlit Bronzer in Maui Nights – now it is pretty obvious this is not a bronzer for my skin tone per se, it is a shimmery and slightly darker version of Becca Amaretto Blush. The only reason why I’m mentioning it here is because it is the least orange of the Becca Sunlit Bronzers. While it is a very warm red bronze, it looks stunning sweeped over the cheek for a bronze blush mix. Additionally, the formula falls somewhere in the middle ground which I can appreciate.
Excuse the sloppy swatches but I always find myself looking for comparisons of products and wanted to know get as many as possible in the photo. What is your favourite bronzer/contour? Let me know because I definitely need more.