The Cream, The Powder, And The Contour
Since I first got into makeup, bronzing has been one of my favourite steps. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few, decluttered some and finished some too.
I’ve definitely had my fair share of bronzing mishaps: applying them to a too tacky base, attempting nose contour (huge no for my face) and being way too heavy handed. Bronzing and contouring mistakes are almost like a makeup rite of passage. We need to go through them to truly appreciate a perfect application.
Of course, not all bronzers are created equal. And sometimes even the best of us will accidentally buy one that pulls too orange, isn’t light or dark enough for our skin or is just plain bad.
That’s why I wanted to write this post. I feel really content with the products in my bronzing and contouring line up right now. I’ve had them all for over a year and feel at ease when using them all. So I figured I might as well do a little talk through of them all, in case anyone was looking to expand upon their collection.
Starting off with the cream products, I have one “true” cream bronzer, which is the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked. The reason I haven’t felt the need to expand upon my cream bronzer collection is because this one is HUGE. I’ve had this one for about a year and a half and it barely looks touched. It’s 30ml, which is the same size as a standard foundation, so the value for money is definitely there. Because it’s so warm I only need a light amount to really warm up my skin. It applies best with a duo fibre brush or sponge and leaves a lovely finish.
Next up are the cream contours. If I were to choose just one of these it would be the Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Contour in Shadow. For me, it’s the perfect middle ground between the Charlotte Tilbury and Fenty offerings.
I find the Fenty Match Stix to be a little dry and firm for my skin, but it may make it more suitable for those with oily skin. I don’t like it applied directly to my face as tends to tug, using a brush or sponge helps a lot.
The Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand, while stunning, is a touch too liquidy for my preferences. I like to keep the areas I contour really precise and even when using a small amount of product, it spreads quite far. I’m not someone that contours often, and when I do I like it to be subtle.
That’s where the ABH stick comes in. Like the Fenty, it comes in a stick, but it’s much more creamy. You can glide it easily over foundation and it blends with little effort. Out of the three it’s my most used and absolutely my favourite.
As you can see from the swatches all of the contour shades are quite similar, so you definitely don’t need all three of them. None of them are bad products, but it just comes down to your preferences.
My powder bronzers could probably stand to be decluttered. Right now I’m planning on doing one either at the end of the year or when I move in February. The reason I’ve kept so many is because they are all good bronzers. I like having a mix of drugstore, high end and independent brands as well, and right now I have a pretty good mix going on.
First up is the Bikini Contest from Wet N Wild (shimmer). It’s the most affordable I own but also the most fragile. As lovely as this looks once it’s on, I have had to repress it before. It has completely shattered just sitting in my drawer, so while pretty, it’s very delicate.
The Body Shop Honey Bronze (matte) is a solid bronzer. It doesn’t ‘spark joy’ like some others in my collection do, but it always does the job. It’s one I’ve ignored a little this year, but I ought to use it more to fall back in love with it.
At this point the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer (satin) has achieved cult favourite status. With it’s tropical scent and silky formula, it’s easy to see why. My only critique is the packaging. Not only is it bulky, but the clasp stopped working a while ago meaning that I can’t travel with it.
The Milk Chocolate Soleil (matte) from Too Faced is the oldest in my collection. There’s a reason it’s remained so popular for so long. It always blends well and the colour is super flattering on fair - light skin.
The Fluff Casual Cosmetics Bronzing Powder (matte) has been my go-to matte bronzer since I bought it last year. The packaging is super weighted, giving it a luxurious feel. It’s also one of the most buildable I’ve ever owned, going easily from sheer to intense. I have a discount code for this one, BILLIEIS:FLUFF will get you 10% off your first order (affiliate link).
Laguna (shimmer) from Nars is the only bronzer I’ve ever completely used up before. I have pan on my current compact of it too. It’s one of the most popular bronzers of all time, and for good reason. It blends with little to no effort and always leaves my face looking like I’ve spent some time in the sun (which I don’t actually do).
As Fluff make my favourite matte bronzer, Lilah b. make my favourite shimmer bronzer. The Sun Kissed bronzer is a split tone bronzer. I usually just swirl my brush between the two and go, but it is nice to be able to exclusively use one or the other if I want to. The shimmer sinks in and leaves a beautiful glow, similar to Laguna but much more subtle.
The bronzer from the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow (shimmer) is the only one in my collection with a red undertone. My skin is more on the yellow side so I find this one a little tricky to pull off. Although I do have to be careful with it, if I’m wearing complementary tones I do find that it looks pretty. Like the Butter Bronzer, the clasp stopped working on this too. At such a higher price, I do find it more annoying than I do with the Butter Bronzer.
So that’s my bronzer line up and my thoughts on all of them. Hopefully this was helpful in some way.