The Best Of Bronzers7:42 PM
MAC Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark £22 MAC // Hoola £23 Benefit Cosmetics // Laguna Bronzer £26 NARS // Illamasqua Heliopolis (as part of the Sculpting duo) £26
Let's just take a moment to acknowledge all the things bronzer does for us. It can rescue us from our pale english holiday-less skin, we can fake cheekbones to rival Kim Kardashian, and it can even remove the need for our workmates to comment "wow, you looks really ill today". Bronzer is incredible, and I rarely leave the house without it because it totally transforms the depth and structure of your face and gives you that freshly sunkissed glow.
Bronzer does two main things; bronzing (duh) and contouring. In my opinion, you need to choose certain bronzers for each purpose. For example, a matte bronzer is much better suited to contouring than one with subtle shimmer. Bronzing is intended to make your complexion warm and glowing, so you apply it in the areas you'd usually be hit by the sun (that's usually your temples and cheeks, and sometimes your nose) whereas contouring is like plastic surgery with makeup! You strategically place bronzer in areas that make your bone structure look different, so I normally put mine under my cheekbones and underneath my jawline.
MAC Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark
Probably my most loved and most used bronzer EVER, and it was my very first MAC purchase. I use this for bronzing, though if I'm going for a ridiculously subtle contour I'll use it for that. This one was matched to my skin tone by a MAC lady, so it is the perfect 2-3 shades darker than my skin that a bronzer should be; it's not too dark and cakey looking. In fact, it's that perfect godessy glow. You get such a ridiculous amount of product, I don't ever think I'll even hit pan, even though I've had it for just over a year now! I adore this one.
Possibly the most famous bronzer in the blogging world! Hoola is loved and adored by many people, despite it's large pricetag. It's a perfect contour shade for me, because it's quite dark on my skintone. With this being said, it means you don't need to use too much and that the product lasts a really long time. It's a lovely matte shade, and comes with a brush ideal for sculpting out those cheekbones (go for thin brushes to do this!). Despite being put off by the price, I have to admit I do love the way it looks on my skin, because it doesn't look muddy and smeary like so many cheaper options can, so it's definitely going to be on my repurchase list.
Another gem amongst the bloggers makes it into my 'best of bronzers' post! If you haven't heard of Laguna yet, you might have been living under a rock. It's a gorgeously iconic shade, it's won loads of awards and has a massive cult following within the blogger community. This one has a subtle shimmer which adds a glowing quality to your skin, and blends so effortlessly (you'd expect nothing less from a brand as amazing as NARS) you can't even tell it's makeup. I must say, this one is better suited to my pale-ish skin during the summer months when I've got some natural tan going on, because it's quite a dark shade, but it genuinely looks smooth and natural when applied properly. I use this one extremely sparingly because of it's price tag, but I adore it completely and it compliments my cheekbones when I dust it on with my RealTechniques Blush Brush!
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say it, this is probably the most natural looking bronzer I've owned. I really really like it! It came as part of the Illamasqua Sculpting Duo, which itself is a brilliant buy (read my full review here) and the bronzer has really stood out to me as an unsung hero. It is a wonderfully fine and smooth powder which goes on brilliantly as long as you use a clean brush (I've had an episode of smeary muddy looking application when I've used a used brush) and blends out well. I love this as a contour shade, especially because it compliments my pale skin in the winter and doesn't make me look obviously orange. I love playing up my cheekbones using this product, and it's probably my go-to bronzing product, though I've got to watch out as the size doesn't look as big as the others! Other than that, it's amazing and it gets 5 stars from me!