1st row: PF* How-To-Wear Bronzer in Light Bronzer, PF Cashmere Wear Ultra-Smoothing Bronzer in Light Bronzer, Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil, NYC Sunny
2nd row: PF Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer in Light to Medium, PF Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Bronzer in Light Bronzer, NYX Matte Bronzer in Light, PF Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition in Light to Medium
3rd row: PF Mineral Glow Pearls in Light Bronze Pearl, Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzer in Matte Medium, Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Ticket to Brazil, theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer
4th row: tarte Power Couple (Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess)
I once said that I didn’t foresee myself ever becoming obsessed with bronzers. Boy, was I wrong. This summer, I’ve somehow accumulated more bronzers than I want or need. Realizing just how ridiculous it is to have so many bronzers and only one face to use them on, I’ve swatched them all and I’m going to get rid of the ones that are dupe-able or don’t suit my tastes.
After trying a few different brands out I’ve come to the conclusion that Physicians Formula makes the best drugstore bronzers, bar none. All of the PF bronzers I’ve ever tried, including some not pictured here, have had smooth textures and have all been incredibly pigmented. In my opinion, many of them are even better than higher end bronzers.
NYC Sunny is a popular bronzer in the beauty community but can appear very red on lighter skin tones. When I’m NC15-20 I can get away with wearing it but when I’m at my palest (NC10), I have trouble making it work. In person, Sunny is the reddest toned bronzer pictured. The PF bronzers, in comparison, tend to be more yellow/golden.
Too Faced face products continue to leave me unimpressed. Their Candlelight Glow highlighting powder was sheer with a hard texture and the Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is no different. As you can tell from my swatches, it’s also not the lightest bronzer available for pale skin either. The sheerest in pigmentation, yes, but not the lightest shade. I now understand why so many vloggers/bloggers hit pan on their Too Faced bronzers so quickly: you really have to pile it on for it to show! The only good thing about this bronzer is that it smells delicious (like cocoa powder!).
The most surprising bronzer for me was the Matte Medium bronzer from Maybelline’s limited edition Summer 2013 Dream Sun collection. For the most part, all of the Maybelline pressed powder blushes and bronzers I’ve ever tried have had poor color payoff but the Dream Sun bronzer is different. The texture isn’t nearly as soft and smooth as PF’s but it’s nicely pigmented and doesn’t have any orange or red tones at all. I had considered getting the Matte Light bronzer from the same Dream Sun collection but it was very orange compared to the more neutral Matte Medium shade.
I’m also very pleased with tarte’s Park Avenue Princess bronzer. This highly pigmented bronzer would be amazing on darker skin tones but applied with a light hand works on paler skin, too. No red/orange tones in this either.
The Betty-Lou Manizer is wonderful as well — super pigmented and soft — but it’s very shiny with an orange tone so I treat it as a highlighter/blush rather than an all over bronzing powder and apply it with a fan brush.
NYX’s Matte Bronzer, although pictured above, hasn’t been swatched. Compared to the other bronzers it was the most recent purchase and last hired, soonest fired. I had already come to the conclusion that I needed to get rid of some bronzers and I thought I’d have a better shot at selling it off untouched than used.
Out of all the bronzers here, I’d say my favorites are: the PF How-to-Wear Bronzer, PF Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer, PF Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Bronzer, Maybelline bronzer, and the tarte bronzer.
The PF How-to-Wear Bronzer I own is actually a little pale for me but I’m planning on getting it in the darker shade soon. It has a lovely texture and, best of all, it’s matte. The PF Airbrushing Bronzer has an even silkier texture — love! — but with a very subtle sheen (i.e. a natural skin finish) and is what prompted me to get a PF Airbrushing blush.
Top row: PF How-To-Wear Bronzer in Light Bronzer, PF Cashmere Wear Ultra-Smoothing Bronzer in Light Bronzer, Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil, NYC Sunny, PF Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer in Light to Medium, PF Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Bronzer in Light Bronzer
Bottom row: PF Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition in Light to Medium, PF Mineral Glow Pearls in Light Bronze Pearl, Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzer in Matte Medium, Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Ticket to Brazil, theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer, tarte Power Couple (Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess)