Behold, my new favorite bronzer: Physicians Formula’s Butter Bronzer!
As you probably know by now based on the amount of reviews/swatches I’ve dedicated to their products on my blog, Physicians Formula is favorite drugstore brand when it comes to face/cheek products. Their bronzers are top notch and in my opinion rival high end bronzers in quality, they have some fantastic highlighters and most of their blushes are pretty dang good too. Among my favorites are their pure Argan Oil, coconut scented Organic Wear BB Cream, Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Custom Nude Palette for Face & Eyes, the Mineral Wear Talc Free Airbrushing line in general and now this new Butter Bronzer.
The retail prices for their products are steep but if you work the sales and stack coupons, you can get their products anywhere from 40% off to totally free. Using CVS ExtraBucks and coupons, I managed to get the Butter Bronzer (regularly $15.99) for free and actually earned $8 worth of ExtraBucks for a future purchase. Even though I think their products are worth it, you should never have to pay full price for Physicians Formula. Whenever Physicians Formula rolls out new products, they like to stick manufacturer’s coupons right on the packages, so keep an eye out for those. I was able to find a special display of the new Butter Bronzers with $4 off stickers which I stacked with CVS coupons and ExtraBucks for huge savings.
The new Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer is available in two shades: Light Bronzer and Bronzer. I’d say I’m currently around NC15 and I went with the lighter color. Based on a few YouTube reviews I’d seen, I was worried that Light Bronzer would be too light and undetectable on me but I think it worked out perfectly. It’s pigmented enough to show up on fair/light skin in one pass but buildable if you want to create a darker, more intense bronzing effect. Compared to deeper bronzers like NARS Laguna and Tarte Park Ave Princess, Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronzer is light colored for sure but it’s pigmented and will easily show up on fair/light skin. If you’re NC20, I think you could go with either Butter Bronzer shade but any darker and I would steer you towards the darker Bronzer shade.
In my opinion, the color is perfect for creating the illusion of a natural, sun kissed glow. It’s not muddy at all and I don’t find it overly orange or red. It’s more of a golden bronzer with a touch of peach.
The texture is fantastic: smooth, creamy, soft, finely milled and doesn’t kick up a lot of powder in the pan.
An odd sponge applicator is included in the compact but I personally just use a regular brush.
The one big fact everyone seems to bring up is that the Butter Bronzer smells like coconut. I’m not usually a fan of scented face products so I expected to hate the way it smells but the fragrance isn’t as strong as I expected. It’s definitely noticeable but if you’ve ever used something like the Coty Airspun powder which I can barely tolerate, it’s not as strong as that. The scent of the Butter Bronzer lingers a bit on the skin but it’s a cakewalk in comparison. It’s not a sweet, dessert coconut fragrance but more of a floral coconut (if there’s such a thing). I think you’re either going to love or hate the fragrance, so when you’re in the drugstore give the box a test sniff.
A lot of people have said that the Butter Bronzer is matte but I would have to disagree. It’s more of semi-matte or satin with a hint of sheen that becomes more pronounced the more you buff/rub/work the product into the skin. I have dry skin that tends to flake, so I try to avoid buffing (which exacerbates flaking) as much as possible. Instead, I usually apply powder products such as blush and bronzer with a brush onto my skin using gentle patting motions. Doing so with the Butter Bronzer results in a very natural looking finish with just the barest hint of sheen (as seen in the first photo below). In other words, it’s matte but not flat. However, one day I accidentally overdid the Butter Bronzer and tried to buff it out with a big, fluffy brush which completely changed the finish. I couldn’t detect any bits of shimmer or sparkle but the buffing definitely resulted in a whole lot more sheen (as seen in the second photo below). Just something to be aware of.
I have to say that out of all the bronzers I’ve tried, both drugstore and high end, that the Butter Bronzer is my favorite bronzer to date. In fact, ever since I got it I’ve been skipping blush completely and wearing just the Butter Bronzer. Love it! I’m actually considering getting the darker Bronzer shade (which I rarely ever do. I normally stick the lightest colored bronzers whenever possible) of the Butter Bronzer next just out of curiosity, that’s how much I love the formula.
Ingredients: Talc, Synthetic Sapphire, Mica, Dimethiconol Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Fragrance, Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Lecithin, Polybutene, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol
May Contain: Iron Oxides, Red 7 Lake, Titanium Dioxide