I posted a small cry for help on twitter the other day regarding bronzers. I took a break from buying new ones last summer because… well… here is a portion of the ones I own:

Bronzer Mania

Included in this group: Dior Aurora, Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush, Too Face Chocolate Soleil, Too Faced Aqua Bunny, Chanel Soleil tan de Chanel, Giorgio Armani Bronze Mania #1, MAC Give Me Sun, MAC So Ceylon, Tarte Park Ave Princess, Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzing Powder, Physician’s Formula Cashmere, Sonia Kashuk Illuminating Bronzer, Givenchy Bonne Mine, Mark Pro Bronze, Bourjois Delice de Poudre in #52 and #14

As you can see, I have tried numerous formulations, brands, textures and colors. Below is a swatch of a few selected shades featured above:

Bronzer Swatches

Swatches L-R: MAC Give Me Sun, Giorgio Armani #1, Mark Pro Bronze, Bourjois #52, Bourjois #14, Benefit Hoola, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil

Of the above, my favorites are definitely Give Me Sun, Mark Pro Bronze and the Giorgio Armani. All three have a great texture, give a slightly different tone to the skin (depending on the season) and have excellent lasting power. The Mark Pro Bronze has given me the most mileage with hardly a dent and it was literally the only bronzer I used from May to December last year. I started getting bored with it recently and was looking through my stash for something different. But, nothing is really popping out at me in terms of my next go-to shade. Also worth mentioning is that I loathe Benefit Hoola. It looks way too ashy on me and actually makes me look quite dirty in the face as opposed to glowing. Yeah, yuck.

Which brings me to this post. What bronzer do you use the most? Are there any you highly recommend I try? My wishlist at the moment looks something like this:

Bronzer Wishlist

Guerlain Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer, Clarins Splendours Summer Bronzing Compact, Edward Bess Daydream, Dior Nude Tan Healthy Glow, Dolce & Gabbana The Bronzer

I have heard so many people rave about the Edward Bess Bronzer, and I am admittedly smitten with the two face products I have already purchased from his line (Quad Royale in Monte Carlo and South of France). The Clarins bronzer looks amazing but I am uncertain of two things: the color and if it will be released in the U.S. The reviews I have seen never show swatches and have been exclusively UK blogs. What gives??? I have also heard plenty of good things about the Guerlain and Dior offerings and have recently fallen in love with Dolce & Gabbana makeup.

So the big question is…what bronzer do I need next? I am actually looking for drugstore/mid range and  high end recommendations as I’d like to get two new shades. I’m looking for a powder formula and something mostly matte or completely matte.

Thank you for your help!!!! :)

28. 10. 2012

In my last post I said I was planning a recent favorites entry and here we are. I wanted to share some of the products that have really been staples for me over the past two (or more) months. During the move and my early visits to Chicago before the transition I was relegated to using makeup out of a makeup bag so I learned to pick my choices wisely. Natural and versatile are two words I would choose to describe the items I ended up falling in love with all over again, and some for the first time.

Face

I stuck with products that would work with anything and were versatile enough to change up my eyes & lips when I wanted to.

Estee Lauder Modern Mercury- For powder highlight this has been my go-to. I’m sad that this was limited edition because it’s absolutely fabulous and works great as a brightening eyeshadow as well

Benefit Watt’s Up- When I wasn’t using Modern Mercury I was using this. I think it’s the only one I’ve been using for the last two weeks for sure. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until now. I have Becca Moonstone shimmering skin perfector on the way so I’m interested to see how the two compare.

NARS Madly- This was the blush I used for most of August and early September. It’s one of my all time favorites in general, but probably my most used from NARS.

Chanel Rose Ecrin- This was my first Chanel blush and I keep going back to it. It gives the perfect rosy/nude flush to cheeks. If I could suggest any Chanel blush of the ones I have tried/own it would be this one. Darker skin tones may have a harder time pulling it off though, because it is a bit lighter.

Mark Pro Bronze- This is the only bronzer I have used (I may have used others a mere handful of times) since May. It is barely showing a dent and I use it every day. The next bronzer on my list is from Edward Bess, but I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered it just yet because I love this one so much. I would like to see Daydream in person (or if you have tried it, what your thoughts are).

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller- I started using this again recently after switching from my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (I use a combo if light and medium to get my perfect shade match) just to freshen up my routine a bit. I like this a lot for under the eyes and I believe this is my second or third rollerball.

Swatches L-R: Mark Pro Bronze, NARS Madly, Chanel Rose Ecrin, Estee Lauder Modern Mercury, Benefit Watt’s Up

Lips

For lips I stuck with neutrals for the most part. I spent a lot of time in meetings so I needed things that looked polished and professional and didn’t really distract anyone.

Buxom White Russian- I saw this on Michele1218’s Youtube Channel awhile back and I think I purchased it sometime in July. I think it’s a great nude gloss and the formula is really enjoyable. It does have that minty tingle, but it’s not overpowering. I am sensitive about products with the “tingle factor” in them because they usually irritate my lips but the Buxom product don’t.

NARS Greek Holiday- For going out this gloss is one of my favorites. I wear it alone of layered over a lipstick. It has the most gorgeous sparkle to it (though not at all gritty) and the NARS lipgloss formula ranks in my top favorites for sure.

NARS Lip Pencil Sex Machine- This is a great neutral color. It adds just enough pop to the lips without being overly noticeable or showy. I use it when I want to brighten my face a little bit but don’t want anything loud. The lasting power is great and of all the shades I own I think I use this one the most.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Rose*- This has to be my favorite liquid lipstick to date. They are incredibly creamy and pigmented. You only need a small amount and the lasting power is almost unbelievable. This color is a nice rosy neutral. I also have Empress which is a deep berry shade perfect for fall. I have my eye on Canvas and Muse next. Go figure that I’d pick the coral. ;)

Dior Addict Extreme Incognito- I fell in love with the Addict Extreme formula when I purchased Saint Tropez much earlier this year (May?) and knew I wanted a shade that could carry me into the fall. I chose a nude because I wanted something I could just pull out of my bag and apply without a mirror. This did the trick. I love it!

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Plum Rose- I had first seen Plum Rose what seems like forever ago on Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog here. I fell in love with the shade but we were headed into spring at the time so I didn’t give it much more thought as I knew it would be a great fall color. This past summer I started looking at a new plum or berry shade of lipstick that was a little less bold and a little more neutral and came back to this. It was out of stock for several weeks on the Bobbi Brown website, but once I got the email notification that it was available again I pounced. I love the shade and the formula wears comfortably.

Blistex Medicated Balm- An old favorite. Tried and true, I always have several of these in my bag and around the house. It heals my lips and keeps them moisturized better then anything else I have ever tried.

Swatches L-R: Dior Incognito, Bobbi Brown Plum Rose, NARS Sex Machine, NARS Greek Holiday, Buxom White Russian, Hourglass Rose

Eyes

I will start with mascara. I have been having lots of fun trying new types and brands of mascara lately. I have gotten some really nice sample mascaras: Diorshow New Look, Lancome Hypnose Star, Chantecaille Faux Cils. All three are lovely and I’m still deciding if I will purchase full sizes. I still have a full size of my all time favorite Lancome Hypnose Drama waiting in the wings, so we’ll see. I also tried the Marykay lash love waterproof mascara* and lash primer* and was thoroughly impressed. I have used the waterproof mascara the most the last two months. I discovered that sometimes when I thought my eyeliner was smudging it was really my mascara. I used to be against waterproof mascara unless you knew you were going to get wet or going to cry because they are such a pain to remove. It still is more difficult then regular mascara but I definitely prefer the staying power.

Again, with eyes I stuck to more neutral colors with little pops of bling and black.

Noir Eyeliner in Forever Noir- I have almost exclusively worn black eyeliner for the past several weeks. I have been testing different application methods and a few different formulas and found a favorite in the Noir eyeliner that was included in a Birchbox a few months ago. It is quite black and stays put all day. Most black liners I have tried smudge after 6-8 hours. This goes strong until I remove it.

Urban Decay 24-7 liners in LSD, Mushroom and Midnight Cowboy- I love the UD 24-7 liner formula. I picked up the Ocho Loco set a few weeks ago with LSD and Mushroom being the two shades I wanted most. It is a good deal if you like the formula so I recommend checking it out. Midnight Cowboy was from the set they released last year and it’s a nice eye-brightening shimmery beige.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in shades 9 and 26- I have long sung the praises of these shadows and they will always be in my top favorites for formula and shade range. 9 is a peachy-champagne and 26 is a light brown/gold. They last all day even with a primer and just brighten the eyes like no other.

Sephora 12 Hour Pencil in Beige- This is a great all-over lid color when you just want to swipe and go. I use it frequently during the work week.

Tarte EmphasEyes Clay Shadow Stick- This doesn’t have a shade name but it’s a nice bronzey-brown that doesn’t turn orange on me. It lasts all day and is easy to blend.

Dior Earth Reflection Quint- Dior makes one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas. Not all of the Dior quints are equal in terms of formula and color payoff. I have been disappointed by some in the past, but that’s not true here. Earth Reflection gets a lot of use from me because it’s easy to create something lighter or darker and the shadows are incredibly buttery and iridescent. I have some more of the quints to show you soon (Fairy Golds, Night Golds and Golden Savannah) so be on the look out for those.

Swatches L-R: Earth Reflection Quint, Giorgio Armani 26, Giorgio Armani 9, Tarte EmphasEyes, Sephora Begie, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy, Mushroom, LSD, Noir Forever Noir

That’s all I have for now. I forgot to include nails in here but if I think back I really wore Chanel Delight, Butter London All Hail the Queen and Zoya FeiFei the most.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek in my makeup bag. What have you been using lately? Any rediscovered loves or new finds I should know about? Dish!

 *items marked with a ‘*’ were provided by PR for review purposes only