Like a lot of gals, I’m somewhat obsessed with bronzers. More so than blushers really. I have super pale skin. Porcelain. Ivory. Alabaster. Deadly white. Deathly pale. Whatever term or adjective you’d like to use. So I need a bit of colour and I don’t have razor sharp cheek bones either, so I like to use a bronzer to contour.

But I have to be very careful because a lot of bronzers can appear a nasty orangey tone on me. So you can imagine how many bronzers I’ve road-tested over the years. I have a number of bronzers stashed away in some box we dragged over from Australia. These are ones that don’t really suit me but, for some bizarre reason known only to the universe, I couldn’t bare to part with them. Sigh.

I have some favourites and I thought I’d do the Top 10 for you. Yep, I do in fact have TEN favourite bronzers although a few of them I use more than others. Here are the bronzers.


L-R on the top row, we have:

  • The Body Shop’s Baked To Last bronzer in 02 Warm Glow. I use this heaps and I reckon it’s a pretty good dupe for MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in By Candlelight (launched in 2009 as part of the Warm & Cozy collection). Both are soft peachy-pink with a bit of shimmer to them. Warm Glow is an interesting marbled combination of gold, coral pink and champagne flecks. It does have some frosty shimmer to it so I don’t use it for contouring. And for pale faces like me, it’s best to have a light hand, use a large fluffy brush and build up the desired intensity. These bronzers are said to be handmade and baked on hot terracotta discs in Italy. I bought it in New Zealand and so far it’s been with me back to Italy, then on to Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. It travels well and fits snugly into any makeup bag. This bronzer will certainly be a permanent feature in my bronzer collection. Can’t live without it.
  • Dr Hauschka Bronzing Powder. This is the second one of these for me. I LOVE this bronzer a lot. It’s wonderful for pale faces and has a simply gorgeous subtle shimmer to it – much less than The Body Shop. It does seem a little orangey in the pan. I remember thinking this when I decided to buy my first one but it gives a lovely sheer, natural coverage with no hint of looking muddy. As with any bronzer, start off lightly and build up. The powder is soft and has a nice smell to it. Gaw-jus! The black compact is sleek and travels well. I will always repurchase this beauty.
  • Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer. What a mouthful! This is a recent purchase for me. I bought it in Australia last November. I think it was the sun pattern that attracted me. I don’t like the compact though; it’s too chunky, so I haven’t actually travelled with it. It’s great for pale skin and there’s no frost or shimmer. I don’t think it lasts all that well though; maybe because I have combination skin. By the end of the day, I’m wondering where it’s gone. But it does give a lovely, subtle glow so I’d probably buy it again.
  • e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer Duo. I only recently discovered that e.l.f. is available in New Zealand, so this is another recent purchase. This blush/bronzer duo is said to be a dupe of Nars’ Orgasm/Laguna duo. There’s actually nothing more satisfying than finding an inexpensive dupe for an expensive product (and let’s face it: Nars stuff can be pricey). I have owned the Orgasm blush and I never really knew what the fuss was about; and I found Laguna too muddy for my complexion. But this e.l.f. duo is fantastic; the blush is a soft peachy coral with a touch of shimmer and the bronzer is a soft caramel. There is great colour pay-off and the compact is sturdy and sleek. If you have olive skin, you might find this duo a bit too light but it’s great for pale skin. Just be careful with this bronzer – apply gently and build up to the desired intensity. I’ll definitely be purchasing another one of these as I use it quite a bit and at NZ$15.00, it’s a bargain.

L-R on the middle row is:

  • Revitage Natural Bronzing Powder (Terra Cotta 01 Blonde). I bought this in Italy and LUV it. The compact is a sleek silver metallic and it’s huge. So huge that I tend not to travel with it and prefer to take The Body Shop’s Baked-To-Last bronzer. The Revitage bronzer is a lovely warm caramel colour with just a hint of glimmer to it and no nasty orangey results. Just a natural glow. Gaw-jus!
  • Thin Lizzy’s 6 in 1 Professional Powder in Light. This is a legendary multi-tasking product in New Zealand with most NZ women using it. The TV ads say you can use it as an eyeshadow, bronzer, contouring powder, foundation, lip colour and body bronzer. It’s true you can but on my pale skin, I ended up looking like an oompa loompa with all the bronzing/brown business going on. So I just use it as a bronzer, with the lightest of touches, and to give the legs, arms, neck and cleavage a bit of colour. It’s a small, handy compact you can throw into your handbag. I’m onto my third compact and I’ve dropped this one and nothing smashed. Definitely a staple in my bronzer collection.
  • Rimmel’s Natural Bronzer in Sun Light (#21). This is the perfect bronzer for pale faces like me (MAC NC15) and has a hint of shimmer, just a hint. There’s no fake orange look to this bronzer and it’s cheap as chips. I bought mine in Australia on sale for around AU$5.00. In New Zealand, I haven’t seen Sun Light; I always seem to run across Sun Bronze. Can’t comment on Sun Bronze but Sun Light is a beautiful matte powder that can double as a crease colour for the eye. It’s best applied with a big fluffy brush and it really blends well. A hint of shimmer can be seen in sunlight (hence the name I guess) and I think it’s most suited for light to medium tones. I will certainly buy this again when I run out.

L-R on the bottom row is:

  • Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder – a limited edition bronzer from the Bronze in Bloom collection. Shame it’s limited edition because it’s such a pretty, soft bronzer that blends three microlight mineral shades into one sunlit bronze glow. It’s oil free as well as talc and fragrance free. It was selling for NZ$66.00 but I bought mine at a 50% off sale. I wouldn’t buy a bronzer for $66.00 – way too expensive. You don’t end up with an orangey look using this bronzer and you can build up colour. Wish Elizabeth Arden would make this part of their permanent collection.
  • The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in 01. This is quite different from their Baked-To-Last bronzer because it has a matte finish. It’s a super slimline compact and the powder has a very faint honey smell. The texture of the bronzer is wonderful; finely-milled with a cute honeycomb pattern. I do find the powder flies around a bit and you might have to swipe your brush over the powder a few times as the colour is very light. I really don’t think you can stuff up using this bronzer and I’d certainly buy it again (I’m pretty sure I read that it’s joined The Body Shop’s permanent collection, hope so).
  • Too Faced Peach Leopard brightening and perfecting bronzer. I mean, who can resist a bronzer called Peach Leopard, complete with a picture of a cute leopard on the funky packaging. This bronzer looks a little scary at first. I thought it would be too bright orange or muddy brown on my oh-so-pale skin. But…no ladies! This is a wonderful, swirling combination of warm soft peach and chocolate. When you sweep the brush across the bronzer, you don’t get any messy fall out. You seem to get just the right amount of bronzer to give your face a healthy looking glow. Again, I think it will best suit pale skins. I’d certainly buy this again.

I will do a post on my favourite blushes soon.