Well, it’s that time of year again. For the makeup obsessives (like me), I bring you my favourite bronzers – the ones I’ve been turning to regularly. You can check out my fav bronzers for 2012 and 2013 here and here. Looking back on the 2013 list, only two bronzers appear in my 2014 list – MAC Refined Golden and Swedish brand, Maria Åkerberg, bronzer in the shade Sun Kissed. None of the bronzers I favoured in 2012 appear in 2014. It’s not because I don’t like them anymore; it’s just that I’m having a love affair with a different set of bronzing powders.

Let’s get into it shall we?

In the first photo below, from left to right in the top row:

Art Deco Jungle Fever Bronzing Powder compact SPF15. This is a German brand that I really like. We can get Art Deco at Farmers here in NZ. The brand comes out with fabulous collections twice a year and I’m a sucker for pretty packaging. I have the Bronzing Glow Blusher from the Jungle Fever range (called Queen of the Jungle) and the Blush Couture from the Talbot Runhof collection. The colourful design for the Jungle Fever collection is GAW-JUS and features a silver dragonfly flying through a jungle of palm fronds and exotic flowers (at least that’s how I see it).

There are two large bronzers from this collection (02 and 08) and I have the lighter 02 shade. This is a matte bronzer and comes in an amber plastic case with the Jungle Fever pattern appearing underneath the top of the case. I wish they had it available in the colourful packaging for the blusher (see photo below) but, if you turn the compact this way and that, you can see the pattern peeping through. When you open the bronzer compact, you get a lovely surprise: an embossed Jungle Fever pattern. I’m not sure yet but I think the embossed pattern runs throughout the bronzer and is not just on the surface.

This bronzer is great for pale faces like me. I can dust lightly for a natural glow or go a bit deeper. I’ve had this bronzer for a few months now and I don’t seem to have made a dent in it; so it will last me a long time. It’s free of fragrance, mineral oils, parabens and lanolin and Inca oil is a key ingredient.

Napoleon Bronze Patrol. I remember back in the 1990s when Australian makeup artist, Napoleon Perdis, launched his cosmetic line. I still have some eyeshadows from his early days and a Blush Patrol in old, white packaging (it’s now in a shiny gold case like the Bronze Patrol). I kind of lost touch with Napoleon products throughout the 2000s – guess I was more caught up with brands like Too Faced, Benefit and MAC. Recently though, I decided to check Napoleon stuff out and couldn’t resist Bronze Patrol. What a stunner. It’s one of those baked, dome-shaped bronzers and is made in Italy (bonus!). It comes in a shiny gold case and doesn’t have a mirror (makes it lighter in weight).

When I bought mine, the sales gal opened up a drawer stuffed full of bronzers and asked me to pick the one I most liked. Each paraben-free bronzer is different – some are darker, some have more obvious gold flecks or some are like the one I chose. I wanted one that was light in colour but had pretty gold flecks and a hint of shimmer. It’s quite pigmented so a light hand is necessary even though it looks quite light. It imparts a natural looking luminescence and stays put all day long. Apparently, if you mist an eyeshadow brush with water, you can use Bronze Patrol as an eyeshadow – must try that.

natural looking luminescence
natural looking luminescence
natural looking luminescence

I have a renewed addiction for Napoleon products thanks to this bronzer.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Powder in No.40. There are seven shades available in the range and I bought mine Duty Free in Bangkok during our stopover on the way to Bhutan. I love the cream and black square compact – very stylish – and even the half-moon domed-shaped brush is gorgeous. Normally, I throw these out but this soft brush is perfect to apply the velvety powder.

No chance of ending up like an Oompa Loompa because the Les Beiges powders are very finely milled with a very sheer finish. Technically, these powders aren’t really bronzers but heck, who cares? I think this is why the sales gal suggested #40 for me as it’s a darker powder. I was initially put off by the fragrance, which is that classic floral Chanel scent, but I rather like it now. I haven’t tried Les Beiges as an all-over setting powder: must do that because it’s said to give a luminous, natural glow. Certainly, #40 is a permanent addition to my (rather large) bronzer collection.

Middle row left to right:

Maria Åkerberg bronzer in Sun Kissed. I may as well just repeat my description from last year, nothing has changed. I still love this matte bronzer. No matter what brush I use, it just seems to impart the perfect amount of colour. The bronzer is a lovely warm, soft pecan shade and just looks stunning on the cheeks. The good news is that the company left a comment on this blog to say they are happy to ship outside of Sweden. Yeehah!

NARS Laguna. A costly item in NZ at around $72.00 but I had a gift voucher and decided to take the plunge. For many years, I’ve wanted Laguna but read reviews that say it can look muddy, especially on fair skin. Now I’m kicking myself for not having bought it years ago. Mind you, I have to be VERY careful with application and I think the Art Deco and Maria Åkerberg bronzers are a better match for my skin tone. I really like using Laguna as a transition or crease colour.

MAC Refined Golden bronzing powder. Part of the 2013 Temperature Rising collection, Refined Golden is a lightly frosted medium brown shade. When you look at this bronzer in the pan, it seems there is a fair bit of gold sparkle going on but when applied, it’s a natural, sheer colour. I like to wear it with a dusting of NARS’ Gina or Deep Throat on top.

Yves Saint Laurent “Poudre De Soleil” Sun Powder. I picked this up at Sydney Airport in 2009 I think, then promptly forgot about it hahaha! As I was organising my makeup a few months ago, I rediscovered it. To tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure what shade this is. It does have a #1 on the back of the compact but I seem to recall it’s #4. I think it was part of the YSL Treasures of Africa collection.

Whatever. It’s incredibly silky and gives a golden flush that is very natural. A very easy little bronzer to travel with too as it’s sleek and slim.


My seven favourite bronzers for 2014.


Most of them are matte.


The wonderful Jungle Fever pattern of the Art Deco bronzer (L) and Napoleon’s Bronze Patrol. Just look at those gorgeous swirls!!


The colourful Jungle Fever art work by Art Deco. How gorgeous is this??!!