Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit
MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Face Kits
I like that MAC tried something new – a face palette. I haven’t seen them put out a face palette in quite some time, and the tiered system of this compact is convenient. These palettes actually do have some heft to them, so they’re not ultra lightweight or anything. (I was very surprised at how heavy my bag was when I purchased the palettes in general–sure felt like I was walking out with a lot!) I think at the price range, these feel a little steep. It’s hard to tell just exactly how much product you’re getting of each and if it’s really a better deal than if you bought them separately.
Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit ($38.00 U.S.)
- Pretty Baby is a soft, powdery pink beauty powder. Beauty powders can be used as all-over powders, blushes, highlighters, etc. It’s really up to you on how you want to use it, and depending on your skin tone, what may be the best use for it. I remember when it launched with the Diana Ross collection and I’d use it everyday, but I couldn’t tell you what it did for my skin/face.
- Sunsparked Pearl is a pearly peach highlighter. It’s one of my favorite MAC highlighters, because it has subtle shimmer and a great “glow” factor. I’ve always felt it worked particularly well on warm skin, but it’s also nice on cooler skin.
- Peachykeen is a peachy-coral blush shade that is available all the time. It’s one of my favorite blushes (MAC has an excellent line of permanent blush shades).
Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit ($38.00 U.S.)
- Golden is a golden-brown bronzing shade with subtle gold pearl shimmer.
- Buffed & Polished is a glitzy gilded bronze with golden shimmer. It reads a little chunky shimmer to me, though, so it’s not my favorite to use on the face.
- Sunbasque is a deep bronzy peach. Again, it’s an excellent blush and part of the permanent shade range.
I liked the Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit best. I think it’s wearable for both warm and cool skin tones, and I think it works well to give you a brighter, glowier look without a fuss. The Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit is exactly that–a bronzing kit. Since I’d rather just opt for a single bronzer than a whole kit full, it’s not my thing. I think it may lean too orange for some as well.
- Product: 27/30
- Value: 8/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 4/5
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Warmth Glow n’ Bronzer
2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Glow n’ Bronzers
There are three Glow n’ Bronzers to choose from, and each one contains four strips of color. You could likely use each one individually to highlight or use on eyes, but as a blush/bronzer, it is most practical to use all four together (“swirled”). The Glow n’ Bronzers ($15.00 each for 16.1 g/0.57 oz.) are very much like the Marble Blushes. Each strip is soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. These also wear well and last me most of the day–or as long as I needed it to! Like the Marble Blushes, these give a soft sheen rather than chunky glitter or shimmer particles, so if you’ve found other baked products too shimmery, these might be more your cup of tea.
- Warmth contains four strips of color: pale white-beige, neutral brown with pink undertones, soft, pale pink, and bronze. When swirled together, you get a soft, bronzy-pink shade. I’d see this working well on paler skin tones.
- Sun Kissed contains four strips of color: light beige with pink, soft orange, taupe-y bronze, and warm bronze. I will caution that my swatches are a bit misleading on this one, only because some of it is so similar to my skin tone, so on paler complexions, you’d definitely see a bit more bang for your buck. On the other hand, this one works extremely well with my coloring, because it looks very natural and definitely gives me a “sunkissed” look. Swirled together, you’ll see a soft, coppeyr-bronze shade with soft gold sheen.
- Toasted contains four strips of color: taupe-brown with pink, pale ivory-beige, soft golden peach, and rich copper. When used together, the colors come together to create a soft golden sheen. On me, it looks more like a highlighter more so than a bronzer.
Compared to MAC: I’d say these are most like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes (particularly the limited edition releases from Brunette, Blonde, Redhead, since those, too, had strips of color). Again, these are cheaper at $15.00 for 16.1g/0.57 oz. compared to MAC at $27.00 for 10g/0.35 oz. MAC also offers a larger variety on types of mineralize skinfinishes, since some are blushers, while others can bronze your skin and still others are highlighters. MAC’s tend to be swirled/marbled rather than with strips, too. One thing I noticed is that when I swirled MAC mineralize skinfinishes together (from BBR), the strips didn’t mix so much. With the 2nd Love Glow n’ Bronzers, when you mix them, you can kind of see that you did that. You can dust everything off and it’s all as it should be, though. When you use a brush, this effect is extremely minimized; it is more pronounced when you use sponges/fingers.
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Benefit 10 Powder ($28.00) is a combination highlighter and bronzing duo. If you’ve seen Benefit’s other powders like CORALista or Dandelion, it’s the same idea, but the powder is split in half — half is a bronzer, half is a highlighter. The highlighter is a light, milky silvery-pink with soft sheen but no real glitter particles (that’s a good thing, by the way). The bronzer is similar in texture and sheen, except it’s a peachy-bronze color with gold sheen. You can see how I used it in a look here.
10 is one of those products that takes some trial and error before you can appreciate its genius. Once you do get the hang of it, though, it is a grab-and-go kind of experience. I personally used the 168 and 169 respectively for this product, and I found it worked just right for me. I do suggest using a light hand initially, so you don’t over-do it or get a ruddy/muddy result. The highlighter is just that–a highlighter–so unless you are extremely fair, don’t go into it expecting to use it as a pink blush!
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Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Josie Maran Bronzing Argan Oil ($52.00 for 1.7 oz.)
Josie Maran has created Bronzing Argan Oil to keep you get that sunkissed look without the sun. It’s a lightweight moisturizer that can be used all over–your body, face, and even hair. I like it on legs over all else, but the “bronze shimmer” is subtle enough to be used on the face. It’s really a natural glow, a bit bronzing but more brightening, than anything else, too. It has an earthy orange-y citrus scent, which I do like more than the scent of Josie Maran’s original Argan Oil. It’s worked so far on my acne-prone skin without incident (yay!), and I think those of you who have great skin already, this is a nice way to enhance it without covering anything up, too.
Ingredients: Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Silica, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil May Also Contain:Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide.
Josie Maran’s products are formulated to be more organic and natural. Her Argan Oil products contain 100% Organic Argan Oil. It’s Earth Month, so for those looking to go be a little more natural in their beauty regimens might want to check out Josie Maran’s line of products. I like that the Josie Maran website offers detailed information about ingredients, packaging, and a great symbol key to put it all in perspective.
Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Best Bronzers for Over $30
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Powder ($65.00) contains four shades that go from light to dark. They can be used together, swirled, or alone for personalization, which is definitely nice. The compact is large enough where you can feasibly use one or two shades alone, rather than all four. What I love about this bronzer is it feels silky and smooth, very finely milled. It feels weightless, and it looks very, very natural. It has a subtle shimmer sheen when applied, but the shimmer isn’t overly so. It falls into the category of “sophisticated” shimmer–the kind that doesn’t accentuate facial flaws.
Guerlain Terracotta Mineral Loose Powder ($65.00) is a sheer-to-medium buildable, loose bronzer. It’s new for the spring/summer season, and included with the bronzer pot is a miniature kabuki brush. It is available in three shades: Light, Medium, and Dark. Light is probably going to be too light for most; this shade is most suitable for those who want just the faintest (and I mean faintest!) hint of color on them–perhaps as an allover powder vs. where the sun hits. Medium is a more universal shade that doesn’t go on glowing orange. It didn’t feel like there was any shimmer in it to me, and I did find it fairly blendable. The biggest downside is that it can get messy. Being a loose powder means that you may find a cloud of bronzer poof when you open the container, and you may get more powder than you’d like on your brush.
Dior Bronze Collagen Activ Bronzer ($48.00) is a new bronzer from Dior that is designed to help smooth and fill fine lines. It’s not just makeup, it’s makeup with skincare ingredients in it. The bronzer also has SPF25, which is nice, though not necessary (I’m already going to wear SPF all over my face, so my bronzer doesn’t have to have it). The new bronzer comes in four shades: Healthy Tan, Honey Tan, Amber Tan, and Spicy Tan. It’s near matte in finish, and it gives you a glowy, sunkissed look that looks very natural–no orange glow here. I found this particular bronzer very blendable upon application, and it felt softer and less powdery, too.
What’s your favorite bronzer?
Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Best Bronzers for $30 or Less
Prescriptives Mineral Bronzer ($30.00) is available in both Cool and Warm, which is something I can really appreciate from Prescriptives. I can just imagine some of the trials our cool-toned beauty addicts have to go through to find a bronzer that works well. I picked up the Warm Mineral Bronzer, and it’s smooth, silky in texture, and it gives me a subtle, natural glow. There is shimmer in it, which Prescriptives calls Radiance Emitting Crystals Complex (R.E.C.) — a combination of amethyst, rose quartz, and calcite. It’s oil-free and talc-free for those concerned about ingredients and oil.
MAC Bronzing Powder ($21.00) comes in three shades: Golden, Refined Golden, and Bronze. Golden is suitable for paler to medium-toned complexions, and it is not quite as pigmented as the other two shades. Refined Golden is a good color for those who are medium-toned in complexion, though it does seem to run a little peachier/orange-y if you are really cool-toned. Bronze is best suited for deeper complexions, and it does have some shimmer in its finish. MAC’s Bronzing Powder does seem to run a bit more pigmented than the typical bronzer, so take heed and use a light hand when you first give it a try. The shimmer may be too much or too little, depending on your preference, but the wear time is tops for this bronzer.
Smashbox Bronze Lights ($28.00) is available in two shades: Suntanned Matte and Sunkissed Matte. Bronze Lights is a silky, matte bronzer–aka no shimmer or glitter or any frostiness in its finish. Those with larger pores, skin concerns, or signs of aging will appreciate Bronze Lights’ lack of shimmer. It’s also a nice way to get a beautiful, sunkissed glow, which you can always highlight with your favorite highlighter. I often prefer to highlight separately, because then I can actually highlight, rather than just have shimmer everywhere I applied the bronzer. (In my case, I like to highlight the tops of cheekbones.) Sunkissed Matte will best suit paler and peachier/pinker complexions, I think, while Suntanned Matte is better for medium to dark complexions as it’s more on the brown side. I didn’t find either to run orange, though!
We’ve got three more top picks for bronzers! Continue reading →