Thursday, September 15th, 2011

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Art of Powder: Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). It contains a good amount of product, and it will take quite some time to get through it.

If you’re not feeling the neon pink, you’re in luck: it doesn’t go all the way through. It’s thicker than your typical overspray, but it definitely does not go all the way through (video is forthcoming with much excavation!). The product is the golden tan you see protruding from the compact. I gouged a chunk out of the corner, and you can see how the pink is only on the surface I also used a small shadow brush to brush back-and-forth against a line of pink and eventually it disappeared and revealed pure golden tan underneath.

The color this bronzer is a warmed-up, medium tan with a very subtle golden sheen. The sheen is almost too faint, actually! It doesn’t impart much of a glowy sheen applied, because the sheen is so subtle–which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference. The pigmentation is decent, but the color is on the lighter side. On my medium skin tone, it’s subtle and soft. I expect this is better suited for lighter skin tones. It does have an orangeness to it that may not work well with pinker or naturally red complexions, because it may turn ruddy.

It has a really finely-milled, soft texture, which makes it extremely easy to blend on the skin but there is some powdery dust because of the overall softness. The subtle sheen means it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. The texture is almost as soft as the Studio Careblend Pressed Powder Bronzers but I find those to be softer overall (but more pigmented, and if you want something foolproof, Optical Bronzer is that).

I wore it on one cheek (had the highlighter on the other–that’s called multi-tasking!), and it wore well for about six hours before starting to fade, which is shy of good (eight hours). It’s decent but not better than MAC’s regular bronzing line-up or various limited edition releases they’ve done every couple of months. The mix of pink and tan could have made for an interesting mix or take on bronzer in general (think Chanel’s Soleil Bronzers) but was not the case here.

The Glossover



It's a little powdery, but it may suit lighter skin tones who are looking for a very subtle, barely shimmered bronzer--the only potential issue is it does have an orange tone to it, which may not work with those with pink undertones. The wear is below average (and I have normal to dry skin).











Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Optical Bronzer? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics on September 29th, 2011; $38.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

You could try something like MAC Golden Bronzing Powder.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

26 thoughts on “MAC Art of Powder: Optical Bronzer Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Hehe, I loved how you performed ‘surgery’ on it. ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. I am still not sure what I should think about this product, but it defenitly looks pretty on your cheeks!^^

  3. Sarah

    its so hypnotizing!! i dont think im going to get it !! but the colour suit you

  4. Pretty on you, but definitely too orange for me!

    I am so fair that I have a very difficult time with bronzers. I never wear them anyway, so unless I find the perfect one…

    Another pass for me! My wallet is happy.

  5. Lydia

    Thanx for digging and show us!

  6. You look soo pretty Christine <3 Great review!!!!

  7. this is really pretty!

  8. It looks pretty on you! The texture looks almost cream-like in the gouged out region ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. Brandi G.

    The design is beautiful, makes me want it! But I fear it will be orange-y on my fair skin, like ALL Mac bronzers. : (

  10. Crissy

    I’m disappointed you can’t see any pink! It looks gorgeous in the pan. I’m still going to check it out in person!

  11. 106luisa

    In italia sarร  distribuita?

  12. Carrie Ann

    It looks pretty, but I just don’t think these powders are worth $38. Aside from the designs, there’s nothing that unique about them. You can get a great bronzer or highlighter for a lot less money. I’ll be skipping this collection completely. As always, thanks for the reviews! Whatever you have on your lips in that picture is really pretty.

  13. Lucie

    Aw, darn, I would love it if the pink went all the way through. A duo-coloured blush in a design like this would be so cool!

  14. Yianna

    this looks.. orange. like a bad fake tan.

  15. Mariella

    At first, I thought the gouge happened from normal use and then I read the details of your research! You are such a great help to the rest of us. Unless it’s your lighting, this doesn’t look very flattering even on you (and just about everything looks good on you, Christine) – it looks sort of muddy and seems to drain the brightness from your face. Honestly, instead of releasing all this nutty new gimmicky stuff, a lot of us would be happy to see them repromote some of the good stuff from past collections.

  16. Christine O

    I am really beginning to feel somewhat cheated by MAC as of late. All I feel I am seeing from them is collection after collection and the quality is not what it used to be. I think they lure us in with trendy and cool looks but the payoff just isn’t what it used to be.

    I feel that if you want to keep you loyal customer base as well as lure new customers in then yes, a new product here and there will help but keep the quality worth wanting to spend $38 on a small palette. I certainly do not like feeling cheated by any company and when the “pretty” part of the makeup is just a small over-spray of gold or silver, that just turns me off on future purchases because now I feel like I am being lied to. Anyone else feel like this?

  17. It’s so pretty but i’m kinda annoyed that the pink doesn’t go all the way through, I rather like the pink haha! What is it with Mac and oversprays? x

  18. Daisy

    The bronzer isn’t for me, as I’m white as a ghost. But what color are you wearing on your lips? It’s absolutely gorgeous.

  19. Laura

    I feel like it’s almost false advertising when MAC releases these products and then the pink or gold is gone after a few uses, I wish they’d go higher quality and run the colors all the way through

  20. Frannie

    is it similar to “gold-go-lightly” (or something like that)from the collection “surf baby”?? because i have it, and to me they look almost the same colour..
    (i hope you can understan my bad english ;] )

      • Ursula

        I agree that Mac is not the best quality, the products look great usually but they are generally very disappointing as far as quality goes, perhaps I am just not a fan, I wanted to be and tried several products but from mascaras that would totally run off and bad powders and foundations I was not real impressed to say the least. The quality really does not compare to the best in my humble opinion.