MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder ($25.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “finely spun gold with soft pearl finish.” When I swatched it, it was a medium-dark tan brown with a mostly matte finish–hardly any shimmer/sparkle, though I could see it in the pan. Guerlain Terra Nerolia is more orange and shimmery. Too Faced Bronzed & Poreless is more yellow-toned. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes is darker.

I had a very odd experience with this shade (as well as the other one, which I’ll be reviewing soon), which was it was nearly impossible to get color payoff out of it. It felt like plastic almost, not a powder; I almost thought it was a cream. I have, actually, once received a powder compact that was filled with a plastic “powder” pan instead of a real powder pan. I thought maybe it was twice lucky… No, it was a powder–I scraped at it with a metal spatula to dislodge enough product to swatch. It felt almost creamy but there was next to no color payoff. But lo and behold, after rubbing off a few layers with a paper towel, it seemed to be more like a powder. I was able to get it to show up on my cheeks. It lasted seven and a half hours on me, and then it was slightly faded after eight hours.

With all of that said, my version is a press sample, and though it was in regular retail packaging (so it wasn’t an early batch or a small-run of products, which just means it should be what you get), I’m so baffled by it, I’m not really sure. This is part of the permanent range, though, and I have had this shade previously without the odd texture issues. My rating is based on this being a one-off, odd occurrence (and rating based on the texture of my older compact) but recommend checking it out for yourself or buying the permanent version (cheaper and available in a black compact). Β I’m still finding it a very,Β very bizarre event.

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total
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MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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15 Comments

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I had this bronzer from the Style Warrior collection and had the exact same problem – next to no payoff whatsoever. I’m wondering if this is typical for special edition releases? I’m sure I had Refined Golden once before when I was younger from the permanent line and didn’t experience these issues.

I don’t know – I believe my last one was from a limited edition release and was fine! πŸ™ It’s SOOO weird.

I owned a very similar Clinique bronzer..the ”True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer” in Sunswept..
I felt it was on the drier side and hard to get enough product to apply… so i guess this belong to the same family..:D
Personally i used Mac Blot Powder in Medium Deep (as i’m a NC15) as a bronzer. It was easier to apply,but not as long lasting as i hoped, especially in summer..

The texture issues are odd. I’m thinking if this could be the same as flaming chic extra dimension blush, I remember people complaining about a weird “film”… I have hey sailor version of this bronzer and I like it! I guess that’s good for me since I won’t be purchasing this one, however I want a back up of sun dipped πŸ™‚ (I still have last year’s version too)

I had to re-read the review, trying to get a visual! lol! That is odd. I wondered what you meant with filled with plastic powder. =D

I loved Refined Golden from the permanent range. For the longest time, it’s all I used on cheeks regardless of whatever other color(s) I have on and received compliments. Sometimes I wonder what prompted me to stray. Anyway, I hope this is just a one-off situation.

A lot of cosmetics counters–I know Lancome does it a lot–will have a compact for a powder that looks just like the regular product, and will have a plastic insert that has the same coloring as the product in place of the actual powder. I assume it’s just for display purposes. I hope that helps you get a better visual!

That’s stupid seeing as people would want to buy it mainly for the packaging..could you tell me when the golden elixir strobe review will be posted? Thanks πŸ™‚

It looks orange on you!
I love this powder! It looks so good on!!!
I only buy the permanent version since I don’t really care for the special packaging and neither want to spend the extra cash…I wanna buy the pro longwear this time since i missed out on them last year. I don’t really like the packaging in this collection, preferred last year ones

I’m really getting into bronzer this year! I kinda like this one, the shimmer is very refined idd, it’s a great balance between the matte bronzers and the overly frosty once if you ask me.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!