Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mega bronzer comparison on fair skin [review] [swatches]

I absolutely adore bronzer - it gives my face a healthy glow with more dimension. Today I wanted to share my bronzer collection with you all and show you my favorite bronzers for fair skin. I own bronzers at many different price points and with different finishes, so hopefully you can find one that suits you. Disclaimer: I bought all of these myself with my own money.

Keep reading for comparisons and swatches!

Swatches over bare skin with no primer. I swatched these bronzers very heavily to show the differences in undertone and depth, but remember that they will look more similar when worn sheerly on the cheeks.

Bronzer comparison L to R: NARS Laguna, Bare Minerals Skinny Dip, Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil, Benefit Hoola, Hourglass Radiant Light Ambient Lighting Powder, NYC Sunny, Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Light Bronze
  1. NARS Laguna - $39 - golden tan with a subtle golden pearl throughout, very pigmented
  2. Bare Minerals Skinny Dip - $24 (full size price, mine was a 2 in 1 from a kit) - matte warm bronze that shows a subtle coral undertone, moderately pigmented
  3. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil - $30 - matte light tan with a slight mustard yellow undertone, lightly pigmented, smells like chocolate, scent doesn't linger on the cheeks
  4. Benefit Hoola - $28 (full size price, mine is a mini from this holiday palette) - matte warm bronze with a hint of an olive tan undertone, very pigmented
  5. Hourglass Radiant Light - $45 (powder), $58 (palette) - light warm peachy orange bronze with shimmer, shows up as a satin texture on the skin, lightly pigmented (meant as a finishing powder)
  6. NYC Sunny - $3 - mid tone warm bronze, classic warm bronzer shade
  7. Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Light Bronze - $12 - warm golden tan with a peachy undertone and a shimmer finish with no obvious glitter/shimmer pieces, mosaic pearls allow you to blend more of the tan, bronze, and champagne colors to customize, meant as a highlighter

Bronzer swatches L to R: NARS Laguna, Bare Minerals Skinny Dip, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, Benefit Hoola

Bronzer swatches L to R: Benefit Hoola, Hourglass Radiant Light Ambient Lighting Powder, NYC Sunny, Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Light Bronze

Of all of the bronzers shown, my most used are NARS Laguna, Benefit Hoola, and Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil. I love the subtle golden pearl that runs through Laguna, by comparison the Physician's Formula pearls and Hourglass Radiant are both more shimmery. Bare Minerals Skinny Dip is a very unique shade and works well with peachy blushes due to its warm (almost coral?) undertones. Too Faced Milk  Chocolate Soleil is especially fair skin friendly, given that the product is the lightest shade shown and has the coolest undertone of the bunch. The Too Faced also has a much firmer press, so the texture is harder by comparison to Benefit Hoola and Physician's Formula, both of which are buttery in texture. NARS Laguna, Hourglass Radiant, and Bare Minerals Skinny Dip all have a smooth, silky texture. NYC Sunny lacks the luxurious texture of higher end powders, but is pigmented and a great affordable choice for a basic bronzer. All of the bronzers shown have nice formulas, blend easily, and last well on my skin.

My top picks for bronzer brushes are the Hakuhodo K022 ($38, goat hair) and the Real Techniques Blush Brush ($9, synthetic). The Hakuhodo K022 is a tapered medium sized powder brush with a pinched ferrule that comes to a rounded top, I love using this for bronzer, blush, and finishing powder due to its softness and shape. The Real Techniques Blush Brush is an oval egg shaped tapered brush that applies bronzer beautifully, but I find it too big for blush and too floppy for powder.

I hope this was helpful to you - all of these bronzers work well on my fair skin. Happy shopping!


  1. How would you compare Hourglass Radiant Light to Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil? I already have the hourglass palette and am wondering if they are very similar or different enough to warrant having both.

    1. Great question! They are different enough to have both for sure. The Too Faced is matte, lighter, and cooler toned than the Hourglass.

  2. Thanks for the swatches! I'm looking for a bronzer to give a little bit of definition to my face and can't decide between Benefit Hoola and Too Faced Milk Chocolate - my skin is cool toned and fair to light. Thank you!

    1. Both are really nice, but I think Milk Chocolate would probably suit you better!

  3. I'm not pale, but I do have a quite light, neutral skintone with yellow undertones. Do you think the BareMinerals Skinny Dip would suit someone who prefers more natural and sunkissed bronzers?


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