Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 25I (Left) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (Right).
One of the few makeup products that I wouldn’t want to live without is probably a bronzer (along with mascara, brows and concealer). It’s ability to bring life to a sallow complexion and transform it by giving it a radiant, sun- kissed glow to your dull, tired skin should never be undermined. Benefit Hoola and Nars Leguna are two of my faves; not too orange but just the right level of warmth to make me look a little less anaemic (must remember to increase my red meat intake). However, bronzers don’t come without their flaws and imperfections. Few products do. My main qualms with bronzers are, 1. when they fade too soon for my liking, and not evenly either but often in unevenly meaning patchy, blotchy bronzer i.e. not a good look. 2. they can look powdery. I mean, if you’e wearing makeup, more often than not, you’re going to be able to see that you’re wearing makeup especially when it comes to powder products because by nature, they’re powders hence why they have a powdery finish. Not rocket science. But that might not be the case anymore….intrigued? I bet you are!
Step forward not one but two bronzers that claim to give a natural look and glow, and by ‘natural’, could they possibly mean non-powdery, seamless and non-patchy? You’re damn right they are! The first of the two is the first one I purchased and it’s the Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion (I picked up the shade 25I) which comes in six shades and two finishes; matte and iridescent. It was non other than Jaclyn Hill that brought my attention to this new (ish) bronzer of course (my number 1. enabler). It claims to leave ‘no trace, no powdery finish’ and ‘only mistake-proof colour’. Not ever heard of the term ‘mistake-proof’ before but I’ll go with it. This apparently is due to a ‘breakthrough’ formula ( almost as bad as the term ‘ground-breaking’ especially when it fails to live up to your expectations) which allows the product to ‘glide’ onto the skin leaving behind nothing but pigment a la natural looking tan. It also claims to be lightweight with a coverage that is buildable and blends onto the skin effortlessly. A lot of big claims here and I have to say….. I absolutely agree!
Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 25I
Now when it comes to bronzers, I’m a matte girl through and through. The only kind of shine or shimmer I like on my cheeks is from a highlighter at the tops of my cheekbones (and even then it’s more of a sheen). So when I came face to face with this bronzer, I was somewhat confused. The ‘matte’ finish version was matte, obviously, but the ‘iridescent’ version looked also matte when looking at it in the compact. There was no shimmery particles, that I could see with the naked eye, in sight and me being me wanted to go for the same shade as Jaclyn Hill (of course) which was 30I. When I told the sales assistant that 30I was the shade I wanted, her face dropped and the words ’30I is really, REALLY dark’ came out of her mouth as she pointed to the darkest one. But Jaclyn Hill is more fairer than me (but probably similar to my skin tone when tanned) so how could it be too dark for me? But it did look dark so I settled for the shade below that which was 25I.,
Do you ever change your mind about a product from the first time you try it? It happens to me occasionally and this was no exception. On strictly a first impression basis only, I thought it was too warm. I try to, for the most part, refrain from bronzers that veer too much on the orange side. That ‘Oompa Loompa’ look really isn’t my thing. But since then, I have been using this bronzer the most out of all my bronzers for the past couple of months. It isn’t too warm at all but the perfect shade of tan. Aside from the shade, there are two things I really like about the Pro Bronze Fusion. First, it’s buildable meaning you don’t EVER run the risk of going overboard. You can go for a light application and I find with a duo fibre type of brush like the Morphe MB5 Deluxe Duo Foundation, you get a sheer wash of glorious warmth to your complexion. For more colour and quickly, swap for a more conventional powder brush, like the Morphe G2 Pointed Buffer, where the hairs are a bit more densely packed. Second, it leaves nothing but natural pigment on your skin no matter how much you pile on. You could literally shovel it on with a spade and all you will get is a deeply, bronzed and glowing appearance. It’s genius, tanned, holiday skin in a compact. What’s baffling though, is that if you swatch the product with your fingers, you will see that there are in fact microscopic, shimmering particles in the formulation. However, the moment it glides onto your face, the shimmering particles are nowhere to be seen. Totally undetectable.
Being a fan of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting products, I was always going to pick up the bronzer even though when I first saw the product, I thought it would be a sparky, shimmery bronzer and totally not my cup of tea. As I said, I’m a matte bronzer girl through and through. Yet, as more and more people kept raving about this product, the more my interest in it piqued and practically did a total 360 degree U-turn (some may call this FOMO –fear of missing out). I decided to opt for the darker shade of the two available in Radiant Bronze Light, recommended for medium/deep complexions and described as ‘warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow’. I was really excited to try the bronzer but let me warn you; a little goes a long way with this product. A long, long way! This product glides on like a dream, beautifully smooth with no patchiness whatsoever. It illuminates the skin more so than the Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion but yet the shimmery particles you see in the swatch on my finger doesn’t translate on the skin at all. Again, where the hell does it all go? Into some shimmer vacuum in outer space? I have no idea how it works! However, this does lean towards the orange side of the warm spectrum.
Initially, I thought both the Pro Bronze Fusion and the Ambient Lighting Bronzer looked rather similar on the skin but that’s before trying the product on the face both at the same time (yep, one on the right cheek, the other on the left, all in the name of product testing). The Hourglass offering is certainly a lot more warmer which is strange considering the fact that in the photo, you can clearly see the MUFE offering looks darker whilst the Hourglass Bronzer looks rather pale in comparison. Funny that. With the Ambient Lighting Bronzer, I would definitely recommend a light hand and perhaps a brush like a duo fibre one that doesn’t pick up too much product. The more you pack on, the more warmer the skin tone so I try to use it sparingly. In terms of formula, it does behave like the MUFE as in that it leaves no trace of powder behind. Just glorious warm pigment that looks natural-ish (natural in texture and finish, slightly too warm in shade).
So, similar non-powdery textures and glowing, flawless finishes but the main difference between the two though lies in the longevity. The MUFE Pro Bronze Fusion knocks it out of the park when it comes to lasting power and it was so evident when testing the two on my cheeks at the same time. Whilst the MUFE still held up after a long day at work (from around 7.30am to 7.00pm), the Hourglass bronzer has faded quite considerably and this is when it starts to look a tad patchy (big tale-tale sign and not natural at all). So even though the Hourglass bronzer had more pigment and more warmth, it faded much, much quicker in comparison to the MUFE bronzer. So perhaps not one to opt for if you are wanting or needing your makeup to last the whole day.