Last summer I was searching for a bronzer that would work for contour rather than just for warming up my face. Without much beauty knowledge or experience this proved quite a difficult task that included plenty of trial and error. My biggest problem was that I was scared of getting it wrong and appearing in public with what looked like muddy marks down my face- this proved to be my bronzer downfall.
In fear of getting one too dark I went to the other extreme and picked the lighter shade of any product I bought. However, I hadn't realised that, in many brands, the lighter shade was more orangey toned (to reduced the overall depth of the brown) so I was buying a lot of- on my skin tone- orange based powders. In my bid to avoid an overly contoured face I'd actually achieved a maximum tangerine makeover.
This was only enhanced by my next massive error, "Is it showing up, I don't think it is; it must be too light-better apply more." I had successfully become an Oompa Loompa and was about to take up perminent residence in a chocolate factory before I finally saw a photograph of myself. One word: mortified. But at least I'd finally come to my senses.
What I had unknowingly been doing was applying a bronzer designed for warming my face where I was trying to contour, giving my face zero dimensions and achieving exactly the opposite of what I'd intended.
Enter e.l.f. contouring blush and bronzing powder. I actually bought this on our trip to America from the less than sophisticated makeup supplier- Target. However, on this first day food shop I found myself wandering down the makeup isles staring idly at the 50 different shades of pink lipstick. It was in this jet-lagged, blurry-eyed and I'm-never-going-to-find-the-pop-tarts haze that I stumbled across a blush and bronzer duo that became my countouring saviour. How did I know- because it said the word 'Countouring' on the packet. I know, and no one was more distressed than me that my gradual descent into satsumaville could have been averted by a simple reading of packaging. But dwelling on the past was not going to help me so I took a big step and layed my 3 dollars out on the line for another new bronzer.
And it was worth it. Although this bronzer is warm toned I no longer look like I've been rubbed in a bad shade of fake tan. It is buildable and easy to use, even for a beginner and I actually find it works! (Something I'm seriously not used to on the face front). It has tiny bits of shimmer in it which warm my face and give me a healthy glow without making me look like a disco ball and it does create a successful shadow beneath my cheekbones and around my temple. It blends really nicely to give me a more natural definition without totally disappearing sparking the dangerous 'I need more' cycle I found myself a perminent inhabitant of before.
The blush is also a lovely colour, it's a bright and warm toned pink- perfect for spring and summer. It is also buildable and easy to blend and has more shimmer in it than the bronzer, doubling it as a highlighter. I like to wear the pair together and separately, both combinations create natural, glowing results.
They are definitely not matt powders and are both warm shades for my face resulting in them getting the most use in spring and summer when my face gets a bit more colour.
The packaging is simple and solid, it is easy to transport as both powders are pressed and in the same compact. It also has a large mirror in the lid that I use for touching up my makeup when I'm 'on the go.'
It does not contain a brush which makes the packaging smaller but means one has to be carried around separately. This does not bother me personally as I always carry the body shop miniature brush set in my bag anyway.
Overall I was very impressed with this product, especially considering the price. It saved me from my bronzing disasters which had been haunting me from my first bronzer purchase and has taught me a valuable life lesson- always read the packaging!
I hope this has been useful to anyone on a budget looking for a new bronzer and has reasured you that bronzing isn't as easy as everyone makes it look!
If you'd like me to do a review on the body shop brushes or any other makeup I carry around with me please pop a comment down below. Also, if you have any other bronzer recommendations please let me know and I will try and test them out!