Drugstore Bronzer: Hit or Miss?

A few things about summer makeup I will never understand: 1. Why do bronzers come in such large packages? (The Sephora brand bronzer is seriously as big as a CD.)
2. Why in the
hell are they so expensive?!

Feeling bored with my usual bronzer (Bare Escentuals Warmth), I wanted something new, but hesitated because it seemed like such an investment (both of cash and of valuable counter space). After agonizing over department store brands since the beginning of Spring, I gave up and headed to Bartell's. At least there I had some options and wouldn't feel too ripped off if nothing worked out.

It seems as if Physicians Formula has exploded in product number and variety, so it looked like a good place to start. Prior to my drugstore adventure, I checked out their slick bronzer demo to find the perfect shade. I'm def a pale girl and I like a bit of shimmer, so I went with the Shimmer Strips in Vegas Strip ($11.95).

I excitedly took it out of the package, ready to be completely wow-ed with my new bronze gorgeousness. Keeping the dirty face picture in mind, I started with a few light swipes of the brush. And there was...nothing. A few more, still looking. Now I went to town, swirling the big fluffy brush around the entire compact, really working the color in there. And, finally, I saw some results. There was some color, but it looked more like a highlighter than a bronzer. I tried it several more times with different brushes and still no improvement. Overall, I think the problem is with poor pigmentation and saturation. Disappointing. Final verdict: MISS.

After that bummer, I headed to ULTA to try again. Remembering the Sally Hansen Natural Beauty eyeshadow palette I reviewed a few weeks ago, I decided to see if Carmindy could help me out. The Natural Beauty Sun Glow Powder Bronzer in Spring ($12.99) looked promising. I liked that it has a deeper bronzer (far left), a pink highlight (center), and a shimmer (far right).

Again, I started out cautiously, carefully applying color to my cheekbones. Hmmmm, I thought, after the first few swipes, this is looking pretty good. And, it continued to look good that day, the next day, and the day after that. In fact, I've been wearing it every day for over a week and I don't see myself changing any time soon. The pigmentation is much better than the PF and it has the right bronzer/shimmer ratio. Final verdict: HIT!

I'm so glad I went the drugstore route for this little experiment. My success rate is only 50%, but (after coupon and discounts), it only cost me around $20 to find the perfect summer glow. And that's a price I can live with.



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