Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer and Kabuki

I've never been the bronzer type. I typically just accept (even embrace!) my pasty whiteness. Most bronzers, unfortunately, make me look like an Oompa-Loompa. But when these arrived in the mail, I thought, "Why not?" I figured if anyone can do a bronzer that looks awesome on even me, Make Up For Ever can! 

Sure enough, these are the first bronzers I've tried that make me look naturally sun-kissed rather than dirty. The formula is unexpected, and for me, took some getting used to. I thought Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer would perform similarly to Artist Shadow, but the two formulas are nothing alike. The bronzer is much sheerer and firmer than Artist Shadow—and I think that's a good thing. Stripes of bronze on the face is not cute. Having to blend for days to get rid of said stripes is not cool. With these, I rub the brush in a figure-eight motion in the compact as directed, and swipe firmly onto my face. The result is subtle—almost imperceptible, really—and soft-focus. Rather than looking like I've applied powder to my skin, I'm just left with a very, very subtle golden glow. I can see why they call the product "fusion"—it really does seem to fuse with the skin and wear all day. (It's supposed to be waterproof, but I haven't tested that!)

I received the two lightest shades to test: 10M Honey and 15i Amber.

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer Compacts in 15i Amber (left) and 10M Honey (right).

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 15i Amber.

15i Amber is the darker, cooler shade of the two. The "i" in the shade number stands for iridescent—but the shimmer is very, very slight. Don't worry about looking glittery; the finish is very natural. My favourite way to wear this shade is just below my cheekbones, like a subtle contour.

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 10M Honey.

10M Honey is the lighter, warmer of the two, and looks very subtle and golden when applied to the skin. The finish is satiny but matte—very skin-like. (Note that the M in the shade number stands for matte.) I typically wear this shade on my cheekbones and around the edges of my face. Note that it's essentially impossible to overdo it with this bronzer—I dig in with the Pro Bronze Fusion Kabuki, which is designed to be used with these, and even after building heavily, it doesn't look like I'm wearing makeup—just like I have a very slight, fresh, golden glow.

Kabuki Pro Bronze Fusion Brush

The Kabuki Pro Bronze Fusion Brush is soft and dense, and contains a mix of wavy and straight bristles designed to pick up and apply this product perfectly. I wouldn't say it's an essential buy if you'd like to use these bronzers, but it's definitely a nice to have. 

This video provides a demo:

Heavy swatches of Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 15i Amber (left) and 10M Honey (right). 

Heavy swatches of Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 15i Amber (left) and 10M Honey (right). 

See? Very, very subtle. If you're looking for something bolder, skip 10M Honey and go for one of the darker shades.

Rating: Four and a half stars out of five. These are nice, but a little pricey.

The verdict: These bronzers were my gateway to bronzing. Love 'em for summertime. The special kabuki brush, on the other hand, is nice, but probably not essential. Try your other brushes before purchasing this one.

Available: Sephora stores and Sephora.com for $42 (bronzers) and $38 (kabuki brush). The bronzer compacts contain 11 grams of product.

Do you like to bronze your skin? Do you have a favourite bronzer? Have you tried these ones? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: These products were provided by PR for my consideration.

The Sophisticate by Charlotte Tilbury: Review and Photos

The Sophisticate set by Charlotte Tilbury.

Charlotte Tilbury and I are having a moment. A very awestruck, very expensive moment that is forcing me to rethink my current makeup storage solution. When I was asked whether I wanted to review a Charlotte Tilbury look to help introduce her to Vancouver, I almost did a dance. Yes, please! Nearly everything I've tried from her looks and feels beautiful and luxe. Wearing it, I feel delicious. Old Hollywood. Just call me Audrey. (Right.)

Today, I'll be showing you Charlotte's The Sophisticate look, which consists of seven pieces (plus an adorable bag, pictured—sort of—above):

1) The star of the show is the Luxury Palette Colour-Coded Eye Shadows in The Sophisticate ($64).

The Sophisticate Luxury Eye Palette Charlotte Tilbury.

It contains four matte or almost-matte shades. Clockwise from the top left, we have a soft, satiny ivory, called the "prime" shade; a light brown, the "enhance" shade; a cool grey-brown, the "smoke" shade; and a satiny chocolate-brown, the "pop" shade. All of her palettes are colour-coded this way to make creating a cohesive look easy—using various combinations of colours is supposed to take you from day to night, like so:

Desk-Dusk-Disco-Tilbury-Luxury Palette

This is a basic, classy palette that you'll love if you're into matte, neutral eye looks. Like the other Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadows I've tried, pigmentation is medium. For matte shades, they apply and blend fairly well—emphasis on for matte shades. I own two other Tilbury palettes, Dolce Vita and Vintage Vamp, and I find the shimmer shades from both of those easier to work with—they almost blend themselves. A little stiffness is just the nature of almost any matte eyeshadow formula. If you don't mind spending a bit more time with the blending brush, this palette will work well for you. 

2) The supporting character, the Cheek to Chic Swish and Pop Blusher in Sex on Fire ($50), is a stunning addition to the set—just look a that rose-gold ring and the cute little star! Like all of Charlotte's blushes, It comes with an outer ring of colour that you're supposed to "swish" onto your cheekbones, and an inner circle of darker colour that you're supposed to "pop" onto the apples of your cheeks. Sex on Fire's outer ring is a warm, rosy pink with subtle shimmer. The inner circle is a brownish, pinky mauve with subtler shimmer. Note that swatches of Charlotte's blushes are misleadingly sheer. Applied to the cheeks, they're plenty pigmented, so go easy with the blush brush, and you'll end up with a beautiful, glowy flush on the cheeks.

Cheek to Chic Swish and Pop Blush in Sex on Fire by Charlotte Tilbury.

See that little ding on the left of the blush? It's sad, but a testament to its softness. It arrived like that, unfortunately. The artist who did my makeover at Holt Renfrew last week said Charlotte's products are prone to breaking because they're "soft-pressed." This apparently means that fewer chemicals are used in pressing the products. So be warned: Do not drop the pretty Charlotte Tilbury makeups!

3) Full Fat Lashes 5-Star Mascara in Glossy Black ($34) is a lovely black mascara that does a great job of grabbing every lash and fanning them out. The brush reminds me of Clinique High Impact's, but with a little more tapering at the end to make it easier to get at the corners of your eyes. The mascara provides good volume at the base, and I'd say average length and volume on the rest of my lashes. I usually prefer mascaras that make my lashes look a little more BAM, but this one does a great job of making them look soft, fluttery, and girly. It also lasts the day without smudging or flaking, and comes off easily when I remove my makeup. 

4) The Classic Eyeliner Powder Pencil in Audrey ($28) is a deep, chocolate-brown pencil eyeliner. The colour is lovely, but the formula doesn't work for me. I find it uncomfortably hard and difficult to apply with full opacity. As you'll see in the photos below, I also had a hard time getting right into the roots of my lashes. I prefer a creamier eyeliner. (Maybe I need to sharpen it to get at softer formula underneath? Can any of you advise?) On the bright side, it lasts well with primer—no smudging.

5) Lip Cheat  Re-Shape and Re-Size Lip Liner in Pillow Talk ($27) is probably the best lipliner I've ever tried. MAC liners are drying. Even Marc Jacobs' new gel-like Poutliner is drying compared to Lip Cheat. It's still drying compared to a lipstick, but fairly comfortable on its own. It's great for lining and filling in the lips, and making lip colour last and last and last…Pillow Talk is a lovely MLBB shade—a pinky nude. I'll wear this constantly even without lipstick on top—just gloss. It's that pretty.

6) Lip Lustre Luxe Colour-Lasting Lip Lacquer in High Society ($28) is a beautiful, rosy lip gloss that isn't too sticky or thick. It's pretty on its own, but I think it really sings when applied over lipstick to give it some shine and a hint more colour.

Charlotte Tilbury's The Classic eyeliner, Lip Lacquer gloss, Full Fat Lashes mascara. and  Lip Cheat lip liner.

7) Fallen from the Lipstick Tree K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Hepburn Honey ($38) is a pinky-brown nude that, at first glance, made me go "meh." I don't usually wear nudes—they can make me look corpse-like because of my pasty-white skin. But combined with the right colours (like the ones in this set!) and great bronzer (like Filmstar Bronze and Glow—more on that later), it looks gorgeous. I like it more than I ever thought I would. Then there's the formula. My goodness. I think Charlotte makes the most comfortable, hydrating lipstick known to (wo)man. It's better than NARS Audacious. Better than Marc Jacobs Lip Creme. We have a winner, people. Now, if only Charlotte would come out with a few more colours...

K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Hepburn Honey.

Ready for the look?

The Sophisticate look by Charlotte Tilbury.

Other products in this look:

I was going for JLo glow (hard to achieve with my level of pastiness, but I tried!):

A word of advice:

If you're anything like me, you've already watched all of Charlotte's iconic look videos on YouTube. Twice. The above was my attempt to recreate her Sophisticate look. My advice to you would be to do what feels right for you and your face. Buy the colours that work for you—not that "go" with the look (unless that floats your boat). Also, apply them in a way that works for you. As I look closely at these photos, I wish I'd taken the time to blend a little more of the light brown into the upper part of the crease so things transitioned more seamlessly. A lot of makeup pros start with a lighter colour in the crease and then go deeper. That never seems to work for me; I like to start with the deep colours and soften. Every beauty needs to make her own makeup rules and techniques—am I right?

PSA:

If you're intrigued by the Tilbury and you're in Vancouver, pop by Holt Renfrew (Pacific Centre, downtown Vancouver) or make an appointment to try out a look for yourself. I know from several experiences that the girls there are lovely and knowledgeable. You'll love it. Also, Charlotte herself is coming in October! WHAT? Stay tuned.

What do you think of Charlotte Tilbury's products? Have you tried them? Do you like them? Have you developed an unhealthy obsession like me? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: The pieces from The Sophisticate set were provided by PR for my consideration. Other products in this look, including Filmstar Bronze and Glow, were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: Review

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

I don't know about you, but as I get older, my skin gets fussier. I don't have the acne I used to (thank goodness), but I deal with dry patches, oiliness on the nose, largish pores in the T zone, and looking a little congested if my skin gets too annoyed with me. There's also the whole ant-aging thing. (Aren't the 30s fun?) So I'm wary of the harsher chemicals in the foaming cleansers I used when I was younger. I look for cleansers that eliminate every bit of makeup—I wear a full face pretty much every day—but do so gently.

That's why cleansing oils and lotions are so appealing—they break down makeup while leaving valuable moisture in my skin. Some work just as a pre-cleanse, which is fine—they get rid of most makeup, but you still generally need to do a gentle second cleanse to make sure your face is absolutely clean. 

DHC, a Japanese brand I was introduced to recently, makes a deep cleansing oil, and its abilities have surprised me. It's olive-oil-based, so I expected it to work only as a pre-cleanse, but it actually removes all traces of my makeup! It passes the micellar water test—if I run a cotton pad soaked in micellar water over my face after cleansing and it comes back clean, I'm golden. 

Here's what you do:

  • Dispense a pump or two (the pumps are generous) onto dry hands and work it onto your dry face. I suggest starting with a remover for eye makeup because I prefer not to work the oil into my eye area, but this is optional.
  • Add a bit of water as you work it into the skin, and the oil turns into a milky emulsion with sweet cleansing power.
  • Rinse off. I suggest a face cloth for good measure, but I've been lazy and just rinsed thoroughly with water before. To my surprise, my face is still completely clean afterward!

There is no noticeable scent, which I appreciate, and my skin has responded favourably so far. Win!

The verdict: Give this a try if your skin isn't too oily! It works.

Rating: Four stars out of five. 

Available: If you're  a Canadian beauty like moi, you can buy it on their Amazon.ca store or at T&T for $33. If you're in the U.S., try their website

Have you tried cleansing oils? What did you think?

This product was provided by PR for my consideration.