I haven’t talked about a bronzer for at least ten minutes, so I thought that another recommendation was well overdue. For those of you who are missing my in-depth foundation reviews: fear not. I have about half a dozen of the things stacked up and ready to go, I just need to do that zooming-in thing that I do on my good camera so that you can see my pores. I know how you love to see a close-up of my pores…
But back to bronzers, which seem to be my 2017 obsession. So far this year I’ve been all about the subtle, natural-looking bronzer; the Celestial Bronzing Veil from Kevyn Aucoin is something a bit different. You’d think from the name that it’d be a sheer wash of colour (admittedly that’s what made me delve on in, I’m nothing if not a creature of habit!) but it’s far from that.
This is a full-on glitzy-glam bronzer, but in the chicest possible way. It’s luminous, but on a megawattage level, not a “glow from within” or “bonne mine” level. There’s no healthy flush, no touch-of-sun, no barely-there: this is maximum bronzage with a hefty dose of built-in highlight.
And do you know what? I love it. I’d usually shy away from something so obvious, but every time I’ve worn this – without fail – someone has remarked on how stunning it looks. Note that they compliment the makeup, not the skin, which is usually what I try to avoid because it means that my makeup is more dramatic than I’m comfortable with; but regardless, I’m completely sold on the way that this bronzer shapes and brightens my face.
I’ve been using Tropical Days, which is a medium-toned powder with golden highlighting pigments. I also have Tropical Nights, which is cooler in tone with silver highlights, but I prefer the warmer version on my skin. Here are my before and after pictures:
You can see that the powder packs quite the punch – I find that I have to use a looser-bristled brush to first apply and then buff with something denser. Otherwise I go outside and find that I’ve sculpted my face like an eighties pop-star, razor-sharp cheekbones and all. There’s something very 3D about this bronzer, probably because of the amount of crystal pigment in it – high points on your face automatically catch the light, hollows look nicely contoured and shadowed.
The overall effect is so glamorous and it’s surprisingly easy to get right, even for someone who usually tries to find the palest and most unobtrusive bronzer shade they can!
The highlighting pigments are noticeable throughout the whole powder (Tropical Nights shown above, Tropical Days below), but there is a slight ombré effect with more highlighter at the top of the pan, so it is possible to direct your brush to the appropriate part rather than swishing all around, if you like to be more precise with things.
Personally I think that the beauty of the Celestial Bronzing Veil is that you can swish it all about and still look great. I’m well impressed. I tried to capture the effect in natural daylight because it’s so golden and beautiful – here’s a quick snap from my iPhone, filter-free:
(All my pictures are un-retouched and filter free, I’m only stressing it here because the image looks so filtered!) See how radiant it is? Just brilliant. If you don’t mind splashing out on a spot of luxury, and want a proper made-up bronzer that still looks sophisticated and polished, Celestial Veil might be right up your heavily floodlit street.
You can find Kevyn Aucoin “The Celestial Bronzing Veil” at Cult Beauty here* – it’s £39. I use the Zoeva Powder Brush to apply, buffing the edges with the Large Real Techniques MultiTech if I want more subtlety.