When Victoria Beckham launched her eponymous makeup collection with Estee Lauder last year, the bronzer – in its ribbed leather compact – was one of my top picks. But boy was it a bronzey bronzer. Java was (is), for someone of my particular colouring, a proper “two weeks in the Maldives” sort of bronzer rather than one of those easy-to-wear brush-on-sunshine sort of bronzers.
Don’t get me wrong; Java looks gorgeous. It gives great shape to my face and makes me look very polished and pulled-together and, with a slick of red lipstick, a bit like I’m one of the girls from a Robert Palmer video, but it requires care during application. It’s dark, and it’s warm in tone, so it’s easy to go overboard.
The new release, Saffron Sun, brings a more foolproof bronzer offering to the table. Loads lighter and slightly less warm in tone, you can bung this on willy-nilly and it will still look pretty natural, giving a healthy glow to the skin and a touch of uncontrived contour where needed. It’s so foolproof, in fact, that when I applied five layers of it to half of my face (don’t ask, my dog was doing my makeup!) it still didn’t look half bad.
The finish is on the velvety-matte side rather than anything shimmery or glittery, which makes this a good all-season bronzer rather than one of those spangly ones you can only wear after you’ve had a week in Ibiza. I’m not into the whole contouring trend, but – as I mention above – this gives a good uncontrived contour beneath the cheekbones, if it’s shaping that you’re after, and it looks equally as good taken across the top of the cheekbones and bridge of the nose, in that more innocent, au naturel, sunkissed kind of way.
So, if you’re in the market for a good-looking compact that you’ll get a lot of use from then this could be the one to seek out. Heavy in the hand, gorgeous gold detailing and that sexy ribbed leather covering to the case – it’s a proper treat. It looks as though it’s sold out already on the Estee Lauder website, but it’s at Net-a-Porter here* and Selfridges here* for£48.