Let's face it: Unless you live in some wonderful place where the sun shines all year round (or anywhere in the southern hemisphere, really), November means a lot of dreary weather. Clouds, rain, fog and early nights mean that any sort of summery glow I had about me has all but vanished and my complexion has gone from pale to "ghostly appearance".
Whereas I do like to use bronzers I wouldn't necessarily call them an essential in my make-up routine and if I'm in a rush, bronzer is the one step I'll skip. I don't own many bronzers anyway, as a lot of them just look either orange or muddy on my complexion or contain enough shimmer to make my face look like a disco ball. So far I've been using the Bourjois "chocolate bronzer", as it's been recommended for yonks all over Youtube and while I'm quite happy with that one, it's still not a product I'd gush about.
So, when I received this little beauty from Makebelieve*, my main thought was "Please don't let it be orange and glittery!" My first big sigh of relief came when I realised that it wasn't in fact orange and glittery. And as I swatched and swiped away I soon came to realise that it is, as a matter of fact, pretty amazing!
But let's start on the outside first and consider the packaging. The Sunbeam Bronzer is housed in a sturdy cardboard box (think Benefit, but a lot bigger) which flips open and has a mirror on the underside of the lid. It comes with a small kabuki style brush which is firmly encased in the box. There is a small ribbon underneath the brush which you can pull to make it easier to get out. Whereas I do generally like the packaging, including the pretty golden design on the exterior, it does take up a lot of space and I personally find it way too bulky to carry around with me, which is a bit of a shame.
Now, brushes included with make-up products are a bit of a bugbear for many. Most of the time they are just so ridiculously awful that it seems like a waste of space to even include them. I've started to just chuck most of the brushes that come with make-up or use them up for grubby or fiddly household chores. This one's different. It's incredibly soft and fluffy, has survived several washes without shedding a single bristle and dispenses the product perfectly. It's not the biggest of kabuki brushes, so it's better for contouring than sweeping the entire face for an all-over glow, but to be quite honest with you, I feel like the brush alone is already worth the £15 this bronzer retails for.
Another one of my worries is that a lot of bronzers are simply too dark for me, resulting in a muddy looking face, but again, no trouble here. I was told that this is a product that can easily be built up and unfortunately that made my alarm bells go off immediately. Over the years I've learnt that "can be built up" is usually a desperate pitch to sell an underperforming product. Luckily, the Sunbeam Bronzer can genuinely be built up to achieve a darker colour should you wish to do so. For me, one swipe is enough at the moment to give me a nice healthy, contoured look. Having said that, there's only so far it will go, so if you have naturally quite dark skin it probably won't do an awful lot for your complexion, no matter how much you build it up.
The colour itself is rather lovely - a very natural, slightly cool toned bronze. There's no shimmer whatsoever which makes it great for contouring. I tend to sweep it just under my cheekbones and the sides of my forehead and then use whatever is left on the brush to give my face and neck a little bit of colour and bring me back to the land of the living.
Longevity is nothing to either shout or complain about. It lasts a pretty average but decent 8-10 hours on my skin depending on the type of powder and foundation I've used and whether my skin's having a good or bad day.
So, as you can probably tell by now, I am genuinely chuffed and pretty amazed with this product apart from the bulky (albeit pretty) packaging. It's actually completely replaced my chocolate bronzer (sorry Bourjois) and meant that I now make time in the morning to give my face a pretty flush of colour.
The good news is that Makebelieve were kind enough to give me an extra Sunbeam Bronzer to give away to you! Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below and you'll be entered! The giveaway is open internationally, but you must be a follower via GFC or Hellocotton to be eligible for entry. The giveaway ends in three weeks' time at midnight on December 13. Good luck!
*PR sample sent for consideration
a Rafflecopter giveaway