Beauty on a Budget

Image via Lauren Kelly
Image via Lauren Kelly

NYC and Physician’s Formula Bronzers

By Lauren Kelly, Assistant Editor

Going into summer, bronzers are a great way to give your face a warm glow, especially if you don’t tan well, or want to add some extra colour and shimmer. Two great options for those wishing to achieve this at a low price point are NYC’s Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder and their Sun n’ Bronze. For those fine with spending a little more, another good choice is Physician’s Formula’s new Murumuru Butter Bronzer.

I tried NYC’s Smooth Skin bronzer in “Sunny,” which is medium brown and mostly matte with a small amount of shimmer. Currently, it only comes in this shade. This bronzer is incredibly pigmented, and very powdery, resulting in my brush picking up a lot of product very easily. This meant there was a bit of a learning curve for me in terms of how much product to use to achieve the right look. However, the colour is very warm without seeming orange, so it gives a natural glow even on very pale skin, like mine. Because it’s so matte and pigmented, it also works well for contouring, and the buildability of the shade means it should work well for women of almost all skin-tones. The compact includes a small mirror as well as a semi-circle sponge, so it’s easy to bring with you and apply on the go.

For NYC’s Sun n’ Bronze, I tried “Montauk Bronze,” one of the four colours available. Each compact contains five rows of different shimmery shades of brown, which you can use separately or swirl together. “Montauk Bronze” and “Fire Island Tan” contain mostly mid-range shades, while “Hampton’s Radiance” and “Coney Island Glow” contain a mix of highlights and deeper browns. Because of the shimmer, these are great for catching the light and giving you a true glow instead of only simulating a tan. Although it’s quite pigmented, it’s not as powdery as the other one, and I found it easier to apply without overdoing it, which I prefer. Although I really like “Montauk Bronze,” the latter two palettes are a great value for offering highlights and bronzer in one small package. On that note, the compact has a clear lid with no mirror or applicator, and the product itself is beautifully sculpted in a 5×5 grid of pyramids, which not only looks good, but actually prevents you from hitting pan too early.

Physician’s Formula is known for their bronzers, and the variety of types available should cover pretty much anything you could want. However, their newest bronzer is very different from their other powder formulas. Called the Murumuru Butter Bronzer, the product feels like just that. It also has a very obvious coconut scent, which I love, but might be a minus for some people. I purchased it in “Light Bronze,” which is a light and natural bronzer for people with fair skin, but it is also available in “Bronze” for darker skintones. Like the Smooth Skin Bronzer, it has only a hint of shimmer. I found this one the simplest to apply, as the cream formula allowed me to blend it easily, making mistakes less complicated to fix. The product has a wavy pattern, making it look like a sand dune. It comes in a deep compact, with the product on top and a flip up compartment underneath with a full mirror and a nice applicator with a plastic handle.

I’ll be working these into my daily repertoire, which I’m excited about since I’ve never used bronzer for more than contouring. For those less familiar with using bronzers like me, for a natural glow, use an applicator to draw the product in a 3 shape along the side of your face, bringing it in under your cheekbone, then blend the bronzer upwards over your cheek. Although I do love the Butter Bronzer, and I think it’s perfect for everyday use, the NYC bronzers are amazing for their price. At $4.99 each at Walmart, you can pick up both for only $10 and cover all your bases. The Butter Bronzer hits at a pricier $19.99 at London Drugs and $18.99 at Walmart, but the luxurious feeling and scent of the product might just make it worth it. As always, watch for samples and see how each one works for you before taking the plunge!