Comments 15

Make-Up Inventory: Bronzers

I am revolting…

…against the people and companies who want to make us white. This weekend, I was hit by the horrible truth that most Filipinos are suckered into wanting to be whiter. More on that on a previous post I wrote: A Cult(ure) of White.

Growing up, I wasn’t really ever into whitening my skin. I mean, I had other “problems” to worry about, like my underbite and braces or my uneven eyes or the overgrown forest on my legs, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anyway. I never wanted to whiten my skin and I would rejoice every time I went to the beach because I would go home with a pretty tan and a golden glow. 🙂

For the times when I can’t go to the beach, though, there’s always bronzer.

Bronzer Inventory

I’ve discovered the wonders of bronzer quite recently, so I don’t have very many, but I really wanted to highlight the golden hues of summer so here are a few products to try if you want to fake a little tan before your big day at the beach.

bareMinerals All-Over Face Color in Warmth

bareMinerals All Over Face Color - Warmth

This? This is love. My friend Karen raved about Warmth and if I get curious enough, I pounce. I am so very, very glad that I did in this case. This is a beautiful loose powder bronzer from bareMinerals. It is a shimmery and mid-tone brown that leans a bit orange.

bareMinerals All Over Face Color - Warmth Swatch

Warmth is buildable to a deeper, more opaque color, which is why it’s good for a bit of contouring, too. It’s just a little tricky to use if you’re not used to loose or mineral makeup. Because it’s so easy to overdo it (since it also has shimmer!), it’s a little bit intimidating to use. The trick with mineral makeup is blending out the harsh edges and buffing the product into the skin.

bareMinerals All Over Face Color - Warmth - Bottom

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte & Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte and Waterproof Bronzer - Park Avenue Princess - Pan

This was my go-to bronzer before I got Warmth. I went for the Matte bronzer (Tarte also has one with shimmer) because shimmer is always a deterrent for me, though I’ve warmed up to it quite a bit already. I love Park Avenue Princess and I wear it a lot for an all-over punch of color and warmth. It’s a little too light for my skin tone for any discernible contouring, so I’ve given up on that.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte and Waterproof Bronzer - Park Avenue Princess - Swatch

It’s a little bit more neutral than bM’s Warmth, so I think this is a smidgen bit better for everyday wear, if you do not live in a year-round summer sauna like I do and can’t be tan in the middle of November. It’s a great choice for bronzer, from a cruelty-free company who uses great ingredients.

Although—let’s be honest—the packaging is hideous:

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte and Waterproof Bronzer - Park Avenue Princess - Cover

Wet n Wild Bronzer in Princess

Wet n Wild Princess

Princess is my most recent acquisition, after feeling so bad that so many whitening products were being pushed to me like it was cocaine. I like this a lot because it’s deep enough that it actually appears on my skin tone. Princess has a bit of shimmer, less than Warmth’s, which is intended to mimic that kiss of summer glow that seems to be lost on most Filipinos, who instead want to look like they live inside a cave.

wet n wild - Bronzer - Princess - Swatch

The powder is delightful and is rather finely-milled, which is impressive considering it is a drugstore product. I was too cheap to shell out money for NARS’ famed Laguna or Benefit’s Hoola, so I ended up with this. So far, no regrets. It’s a lovely bronzer and I’m quite happy with it.

All together now:

Bronzer Inventory - Swatches

Swatched, L-R: bareMinerals All Over Face Color (Warmth), Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte & Waterproof Bronzer (Park Avenue Princess), Wet n Wild Bronzer (Princess)

Some things:

  • It’s strange how two out of the three bronzers I’ve featured here have “Princess” in their name. I haven’t really associated the bronzed look with princesses, especially with how princesses are often portrayed in popular culture. Save for Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Tiana (from The Princess and the Frog), most Disney Princesses are light-skinned and fair, even Mulan.

    Is “Park Avenue Princess” from a multi-racial mogul family or did she just come back from a weekend at the Bahamas? Is “Princess” from an exotic locale? I know there are a lot of tan- and dark-skinned princesses in the entirety of human history, I’m just saying it is strange to me. Please don’t be mad.

  • You could be saying, “Well, aren’t you perpetuating haterade for fair-skinned folk?” and to that I say, “Hell no.” The thing I’m battling is the need to be white when you are obviously not white. I like to think of bronzers as enhancers—they add glow or contour or warmth to your face, and they don’t aim to change your skin color. They just want to add depth, definition, and dimension (ooh, alliteration!) whereas whitening products are used to alter your current skin tone. I have no qualms about products used to even out the skin tone. In fact, I have a bar of Snoe Beauty’s Oatmeal Soap waiting to be used because I have a shit load of scars on my legs and I want to scrub them away to oblivion. I think I just found it sad that the prevalent mindset and culture here in the Philippines is “White is better.” And so—bronzer.
  • My final word: Bronzer rocks.


  1. andy says

    hi! I just discovered Snoe products a couple of weeks ago. Like you, hindi ako maputi but (unlike you), I went through that phase where I thought I’d look better if my skin is lighter. But now I’m totally over it and have been using non-whitening products for quite some time na din. Back to Snoe products, I didn’t find anything that isn’t whitening, so I didn’t buy one. Update us what that Snoe Oatmeal soap does for you, in case you find the time to use it?

    • Hi Andy! I think their beauty products aren’t ALL whitening naman, but I get your frustration with the soaps kasi lahat nga yata whitening. I’ll update you re: the soap. I’m just finishing up the soap I’m using now 😀

  2. i love bronzer 🙂 as you probably could guess lol. I do think that it is so interesting how there is such a whitening trend in asia. I don’t understand where it comes from or why it still perpetuates!

    • I really think it’s something that originated from colonization, at least in my own country’s case. For older nations like China or Japan, maybe it really came from old traditions where white skin was more prized. Who knows! Like you, I just love bronzer @_@

  3. Tin says

    I really liked this post! I was hoping though to get a few tips for contouring as well. Do you have any recommendations? 🙂

    • You could start with YT tutorials! 🙂 I sweep a fluffy brush in a “3” motion (temples, hollows of my cheeks/under the cheekbone, jaw) on each side of my face then just blend out anything that looks unnatural!

  4. ManilaJen says

    Haha! I am just so relieved to find people who aren’t obsessed about skin whitening. I love bronzers. It adds dimension to a flat face. I am NC40 for reference but I’m aboard the bronzer wagon. 🙂

    • That’s great, yay! 🙂 I think bronzer might also be easier to wear for darker-skinned people, as it’s easier to eff it up if you’re pale!

  5. What do you think is the best Dupe for benefit’s Hoola? Anyway, out of this three I like the wet n wild one. Because I’m looking for an everyday wear, I think the first one was so shimmery(judging from your swatch) that might just be great for an eyeshadow instead. Thanks for sharing! Gonna get the wet n wild bronzer soon!

    • Sorry, I don’t actually know because I don’t own Benefit’s Hoola. That’s great, because it’s the cheapest. 🙂 “Warmth” actually shows up much better and more natural on the skin, as this is a pretty heavy swatch. I didn’t even really realize there was that much shimmer in it until I took the photos. No problem, glad to have helped!

  6. sckye says

    Hi Carina, can you kindly advise where you were able to buy the Tarte bronzer? Was it from an online shop, and how much is it? Thanks!

    • Hi Sckye! 🙂 I bought my Tarte bronzer from Windy/stuffinstyle. Her shop used to be on Multiply, but now it’s on Facebook: http://facebook.com/stuffinstyle. Don’t recall how much it is, exactly, but I’m thinking it’s about 1,200+.Hope that helps!

  7. Pingback: 4th Online Weekly Obligatory Reading | Solitary ventures

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