Then there are those beauty items that you have to get, simply because they are little miniature works of art. The Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Bronzing Powder and Blush from Guerlain is one those. The price is absolutely astonishing, as is true for everything from Guerlain. However, in a market where increasing prices for diminishing quality has become the norm, Guerlain is a brand that makes consistently sublime products.
Every single aesthetic detail on this bronzer hits the mark.
The chances of me owning an actual Pucci dress are pretty slim. Pulling the little Pucci-print bag out of the Pucci-lined box, however, gives me an idea of what it would feel like. Every element here says "luxury", in a sophisticated and refined voice. Even the packaging of the actual bronzer evokes a lifestyle that I have only read about, patterned after the wood-paneled Riva yachts that carried the Jet Set around the Mediterranean.
The choice of a wood compact exterior is unusual, as is the three-point magnetic closure mechanism. Points for creating something functional, chic and original.
From the reviews I'd seen online, it seemed like this guy was very pigmented, but when I first swatched it on my arm, the bronzer did not show up. Like, AT ALL. I might have been rubbing paper, for all that came off the compact. The blush part had no problems, but the bronzer....I was convinced I'd somehow gotten a defective item.
I tried swatching it and applying it to my face with several different methods - cotton swabs, sponge, goat-hair contour brush, synthetic contour brush, fluffy powder brush, dense bronzer kabuki. The best pay off came with the dense synthetic brush, but even that resulted in more of a fine golden shimmer than anything resembling bronzer.
I regretfully went to the store to return it. The SA asked if she could try applying it, and lo and behold, she was able to apply it to my skin with no problems. THE HELL?? She explained that it was possible the top layer (which had a bit more shimmer) was hardened for some reason. She used a brush with denser, almost rough bristles to "break through". I was a little bemused by this explanation, but took it home (disinfecting it promptly - blergh!) and wiped off the top layer with a paper towel. And yes, I was able to apply it normally after that.
Very bizarre, but if you've gotten a Terra Azzura that seems underwhelming, try that out before returning it.
So. My actual review. This powder is extremely fine. If it was any finer, it would be microscopic on the skin. It applies very smoothly, with a dry, silky texture that melds into the skin. It reminds me a bit of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes, actually. The whitish shade looks a little powdery in the swatches below, but as part of the blended swatch, that is completely imperceptible. There is a fine shimmer throughout, more evident in the coral shade of the blush part. On the skin, it reads as a super-subtle glow.
You can use the bronzer separately, and the blush trio together with a smaller brush, for the classic contour/blush application. I do fine the bronzer a little warm-toned for me to use in this manner however, though not nearly as orange as I had feared.
The powder works best when blended together though - the effect is an absolutely gorgeous, sunny blush that mimics the natural glow you would get from a bit of sunbathing.
|Indirect natural light.|
|Bronzer side on the left, blush side on the right. Natural light.|
|Blended swatch, natural light.|
Availability: Sephora, Nordstrom, The Bay, Murale and certain Pharmaprix/SDM locations. price is 75-76$ CAD. (I know.)
Pros: Superfine, silky, weightless texture that blend right into the skin. Tiny shimmer that imparts a light glow, and a beautiful summery shade. Can be layered up without adding extra texture. packaging is just incredible - one of the best looking makeup products out there.
Cons: The weirdness I experienced initially with the non-existant pay-off. I don't know if that's just a one-off with me, but it certainly dampened my initial enthusiasm. Not a shade for deeper skin tones. As a luxury item, the price is outrageous.
(I purchased this at Pharmaprix.)