It's been years since that experience, and Hourglass is still one of my favorite brands - on its own merits. Their aesthetic design, product quality and inventiveness should serve as an example to other high-end brands. I also appreciate that they have focused on growing their brand slowly and organically, rather than jumping onto the limited-edition bandwagon. It seems like every new addition to the line is well-considered.
Knowing that, I didn't hesitate too much when I saw the Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo at the Sephora in Montreal. I have been waffling forever on the Chanel Soleil Tan Bronzing Makeup Base, but this looked like it might prove to be more useful in the long run.
The packaging is elegant and luxe without feeling ostentatious or old-fashioned. Plus, I am a fan of the swivel-top mirror construction. Not only is the mirror a nice, substantial size, but since it can turn all the way around (and lie flat either way) and stay in whatever angle you chose, it is terrific for travelling, especially if you want to apply your makeup while using both hands.
But I needn't have worried.
|Swatched with a lip brush, indirect natural light.|
|Blended out, indirect natural light.|
|Blended, mix of artificial and natural light.|
The blush is a very flattering warm rose that looks what you'd like your natural flushed cheek to look like (as opposed to the hectic shade most of get, that looks like you're about to have heatstroke on the spot). The bronze thankfully came out as more of a warm-toned light brown than anything resembling a citrus fruit. It can work as both a bronzer when applied with a fluffier brush, and as a contour when applied with a narrower brush, like the Real Techniques Contour Brush.
The texture is ultra-light. Though it is a cream, it has an incredible kind of slip to it. It doesn't feel greasy or silicone-y, and smooths onto the skin without gripping or dragging, making it very easy to blend in. I had no issues applying it to bare skin, on top of foundation, or on top of powder.
The lightness also means that is second-skin, virtually invisible on the skin in terms of texture. It goes from cream to powder, but without a powdery finish, and it give you a good 4-5 minutes to blend and play before setting. Once it sets, it wears throughout the day, even on bare skin. The finish looks a bit luminous here because of the lighting, but it actually dries down relatively matte. There is no shine or shimmer. It works on oilier skin and doesn't pick up on dry patches.
This is one of my favorite new items, and while it's perfect for Summer, I think the shades are classic enough to be appropriate for any season. It's ideal to toss into your purse for work or into your weekender for a no-fuss look. It it pricy, but you're also getting two products in one. (For comparison, the duo is 11 grams, and a Stila Convertible Color is 4.5 grams.)
Availability: Sephora stores and online. The price 46$ CAD.
Pros: Flattering, neutral-ish shades that should work with a variety of skin tones, up to deeper medium, and across most complexion types. Imperceptible texture, natural finish. Fully buildable from sheer to HELLO THERE.
Cons: Nothing I can think of, except maybe that the packaging is not airtight and may be problematic over time, but I haven't experienced any drying out or change in texture so far.
(I purchased this item at Sephora.)