I typically set my makeup with a translucent powder and then apply bronzer. When I first used this product, I used it in lieu of my bronzer. What I got was a very, very subtle golden color and a light sheen over my skin. I liked the glow that it gave me so I skipped the highlighter completely. I tried using it again the next day, this time without setting my foundation with translucent powder. I went straight to Revlon's Suntan Matte and I think I got a tiny bit more color and again, that beautiful glow. As a finishing powder, I thought this was really awesome. It's still better to set with a translucent powder first, especially if yours has oil-controlling properties. This goes over the setting powder (and not necessarily over your entire face) to bestow your glow.
|Revlon ColorStay Mineral Finishing Powder in Suntan Matte|
I must confess, I'm a fan of really, really light bronzers and I don't usually go for shimmer. I am especially averse to all over shimmer. But this was the perfect marriage of the two. It's not matte, as you might imagine because of the name. But it's not shimmery. You just get a sheen. I still have to touch up areas that get super shiny during the day but I don't attribute that extra shine to this powder. Plus, you can be strategic about using this. If you really only want shine on the cheekbones, for instance, use this as your highlighter there. You don't need to put it all over your face.
As a bronzer, it probably fails miserably by most people's standards. It feels more like a lightly-tinted highlighter in that regard. But I really like it because it seems unlikely that you'll overdo it. You could put on a few layers and it won't turn your face muddy brown or bright orange. I tried scraping off product and applying it with a dense bronzer brush and that helped get the color to show a lot more. That said, I prefer the subtle effect.
|Heavy swatch of Suntan Matte|
I do have a concern about it being a baked product though. I think people may have inconsistent experiences with it because it changes in texture over time. I've found that like Bourjois blushes, a lot of baked cosmetics harden as they get exposed to air and develop a film on top that renders it almost impossible to get pigment. The solution is to scrape the surface from time to time. You can use a disposable mascara wand or a plastic spatula. It probably also helps to use a clean brush everytime. That way, oils don't get mixed into the product. It's also more hygienic anyway. If you think it's too high maintenance, don't get this. I also advice against it if it's not something you intend to use a lot because it normally costs around $11-12. For me, it was a $3 experiment (actually I used a coupon so I really paid less than $2 for it) that turned out be a pleasant surprise.
UPDATE 3/27/11: After the initial thrill of getting this at such a bargain price, it's been relegated to the back of the drawer because as expected, the product's hardened to a point where no brush can pick up any pigment at all. I could scrape the surface everytime I use it but after a couple of days of doing that, I just got tired of it, you know? Ah baked products... You have to know though, I've stopped using this also because I've found a new love in Tarte's Park Avenue Princess. Now, that has a true golden sheen and applies beautifully.