Here's a sale you might want to take advantage of if you're in the market for a new bronzer. Sephora's Bronzer Powder with SPF 15, available in two shades, Riviera and Bora Bora.
|From left: Sephora Bronzer Powder in Bora Bora, Riviera|
Riviera is the lighter, more orange of the two and applies pretty much matte. Bora Bora is a little more brown and has a tinge of shimmer. With these powders though, shimmer won't be an issue as it is super subtle. I barely even notice it in the pan. If not for the glimmer of silver here and there in the close up, you might think Bora Bora is completely matte. Once on, it imparts a sweet glow.
|Bora Bora with flash|
I think that these powders are pretty good substitutes for more expensive bronzers. They are smooth to the touch but they're not overly powdery. They cling well to the skin and are generally buildable. These do not come with a brush or a sponge so I suggest getting a good bronzer brush with it.
|Riviera with flash|
Colorwise, my Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in shade 01 is a little more similar to Riviera but the difference is in the application. I know I can overdo Riviera because I've done it and it hasn't happened with Guerlain. My theory is that the powder itself is probably not as fine as Guerlain's. But with proper application, you can do some really nice things with Sephora's bronzer powders. For a compact that is a fifth of the price (but with exactly the same amount of product), I'm not going to complain.
|Back of Compact. Click to Enlarge|
The compact itself feels a little fragile although I haven't broken mine in the last year or so that I've owned it. It's sleek and the bronze color lets you know it's the bronzer. When you open the compact, you'll get a whiff of the fragrance they imbued these powders with. I would say it smells kind of like suntan lotion. I don't mind it but if fragrance generally bothers you, this one might.
I've had Riviera for a long time. I remember being at the mall, seeing my ghostly reflection in a restroom mirror and decided to walk into Sephora and pick up a bronzer. I dashed back into a private room and bronzed myself with Riviera and walked out into the sunshine with confidence. Looking back, it probably wasn't the best idea to "remedy" my makeup in mall restroom lighting and I may have ended up a tad too orange since I didn't have a proper brush on me. However, I did not regret the purchase and seeing these on sale, I was back for more.
|Swatches from left: Bora Bora, Riviera|
If you asked me today which of these two I would buy, I'd say Bora Bora, only because these powders have good cling and I do worry about looking all Oompa-Loompa if applying Riviera on the go. These bronzer powders are made in Italy and are currently on sale for $10 at Sephora. Although I think that they used to have other shades, these are the only two left. Pick one. It won't hurt. You're getting a good deal.
UPDATE 6/1/2011: Now $8!!!