Friday, May 5, 2017

NARS Sunwash Diffusing Bronzer in Seaside + thoughts on MARC JACOBS Bronzer Brush No. 12

Cinco de Mayo and look at all this rain that we have. My basil plant isn't enjoying the lack of sun here. Droopy leaves :( It's the perfect day to sit down and write blog posts though. I owe you my thoughts on the NARS Sunwash Diffusing Bronzer in Seaside and the MARC JACOBS brush that I bought along with it. So here goes...

If you have the regular NARS bronzers, maybe Laguna in a palette here and there, I've heard that the Laguna in this line isn't quite the same. It's possibly better! But I wanted something lighter, less brown than Laguna, so I bought the new shade Seaside. It's definitely lighter than Laguna as I remember, and quite reddish compared. I'm not certain if that was what I was looking for in a new bronzer but there are many ways to try and use it.

Because of the color, I found the shade Seaside to be better as a blush. I'm pretty fair and need warmth over most complexion products (foundation that's a bit light because it matches the center of my face but not the perimeter or my neck) so my lifelong fascination with bronzer stems from the need to look a little less pasty. However, I do not like looking like any shade of red, pink or orange, and so I was concerned when I first opened Seaside. You can tell just by looking at it, that it's not going to work as a contour because it's too warm. Either way, I don't think they meant for it to be a contouring product so let me nix any plans of using this on the cheek hollow.

Using it as a light wash of color over the cheeks works quite well, actually. I pop a little bit of pink or coral on the apples and use this over the rest of the cheek area. The size and shape of the compact are a joy. The pan is perfect for any size brush but... and this is a big but... why on earth is it so hard to get product on to my brush? I tried a very soft, small brush initially and I must have had to dip into it at least 5 times to get the lightest wash of color on my cheeks. The MARC JACOBS brush? Forget it! It's a huge brush with the softest synthetic bristles and it could hardly grab anything. What I found to be the best partner for it is a new Burberry Face Brush that I recently acquired. A brush I actually really hate because it leaked so much dye the first time that I washed it, stained my brush soap and it sheds like crazy. It's also quite rough, which I think is the reason that it works so well with this product. I'm tempted to run some tape over the surface of the bronzer but it's brand new! How could it already have a hardened surface? The NARS Yachiyo brush feels pretty rough to me. That may yet be the perfect partner for this bronzer. I have to think if I'm willing to shell out for that one ($55? hmmm) or just see if I can find a comparable brush in my arsenal. I'm thinking Charlotte Tilbury might have something. (edit 10/3/17) The Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush works quite pleasantly with this product. It's not an uber-soft brush and it's natural hair, not synthetic, so it is able to pick up the product reasonably well. I've applied it using this brush, but only to the perimeter of the face and the temples and it works to warm up the complexion even if it is a little orangey.

As for the MARC JACOBS Bronzer Brush that I have in the picture above, this is the new limited edition version. I splurged on the original one sometime in the past and I'd been using that for a bunch of things. I liked it enough that I couldn't resist a white-bristled version. But it is by no means a perfect brush. It's not as versatile as I'd hoped. The main pros are that it's got a nice weight to it (that's also a con though, I'll explain shortly) and the bristles are so soft. It feels really nice against the skin. If you need to powder a large area, it could be on the face or even the body, this brush just glides on the skin like butter. But, a did have a few problems with it...

For one, it's so heavy that it would slide off of my brush tree whenever I hung it there to dry. For this reason, I don't wash it very often. I've taken to attaching several non-slip hair ties to the handle whenever I have to wash it, so I can hang it upside down to dry and not have it slip completely off of the brush tree. I'm sure a rubber band or two will do the trick just the same.

The MARC JACOBS bronzer brush reminds me of the HOURGLASS brushes. The hairs are synthetic so certain products have trouble adhering easily to it. Loose powder products tend to work better with it. I like using this white version for Guerlain Météorites because I can just smush the brush head into the large powder container that I've transferred my météorites into. Note that I transferred the pearls. This brush head will not fit into the usual météorites containers. I've used it with old Guerlain bronzers (regular compact size) and it does a nice job of distributing light washes of color. It's quite nice that it deposits the color lightly because I can actually use this brush with certain blushers too, and get just the right amount of color on my cheeks with one swipe up. You don't get defined cheekbones but you get this faint burst of color where the color needs to be. Hard to explain but let's just say it looks really natural, like you've been out in the sun a little. Works better if your face is not narrow.

I sense a difference between this new white-bristled brush and the original though. I'd say the original one is better. It's mostly got to do with how the bristles pick up product. The white one has a harder time of it, I think. I haven't bought any of the MARC JACOBS bronzers although I've heard they're quite excellent. I wanted to buy the coconut bronzer that was released with this brush but it sold out before I could order. I'm sure one year, I will focus on that. I think I've already reached my bronzer quota for the year and it isn't even summer yet.

I have a couple more bronzers to review in the coming days. I did finally get my hands on a Guerlain Trio and I've had one of the new Chanel Les Beiges on hand for awhile now. More on those later...


  1. Always knowledgeable about makeup, I have learned something new today, about the use of different brushes and the lighter foundation on the center of the face and bronzer at the perimeter. You know, one of my favorite eye makeup, is this one with Laura Mercier's gold metallic creme e/s, Black Gold kohl and Bamboo e/s, you had posted, a long time ago.

    1. That's still one of my favorite makeup looks! I actually just put in an order for two new Chanel Ombre Premiere eyeshadows because I was thinking that I could do another variation of that look by layering the cream with the powder. I hope to get them within the week to try it out :)

    2. Looking forward for a new post! Please ignore my bad english...

  2. Have you found a perfect brush for this bronzer?
    I have same trouble with my Laguna shade. It doesn show off with any reguler bronzing and blush brushes i have.
    I even try to go with my dense eyeshadow brushes, but not working.☹️
    I like the tone of the bronzer, but the new formula is so dissapointing.

    1. This is going to sound strange and funny but the only brushes I have that work with this bronzer are the brushes I really hate! They're coarse and quite rough on the face, which is probably why they can pick up the product better. I mentioned that the new Burberry Face Brush I got works well with it. But if you don't care for a large, angled powder brush, and you have any of the Guerlain Météorites or Terracotta Brushes, those do work with this too! I rarely use this bronzer because I can't stand to use those brushes frequently. Wish they hadn't got with this formula.