I am a long-time fan of Michael Kors as a designer, his sleek mono and duochrome ready to wear collections are (often, at least) clean and sophisticated; sporty, basic separates glammed up with chic tailoring, luxe fabrics, and an elegant neutral color palette. I was curious to see his new makeup line and, though I find it a bit concept-heavy with the whole ‘sporty sexy glam’ thing (each piece in the collection is categorized for one of these three aspects of a woman who is all of these things, and this is the woman Michael Kors’ designs for), the line is what I would expect – sleek, chic, just a little bit gaudy.
His clothing designs are recognizable, his makeup and accessories are even more so – he is resoundingly known for gold statement jewelry and generously bronzed skin. Between the bronzed skin and the active, sportswear-style designs he is for me a quintessentially American designer. Wherever possible the pieces in the makeup line feature this square of gold made to look like a historic building plaque (a bit of cheeky ego there), and, as with his collections, gold is the recurring theme (remember how we love gold packaging?). As sun kissed, golden skin is his trademark I was particularly interested to try his bronzer, which does not disappoint. I found a deal on the darkest shade, Beam, a dark, shimmery copper that serves as a bronzer and highlight in one.
This has a subtle shimmer, not something to cause concern unless you are absolutely against it. Many like matte bronzers because they look natural (provided one has chosen a suitable color) and can double as a contour powder and, while I have matte bronzers of my own, I reach more often for this. Looking actually natural (as opposed to looking made up to look natural) is a certain kind of look I only sometimes want.
I’ve been using it with this large Real Techniques powder brush, which is not the best of that range (not the softest) but which is large, densely bristled, and inexpensive (any fat, broad brush will do). It works a treat for bashing on large areas of color, and I find that the powder is finely milled enough and the color close enough to my skin tone that I don’t have to worry about being at all precise. This I like. So I dab in, maybe tap off the excess, maybe not (maybe having powdered beforehand, maybe not, which just changes the intensity a little), bash it on such that the curve of the brush tip lines up roughly with the curve of my cheekbone, swish any product left around my temples and maybe the bridge of my nose, and done. It’s not too obvious but I suddenly look healthier, with a bit of a glow going on. Sun kissed. Which is such a beautiful, apt phrase. Looking as if I have been given numerous kisses from my benevolent lover, the sun.
I like that this has a pink-red rather than an orange undertone, which gives a more realistic sun embraced effect (I turn pink when sunburned, which is the logical extreme of sun kissed, not orange). The other colors are pleasing as well. The compact is large, making it unsuitable for travel but great for using a really big brush (undoubtedly the most satisfying way). If you are in the market for a bronzer, this is a lovely one.