Finding a good, affordable bronzer is quite the task, so whenever I find one that looks like a good option, I of course want to try it. Case in point: the Essence Luminous Matt bronzer. This bronzer is very affordable and it is the first bronzer from Essence’s regular line that has not looked too orange or dark for my skin. How much do I like this bronzer?
Essence Luminous Matt bronzer 01 Sunshine
The first thing you should know about this bronzer is that it comes in only 2 shades and both shades look nearly identical. So that is a bit of a downer as it means that anyone darker than light/ medium will not be able to use this. What is great about this bronzer is how affordable this is. This only costs €2.99. For only 3 euros, this bronzer can nearly do no wrong, because a product this affordable is pretty much always going to be worth your money.
When a product is this affordable the packing will not be the fanciest packaging you have ever seen. Despite the simple outside look, Essence did attempt to step it up a little bit by adding an embossed pattern to the bronzer itself. The rest of this product actually feels quite cheap and flimsy. The plastic is quite thing and there is no mirror.
The bronzer itself looks very promising. It has a lighter shade in the middle and a darker shade on the outer ring. This bronzer was released a few months after Essence released a limited edition collection that included a similar style bronzer: the Lights of Orient collection. If you would like to see what that bronzer looks like, then please click here. It is that bronzer that I am comparing this too then as well and that bronzer was much lighter and a lot more neutral than this is.
Here you can see the swatches of the bronzer. On the left is the swatch of the middle shade. The swatch in the middle is the color in the outer ring. The swatch on the right is the shade you get when you blend the two together. That is of course how I would wear this and as you can see that shade is quite orange. The middle shade looks nice, but blended together I just think this bronzer looks like it might be a little muddy on me.
The texture of this bronzer is really nice though. So before we get to the application on my face, let’s discuss how this powder feels. This bronzer has a really nice, easy to blend texture. It doesn’t go on patchy, blends out nicely and stays put all day. I prefer applying bronzer with a duofibre brush as it avoids it to go on too strongly and that is how I would apply this as well. So if the shade is a match than this is a great bronzer at this price point.
Sadly, as I predicted after the swatch this bronzer is far too warm for my complexion. In this before and after collage you can clearly see that. It looks quite orange against my cool to neutral toned skin and that is just not the look I go for. Of course you wear bronzer to warm up your complexion, but this is a little bit too warm.
But does that really bother me? Not really. Once you look at this less full on and the rest of my makeup is on, this really doesn’t look too bad. Do I still prefer other bronzers in my collection? Yes I do and that is why I don’t reach for this a whole lot. It is a bronzer that is easy to apply though and it does warm up my skin, but I have to be much more tan in order to pull it off. Overall, this bronzer only works for me in the summer after a 3 weeks beach vacation, which is something I never do. I pretty much stay pale all year round.
I’m a bit torn because on the one hand I really like the Essence Luminous Matt bronzer, but the shade is just not perfect for my skin tone. It applies well, but it is a bit too warm for me most of the time. And that is a shame, because I do think this is a good product. So if the shade of this bronzer does work for you, then by all means: go out and buy it if you are in the market for a super affordable, easy to use bronzer. But this bronzer definitely isn’t for everyone, including myself.
What budget bronzer would you recommend?