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Last week London had its summer - all of three days and I wanted to have a bit more colour to my skin so I could wear all the nice summer clothes without having milk bottle white legs! I put on fake tan but for some reason it never comes out right on my face, leading me to need a bronzer to patch it up. I had run out of the one I had been using and the other one I had was too light. This was a good excuse to do some online shopping! I came across the brand Too Faced and being a bit childish the name made me chuckle and that was a good enough reason for me to have a closer look at their products. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer caught my eye and also made me a bit peckish for a sweet treat! It not only looks good, but it does good as it contains Vitamin A and Vitamin C which help skin to look brighter, fresher and also younger! As well as a Mulberry Extract (but not the designer which does the really nice but really expensive handbags!) this makes skin hydrated and firmer which mixed together with a 'powerful dose of Retinol' creates a detoxified look that won't clog up those pores! It sounded amazing to me so far and I was even more excited about this product when I read that it was also Vegan friendly and paraben free - it is debated at how dangerous they actually are, but sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. After reading how great this bronzer would be for my skin I was totally sold and really wanted one! However I could only find two shades to choose from, I searched around on other websites but I could only find the two. This is a strong disadvantage for me as I find it quite hard to find a bronzer than actually matches and looks natural with my skin. So I think that Too Faced should get to work and introduce a few more shades just so that everyone has something to cater for them. However the two shades available are: Milk Chocolate: This shade is described as being a 'light matte bronze' which is essentially what it is. There is no added shimmer which I really love as I can think of nothing worse than having a face full of glitter and shimmer - especially when the light catches you! The shade is more of a light medium rather than a light, I would say this would suit fair people but only if they had some fake tan on as it is much too dark. However if you have a medium skin tone this would suit you and look amazing! Chocolate: This shade is described as being a 'deep matte bronze' - again there is no shimmer which is a strong advantage for me, however if you like to have a bit of radiance to your skin you can always add a touch of highlighter over the top. The shade is a medium to dark brown with a lot of bronze and almost dark red undertones running through it. I would say this would suit medium to dark skin tones. I chose the Milk Chocolate because I knew that the Chocolate shade would be much too dark for me, but as I was ordering online I was a little worried that it would still not be the right shade for me. When it arrived in the post, it was the first thing that I looked for - forget marvelling at the pretty packaging I ripped it straight open and swatched it on to my hand. I have to say that it is slightly too dark for me, but with my fake tan on it blended and worked really well - so that was a big relief, I will just have to keep this bronzer for when I venture into the land of the fakeness! Speaking of pretty packaging - it is gorgeous! The compact itself is a pretty standard size (about 3 inches in diameter) and contains 10g of product which is a lot, so you definitely are getting your moneys worth! It's a gorgeous golden brown colour and made of a thick sturdy plastic. On the top is a very chic and fashionable design - with the brand name wrote in white italic writing surrounded by a pink frilled border which is then encased in a brown border with little motifs around the edge. On the bottom are the ingredients and a bit about the product. Once you open up the compact, you realise that there is a mirror - something I love because it is SO handy and easy to apply on the go. However, when applying I do have to make sure I am very light handed as I try not to accentuate that I am actually wearing bronzer. I like to wear it with a nice rouge or pink blush and if I find that it looks too bold then I will take some face powder and swirl it over the top with a blending brush. This bronzer can be used as a face AND body product, at first I didn't really think about using it on my body as I thought it would just rub off onto my clothes or bed sheets, but we have all been there when you realise the dreaded streaks on your legs or arms - with a sweeping of this over the patches you can go out without worrying you resemble a zebra. To make this a bit deeper and more St Tropez you can add a tiny bit of water to a sponge or your brush and apply, however I refrain from doing this as it makes it too gooey and dark for my liking. You can purchase this bronzer from the Too Faced website or any good online make up stores, it is quite an expensive product at £15 - £20 depending on where you purchase, however it really does last and goes a long way!
Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder ---------------------------------------------- I think my make-up purchases are rather varied as they tend to fall mainly within the cheaper product ranges, but that is not to say that I will not spend more if I find something that absolutely blows me away. For this reason if you looked inside my make-up bag that I use each day you would find some higher end items, and some good solid basic products, and if I can I will purchase the dupe for an expensive brand - that being a cheaper product that has the same qualities for less financial outlay. There is one recent new find however that I am loving so much I doubt I will ever look far for a daily alternative, and that is my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. ALL ABOUT THE BRONZER ------------------------------ This product is available in Boots and it retails for £22 - this is really steep in my opinion, but as a discerning buyer who refuses to pay more than I need to for cosmetics I feel it is more than worth it. It isn't tested on animals as the brand refuses to do so which is also very important to me. According to the Two faced Website they say- "We've combined the natural therapeutic and healing effects of real cocoa powder, with our signature Too Faced bronzing pigments to create our first ever matte bronzer that neutralizes red and evens out all skin tones for a glowing radiance all year long." The bronzer has a matte finish which is something I look for as a lady of maturing years (I am 51) You won't find a shimmer in this product, which suits the way I apply make-up, as I like to use a highlighting cream on my cheek bones at the end of my make-up routine, - I don't want the all over sparkle look which this bronzer does not give. Neither do I want to look orange or overly tanned either, and as this imparts a healthy, but natural sun kissed look to the face, you don't need to fear that you will look too made up. What I really love about this product is that it just makes me look well and healthy - and the best aspect of all is that it actually contains real cocoa so it smells utterly divine- it's like putting cocoa powder all over your face. The smell is gorgeous, and it's quite a good way to avoid snack eating - as if you are considering raiding the chocolate cupboard you can open your compact and smell this instead! I have done this and it works! THE APPLICATION AND MY OPINION ------------------------------------------ The product is in a sold compact- not a loose format, and to apply all you do is to use a large bronzing brush, or even a kabuki brush, and sweep it over your face. I tend to concentrate on the lower parts of the cheeks in the hollows primarily blending it down into the neck area, dusting off the excess all over the face to achieve a radiant look. Then I apply blusher above it and blend the two to avoid a harsh line. This way you get a pretty contoured look to the face. You don't need to apply with a heavy hand as a little goes a long way, and you can build up the colour if you need to. However this is simple to apply and you are unlikely to use too much. This bronzer goes really well with the inexpensive blush collections made by Sleek. I find the shades Rose Gold, Life's a Peach and Sunrise work really well with any light to medium skin tones. These are available in Superdrug where they are on 3 for two at the moment and retail for £4.49. The presentation of this product is also worth mentioning as it is really special -good quality and with an integral mirror of a decent size to work with in the lid. I have found the product lasts all day without needing to be touched up or reapplied and for this reason I will always choose it. Furthermore the product lasts a long time. I have been using mine for six months and there is barely a dent in the pan. IT'S A GEM ------------- The way that I use my make-up collection is that I have a case containing all my products- it's one of the silver ones with little compartments and here I keep products that I use interchangeably. Then I have my daily make-up bag which is filled with my absolute favourite products that I can just grab and take out with me. This bronzer is in this special collection and never leaves it. One really good tip I can give to you is that if you are thinking of buying a make-up product take a look at the website make-up alley at www.makeupalley.com. It's like the IMDB of film reviews- it will save you making a purchase you may later regret. Thousands of products, shades and so on are reviewed by users daily, and a quick glance at the site today confirmed what I suspected that 91% of people who tried this product - so far 143 said they would repurchase. If you take women of my age group which you can do by filtering the results- 100% would repurchase. Admittedly there are less of this age group posting on the site, but I think that is a good selection of comments and votes to take a serious look at this product if you are of mature years. Younger women have nothing to fear as their results are impressive and numerous. Similarly YouTube tutorials also confirm this product to be a worthwhile investment. Certainly from my point of view powder formations have to be scrutinised carefully as cream products will often yield more moisturising results on mature skin. This matte formation glides on the face like silk and imparts a lovely soft finish- there is no chance that this will highlight wrinkles or collect in areas of less than flawless skin. Final Thoughts ----------------- I know it is expensive and I did hesitate for some time before I purchased, but having done extensive research I knew that I was unlikely to be disappointed. This is a lovely matte brown bronzer which suits all ages and I will re-purchase without hesitation. It is matte and has no shimmer but I don't always want this look. I do have some shimmery bronzers and I wear these on holiday sometimes, but for a sun kissed everyday natural look this can't be beaten. One final word of caution as this contains cocoa I would strongly advise that it is kept out of the reach of dogs, as cocoa is highly poisonous to them. I have no idea as to the amounts present in this product so prefer to exercise caution as tiny amounts can be deadly. Just a thought as it would be easy to leave this in a make-up bag in reach of an inquisitive puppy or older dog. www.toofaced.com