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A Not-To-Miss Summer Beauty Buy: Hourglass Cosmetics Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo


If there’s one bronzer you should buy this summer, it’s this one: the Hourglass Cosmetics Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset. I’ve swatched, worn and played with countless bronzers — whether cream ones packaged in retractable sticks, shimmering powder numbers housed in rounded compacts, or even chunky rock formations in deep round jars which involve some clever brush work — but few of them have managed to hit the mark in terms of the rosy-to-bronze quotient. We may all desire sunkissed skin, particularly in the summer months, but we want the look to feel as natural as the real thing. Most bronzers overcompensate by incorporating an excess of pearly particles that leave you looking like a walking disco ball or by resorting to overly intense sepia and terracotta shades that wind up having an unflattering, Lohan-esque orange tint. The Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo, however, gets it oh so right.

Packaged in a sleek, pewter-tinged bronze compact with a top that folds open to reveal a large mirror on the underside of the lid. This top swivels a full 360 degrees — you can tilt it all the way back, so that the  side with the two cream shades and the side with the mirror lay completely flat in one continuous horizontal line; you can turn it 180 degrees so that the mirror faces outward, practically hiding the cheek colors, and then tilt it to the 90 degree or 45 degree angle (or whatever works best for you); or you can turn it and lay it flat, so that it completely covers the colors in the compact, resting right atop them with the mirror facing outward. The fact that the mirror can rotate in this manner is beyond useful, since it allows you to easily check your work as you apply the bronzer or cheek color, and it makes sneaking it a peek throughout the day a breeze.

But since it’s what’s on the inside that counts (hey, that’s what my mama said!), let’s get to the heart of the matter. The Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer features two distinct shades: a warm carnation pink with just a hint of coral, and a chestnut-tinged bronze. Both of these colors are rather sheer, so that they won’t simply sit atop the skin like clown makeup, but will blend in nicely and yield a natural, lit-from-within glow.

The texture is exquisite — while we tend to think of cream color as being somewhat thick, these shades are incredibly light. As you glide the fleshy part of your fingertip over the colors, you’ll feel like you’re running your finger atop a softened stick of butter that’s been left out on the table for a few hours. The consistency is so thin that it practically feels like melted margarine (minus any oil or grease). The pigment pay-off is superb, which means you only need a touch of color to execute any look. As you blend the color onto your cheeks, you’ll notice the texture begins to change, becoming more powdery and velvety as the pigment begins to dry. Plus, these colors contain vitamins A and E to protect the skin from free radicals and infuse it with moisture.

I love fusing the colors together, adding some of the pink to give cheeks a flushed look and then bleding in some of the bronzer for a healthy, sunkissed effect. Below, you’ll find swatches of the two shades, as well as a photo showing how nicely they work together.

Let Illume illuminate your life!


Hourglass Illume Creme-To-Powder Bronzer Duo, $40. Available at Sephora.com


Check out what the blush and bronzer shades look like on skin:



And here **drumroll please**  is what the two shades look like when blended together:



Next, check out a pic of me wearing the Hourglass Illume in Sunset:



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