I've been in a bronzer kind of mood lately, and I'll bet some of you are too as the weather warms. I like Clinique - the company usually offers great quality at a great price - so when I heard that the line had a new, limited-edition bronzer, I asked Kathy Shoreman and Alexandra Tuluceanu at Neiman Marcus to make sure I got one.
Clinique Almost Bronzer SPF 15 with Mini Makeup Bag ($29) trades in Clinique's popular "almost" name. The sheer bronzing duo protects with broad-spectrum SPF 15, while giving you full control over your bronze look, from sun-kissed to suntanned for a natural look. It's oil-free, which matters to many. Not only that, it comes with a little brush inside the compact for on-the-go use, and you can carry yours in the cheery makeup bag with your lip gloss or whatever you want to have at hand. It's a cute set.
The important part, the bronzer duo, comes in one shade: light/medium. This is a bronzer for women with fair or light-medium skin - or young women who are looking for a light touch with their makeup (don't get me going on some of those teenagers I see at the mall). Almost Bronzer won't do much for anyone with darker skin. I don't know why Clinique didn't introduce a darker shade or two to give women a choice. Their Web site has only light/medium, and even though Alex was expecting a darker shade to arrive at Neiman Marcus, it hasn't yet.
Here's a photo of my duo, taken in full sun. The sparkles you see in it are there, but it's barely shimmering - it offers more of a radiant glow. There's even a reflection of me in this photo, which I didn't see when I took it. See the shadow across the lighter shade?
I took a few swatch photos for you. I applied Almost Bronzer ridiculously heavily with a sponge-tipped eye shadow applicator to get enough pigment on my arm for the photos, taken in full sun. Naturally, we makeup addicts would use a fluffy brush or bronzing brush to dust the bronzer on the high points of our faces or where we want a contour. I swiped straight across both duo shades to give you the blended shade - or what you'll get unless you carefully select a small brush and swipe up and down, rather than across.
Hopefully you can see that the color is good for fair ones, and it's not sparkly (and I know some of you don't want shimmer in your bronzer). Applied naturally, it adds a light golden touch to my face - one that makes me look healthy, as opposed to bronze. The SPF is an extra-added benefit. The sunscreen ingredient is titanium dioxide (9.8%). There are also hydrators in the ingredients, such as glycerin and sodium hyaluronate.
The bronze case is pretty too! The bag? Not me, but someone will enjoy it. Don't you love having extras to give your friends? I save these bags up and put them out at work with a "please take" sign. They get claimed quickly.
You can find Almost Bronzer at Clinique's Web site, Neiman Marcus, and other Clinique counters. I got an e-mail from Clinique this morning offering a gift with purchase at their site. Use the code SUMMER at checkout for free shipping and minis of City Sun Block and Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Grapefruit.
Photo at top courtesy of Clinque