By Tara Adamson

There are not a lot of beauty products she hasn’t tried over the last 20 years. Tara Adamson is a self-confessed beauty addict and has spent two decades on a beauty quest to find the best the industry giants have to offer. She is fast becoming our beauty boffin as she seeks out the latest and greatest products out there.

Why not follow me on Twitter; @TaraYMB I’d be happy to answer any beauty related comments or questions you may have.

Elizabeth Arden, Pure Finish Radiant Bronzing Powder in Soft, £26 for 10g

yummymummybeauty rating 4.5/5

What they say; “This lightweight, mineral bronzing powder is infused with antioxidants to provide a healthy looking, golden radiance to your skin with a touch of illumination…”

What we think; From Elizabeth Arden’s Limited Edition New York In Bloom Collection is this lovely, quality compact containing a shimmery powder brick of 4 shades pressed into a pretty floral print. The shades range from baby pink to caramel, coffee and a pretty pale gold highlighter; all with gorgeous subtle golden shimmers. I’m after subtle sparkle, not full on bling, and this is exactly what you get with this bronzer; it’s absolutely perfect for the evening and gives glamorous shimmer on cheekbones, collar bones and décollette; for my taste, I found it a little too sparkly for day time use.

Swirl the brush over this finely milled powder to use the shades together to create a flattering warm, shimmery bronze. The colour is beautifully natural, it’s not orangey at all, but leaves you with a soft, effortless radiance. Unfortunately, the shades themselves are really too small to use individually as eyeshadows, unless you use a very tiny brush. This is the only bronzer I tested out that came with a large mirror, and its own bronzing brush (albeit, a rather cheap looking one with white plastic casing).

Do go easy when using the bronzer and brush together though as it does create quite a bit of fallout. This product is available in two colourways; the Soft, which I tried, and Warm which has darker tones and gives a greater depth of colour. From www.debenhams.com

 

Guerlain, Terracotta 4 Seasons in 00 Nude, £46.50 for 10g

yummymummybeauty rating 5/5

What they say; “The first versatile bronzing powder that matches your tan to the changing seasons. Now you can achieve a natural-looking glow in winter and summer alike. This unique powder has four wonderfully matte shades ideal for customising your tan to reflect the season and for achieving a precise colour, whether you’re blonde or brunette and have a light or dark complexion.

The four shades can be combined or layered at will, sculpting the contours of the face to highlight the complexion and recreate the play of light and shadow on the skin, so like the effects of the sun’s rays that you can hardly tell the difference. The variation of four tones is perfect for a tailor-made, totally authentic tan.”

What we think; Terracotta 4 Seasons in Nude is classic Guerlain gorgeousness; it comes in a weighty, tactile, pebble like compact with comforting snap shut lid. Inside is a good sized mirror and a quad of three coordinating shades of bronze and one shade of blush, all in satin lined, velveteen pouch; just beautiful.

This product smells beautiful and evokes memories of my first encounters with make-up when I was little! The powder is super-fine milled, goes on like silk and blends seamlessly; it is long lasting and doesn’t fade. The shades are flattering and leave a satin, very natural finish which enhances the skin; the soft rose shade does look faintly shimmery however, this doesn’t transfer onto the skin.

This is a very versatile bronzer; when a smaller brush is used, the shades can be used individually, or use a larger brush to swirl over all the shades together and sweep over your cheekbones. It can be used to create different effects; to contour, add radiance or definition; to give a beautiful sun-kissed, healthy glow or just to perk up your skin tone; I found it impossible to go wrong with this product. This product is available in six colourways from Nude to Ebony to suit all colourings; Nude; the one I tried, is perfect for light to medium skintones. From www.houseoffraser.co.uk

 

Laura Mercier Bronzing Duo in Pink Bronze, £26 for 9.7g

yummymummybeauty rating 4.2/5

What they say; “A silky, two-toned bronzer that leaves a soft, golden sheen and adds a healthy radiance. Formulated with French ‘cashmere’ talc, the luxuriously silky and smooth powder applies evenly for a sheer application of colour. Blend the long-wearing shades to match your ideal skin tone.”

What we think; This is an all-in-one blush/bronzer duo which has a warm red bronze in one half and a reddy, watermelon pink blush on the other. It’s quite a dark, highly pigmented Duo, and not one I’d normally gravitate towards, purely because it looks so dark.

However, it transfers onto the skin as an easy to wear, sheer, but buildable colour which blends well and has great staying power. Each shade is large enough to be used individually, or together to create your own personal look. This is a versatile, multi tasking bronzer that can be swept over cheekbones, eyelids, collarbones and décollétte and is particularly good for contouring as the two colours work beautifully together.

There is a slight shimmer in the compact, but this doesn’t transfer onto skin, instead it leaves a radiant, satiny sheen with a healthy, rosy glow. The powder is velvety soft and beautiful quality, typical Laura Mercier. It is available in 3 shades; Pink Bronze, which I tried, Coral Bronze and finally Bronzing. This bronzing compact works equally well for day wear as for evening and is perfect for medium or darker skin tones. From www.johnlewis.com

 

Soap & Glory Solar Powder, £11 for 9g

yummymummybeauty rating 4.3/5

What they say; “Brilliant, brush-on, multi-shade shimmering bronzer and highlighting brick for beautifully luminous skin. The greatest glow on earth!”

What we think; My first impression of Soap & Glory’s Solar Powder was ewww; the dreadful packaging! I really don’t like the feel or look of this compact; it looks very homemade, almost like a cardboard compact which has been covered with stickers by your child!

I normally love Soap & Glory’s make-up, but this young, retro packaging unfortunately doesn’t do it for me. Saying that though, it does feel quite sturdy, has a reasonable-sized mirror and a reliable magnetic closure which stops it opening in your bag. However, I am loving the Solar Powder itself!

Initially, this bronzing duo has a slightly pinky overspray which goes within the first few sweeps of your brush; one half of the compact is a matte bronze, the other a lighter goldy colour with a super fine micro shimmer.

Again, these shades can be used individually to sculpt & contour the face; or together to create a pretty sunkissed, natural look or for a subtle wash of colour. I wouldn’t say it was ‘shimmering’ as such, but that it has more of a satin finish, giving more of a radiant glow than a shimmer; it would suit most skin tones; from pale complexions to those already with a tan.

This product comes in one colourway; it is great value, and as the colour is so natural, it would be suitable for year round use, not just the summer. From www.boots.com