Every summer, Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess collection is a highlight of my makeup calender. And this year's edition positively sizzles. The promo image defies anyone to call Estee Lauder old ladyish! (an unfair assertion in any case, by the way.) This is surely the collection that will put an end to any stereotypes. The inspiration is "exotic", and there's the Exotic Coral look and the Exotic Orchid look to choose from.
The packaging on the stalwart items,namely the bronzing gel and the hotly anticipated bronzing blusher, is a burnished orange (like last year).
In addition there are the elegant slender, gold tipped liquid eyeshadows. I actually can't think of any other brand or collection where liquid eyeshadows, as if in lipgloss form, have been seen? These innovative eyeshadows are arguably the standout piece. After testing out different techniques, I found the best way is to pretend you are a makeup novice - and literally apply it straight from the wand, as if drawing on your shadow! It is so wonderfully simple to use, and instantly gives electric pure colour. It lasts all day, it's even waterproof. Indeed, what I love most about the collection is that there is logic to it: products are designed for a true summer - in that the colours are vibrant and best worn with a tan, but equally, that they are purposefully durable. These products would easily last straight through a sweltering day.
I adore the Bronzing gel (30ml, £24), it feels light and cooling on the skin, and even contains caffeine so it actually does feel like it lifts the skin! It gives sallow sun-starved faces a gentle glow. On darker skins I bet this would really make you look otherworldly, as it has a delicate shimmer that would highlight warm dark skin to perfection.
Left to right: Aqua Flash, Sand Shimmer (liquid eyeshadows) and Bronzing gel.
I found that using the bronzing gel as a blusher (rather than all over the face) worked best, especially as it made my Exotic Bronzing blusher really stay on for hours. As a huge fan of last year's equivalent offering - the immensely popular SunBlush Illuminator - I wondered how this year's blusher would compare. And once again, Estee Lauder have struck the ideal balance between blusher and bronzer! Where last year's was more peach, this year's Exotic version, replete with animal print, is more of a pinky brown. As with the SunBlush before it, this gives instant warmth, and a very soft amber shimmer, which pale skins in particular will benefit from.
The best thing is that it's versatile: one swipe, it can be used all over as a bronzer, then a few swipes, and it becomes a deep blusher. The compact (£26) is huge, 13g, so it will last a very long time (just as well, as this is sadly limited edition too.)
The Bronze Goddess colours all capture a pure tropical zest, with bold lips compulsory. The Wild Coral gloss (£15) has a pointy firm wand, allowing for more sober individuals to simply dot it on as a accent, or even to line lips with. It is sticky, which goes against my preferences, but is super long lasting. MAC fans will appreciate the vanilla flavour, it didn't seem like the usual EL fig...? Again, there is a lot of product and this will last a while. This looks breathtakingly stunning in the tube: a bright reddish orange, glowing with gold specks! Irresistable.
The liquid eyeshadows in the coral collection are Sand Shimmer, which is exactly the colour of holiday beaches: a cool toned gold (it's like MAC's discontinued 'Gold Dusk' pigment). And then, of course, there's THAT BLUE! Already appreciated within the blogging world, Aqua Flash is surely the item that will sell out first.
With British weather still harbouring a cold snap, I used the Sand Shimmer as a base, then the bright Aqua Flash as a thick liner, the Bronzing gel along my cheeks topped off with Exotic Bronzing blusher. Defying the weather I started out with bold Wild Coral lipgloss... but quickly realised that combination must be reserved for a heatwave. Instead, I toned the look down with nude lips (MAC Brave New Bronze). This was worn to the gym, with Estee Lauder Double Wear (naturally) as my foundation and eyeshadow base. And it held up remarkably during an enthusiastic training session!
I'd recommend you check this amazing collection out for yourselves. There are several other items aside from those mentioned, have a browse here. Bronze Goddess range is out in House of Fraser, and will be available nationwide from 26th April.