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In the cosmetics industry, good packaging goes far—it’s already proven that lipsticks and nail polishes with unique names sell better than ones with boring names, no matter what the color. It makes sense then that cosmetics companies want to make their products as attractive as possible. Probably on the more sculptural side, you’ll see bronzer compacts being the ones with the most unique designs and patterns on the actual makeup. While beautiful to look at, you might wonder how exactly you can use a bronzer compact, and how it’s meant to be used when its different colored quadrants are all incorporated into a certain design. The wide flat brushes that often come with them don’t really help either. While we can’t really speak for the tiled or mosaic-looking compacts, here are some bronzer compacts that are just as functional as they are pretty.
Elizabeth Arden’s new Sunkissed Pearls collection is as pretty in its packaging as it is on your face. This bronzer and highlighter duo is actually very well-placed in the compact (it was designed by the brand’s Global Makeup Artist, Rebecca Restrepo, so you KNOW it has to be functional). One side is a deeper bronzer for contouring under your cheekbones, around your hairline, and along your jawline. The lighter side is for blending in and hitting all the “sun spots” or where the sun would naturally tan you the most—so down the center of the nose, your forehead, and cheeks. A little highlighter goes on top of your cheekbones and under your brow bone for a thoroughly “sunkissed” look.
(Where to Buy: Elizabeth Arden Sunkissed Pearls Bronzer And Highlighter Duo, $39.50 at Elizabeth Arden)
This pretty bronzer compact from Guerlain, top of the bronzer game, is not for the shimmer-phobic. The peachy blush in the center is a summery flush for the apples of your cheeks, while the surrounding bronzer gives you that “sun-tanning off a beach in the south of France” glow.
(Where to Buy: Guerlain Terra Nerolia Tan-Enhancing Bronzer FACE and Décolleté, $159 at Amazon)
NYX has no shortage of bronzer compacts, this one being part of their Tango With Bronzer collection. This “Tribal Odyssey” compact has your light-deeper bronzing shades that you can swipe with a flat bronzer brush vertically across to catch the tones you want. The peach sections are lovely as a hint of a flush.
(Where to Buy: NYX Tango With Bronzing Powder in “Tribal Odyssey,” $10 at NYX.com)
Not just a souvenir, Physicians Formula’s new City Glow bronzer compact features Paris and New York as two international cities of fashion and glamour. You might not want to sweep away the gilded skyline, but the gold shimmer actually blends very prettily on top of the “sky” portion of the palette. The bottom half is a warm color and can be used as bronzer or even as a subtle blush.
(Where to Buy: Physicians Formula Paris City Glow Bronzer, $8.97 at Drugstore.com)
Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer is named after two of television’s famed tumultuous couples—Carrie and Big,and Ross and Rachel. The cute heart-shaped compact is nicely laid out with the blush as a pop in the corner and the bronzer section gives you a wide space for sweeping with a brush, which is very helpful for mid-date touch-ups.
(Where to Buy: Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer, $34 at Sephora.com)
If you’re new to these bronzer/blush/highlighter compacts, you can’t go wrong with a easy striped-quadrant layout like on Wet’n’Wild’s MegaGlo Illuminating Powder compact. It comes in four different variations, each with a complimentary collection of contour, blush, and highlighter. You simply sweep your brush across each stripe. It’s that easy—no dodging any other colored bits.
(Where to Buy: Wet’n’Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Powder, $3.99 at Drugstore.com)