(Trial Run)

I Can Finally Do My Makeup Like My Favorite IG Filter Thanks To This New Powder

A new beauty staple.

Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our beauty news editor is testing the new The Makeup By Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector and SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer.

The search for a product that will give you that lit-from-within, just-tanned-on-a-beach, flushed- with-color glow is ceaseless but I may have found two products to end that hunt. Makeup By Mario Founder Mario Dedivanovic added two new products to his SoftSculpt collection: The Makeup By Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector and SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer, both of which drop today, May 26. I put them to the test to see how they measure up and if they have potential to be my new go-to summer makeup products.

If you’re not familiar with Dedivanovic, just take a casual stroll through Kim Kardashian’s Instagram, stopping at the many selfies of the star in soft glam that can be credited to the makeup artist. The Albanian makeup artist started his beauty career as a sales associate at Sephora, before eventually going on the work with A-listers and launching his own makeup brand in 2020. Every new Makeup By Mario launch generates buzz, and rightfully so. Dedivanovic’s products are designed to help the everyday makeup lover create professional, red carpet level looks all on their own.

The newest multi-use launches promise a blurred, bronzed, and highlighted complexion — and after trying both, I was genuinely surprised by the results.

Read ahead for my full review on how the new products perform and if they’re worth the hype and price point.

We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Fast Facts:

  • Best for: Fair to medium dark skin tones
  • My rating: 5/5
  • Clean: No
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • What I like: Warmth of the shade, build-ability, easy application
  • What I don't like: Small shade range

Fast Facts:

  • Best for: Fair to medium dark skin tones
  • My rating: 4/5
  • Clean: No
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • What I like: Subtle finish, light shimmer
  • What I don't like: Small shade range

My Skin

I have oily-combination skin and during the summer I tend to stay away from heavy formulas in favor of sheer, lightweight complexion products with a skin-like finish so I don’t end each day looking greasy. I don’t usually wear bronzer and stick to foundations, skin tints, concealer, and setting powders when it comes to complexion products.

Makeup By Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer

“While formulating a skin balm, Mario was inspired to add a tint for a warm, healthy glow that evens skin tone and blurs imperfections,” the brand tells TZR. From there, the SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer was born. It combines the benefits of three complexion products: a solid balm, skin tint, and creamy bronzer into a one-step product with sheer buildable coverage. It comes in six shades and is formulated with Daikon Seed extract, a hydrating and ultra-light oil that disappears into skin without clogging pores.

Annie Blay

First Impressions

I like the compact size of the product — it’s not too big to travel with but not too small that I’ll use it up in a matter of months. The texture is very creamy without being too heavy or oily and the shade is a beautiful rich brown with a slightly warm undertone (I usually opt for all-over complexion products in the form of traditional liquid foundations or tints). Also, being that there are only six shades, there’s probably lots of people who wouldn’t be able to find a shade in this range to use as a foundation.

Trying The Transforming Skin Enhancer

The shade looked a bit too dark to use as an all over complexion product so, after applying one layer of a medium coverage skin tint, spot concealing, and applying a smidge of cream blush I dipped a dense brush into the cream product and traced the perimeters of my face along my forehead and jawline. I also buffed it into my cheekbones. I really like the warm undertone of the Skin Enhancer, it makes for the perfect bronzer for my complexion.

Now let’s talk texture and finish. The Skin Enhancer is so creamy it feels almost balm-like — but doesn’t cross over into oily territory. It leaves a mostly matte finish with an ever-so subtle shine and the coverage is fairly sheer but definitely buildable. It also played well with the complexion products I already had on without separating or leaving any patchiness. Something about this product really just blended my makeup together so well for a seamless, blurred look — and I didn’t even put it on my entire face!

Annie Blay

The Makeup By Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector

The Skin Perfector is as multi-use as its cream counterpart — it’s actually a blend of a bronzer, highlighter, and setting powder all in one. “Apply the Enhancer after you’ve applied your skin care and SPF,” Dedivanovic’s team explains. “It can be worn alone anywhere you’d like to lightly even out your skin, or on top of foundation if you prefer more coverage.”

If you’re acne-prone like I am, you likely consider if a makeup product will make you break out before purchasing it; in the case of the new SoftSculpt products they’re “formulated without any comedogenic minerals or essential oils,” says Dedivanovic. “The result is a gorgeous, airbrush-like effect on the skin that doesn’t clog pores.”

The powder appears to be a gradient, starting out as a light shimmery powder at the top and diffusing into a solid matte complexion powder at the bottom, with a bit of warmth in the middle of the gradient.

Annie Blay

First Impressions

The packaging is the sleek minimalist look you get from all of the Makeup by Mario products, but I was a bit confused on how to use it at first glance — should I apply as a setting powder all over my face after foundation, as a bronzer, as a highlighter? But that’s the beauty of this product — you can use it however you’d like. I went with the darkest shade in the range (there are 5) and upon opening it I knew the bottom complexion shade would be too dark to use as an all over powder foundation or setting powder. Note: both products are best applied with a brush or sponge.

Though this product is multi-use you may need to decide how you want to use it before purchasing to determine which shade to get. If you plan to use it as a bronzer/highlighter it’s best to opt for a shade darker than your natural complexion. However if you want to use it as an all over setting powder/highlighter to add a soft blurring effect to your makeup, go for the shade that best matches your complexion.

Trying The SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector

I used the middle to bottom non-shimmer part of the skin perfector as a powder bronzer over my cheekbones, forehead, and jawline. I then dipped my brush in the top part of the pan to pick up the more golden part of the powder and lightly brushed that on my upper cheekbones a little under my blush. I immediately noticed that doing this helped blend my blush and bronzer together seamlessly giving it one even gradient of color — a feat that is notoriously hard to accomplish. There was a bit of shimmer but it wasn’t overpowering at all and provided a light glowy finish.

Annie Blay

Final Verdict

The SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer and Skin Perfector are not one-size-fits-all products — which checks out because they’re multi-use. While the Skin Enhancer may not work for some as a bronzer it can still work great instead as an overall complexion product. For me it didn’t work as a foundation or tint, but it’s my new go-to bronzer. So it really just depends on how you want to use it. Similarly, I wouldn’t use the Skin Perfector as an all-over blurring and setting powder, but it made for a beautiful powder bronzer/highlight for my skin. While the magic truly happens when these two are used together, they would have worked just as well paired with other bronzers and powders in my makeup routine.

Both products come in a .18oz compact and are a great size for travel and on-the-go glam (the only downside is there isn’t a mirror). Depending on how you like your coverage and how often you wear makeup, one compact could last you a good amount of time — if you wear makeup more regularly, you’ll probably get around eight months to a year. Similarly those who like sheer coverage will get a lot of use out of the Skin Enhancer but if you want your cream complexion products to pack fuller coverage pigment you may run through the product fairly quickly.

In addition to the size, given that both are multi-use and can serve different functions in your makeup routine they’re well worth the $30-$34 price point.

I do wish the shade range was larger — those with very dark complexions probably won’t be able to use this product. However, if it looks like your shade is in the range, these are definitely two products worth trying, especially if you love experimenting with makeup and are looking to take your glam to the next level.

BDG product reviews and recommendations are written and conducted by writers and editors with expertise in their fields. Testers often have specific experience with the situation or product at hand, and/or their review or recommendation is provided in consultation with experts. You can learn more about our standards here.

This article was originally published on