In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.
Summer is officially here, which means people all across the Northern Hemisphere are swapping out for lightweight clothing, revamping their skin care routines, and spending countless hours outdoors basking in the glory of sunshine and warm weather. Historically, people tend to embrace the bronzy glow that the sun’s rays can give to the skin. I, for one, have always loved the summer, and I’ve always enjoyed the tan my Mediterranean skin would develop long before it’s over.
However, the beauty industry has taught me that although I might adore that sun-kissed glow, it has a sinister side. They say that money is the root of all evil, but I beg to differ: sun damage is the root of everything that can go wrong with your skin. Sun exposure without proper protection can lead to skin oxidation, exacerbate breakouts, and, worst of all, lead to skin cancer. As someone who takes care of their skin like their job depends on it (because my job, technically, does), I’ve made it a point in recent years to wear SPF every single day and refrain from tanning whenever possible.
Of course, staying out of the sun is a fantastic habit for my skin, but I still crave that bronzed look. That’s why over the past few years, I’ve decided to swap those hours in the sun with makeup as a way to create a sun-kissed look for my complexion all year round, but especially during the summer season. That’s why when I found out that Victoria Beckham Beauty released their new Matte Bronzing Brick, I knew I had to give it a try. I also know that not all bronzers are created equal, so I was eager to learn whether or not the brand’s newest release could provide a natural-looking tan that would fool even the most ardent sun worshippers into thinking I, too, spend hours at the beach or pool.
What Does It Do?
The Victoria Beckham Matte Bronzing Brick is a bronzer and contour palette that promises to add warmth to your complexion while helping you to sculpt out the cheekbones, jawline, and any other area you plan on defining. The product comes in five different shades, suitable for almost every skin tone.
01: A light amber duo for fair to light skin tones.
02: A warm tan duo for light to medium skin tones.
03: A golden tan duo for medium skin tones.
04: A golden brown duo for dark to deep skin tones.
05: A deep amber duo for deep to rich skin tones.
Why This Bronzer?
Now, this isn’t just your average bronzing and contouring palette. The Matte Bronzing Brick comes with two complementary shades that promise to add dimension to your features and add sun-kissed color to your complexion without ever appearing orange, muddy, or ashy. Plus, this formula is matte and shimmer-free, which means a more natural and skin-like glow (since your skin doesn’t naturally sparkle).
The packaging is also something that commands attention. This bronzer arrives in a brass, refillable compact that also just so happens to be plastic-free. Its tortoiseshell design looks chic on virtually any vanity, and the ultra-slim and compact design will fit into whichever bag you choose to wear for some on-the-go glow. Once your powder is complete, simply recycle the pan and order a refill — yes, it’s that easy.
How About The Formulation?
In true Victoria Beckham Beauty fashion, the Matte Bronzing Brick isn’t your typical powder formula. Unlike most powders on the market today, this formula contains no filler ingredients, petroleum, coal-derived waxes, PEG’s, synthetic fragrances, or EDTA’s. Additionally, it’s talc-free with a translucent base, which allows the pigment to layer beautifully and naturally without adding an ashy cast of pigment onto the skin.
Plus, there is a slew of good-for-your-skin ingredients such as moringa oil and cocoa butter, which adds a moisturizing veil to your complexion to help lock in hydration throughout the day. Oh, and did I mention that this formula also contains a blend of amino acids? Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins like elastin and collagen in the skin, so while this product adds a touch of bronze to your complexion, it’s also helping your skin fight off the signs of aging.
Using The Matte Bronzing Brick
As mentioned earlier, I try to limit my sun exposure during the summertime as much as possible to protect my skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays. Thankfully, this (and my consistent skin care routine) has resulted in a reasonably blemish-free complexion, yet I lack the tan glow that I had coveted in years past. Here’s a picture to prove it.
After I applied a few dabs of concealer around my problem areas, I dipped my fluffy blush brush into the first shade and tapped off any excess product. Then, with soft, feather-like strokes, I applied the bronzing shade in layers to where the sun naturally hits: the tops of my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, my forehead, and, last but not least, my chin. After that, I grabbed a dense contour brush and swirled the second contour shade under my cheekbones, under my jawline, by my temples, and across my hairline.
I typically opt for many hydrating and moisturizing products in my skin care routine, and I find that most powders tend to stick to my skin in a way that makes it difficult to blend. I was initially taken aback by how seamlessly this product blends on my skin and how it seems to almost diffuse into the rest of my makeup with minimal effort on my end. The Matte Bronzing Brick gave me an airbrush finish that surprisingly blurs texture while adding an otherworldly glow and bronze to my skin that simply looks like skin, without ever being too intense or grey in its pigment.
Would I Recommend This Product?
Now, here’s the deal: I find that no matter how many layers of this product I apply, this makeup seldom cakes up, which is a welcome bonus, considering that one of my complexion goals in the summer is to look both tan and dewy. Plus, since this product *is* a powder, after all, the staying power is inherently substantial, usually lasting me throughout an entire workday with little to no reapplications. And, since this pan is pretty big in comparison to other powder products, I know that I’ll have this duo for a long while before needing to purchase a refill.
This product ticks off every criterion on my list: it’s clean, cruelty-free, and has refillable packaging that is better for the environment than most bronzers on the market today. Plus, the Matte Bronzing Brick has skin-boosting ingredients, meaning that while the product is sitting on my skin, it’s actually helping to build collagen and elastin throughout the day. With specs as impressive as these and a glow that can trick everyone into thinking I had spent a week on a tropical getaway, I think the Matte Bronzing Brick is undoubtedly worth the $58 investment.