Been looking for a bronzer for paler skin. I can see why some felt they had to use too much, or that it didn't show. It's quite subtle, which I love. I brush once on each cheek , then use the remainder on the brush for other areas. You don't really see it, so it doesn't look like makeup. It just gives your skin a beautiful glow.
I've tried a lot of stuff in the 'bronzer' and 'highlighter' category. I'm so pasty that it's hard to find anything that isn't glittery, too brown, too tan, too pink, TOO OBVIOUS. If I put it on and you can tell that I just dusted myself with product, what's the point?
I bought the Baked Starburst and didn't have high hopes. I expected, like every other product like this, to look like I just fake-baked or rolled in some kid's glitter. At the very least I expected an obvious blushy look where it was dusted, judging by the palette. Had a wedding to go to and the top I found to wear showed about 10" more cleavage than I ever show, so my chest needed a little somethin' somethin' since it sits behind shirts all the time. I almost had that ghostly pale Twilight look to my skin, and I feared that if I passed out in the street someone might call in a dead body. Yeah, that pale. Patty Hearst saw more daylight as a hostage than my chest sees in a decade.
I used Smashbox's very large fluffy white blush brush. Swooshed it through the entire cake, and dusted. There wasn't a streak of color to be seen anywhere, no metallic bits of any kind, it didn't look 'shiny'. But somehow my skin had a luminescence, almost like an inner glow. It looked deeply moisturized and healthy. I stepped outside and brought a makeup mirror with me, and in daylight it STILL looked fresh and dewy, not made up. So I braved putting this stuff on my face, expecting to look like I'd just climbed 40 flights of stairs (redness, shine). Again, luminescent and radiant and it didn't seem to add any color (very important if you have perpetually reddened skin like me!). If I wanted color I'd put on blush! This added a gorgeous effect to my skin but it didn't look like I'd used any product. Once again Smashbox came through for me with realistic cosmetics that don't turn on you in REAL light! This is worth every stinkin' cent it costs, and it seems as though this would last a long, long time. My palette didn't even look as though I'd used any by the time I'd applied it generously to my chest, neck, and face.
This is a really nice bronzer. I swirl my brush around and dust it on my face - mainly cheeks and nose area - after foundation, powder, and blush. Thankfully it doesn't have an orange tint and brightens my skin a bit. It doesn't really add color. At all. Instead, it provides a subtle shimmer that adds a bit of dimension to too-flat looking makeup. My skin tone is light-medium/olive. I don't know if I'd buy it again for the price. Yeah, it's nice, but it doesn't do much for me. At least not $29 worth of an effect. This is probably best for someone with a lighter skin tone.
UPDATE: I liked the glow it gave and the dimension it added, but I found myself using my Mac bronzer more to add some sunkissed glow to my look. Well, I found a new use for this product. As noted, it doesn't really add color on me. BUT I have found that it's fabulous to use to set cream blush! It gives a great glow and really enhances the lasting power.
The best bronzing powder I have used - the varying shades of neutral pinks and tans blend into a beautiful shade of golden brown with a hint of blush that looks natural and gives a subtle glow that lasts all day. I have tried others but they are either too dark, too brown/orange/pink or too dry looking. This formula has slight sparkle to it that creates lovely highlights and catches the light without looking garish. Love it, love it!
Love Smashbox as a company and I actually liked the look of this bronzer but only after I applied a lot more than I should have had to. I've only had this about 2 weeks and I'm already nearing the bottom of the container. Totally unacceptable for me given the price point!