Splurge or Steal: Bronzer

Over time, my taste in beauty products has rather fortunately and organically shifted to the drugstore variety rather than the high-end designer brand names. I find (and have reiterated this in countless beauty posts and vlogs) that drugstore brands such as Revlon, Maybelline, Rimmel, and heck, even Wet N Wild, have really amped up their game and are putting out quality beauty products that are easily becoming cult favorites. Over lots of time and research I have put together a list of drugstore products that knock their high-end version off the throne. Each of these products that I write about (in posts entitled Splurge vs. Steal – so original, I know) have been personally vetted. I hope you will enjoy these posts as I have quite a long list to get through! Let’s get started.

Starting with bronzer, there is no better-known bronzer out there than NARS’ cult hit in the shade Laguna (they have a darker version called Casino as well). It’s mostly matte with a hint of shimmer and stays far away from orange overtones, and it isn’t so potent that you have to be super careful about how much you apply–it blends splendidly. NYC’s bronzer in “Sunny” is similar in the same way, although it’s more matte (which is desirable for contouring the cheekbones) and it’s so smooth and blendable, I find myself reaching for it more than my Laguna, even though I own and love both. I think the reason I love NYC’s bronzer more, besides the price ($34 for NARS Laguna and only $3 for NYC’s Bronzer!), is that I find that it has even less orange tones than Laguna. Before being introduced to NYC’s Sunny, I wouldn’t have thought that possible! This is definitely a huge knockout in my book, because you can purchase 10 NYC Sunny bronzers for the price of one Laguna. Insane!

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  1. 11.05.2012 / 12:30 am

    Splurge vs. Steal: Bronzer: Over time, my taste in beauty products has rather fortunately and organically shifte… http://t.co/uRJYVGnr

  2. 11.05.2012 / 9:48 am

    Great post. I always “filter” what I use on my skin, but as long as I am happy with the ingredients and result I’d always use a less expensive products. x

  3. followmarlaslife
    11.05.2012 / 11:09 am

    I love my Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer but it’s so stinkin’ expensive. Luckily it seems to last a long time.

  4. 11.05.2012 / 11:38 am

    I totally agree while I love some high end products, but drugstores have such great selections. I’ve even convinced my sister to buy the maybelline mascara instead of the Diorshow she was addicted to, you can’t even tell the difference between the two.xo

  5. 11.05.2012 / 2:22 pm

    Love this series! I Just ran out of bronzer yesterday, too!

  6. Megan
    11.05.2012 / 4:08 pm

    I love these types of posts! I have both bronzers and agree with your review. I am also impressed with the bronzer from Revlon, the one that is 4 different shades that you can swirl together. That bronzer blends just as well, although it is definitely darker than the NYC one.

  7. 11.05.2012 / 5:51 pm

    The NYC blush palette (right next to the bronzer and same size shape) is absolutely lovely as well. since it is multi-hue, blendable colors you can get a custom blush every time. I love it! I was wondering how you got that Phillip Lim bag….Buying drugstore bronzer! (Jk)-Ashleigh

  8. Tiffany Elam
    11.05.2012 / 6:19 pm

    OMG, I cannot believe this! I am a HUGE fan of Nars Laguna bronzer. Recently, I switched jobs & only work parttime for now & my Laguna shattered & is almost out. I can’t wait to give NYC Sunny a try now since you believe it’s comparaible to Laguna. Thanks for the review!!
    Happy Monday



  9. 11.05.2012 / 8:33 pm

    I can tell you right now that your Splurge vs Steal posts are going to be my new favorite!!

  10. 11.06.2012 / 3:11 am

    I love NARS “Casino” and I have absolutely no issues with it being orange-y, as I am of a darker complexion and it is the darker bronzer. You are right about it’s blend-ability, though. It’s such a seamless finish but gives the right pop and dimension my face needs to feel “finished.” I’m a little afraid of some drugstore products because my pores are very susceptible to being clogged, so I’m not sure that I’d switch from NARS’ bronzer as I’m already really satisfied.

  11. Doctor Juris
    11.09.2012 / 12:25 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that NYC bronzer. I discovered it about a year ago, and have been hooked ever since. I particularly like how it’s a matte, non-shimmery finish.

  12. 11.09.2012 / 3:33 pm

    I have been wearing NARS Laguna for a while now and just recently bought NYC Sunny. I love them both and interchange them so frequently. I am almost completely out of Laguna and not even thinking of repurchasing because I have a full pan of Sunny.


  13. 11.12.2012 / 7:52 am

    I love this post! Thanks! I have been wearing Laguna for awhile now but cringe every time I go to repurchase it! I’ll definitely be giving NYC Sunny a try once I run out! 🙂

  14. Michelle
    03.25.2013 / 6:44 pm

    Ok- so I have really sensitive skin, and I still wanted a bronzey look- I discovered the Glam Girl Naturals Cosmetics line, and their Bronze Goddess Bronzer is amazing. Looks great and goes on fabulous. You should try that!

  15. 03.28.2013 / 4:33 pm

    Yay!! I use this on my brides all the time. It really does work great. Thanks for posting these splurge or steal posts. They are my favorite.

  16. amy
    04.09.2013 / 4:54 pm

    Thanks so much for the info. So many of the bronzers I try are too sparkly for me. I’ll be sure to try this one (especially at this price.)

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