Ah, the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base – the universal cream bronzer that dictates luxury, declaring itself as the chicest thing you’ll ever put on your face besides pure gold. Beauty editors, bloggers, and vloggers alike have demonstrated and agree that this flashy jar of brown goop baring the famous Chanel C’s is the ultimate complexion enhancer, and that statement is not simply accredited to the exclusive elitism brought forward by the fact that it is Chanel and every girl loves it just for that factor, but that it actually works.
Trust me, for $48 per pop, I have been its harshest critic from the moment I opened the jar and relentless in my pursuit to find any flaw with it so you won’t have to waste your time and money in case it was all hype.
This particular cult favorite Chanel bronzer landed in my makeup collection about two months ago when I was walking through the Bellagio hotel and the premier boutique caught my eye by way of their SS15 collection donned on mannequins displayed in the windows. It was like the Mothership was calling me home, a moment of pure nirvana befell over me and a little tear jerked at my lashes in the corner of my right eye. It was absolutely beautiful, peaceful. Then I was rudely awakened by the stark realization that I could not even afford a Chanel tampon if I tried, let alone anything else. But despite my better judgment with the echoes of “this shit’s too expensive for my blood” or the lurking possibility of security manhandling me out of there kicking and screaming because I came too close to the Boy bags, I went in anyway and after a long while of gawking and shameless drooling, walked out with this bronzer. The reason I singled out this bronzer over anything else is because besides being a bronzer fanatic, I had been hearing and seeing a lot of it recently, so in an attempt to find out what it is all about I made the splurge all the while hearing my credit card letting out a disgruntled moan. Are you ready to find out if it’s worth a look?
Bronzers are a constant struggle to find that one shade that compliments your skin tone. That one shade that won’t look muddy, ruddy, or looks like you were in a head-on collision with an Oompa Loompa. It’s a struggle and it is real. What immediately stood out to me upon purchasing the bronzer is that there is no multiple shade selection, it is 1 color – meaning there is no option that is either too pale or too dark. So in the end, no hopeful guessing you bought the right color. It states that it is a universal shade that works on all skin tones across the board. Looking rather dark in the pan I was relatively hesitant when I first took the lid off and was looking down at this brown mixture with no true identity, thinking how this was supposed to work on any skin tone since it does not exactly fall in a proper and familiar contouring color range. Disappointed, I stuck my fingers into the mixture, rubbed it on the back of my hand and was not exactly left in awe by what I saw. I screwed the lid back on and left it for a while.
A few weeks ago I was arranging the drawers in my new apartment and was storing my compacts into the neat little storing system I found at Marshalls prior to moving which fit snug but perfect into the drawer. As I was sorting through my products categorizing them I encountered the Chanel bronzer, looking miffed at the $48 sitting there mocking me, I decided to give it a second chance if only to get some sort of justification for the money I had spent on it. The next day I was standing in front of the mirror with a “let’s do this” attitude, and a fresh view that concluded not seeing this bronzer as a contouring medium. I had to stop worrying about the realistic carving out of features and focus more on the high points of the face where the sun naturally hits and just dust it on to enhance it.
The tables had turned.
Revealing the dewy and glowing skin of my dreams, I have been actively using this ever since as a bronzing base. All this time, the magic was really in the name. I’ll be honest, when I first dipped my brush into the product I was kind of confused, perplexed really, by how this was ever supposed to be smooth or show up at least in one seamless swipe as opposed to patchy which was what I was bracing myself for. Nope, the weightless cream went on like butter with an even consistency and blended into my skin beautifully leaving a sheer hint of color and a very slight trace of shimmer for a diffused and natural finish. Not even in the slightest does this or will this look muddy, even on the very pale, it just makes you look subtly bronzed without that Snookie fake tan effect. If realistic color is your aim, this is the product to help get you there.
Working with a cream may appear as intimidating if not vaguely scary if you are not a trained professional, but that’s where control and practice comes in. It is surprisingly easy to use and it doesn’t need a lot in order for it to show up. With just a little bit you are in full control of where the product goes, leaving skin looking luminous after blending using a brush or your fingers (heat fingers prior to avoid streaking) without ever turning cakey or greasy. It’s sheer, yet buildable, and because it is a universal shade that can be thought of as a multi-tasker with a luminous filter and trace of shimmer as an end-result, this base cream will seamlessly work on the pale, to the olive, to the dark skin tones without skipping a beat. Perfect as an all-over glow, yes you can also use it to contour as well. In my book by way of this bronzer it is perhaps the most natural contour I have ever been able to gain out of any bronzers I have used to do so, including the famous Too Faced Chocolate Soleil. It doesn’t end up looking fake as a powder formula can sometimes translate to. Instant definition without the drastic signs.
After applying foundation I will use a small contouring brush to swipe a little under the cheekbones, sides of the forehead and sides of the nose. Then using a damp Beautyblender I will stipple the product into my skin to blur any harsh edges/lines before I generously dust either Nars’ Laguna or one of my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks over the exact areas I applied the Chanel bronzer to warm it up even more. I LOVE doing this, no bronzer will ever be the same without using the Chanel prior to it. And this base also works perfectly entirely on its own. If you don’t feel like doing your makeup at all one day, just dust this all over so your face has a little bit of sunbathed color to it.
I can go on blushing about how amazing this bronzer is, but it has changed my makeup game. Never have thought about using a bronzer as a base layer prior to using regular bronzer! It’s genius! While beautiful all on its own, the Chanel needs no further help or enhancement in order to mimic that “rich girl” skin everyone’s been talking about, but me personally, I love to use it sort of as a primer. Overall, if you have 50 bucks to spend on a makeup product, let this be your splurge.
Did I mention it seems to last forever so far? Because it does, making that price tag a little more justifiable …
5 Stars, plus then some.