I love The Body Shop, but I'd never gotten around to trying any of their makeup. This bronzer is my first purchase from them. I'm also going to be honest and say that this is my first ever bronzer, so I cannot compare it to anything else. I use it to contour my cheeks and nose and warm my forehead a little. Sometimes I'll use it as a blush.
My skintone is on the lighter side of medium. I was in a real rush and had been wanting this bronzer for a while, so I dashed into the shop and thought that the shade 05 (dark golden matte, I believe it's called) would be dark enough for me. I wanted something that would provide a subtle contour for every day looks. I didn't want an overly chiseled look or a 'dirty face covered in mud' look.
Thankfully, this bronzer wasn't anything like that. First of all, the packaging is outstanding. I am normally a pragmatic person that cares mostly about the product itself and its performance, but quite honestly the packaging kind of adds to the enjoyment of using this product. The honeycomb design is so pretty, and it comes with a good-sized mirror.
It's matte, not shimmery. It provides the 'subtle contour' look I was going for. It's easy to apply and blendable for the most part, does not look patchy and most importantly, it's not too orangey nor too ashy.
Now for the cons: the reasons I took off a lippie. First of all, I was a complete idiot and didn't get a shade dark enough for my skin tone. I dithered between shades 5 and 6 and went with 5 ("I'll just layer the product! If it's too dark, after all, I won't be able to use it!"). Don't get me wrong, 5 IS darker than my skintone, and you can easily see it, but 6 would've been better, I believe.
Second con: for the life of me, I can't get this stuff to last very long on my face. The only thing that seems to work is piling it on and building it up several times - it seems to last longer that way. But if I use a large powder brush and just apply a little bit on (like in the mornings) it's gone within a few hours.
I have a hunch the second problem might be due to the first one. Especially as other reviewers do not seem to have had any problems with lasting power. It's makeup, it's going to fade, but because the shade isn't quite dark enough, it only needs to fade a little for it to completely disappear. I would probably repurchase this sometime in the future after experimenting with other bronzers, just using the darker shade this time. Normally when I dislike the shade in a product I blame it on myself and do not penalize it. However, I find that this is an every day annoyance when I find that, later in the day, all my contouring has disappeared.
I may change my mind with the shade. As I said, I wanted a subtle contour, and I got one. People often comment that I've lose tons of weight (when I haven't!). I quite like the trick I'm playing on people at the moment. If I used the darker shade (06) it might become quite obvious I'd contoured with something.
Overall, a beautiful product that I am absolutely in love with (especially for the price), and a great first impression from The Body Shop that has made me want to buy their other products. I would most definitely recommend this to anyone with pale or light medium skin. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a selection for darker skin tones.