My bronzing quest continues with the Clarins Bronzing Duo…

A while ago I decided that I needed a decent bronzer, so I gave my Essence sun club bronzer to my mom as it just wasn’t right for my skin tone. Then I ordered the e.l.f studio golden bronzer, which looked so promising but had hardly any colour payoff. So I decided to go with Clarins, a trusted brand, and got their bronzing duo in 02 medium. This costs R375 in South Africa. This is what it is supposed to look like before it is defaced (more on that in a minute).

Clarins Bronzing Duo

First of all I have to say that I love the packaging of this! The compact has a brown tortoiseshell coloured lid and comes in a brown velvet Clarins pouch to keep the compact safe. I think it is very classy and French. I also like that the bronzer is two-toned with a lighter, slightly shimmery section and darker section.

I bought this bronzer partly because it had good reviews online. However, I have been having some struggles with it. Firstly, it seemed to have a hard layer on top and my brushes couldn’t pick up the colour. The hard layer started wearing through in places and I could see a slightly different shade underneath, as though the top layer had oxidized or been compacted. I couldn’t get enough on the brush to get it to show up on my face. So, I finally grabbed some kitchen towel and a chopstick *cringe* and literally scraped the hard layer off the top, losing a whole lot of bronzer in the process, and making my compact look like a dog’s breakfast. After the sandpapering I gave it, brushes seem to be able to collect product better. As you can see from the swatch below it is quite light and would definitely be better suited to paler skin.

Clarins Bronzing Duo Collage

What I like about it is the natural finish. Even with a lot of powder applied it doesn’t look like my skin has powder on it. So it doesn’t look cakey or noticeable at all, just gives a natural-looking change in colour. Secondly, it isn’t orange or visibly shimmery at all.

What I don’t think I like is that this bronzer looks slightly pink-toned on my face, so I look more like I have a light sunburn than a light tan. Not sure if that is the look I am going for. So while I like the packaging and how light and natural the bronzer is, I fear I must continue on my quest to find the perfect one for me. NARS Laguna is seriously calling my name…


2 thoughts on “My bronzing quest continues with the Clarins Bronzing Duo…

  1. Pink Peonies says:

    Hhhmmm, thanks for this review – I wanted to get this duo but now I’m having second thoughts. Especially since you first need to scrape the top layer off, I don’t like the idea of that at all. Even if you got one from a ‘bad batch’ it’s still not acceptable. – if you’re willing to pay the $10 shipping. I ordered my NARS Orgasm off there and had no problems with arrival or duties / taxes.

    • Mother City Mom says:

      Thanks! I think sometimes skincare products or oil from your skin can transfer via the brush and cause the top layer to harden. I think it is just an issue I had, but not common or at all specific to this bronzer. Everyone else seemed to love it. Such a pity! It is working okay now, I think I will use it as a blush actually.

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