Urban Decay's Beached Bronzer earns our recommendation for its natural finish and silky-smooth blendability + ultra-fine pressed powder texture. Where things vary a bit is with the color payoff, depending on which shade you choose. Is this bronzer right for you? Let's find out…
Beached Bronzer comes in two shades: "Sun-Kissed" (the preferred option for lighter skin tones) and "Bronzed" (best for medium to medium-deep complexions). Sun Kissed has a warm, soft peach, undertone and goes on very softly. It's so subtle in fact, that it takes a few passes before you'll see noticeable color. If you want a mere hint of bronzer that's great. If you're hoping for more color payoff, this trait will prove frustrating.
The Bronzed shade offers more substantial pigmentation and is a deeper, more neutral (yet still somewhat warm) bronze hue. Like Sun-Kissed, it goes on sheer but builds color more effectively.
Neither shade is shimmery but both have a natural-looking finish, which Urban Decay accurately describes as "luminous matte"—not shiny but with an ever-so-slight sheen.
If you're anything like us, the adorable palm tree inspired compact that Beached Bronzer comes in will have you daydreaming of pina coladas and turquoise waters. Of course, pretty packaging doesn't mean a thing if the product itself isn't good, but in this case Beached Bronzer is worth considering for its finely-milled, soft pressed powder texture that blends easily. Whether or not the shades will work for you is a personal matter, but you can rest assured knowing that Beached Bronzer holds up well throughout the day and is fragrance free (always a plus because fragrance puts skin at risk of irritation).
- Finely-milled, silky-soft powder blends on with ease.
- Natural-looking "luminous matte" finish.
- Bronzer wears well throughout the day.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Some may find the Sun-Kissed shade takes too much effort to build color.
Urban Decay At-A-Glance
Strengths: Workable options in almost every category; excellent cheek tint; bonanza for anyone who wants lots of shiny eyeshadows; good mattifier;bronzing powder; brow products; makeup brushes.
Weaknesses: Mostly average to poor mascaras; limited foundation shades and some disappointing lip glosses; the products designed to help makeup last longer don't help.
From its unconventional beginnings in 1996 with the debut tagline of "Does Pink Make You Puke?" Urban Decay has been at the forefront of the ongoing trend toward unconventional colors. Their approach to beauty is still rooted in steering clear of the norm, but for those creative, unconventional folks who want the opportunity to express themselves with well-formulated, edgy products, this is the line to look to.
Now representing itself by the decidedly tamer "Beauty with an Edge" slogan, the line still offers several shiny options (which excel by virtue of how well they cling to skin), but the items that really deserve your attention include some of their mascaras, bronzing powder, blush, and brow products. The brush collection is highly recommended and priced on the low end when compared to other department-store lines, and Urban Decay counters (as opposed to Sephora stores, where the line is typically sold) offer helpful literature about how to design a complete makeup look. The colors may be unconventional and more clownish than classy, but their placement advice is right-on.
Shortcomings of this edgy line include the lack of lipsticks and some glittery products that apply terribly. Those who appreciate products that make a statement (though it may not always be one that puts you in your most flattering light) should explore the best of what is offered here, as should those whose makeup concepts occasionally lean toward the adventurous side.
For more information about Urban Decay, call (800) 784-URBAN or visit www.urbandecay.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.