Foundations even out the skin and soften blemishes, but they don't always give the illumination that our face needs. They usually have a matte or satiny finish so you may need another product to sort of finish off your face in a literal halo of light. Illuminators do this for you by having light-reflecting ingredients that create this subtle haze of light around your skin.
Sounds too complicated? It's actually easy to get illuminated! It's only difficult when you're using the wrong product - by wrong I mean too shimmery, too pigmented, too obvious. I love the Guerlain Meteorites for that instant ethereal glow but for a warmer finish, I prefer to use the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze (P2,300).
Shimmer bomb? As the name suggests, the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick is shimmery in the pan. However, when it goes on your face, the fine shimmer diffuses and isn't really detectable unless you look closely. It's more shimmery than the Guerlain Meteories (which is more on the pearly side) but less pigmented than the NARS Laguna Bronzer.
Pigmentation and finish. At first, I was trying to get it to work like a bronzer by contouring my cheeks and the sides of my face with it. It didn't color much! So I figured that it was more appropriate as an illuminator - something that gives the skin a bronze glow.
I love that it enhances Pinay coloring, as the warm bronze tones bring out our natural yellow undertones. The colors have a peachy undertone when worn together.
Lasting power. It pretty much stays on all day without looking oily. Blot your T-zone though because you don't want shine in the wrong places.
Packaging. The Shimmer Brick is encased in Bobbi Brown's traditional black glossy case. The case is a bit larger than it has to be IMHO, but it still looks sleek and classy.
It's fragile! Be very, very careful with the BB Shimmer Brick. It breaks easily because it's basically baked powder, unlike those that are just pressed with a lot of binders to keep the product together.
How do you use it? Get a big fluffy brush and swipe this bronzer on your chin, forehead, bridge of the nose, and sides of your cheeks. The sun naturally hits these areas so you want to enhance them with the bronzy glow. If you prefer to use this product to contour, use a dense, small angled blush to apply it on the hollows of your cheeks.
You can also use the individual color strips as eyeshadows.
Used as eyeshadows
Verdict. I love it! It works wonderfully on my skin tone. It's a great illuminator. As a bronzer, it doesn't look muddy at all. As an eyeshadow, the colors are very pigmented and adhere well to the lid. Now I know why the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze is such a cult favorite all over the world!
PS Thanks so much to Cathy Mapa for giving me this as a gift. I think about you and your cute daughter everytime I use it!