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I realized that summer is coming to an end but I hope it's still not too late to review a bronzing powder! I have been using this product for months but I don't know why I waited so long to review it. Sometimes you just overlook the closest things to you I suppose! :)
First and foremost, the packaging! The Tom Ford Bronzing Powder compact is huge (and quite heavy)! It is square with round edges, wide, and flat and has a reflective mahogany shell with a gold trim design. Inside is an equally large mirror and a bronzing product in a round pan situated in the middle of a shiny gold surface. There is a Tom Ford logo embossed on what appears to be a front clasp but it's not really a clasp. It's more of a long “bar“. I think you will find the packaging either luxurious or flashy (and excessive). I haven't decided yet. ;D
The compact is magnetic and can be opened by simply holding down the corner of the bottom panel with your thumb's fingernail while lifting the bottom of the “Tom Ford bar” up with your other thumb. Use the rest of your fingers to support the weight of the palette while opening. The reason I am explaining this in details is because I have read a lot of reviews where they reported the compact is difficult to open when it really isn't! :) Once you get a hang of it, it actually feels very smooth to open and close.
A suede-like leather protective pouch is included with the compact and comes in a matching mahogany color with Tom Ford embossed on the front.
Tom Ford Bronzing Powder comes in 2 shades — Gold Dust (shimmer) and Terra (matte). Both are permanent and contain 21 grams (0.75 oz) of powder. I am reviewing the matte Terra today.
What I like most about Terra is its cool-toned neutral shade. It's one of the very few bronzers that doesn't turn orange on my medium skin with yellow undertones. The level of pigmentation is light which makes me like this bronzer even more. I can apply it subtly to add a hint of warmth to my complexion. I can also build it up to accentuate the contours of my face and it still won't look overdone or muddy even when heavily layered.
The powder is finely-milled but doesn't feel powdery at all. It is incredibly soft, silky, and smooth and practically “melts” into the skin as soon as you apply. Blending is almost unnecessary especially if you use a big fluffy brush (such as the brand's own Bronzer Brush). Unlike most heavily pigmented bronzers where it can be quite a task to diffuse hard edges, Terra goes on light and takes almost zero effort to blend. I wish I were exaggerating but with Terra, it barely takes any skill at all to achieve natural-looking results.
Terra doesn't emphasize acne scars on my cheeks, nor does it accentuate pores. The application is always so smooth and seamlessly diffused, never a muddy, patchy, or streaky application! It lasts well throughout work days on my combination-to-oily skin, too.
Terra can be used to “sculpt” the face, too. And I like it for this reason a lot. Sometimes I just want to contour my face without necessarily “bronzing” it. Being cool-toned and matte, Terra can really create a believable illusion of a perfectly sculpted face without making you look like you've just applied layers and layers of bronzer on your face.
Terra is hands-down my most favorite powder bronzer to date. It is just so easy to use and doesn't require major skills or fancy tools to achieve seamless and natural-looking results.
Being that it's Tom Ford, a steep price tag is unavoidable. Some reviews will say that if you do the math, Terra will come down to only $126/oz versus $135/oz of the Nars Laguna but in reality, Laguna is much more pigmented than Terra and will require much less product per application (at least on my medium skin). To achieve the same “intensity”, you will probably have to use quite a bit more of Terra so at the end it isn't really less expensive at all.
My point is, it is an expensive bronzer. Period. But one with phenomenal performance and that therefore is truly worthy of investment. I wholeheartedly recommend Terra to anyone who takes bronzing and contouring very seriously! :)