Laura Geller Balance-N-Bronze Review

10 December 2011

This is going to be part of a mini review set I'm doing. I recently purchased a box set from Ulta by the brand Laura Geller. It was $60 (or $45, w/ my employee discount) for five full-size products and a couple of brushes. Unfortunately, the Baked & Beautiful set seems to be fairly hard to find. Also, five products is a lot to review in one post so since all of these products are available for single purchase, I'm just dividing these reviews up by product. This review is going to be on the Laura Geller Balance-N-Bronze powder duo in "Regular".

This product is a duo of the Balance-N-Brighten powder foundation and the Bronze-N-Brighten bronzer. Now, most pictures of this product online show an even split b/t the foundation and bronzer but mine has a lot more foundation than bronzer. Which is totally fine w/ me and I will get into that in the review. All LG Baked Collection products start out as a blend of liquid pigments which are then baked for 24 hours on terracotta plates. This is supposed to result in a really fine, silky powder which, due to the different color swirls w/in the powder, are supposed to match all skin tones and also be good for all skin types. This product is $31 alone and can be purchased at Laura Geller's website, QVC, and for sure, and probably anywhere LG products are sold. It comes in two shades - "Fair" and "Regular".

Since this is two products in one compact, I'm reviewing them separately w/in this post. We'll start w/ the Balance-N-Brighten powder foundation! According to Laura Geller:

Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation is a unique liquid powder that can be used on its own or combined with your favorite base for a flawless finish. This newly formulated foundation is mineral oil and paraben free. It is also loaded with the age-fighting, anti-oxidant protection of Centella Asiatica and White Tea. Designed with swirls of soft tan and cream, its luxuriously smooth and silky texture helps offset ruddiness, brightens sallow tones, and balances most complexions."

The foundation alone is $31 and comes in three different shades. The "Regular" shade is "Medium". As I'm sure anyone who reads this blog knows, I love my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and often use it as a foundation, so this is a product that is right up my alley. I have a lot of redness and large pores but that's about it. I don't have acne on a regular basis and I did have some rough patches, but those have gone away thanks to my skin routine so I usually go for a lighter coverage foundation.

Since I've started working again, I have been using long-wear liquid foundations a lot but I still love powder foundation. It's so much faster! I don't like loose foundations or loose mineral powders but pressed or baked foundations usually work out quite well. I do have a sample size of the Balance-N-Brighten foundation in the same shade and I really liked it. It has a light coverage, which is good because powder foundations that have heavy coverage tend to look thick and caked-on. Also, they react w/ my oily skin in a very gross sort of way, haha.

I do like this powder - the coverage is light but it still does a good job of covering up redness and just evening out my skintone. It really is very fine and soft and because of this, it also works as a setting powder over liquid foundation, especially if the foundation doesn't have excellent coverage either. I just dust this over my face w/ a big, fluffy powder brush. HOWEVER - for some reason, the foundation part in this compact does not look like my sample of the Balance-N-Brighten in "Regular". It's lighter and doesn't have any of the yellow swirls through it. Those swirls help this blend into my skin color better and also help w/ evening out redness, so that's a bummer. Plus it just looks lighter and also goes on lighter. This is kind of disappointing, to be honest. When I apply the Balance-N-Bronze, I usually mix the bronzer and the foundation together but I don't like doing that due to the nature of the bronzer, so this product was just disappointing to me. But I do recommend Balance-N-Brighten alone. This doesn't come in a good range of colors either, so that is also a bit of a bummer.

Here are a couple of pictures of me wearing this powder. I don't have concealer or primer on underneath and I tried to contour w/ the bronzer part, but we'll get into that.

No foundation.

Foundation side.

Both sides.

Now onto the bronzer. According to Laura Geller:

A unique and revolutionary formula of color corrective pigments along with bronzer.

Baked to create a beautiful, dewy yet matte finish, the infused color found in this compact gives the complexion a hint of bronzed color for a sun-kissed look without any hint of orange. Add a second layer of color for a deeper shade of bronze. The color stays where you put it, will not transfer onto clothes, and always looks great on your skin. This formula is mineral oil and paraben free. It is also loaded with the age-fighting, anti-oxidant protection of Centella Asiatica and White Tea."

The bronzers come in two shades are are $31 each. Now, on the website, the "Regular" bronzer is equivalent to medium. It also looks pretty dark. The one in this compact? Super bloody light. This bronzer is closer to my skintone than a bronzer. It also has shimmer in it. I tried using it as a bronzer and it just was not working for me. Because of the shimmer, it makes an okay highlight but the pigmentation is also really shoddy. I sometimes blend the bronzer and the foundation together since they're both way light but I don't like the shimmer all over my face!

This also comes w/ a double-sided brush. The bigger side is for this product and the smaller one is a blush brush. They're both way small - I sometimes use the powder side as a blush brush. I never really like brushes offered w/ these mini kits and this one is no different. It's not the scratchiest brush ever, but it's definitely not as soft as other brushes I own and it's just not practical w/ the product.

Overall, I would pass on this product. I would still check out the full-size offerings of both the Balance-N-Brighten and the Bronze-N-Brighten because they look so much better and darker, but in this format it's just too light and the pigmentation on the bronzer is not that fantastic. I'll still use the foundation side as a setting powder and the bronzer as a subtle highlight, but this product is just not what I'd hoped it to be. The mini Balance-N-Brighten powder foundation I have is excellent though. I really like that one.


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