Tested on animals:Yes
Pro-Bronze Fusion by Make Up For Ever was something of a surprise for us, as it is an unusual product from the brand that is so well known for its high-pigment color formulas. Make Up For Ever designed the range specifically to deliver sheer color that can be easily layered for more intensity—a combination that makes this a good option for both the faux-glow aficionado and those who are traditionally bronzer shy. The range is fragrance free and suitable for any skin type, including the acne prone.
Pro-Bronze Fusion is available in six shades (at the time of this review) that cover a wide range from light tan to deep bronze. The shade options are coded from lightest to deepest—10m, 15l, 20m, 25l, 30m and 35l—their finish noted by the letters "I" or "m." The "I" denotes a subtle luminous finish (without visible sparkles), and "m" refers to those that have a matte finish. The matte shades are better described as "satin matte," as there is a hint of sheen that looks natural on skin.
Make Up For Ever describes these pressed powders as enhanced with "gel power," which actually refers to their unique soft texture that isn't powdery, yet blends exceptionally well and works well for both oily and dry skin. This texture also seems to be a critical quality to their sheer-yet-buildable finish. One of the more impressive qualities of Pro-Bronze Fusion is the fact that it is practically impossible to apply too much product with the first pass of your brush. (Bonus for the fair-skinned among us.)
Application Tips: For best application, we found a denser brush—such as a kabuki—works especially well with this formula (the denser the brush, the faster the color builds on skin). It almost seems as if no product at all is coming off the compact onto your brush, but the color builds rapidly. In our experience, one application gives skin a slightly warmed effect, while two to three achieves a glowing, bronzed look.
The color options are mostly neutral and excellent, with the lightest shades and deepest being the most impressive for their avoidance of overly warm undertones unsuitable to their recommended skin-tone range. The mid-tones, 20m and 25i, do lean warm (but not unnaturally so).
Though on the pricey side, Make Up For Ever Pro-Bronze Fusion is a unique entry into the bronzer category, with a little something for everyone due to its sheer-buildable, natural-looking finish and shades that avoid overly warm undertones (especially as few brands offer such a library of bronzer shades.) It was for these interesting and exceptional qualities that it earned our highest rating.
One last note—Make Up For Ever claims these hold up to water exposure. While they wear well over the course of a workday (even in warm, humid weather,) they aren't water-resistant unless applied to bare skin. In other words, if your foundation/tinted moisturizer, etc. is not water-resistant, Pro-Bronze Fusion will wear away as it does upon a dip in the pool.
- Unusually wide shade range (for a bronzer category).
- Unique sheer-yet-buildable quality helps prevent "over application."
- Shade options for the fair to deeper skin tone.
- Available in both satin matte and non-shimmery luminous finishes.
- Fragrance free.