Mary Kay's very basically-named Bronzing Powder is a good option for those looking to warm up their complexions with a summery glow – without looking like a Willy Wonka Oompa Loompa in the process!
This talc-based powder is very easy to pick up on a brush, though it is a bit dusty, which can create a small mess if you're not careful. It applies easily with color that is subtle at first, but builds easily for a more intense look. This bronzer looks very natural, doesn't emphasize pores or wrinkles, and lasts all day without fading. Even better – it's fragrance-free!
Bronzing Powder comes in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. Both are great options for creating a healthy tan appearance. Light/Medium is suitable for the fairest of skin tones, and both colors perform just as well as tan-toned blush, contour powder, or all-over bronzer. There is a small amount of pearlized shimmer in this product, but it's just enough to make skin glow without making your face look like a disco ball!
Bronzing Powder comes in a small, clear plastic case, but the pan itself can be removed and placed into another compact.
- Applies easily and wears well throughout the day.
- Color is subtle yet can be built up for a more intense look.
- Doesn't emphasize pores or wrinkles.
- Both colors are natural looking and can be used as blush, contouring powder, or all-over bronzer.
- Pearlized shimmer has a healthy glow effect.
- Texture is powdery when picking it up out of the pan, which could create a small mess.
The last few years haven't been glamorous for one of the world's largest direct sellers of cosmetics. Mary Kay lost a lawsuit filed by TriStrata, the company whose founders hold over 100 patents on the use of AHAs in skin-care products. It was revealed that Mary Kay's former AHA products infringed on three of these patents, and, after some back-and-forths in court, Mary Kay ended up paying royalties of over $40 million (interest included) to TriStrata. Perhaps because they're still licking their wounds after this defeat, the company has not launched any new AHA products, and no longer sells the ones that were in question during the legal battle (Source: www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2006/04/03/daily26.html).
However, the company's spin on the issue of AHAs is that they no longer use them because skin-care technology has advanced. That's an interesting twist, but the fact of the matter is that AHA products, when well-formulated, are still considered advanced and capable of doing far more for skin than the alternatives Mary Kay has devised (including an at-home microdermabrasion scrub and products with vitamin C derivatives).
Although they're not a company for you if you are looking for exfoliants (though you should be looking for a good exfoliant), Mary Kay has recently developed a surprising number of excellent products. With over 1.6 million Mary Kay consultants selling products in 30 countries, this family-owned company (founder Mary Kay Ash passed away in 2001) has slowly been proving that they intend to remain competitive with the best of the best. A refreshing change of pace is the omission of fragrance from almost all of the products. Now that is what we call progress!
Despite its size and capital (wholesale figures were $3 billion in 2012), Mary Kay still has a lot to learn. For instance, although their guiding philosophy of empowering women is admirable, the assortment of products still leaves much to be desired. Yes, things are looking up, but there are several weak spots that keep Mary Kay from being in the same league as Avon, Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble (Olay), and Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena, Aveeno, RoC). These include outdated cleansers, toners, and moisturizers, along with letdowns in products designed for oily, blemish-prone skin. The TimeWise product range has expanded considerably, and offers a few state-of-the-art products worthy of its name (although, as with all skin-care products, they're not going to turn back the hands of time and erase all signs of aging).
If improvements like those in Mary Kay's latest products were translated to the entire line, it would be standing much taller, at least as far as what current, substantiated skin-care research indicates is optimum for creating and maintaining healthy skin. As is, this is a line to approach with a keen understanding of what to focus on and what to avoid. One last bit of good news: Mary Kay offers well-packaged samples of selected products, either directly or from your consultant.
Unless mentioned otherwise, all Mary Kay products are fragrance-free.
Note: Mary Kay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.
For more information about Mary Kay, call (800) 627-9529 or visit www.marykay.com.