Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer: Orange You Glad You Found This Bronzer?

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting bronzer review

Once upon a time, a bronzer without orange undertones was about as hard to find as a straight dude into Lifetime movies (love the Tori Spelling ones). Oh, how the times have changed!


A scene from the Lifetime/T-Spell tour de force, “Co-ed Call Girl”

Homies, say buh-bye to the days of orange Oompa Loompa skin and hola to Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer ($39).

Part of the Naked Beauty collection for summer 2010, Smashbox created this golden brown bronzer with a matte finish to universally flatter all skin tones. Not only is the color supposed to work on everyone, Smashbox says Halo also hydrates skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

I’ve been wearing it for the last few days and found Halo has a lot of good stuff to offer.

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting bronzer review

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting bronzer review

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting bronzer review

What I like about it…

  • Non-orangey, golden brown color grants a naturally tanned look to skin
  • Matte finish looks great in pictures (skin doesn’t appear oily)
  • 12-hour wear time
  • Powder builds well and doesn’t cake
  • Travel-friendly, small jar fits easily into a makeup bag
  • Packaging feels sturdy
  • Shaver contraption in the pan minimizes product waste
  • Hydrating formula doesn’t dry out my combination dry/oily/acne-prone skin
  • Bronzer is oil-, talc- and paraben- free
  • Product avoids settling into fine lines or pores
  • Easy to blend

What I don’t like about it…

  • $39 = hella expensive
  • The small size of the jar makes it difficult to dip a wide blush/brush into the pan
  • Didn’t really see a reduction of the appearance of wrinkles
  • Powder has a slightly medicinal and minty scent (it disappears quickly)
  • Did I mention this is really expensive?

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting bronzer review

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting bronzer review
Wearing Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer

Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Even though it’s pricey, Halo stands out from the crowd of shimmery bronzers pummeling the shelves this summer because of its golden brown color and matte finish. This baby’s one of the better ones I’ve tried so far, and I especially like that it looks natural, isn’t streaky and photographs really well. If you have a wedding or graduation coming up where you’re going to have your picture taken, you might want to take Halo for a spin.

You might like Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer if…

  • You don’t mind the price
  • You want a bronzer that doesn’t look streaky or orange on the skin
  • You like a natural, non-shimmery finish
  • You need packaging that travels well
  • You dig products that are easy to use

Totally buggin’

Spring’s now in full force in my neighborhood. The area around our condo’s bursting with blooming trees and plants, along with what feels like an endless supply of bugs. Tabs loves it! Whenever I take him outside for walks, there’s always plenty of lizards and insects to stalk and chase.

I’m happy the cat’s mentally stimulated, but the bugs… ugh, they freak me out. There’s always stuff buzzing and flying overhead, and I’m convinced something’s gonna get stuck in my gloss, eww.


Oh! At dusk the other day I noticed hella mosquitoes hovering about. 🙁 Mosquitoes love biting me, so if anybody knows of a good repellant (or any tricks to keep those suckers far away) please let me know!

Anywho, enough about the creepy crawlies. How has your Tuesday been? Lemme know what’s going on with you.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Danielle says:

    Yeah I hear you on the bugs. During summer I like to go for walks at night when it’s cooled off, but I always end up staring at the sidewalk most of the time because I have to dodge cockroaches >_<! I *hate* cockroaches.

    • Karen says:

      Oh I hate those suckers too! I used to see them all the time when I lived in Davis.

      • Pansy says:

        OH! I live in Davis right now. There’s recently been a lot of bugs flying around in our apartment. Today, our professor took us out to the field and he stepped on this one plant which was apparently a nest of leafhoppers…. and they all attacked me. I looked so ungraceful….

      • Karen says:

        Oh no! I hope those suckers don’t bite.

        Spring is the best time in Davis. 🙂

  2. Brenda says:

    Must try this bronzer. Smashbox just opened a counter in my city, yeah!! I have very fair skin so will see how it works out. Wish a Nars or Urban Decay store would open, DYING to try out this Orgasm blush everyone’s talking about. And the 24/7 glide eye pencils.

    We have tons of mozzies here in South Africa and they freak me out!! I lie awake at night hearing them buzzing aroung me ready to move in for the kill and suck my blood. I’m always ready to whip on the light and blast them with spray. But I can never kill the little houdinis!!

    Spiders too, gigantic here!! I’m used to intsy bitsy spipers from Ireland but these things are Frankensteins!!

    • Karen says:

      If a NARS counter ever opens up round your way you’ll also have to try Laguna bronzer. It’s great! 🙂

      I don’t mind spiders if they’re small and dainty, but the big ones freak me out!

      • Brenda says:

        i’ll try Laguna bronzer, thanks. My sister in the UK can get hold of Nars so I’m storing up a list of stuff for her to post to me!! So nice when you can swatch it though…. Where do you apply your bronzer, spots where the sun hit? And after setting powder, blusher etc? I have Estee lauder Bronze Goddess Matte Bronzer but never sure when to apply it and to where. Gift from my sis again, I love her!

        Loved the pic of Tabs at the window, he was seriously loving something outside!

      • Karen says:

        I like to apply it after foundation/powder and before blush, on the spots where the sun would hit naturally. I do across the forehead, down the bridge of the nose and along the jawline. Also, I do this trick I learned from a MAC Makeup artist (See #9):

  3. Nina says:

    I think a bug of some sort bit me when we walked over the weekend. I am now the proud owner of red and itchy rashes and spots in my neck and chest. Im all dosed up on Benadryl, Cortisone Cream and even a Burts Bees Poison Ivy Soap (also works to dry up bites and other such skin conditions)….

    I hope it clears up by Saturday …. Le Sigh.

    • Karen says:

      Poor thing! I hope you feel better soon.

      I didn’t know about that Burt’s Bees soap. I better pick one up when I hit Tar-ghay later!

      • Nina says:

        I learned bout it thru my co worker who got a bad case of poison ivy down in the country …. it smells sumthin bad but works!

        I stocked up too! It was on sale at Tarjey too!

        • Karen says:

          Word of mouth recommendations are the best. I swear half the stuff in my beauty stash ended up there because a co-worker/friend said they liked it! I’m not looking forward to becoming a feast for the bugs, but at least I know there’s something I can use if/when it happens.

          • Nina says:

            Whats funny is I actually passed by the Burts Bee aisle @ Target last Friday and saw the soap. Little did I know I would need it.

            Its meant to dry out the rash so it stops itching … so to counteract the drying effect on my skin, im using a sample of Lush’s Porridge Soap for moisture. I figure since oatmeal stops itch … maybe porridge will too! Plus it lessens the smell of the poison ivy soap – its not bad smelling, just … uhm natural!

  4. jenn says:

    it looks really pretty on you. Did you just put it onto the apples of your cheeks or is that another blush?

    • Karen says:

      I used it to contour beneath the apples, cross the forehead, down the bridge of the nose and along the jawline.

      The blush on the cheeks is the one from UD’s Face Case (writing up the review right now!). 🙂

  5. Tekoa says:

    Heyyyy…a non Orangy-matte bronzer? Expensive true, but with those qualities I’m considering. I’d love to have Tabs decorate/be in my wedding. I can pay in cat treats or human coinage, whichever is prefered.

    Is it odd that I want to burry my face in his tummy? *pause* Aaaaaaaaaaanyways. I’ll go pet MY cats now.

    • Karen says:

      I’ll check his schedule to see if he has any openings. I know he’s got a few movies and overseas commercials lined up (he’s big in Japan), so we’ll see.

      Oh, Tabs accepts currency via cans of wet food w/gravy (preferably Fancy Feast), credit cards or Pay Pal.

  6. Jenny says:

    oooo… bronzer…. my number one love

    have you tried the off clip on?? im tempted

  7. Marce says:

    Oh I feel your pain, mozzies adore biting me too. And I’ve got a mild allergy – yay!
    That bronzer looks lovely, but as you say, the price is quite steep. I love my Korres Monoi Oil bronzer, it looks fantastic and is smooth and non orangey!
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Experiments, Part IV – Purple Grapes & Limes + Tagged! + Lillith’s Giveaway =-.

  8. LM says:

    Oh man, has today been a slow day or what?! Crappy weather outside… maybe I will go put on some bronzer myself.. remind me of the wonderful summer days.
    About the mosquitos: don’t eat too many bananas. Apparently bananas contain something which attracts mosquitos and the more bananas you eat, the more mosquitos can “smell” it in your blood.
    Trust me, I’m usually mosquito prey and mosquito bites on me swell up almost 10 times the size of what a normal bite is. Yuuuck.
    Good luck!
    .-= LM’s last blog post… Things to Despise Bitterly # 1 =-.

  9. Rachael says:

    I have only found one bronzer that has ever worked for my pale, pale skin. If a lady like you has issues with orange-y bronzers, I must be SOL then…. And while I never notice the bugs around me, I’ll notice them when they’re gone. I’m the one stocking up on hydrocortisone cause I itch so badly.
    .-= Rachael’s last blog post… License to Thrill: I Wanna be a Bond Girl =-.

  10. Shannon says:

    I’ve heard that avoiding bananas can help to keep mosquitoes away… Pretty sure that is in no way scientifically proven, though, lol. 🙂 I do know that when my brother ate absolutely NO sugar, he never ever got bitten by a mosquito.
    Here’s a little blurb about mosquito bites, if you haven’t read it:

    In terms of bronzers, I’m a big fan of Benefit’s Hoola… I just let my coworker borrow it to try it out (since there aren’t any benefit counters around and it is a bit pricey), and I’m already missing it! I’m likin the smashbox bronzer, though..

    • Karen says:

      Oh lawd, I could never eat absolutely no sugar. My sweet tooth is awful! I can’t even begin to fathom the idea…

      I am right there with you on the Hoola <3. Have you ever paired it w/Coralista on the cheeks? It's good stuff!

  11. Meghan says:


    how do you think halo compares to benefit’s hoola?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meghan,

      Hoola is less golden and more orange. It’s also looks a little more “stark” against the skin compared to Halo — takes more blending to buff it in.

  12. amy says:

    I also don’t missed the insects and arachnids during the summer. Scrolling through a garden then walking through a spider web just makes me cringe! I also hate moths! My cat is a great insect killer. She loves to chase down mosquitos and fruit flies and moths. Once she chased and killed a moth then ate it.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… NOTD Essie Resort Collection Nail Lacquer in Lapis of Luxury =-.

  13. Christina says:

    I like sugar – and therefore mosquitoes love me. My mom used to say it was because I had sweet blood, lol. I notice that when I eat more salty and spicy things, mosquitoes don’t like me no more. Of course, this could be a purely placebo effect.

  14. Connie says:

    your skin looks really good with the bronzer! but you’re right. it is quite expensive. And I thought Benefit’s One Hot Minute was!
    .-= Connie’s last blog post… Him-Spired Tutorials: Gerard Butler =-.

  15. Amber says:

    OMG, Co-Ed Callgirl. The only thing I remember about that is her telling some guy she was a “software dancer. I put my software in gentlemen’s laps…[insert demonstrative lap dance]” or something like that.
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… A little more Lake Charles =-.

  16. Kim says:

    Hey Karen, that bronzer looks great on you but you’re right about the price. Ouch. 🙂

    I’m also like a fav treat for mosquitoes. The husband sits next to me and doesn’t get a single bite…I’m covered in seconds (and don’t eat much in the way of sweets, so go figure). Anyway, what works best for me is Deep Woods OFF. And I realize the stuff is probably totally toxic, but I’m willing to take the risk vs. being eaten alive or scratching my way to infection.

  17. Ali says:

    Thanks for the review I’m thinking of trying this. What kind of brush did you use to apply it?

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