The NYX Illuminating Bronzers: Has NYX Invented a $9 Time Machine? Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Face, Makeup, NYX, Product Reviews

nyx chaotic illuminating bronzer
Wearing NYX Illuminating Bronzer in Chaotic on my cheeks

Shimmery bronzing powders in almost blush-like shades of luscious peach and pink aren’t exactly uncharted territory. Chanel, for example, has been there, done that, a few times before.


But NYX weaved quite a tapestry together with their three new Illuminating Face and Body Bronzers. By combining eminently flattering shades with a pearly finish and a soft, comfy texture, and then keeping the price well below department store, they created something greater than the sum of its parts.

All it took was a few swipes of Narcissistic (a beige), Chaotic (a golden peach) and Magnetic (a peachy pink) to get me hooked on all three.

nyx illuminating bronzer compacts

The marketing material doesn’t say, but I wonder if NYX co-created them with Cher, because they are, after all, designed to “turn back time.” πŸ™‚

How so?

By bestowing a natural radiant glow to the skin that also diffuses incoming light, helping skin appear softer and, or so I hope, younger.

Yeah…I can’t even begin to tell you how appealing that sounds now that 37 is officially less than two weeks away!

But seeing as how I can’t really stop this train I’m on, I’ve been doing my best to slow it down embrace the inevitable with positivity and panache.

Now, when people call me “ma’am,” I try to own that sh*t! — but that does not mean refusing a little makeup help along the way.

Like Fox Mulder with his aliens, I really want to believe, LOL!

What do you think? Do I look 10 years younger wearing Chaotic, my favorite of the three shades, up there at the top?

Okay, how about 5? πŸ™‚

nyx illuminating bronzer open
The NYX Illuminating Bronzers, clockwise from the lower left: Narcissistic, Chaotic and Magnetic

nyx illuminating bronzer swatches
Swatches from the left for comparison: NYX Illuminating Bronzer in Narcissistic, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder in Sable Beige, NYX Illuminating Bronzer in Magnetic, NARS Blush in Luster, NYX Illuminating Bronzer in Chaotic and Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder in Sable Rose

nyx narcissistic illuminating bronzer
NYX Illuminating Bronzer in Narcissistic

nyx magnetic illuminating bronzer
NYX Illuminating Bronzer in Magnetic

Chaotic contains a generous amount of peachy pigment and golden shimmer that, if nothing else, certainly puts a smile on my face. πŸ™‚

The new NYX Illuminating Face and Body Bronzers ($9 each)

  • New for summer 2012 and added to the NYX permanent line.
  • For a bronzer, the 0.33-ounce pans are HUGE! — about the same size as a typical face powder compact.
  • Step right up! Versatility here! I’ve worn these as bronzers, blushes and also as highlighters. You can also apply them to bare shoulders and legs to add a hint of shimmer there (I use a large fluffy brush).
  • Chanel’s bronzers, which of course cost considerably more, do seem finer. Sometimes, I can see the grains in these NYX Bronzers sitting on top of my skin, although buffing with a kabuki brush definitely helps the powder settle.
  • If you’re going through a bout of dry, flaky skin on your face, you may want to wait until it passes, as I’ve noticed that these will seek out and emphasize any flakes on my skin.
  • As for wear time, I get between 4-6 hours.

Chanel might have these beat with finer grains and a softer consistency — the Illuminating Bronzers also don’t seem to last as long as Chanel’s $60 bronzer — but for a $9 product? Bravo, NYX. Quite an impressive feat.

If you’re a budget lover looking for a similar look for less, these should hit the spot.

PRICE: $9 each
AVAILABILITY: Available now at drugstores and

Summer fruit!

No, I’m not talking about Summerfruit MAC Cremestick Liner, silly (at least not this time).

After El Hub got home from work last night we visited the local farmer’s market here in Novato, which just started up for the season a few weeks ago.

Farmer’s markets are among my favorite things about summer. The different food stands, crafts, performers and, of course, the yummy fresh fruits and veggies.

(SIDE NOTE: One of these days, I’m gonna try to sneak into the bounce house…)


I ordered from a Thai stand last night, but I was so ravenous that I forgot to snap a shot of my veggie pad thai before it was too late, whoops!

Anywho, summer fruit. I brought home a few apricots, a basket of cherries and a couple white peaches and nectarines.

Can I interest you in some fruit? What would you like? πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 50 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Joyce says:

    Chaotic looks gorgeous on you! I love that it acts as a blusher and a highlighter as well. =)
    Joyce recently posted … Swatches + Comparison: Urban Decay Rockstar, MAC Jaunty, Ricepaper + Copperplate

  2. Wow they do sound really similar to the Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powders! I’m going to say even at this price I might have to give it a pass, because I’m really lazy and besides reapplying my lip color (I don’t even do that too often). Something that’s only good for 4-6 hours just isn’t going to cut it. However, if you don’t mind reapplying, this price is REALLY good!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Chanel Summertime de Chanel is All about Subtle Beauty: Part 2 Luminous Bronzing Powder in Sable Rose

  3. Annnd also 1) you do look glow-y and youthful with these!

    2) Can I have some cherries? Ours have JUST rolled out and they cost an awful lot (like 10 euros per kilo), so I’m going to wait another while. We get GOOD cherries here for like 3 weeks a year, so I always eat like crazy!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Chanel Summertime de Chanel is All about Subtle Beauty: Part 2 Luminous Bronzing Powder in Sable Rose

  4. Kim says:

    You know what? You actually DO! Especially with Chaotic, but I think I’d be channeling Baby Jane with that color. πŸ™‚ I’m actually giving the credit to your fantabulous eye makeup and gloss. No offense to NYC!

    Oh, you have to jump around in the bounce house. I almost sent you that one of me (my fb profile pic) for your photo contest last week but, as usual, got tied up with some other things. You can totally do flips in those things. They’re awesome. And, on a more adult note, I’ll have the cherries, please. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      ZOMG. You’ve gotta enter that pic! I was seriously think I could’ve gotten away with playing in the bounce house, because half the kids in line were taller than me anyway, haha!

      • Kim says:

        Oh, you totally could! You can easily get the kids on your side with a huge smile and a “Hey! Do you guys think I could do a flip?? Really? OK, I’ll try, but scoot over to the edges so I don’t land on you!”. Kids love that. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. πŸ™‚

  5. Those do look great and you can’t beat that price!
    Perilously Pale recently posted … Doctors Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen Lauch New Online Beauty Retailer Today:

  6. gio says:

    I love the look of these, they are all so pretty and give skin a lovely glow.
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Dermolab Cleansing Creamy Milk Gentle Touch

  7. Agata says:

    So pretty! Im obsessed with illuminating powders/ highlighters recently. These look great, especially for that price!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agata!

      Me too. I think it’s the sunny weather. It always puts me in the mood for shimmer.

      So, you’ve gotta tell me about your trip to Toronto! I went there last year, but I didn’t stick around long enough to explore the city. I hear it’s a GREAT place for foodies.

      • Agata says:

        Toronto was awesome. I am a big fan of big cities, tall buildings, bustling streets and public transport. There is a lot of restaurants but me, being a coffee addict, concentrated on coffee places. And I wasn’t disappointed. I found a place called Sense Appeal where they roast their own coffee and a latte I had there was the best coffee I have ever had in my life! My husband says “a city where you have to pass 2 coffee shops to get to the coffee shop you want is a place for Agata”. So very true.

        I loved the way people dress there, super trendy and elegant!

        Oh and of course I went to a Canadian Sephora πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          Me too. I like living in the suburbs (more room, easier parking, generally nicer people), but I miss the energy of the city.

          That’s super cool how you’re into coffee! Do you like trying different flavored coffees, or are you more of a purist when it comes to your beans? I like coffee, but I don’t know if my palette is refined enough to appreciate the fine differences. I like to drown mine in milk and sugar, not gonna lie!

          • Agata says:

            I am not a purist, I like flavored coffee too. And I always drink mine with milk πŸ™‚ I have 3 different coffee machines at home, currently i am obsessed with a French press. I buy my coffee whole bean and grind it at home myself. This Sense Appeal coffee was just terrific. I bought a bag of their beans but it’s almost gone now πŸ™‚

  8. Wow, they’re definitely illuminating! The glow it gives your skin is gorgeous!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Physicians Formula’s PH Matchmaker Products – Cool Concept, Awesome Results!

  9. corallista says:

    NYX makes great products for a very affordable price, no wonder it is so popular! I’m wearing the NYX Roll on Shimmer on my eyes since morning and its past midnight here now and its quite intact on my lids with just slight fading.
    Ohh and you’re a Gemini too? I have my b’day on the 10th of June. What about you?
    corallista recently posted … The Lipstick Challenge Day 9 : Inglot Lipstick no. 126

  10. Nina says:

    The bronzers/illuminators are pretty – they look like they could double as blushes too! πŸ™‚

    Cant wait for our Thursday Farmer’s Market trip – your fruit looks nommmy!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      Totally! The darkest shade kinda rocks as a blush…

      Have fun at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow. What season foods are you looking forward to?

      • Nina says:

        I want to grab a ton of fruits both for juicing/making smoothies and just snacking. πŸ™‚ They also have home made jams/jellies and pastries/cookies/cakes. Hopefully I wont buy too much of the sweet stuff though LOL!

        • Karen says:

          Oh nice! My brother makes a ton of juices. He does crazy mixtures with ginger and cucumber and all sorts of weird odds and ends.

          Get this: our Farmer’s Market has Belgium waffles (with Nutella, AGH!), cupcakes and mini cakes!

          • Nina says:

            Shhh … I dont like ginger. Never have. There are 2 things, herb/spice wise that I cant take – ginger and cilantro. The hubs loves those, so when they appear on my plate, I shove them onto his plate STAT. πŸ˜›

            Ive seen cupcakes and the most adorable mini bundt cakes, but not Belgian Waffles. There’s a boxed Belgian Waffle that I get at Whole Foods thats so yum w/ Nutella. I cant remember the brand but its in a blue and white package! :p

            There’s a stall that sells vegan cookies and brownies — and they are as good, and better for youl, than ordinarly cookies/brownies. Plus theyre so heavy and filling that I eat less!

  11. You look AMAZING! These really do make you look super glowy and pretty! And god, you’re making me really crave some peaches and/or nectarines now. Why do you do this to me?!!
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Caudalie Cleansing Water Review

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becca!

      Nom, nom nom! There’s always room for fruit.

      BTW, been meaning to tell you that I finally got around to trying Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Cream. I can see why you’re obsessed! πŸ™‚

  12. Christine says:

    Karen, you do NOT look like you’re turning 37! Thank goodness for Fabulous Filipino genes!

    Oh yes, and you look gorgeous in all three of these shades!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christine,

      LOL, yeah, gotta give ups to mom for that. πŸ˜‰

      Are your boys out of school yet?

      • Christine says:

        Joey, my older son, is done on the 15th – since we didn’t get any snow this year (Boo!), they’re letting them out a few days early. My little boy, Ben, is actually starting Preschool with a summer program this July – time for Mommy to shed some tears!

        Hope you are having a good week!

        • Karen says:

          They grow up so fast! Next thing you know you’ll be watching them walk across the stage at graduation, aww.

          My week’s been going great, thanks for asking. It’s flying by, which is always a good thing.

  13. musical says:

    Wow! You look radiant in all the pictures! These seem to impart a really soft glow!

    • musical says:

      Oh, and Chaotic gives that perfectly subtle hint of blush and shimmer!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Musical,

      Yeah, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of glow. Perks me right up every time!

      So how was your day? This week feels like it’s flying by, doesn’t it?

      • musical says:

        My day was good. Weather is gorgeous-warm and breezy! Yes, the week is flying by, and fast!

        A gal needs some gorgeous glow, ya’ know! I’ve been experimenting with natural skin-care stuff (essential oil blends, DIY one minute exfoliators, the works). It’s fun and it works :). You have to try a plain yogurt mask sometime! Besides instantly soothing the skin, the lactic acid also serves as a gentle exfoliant.

        Cherries, berries, plums and nectarines-YUM!

  14. You really look glowy in that first pic!

    And yes, nectarines and cherries please. =)

  15. KandyKay says:

    Wow! These look so fantastic! I will for sure have to get a few the next time I’m out shopping. I love how they don’t cost an arm and leg either!

    • Karen says:

      Hi KandyKay,

      They’re pretty cool. πŸ™‚ Where do you usually do your makeup shopping? I go everywhere. Drugstores, dept. stores, Sephora…

  16. Amy says:

    These look so natural and subtle! NYX is just so awesome. You really can’t beat the price. I think I’m going to have to check these out!

  17. Steph b says:

    No joke – I picked my current apartment In large part because there is a year round farmers market in the municipal lot next door. In summer, it is absolutely gorgeous. I hated missing a weekend during strawberry season because I was on my birthday trip last Saturday. But, getting to see the awesome bike races made up for it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Steph,

      Yay, you’re back! I hope the travel part went smoothly and that you ate wonderful things and had tons of fun. What was the highlight?

      • Steph b says:

        Still on the road for a few more days and another race. So many fabulous things about this trip. I got my pic with US cyclocross national champ who loved the chalking I did for him on the mountain. And a truly great guy won the road race.

        Much great food too! Charleston is definitely a place to eat well. This 40 thing ain’t half bad.

  18. Reena says:

    I love bronzers and I can’t leave without them. The one you’ve used looks good an you, makes a natural glow. I want to try on Narcissistic, pretty shade.
    Strawberry shake for me on summer! especially when I put on a lot of milk.
    Reena recently posted … Make Up Trends For Summer 2012

  19. kat says:

    Hi Karen!

    I’ve been searching for a great golden highlight-blush hybrid and I was wondering how you’d compare these to the Milani Illuminating face powders in terms of texture? πŸ™‚

  20. Alison says:

    What are you wearing on your eyes? You look fantastic!

  21. Blanca says:

    So glad I saw your post! I love NYX products and love your blog, so your endorsement had me immediately putting this on my NYX wish list! Thanks, Karen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge