Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shiseido Desert Rose 02 Medium Oil-Free Bronzer

I think I'm all set for a bronzed summer look in every finish and intensity, from shimmery summer night looks to a delicate "just took a walk in the garden to smell the roses" day. Of course, all this feels a bit weird considering we're in the middle of a week-long rain and thunderstorm weather and I'm fully snuggled in a gray sweater, but wearing a pretty bronzer brightens things up considerably.

Shiseido Oil-Free bronzer in Medium 02/ Desert Rose belongs to natural, just a little sun-kissed school of bronzing. It has no shimmer and doesn't try to make you even a tiny bit orange, just a little flushed and tan. The texture is as fine as it gets, smooth and soft, on the same level with the other top quality bronzers I swatched above. Shiseido Desert Rose (medium 02) is close to Edward Bess Daydream, though Shiseido is rosier while Edward Bess is decidedly more brown, thus on my skin it looks like a real full tan, "just got back from the coast" kind of color.

I also compared to other favorites, Guerlain Terracotta in Brunette, which is more of a shimmery glow (I also have the Blonde version which is among my favorite winter complexion fixers) and Burberry, the most intense bronzer I own. I didn't bother comparing to the limited edition Chanel and Estee Lauder Sea Star because the Lauder is quite shimmery and the Chanel can be applied in different ways by mixing the various shades. All the swatches here are relatively heavy and were done with my fingers for the sake of taking a reasonably decent photo. When actually applying Shiseido Desert Rose 02 to my face I prefer a dense bronzer brush- this color can use a confident hand as it's delicate enough and doesn't need to be carefully diffused.

Bottom Line: bring on the sun.

Shiseido Desert Rose 02 Medium Oil-Free Bronzer ($35) is available from Sephora (online only) and most department stores.

All photos are mine.


  1. Thanks for the great comparison swatches. I had admired the Shiseido bronzer on an SA and now, after seeing your review, I'll definitely have to go have a closer look at it during Nordstrom's double points days.

    Had anyone told me just five years ago that I'd have a collection of bronzers in various shades, textures, and finishes, I'd have said they were nuts. Who needs more than one? Well, it turns out that I do! Bronzers today are so sophisticated and, as you pointed out, can be used for many different looks. Long gone are the days when I'd just reach for my one and only Guerlain Terracotta 01. I now find myself selecting the bronzer du jour with the same care and in the same way that I select my other make-up. This spring alone, I've added Guerlain's Terra Inca, Dior's Aurora, Chanel's Bronze Rosé, and Nar's Laguna. Is their a Shiseido in my future? Hmmmm . . . We shall see :-)

  2. Eileen, you know I'm the same way with bronzer and blush. 15-20 years ago I had one bronzer and two blushes and it couldn't imagine needing more than that. Now they're like handbags and shoes...

  3. I agree that EL Sea Star is shimmery--I pretty much use it as a blush. Did you try Dior Aurora? What do think of it? I'm enamoured. I still love Tarte Park Ave. Princess too.

  4. I agree that the EL Sea Star is shimmery--I pretty much use it as a blush only. I have the Guerlain Blonde from last year and have added Dior Aurora to my collection. I still like Tarte Park Ave. Princess as an all around bronzer.

    What are your thoughts on the new Dior bronzers?

  5. Cindy, I also like the Tarte bronzer. I can never remember which one is mine- the Heiress or the Princess- I buy the darker one and send the other to my sister (she goes through them at an alarming rate).

    I thought the new Dior bronzers were gorgeous, but a little too light and shimmery so I passed because I already had the EL and Chanel, and later added this one from Shiseido. Not to mention the other ones in my collection, some you see above and others I have and love (the LMdB duos, Paula Dorf, several other Guerlain...).

  6. I want to try the Chanel Cream Bronzer- I have heard great things

  7. PD, it's practically impossible to go wrong with a Chanel bronzer.

  8. I have light to medium skin.It works or I must buy de lighter shade?

  9. Hello!
    Is there Burberry #1 more orange than #2 Shiseido?


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