MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze

MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze

I have a chubby round face – yeah, I try to cut it with my bangs, I try to look for good angles when taking snaps and love the idea of contouring to make them look like Kim Kardashian’s high cheekbones….but…

MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze

So, I am always on the lookout for good contouring / bronzing powders and brushes. Have tried and tested quite a few…some of them are already reviewed on IMBB – like the Benefit Hoola and the theBalm Bahama Mama. I bring to you today the Bronzing powder from the brand everyone on IMBB loves – MAC!

The Product Details (from the website):

A lightly frosted, tinted powder that gives skin sheer, natural colour effects and highlights. Ideal for enhancing a skin tone or to accent or strengthen a tan. Skin-conditioning, long-wearing—and formulated to provide a smooth, even application on all skin types.

Comes in 4 colours – Golden, Refined Golden, Bronze and Matte Bronze


$25 in US / In India @ INR 1650 for 10gms product


A standard black compact packaging similar to the Studio fix one, minus the compartment for the sponge applicator. The lettering on the compact is Bronze – (refer pics) – so it’s easy to identify it as against the Studio Fix powder – if lying together.The compact comes with a mirror but no applicator. Packaging is typical MAC – black and minimalistic; but Sturdy and smudge-proof.

MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze3

My experience with MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze

Color: It’s a tad difficult to describe the colour – after all it’s a bronzing powder – its brown! Ok – let me qualify that statement by adding what colour it isn’t – it isn’t peach toned or orange toned or red toned – all of which look very weird when used for contouring – because they don’t look natural and can make the skin look dirty/muddy, rather than create the shadows of contouring. The color is a dirty brown – slightly grey tinged – which is perfect for contouring.

Matte bronze is obviously matte – I specify this because under the product description on the website, you see the product being referred to as “slightly frosted”. I presume that refers to the other 3 shades.

If you need the product for sculpting – you will need to go with Matte Bronze. If you wanted the sun-kissed effects of bronzing powder – then go for the other variant – depending on your skin tone.

MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze4

Texture: The texture is very finely milled and smooth but extremely difficult to get off on the brush or even finger. It just doesn’t budge!!! Initially, when I tried it, I wasn’t getting the feel as if I had used a contouring powder – that’s because the product would barely come off on the brush – no amount of swipes helped.

I would have thought that maybe it was a problem with my piece rather than the product itself – however, I remembered later that while trying it in store also, I couldn’t really see the contour and the makeup artist kept telling me to use more product. If it doesn’t get picked by the brush – how do I use more product!

Finely I figured the only way to use it….I lightly shave the surface with my nail (clean ofcourse) to erode the powder (refer pics) and then swipe my brush on the powder. That’s the only way it works!

MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze5

I wish they would just change the packaging and put a powder shaver in there like Clinique has for its Superbalanced powder! Alternatively, I should just break the product into powder and move it into a tub packaging. The compact could easily go “Back 2 MAC”! LOL!

Pigmentation: What do I say? Once, the powder does come off on your brush, the pigmentation is fairly decent. However, with all the shaving involved – a little does not really go a long way. But then you do have 10gms of product.

Lasting power:The product lasted about 5 hours – which was fairly decent. However, nothing to write sonnets about.

Visibility on Skin: The colour is perfect for my NC 30 skin tone – which was about NC 35 when I bought it. Its safe to say that it will work well on NC 20 – NC 42 range well. I would still request you to try the product in the store before buying. Refer Pics, its been used in the hollow of the cheek below the blush.

MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze2

To sum this up for you:

Pros of MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze

1. Good colour- for contouring
2. Decent pigmentation
3. Decent lasting power
4. Does not accentuate pores
5. Finely milled smooth texture
6. Did not break me out
7. Applies evenly – however, not that easy to blend
8. Very lightly fragranced – I could tell only once I smelled the pan – for the review.
9. Minimalistic, sturdy and smudge proof packaging

Cons of MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze:

1. Extremely difficult product to work with – very difficult to get picked by the brush – has to be shaved each time.
2. No applicator

IMBB Rating:

Yes, a 2.5/5 product.

If you are ok with shaving the product with each application – this is a good colour for contouring –especially compared to Benefit Hoola which looks tad peachy to me. However, at that price point, I am sure you can do better.

You might ask why I bought it when my experience with it at the store wasn’t great? Well, it was my second shopping spree with MAC and naive (sounds better than calling myself stupid) that I was, I took it on the SA’s recommendation. That was one of my worst shopping experience in MAC – one of many bad experiences! The only person I trust in MAC now, is an SA in MAC Chandigarh – Gulshan. She is the only person I have met who doesn’t push products to me, doesn’t do overt suggestive selling…rather shopping with her, I feel like I’m shopping with a friend and have never had regrets about a product bought from her. Wish she would move to MAC Inorbit Mumbai!! Even the MAC Store manager in Chandigarh is amazingly sweet – Neha. I so wish I could get half as good a service in MAC outlets in Mumbai! Lucky Chandigarhians!

So, have you picked stuff on SA’s recommendation – only to find it a dud? DO share through your comments.

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22 thoughts on “MAC Bronzing Powder – Matte Bronze

    1. Can I suggest something Anuradha – when it comes to foundation, concealer, contour powder – splurging for a good product makes more sense. When I was new to the concept, I tried to go for cheaper products – both bronzer and bronzer brushes – those duds are still lying with me. They dont produce half decent result – meaning, you will either give up on contouring or buy a better product (and would have wasted money on the cheaper ones). See, when it comes to lippies or nailpolishes or even blushes – you can find cheaper good product. But the products which form your base – you may need to splurge to get the correct shade – its crucial. The cheapest good bronzer I can suggest is TheBalm Bahama Mama. I will also be reviewing the bronzers I currently use for contouring.

    1. Oh yes, this shade is good for contouring – its got the right hint of grey and brown…but…. *headbang* *headbang* *headbang*

    1. Im always so enthu about sharing a great product. But recently realized that it is equally important for me to share the duds to warn people against wasting money on them! *haan ji* *haan ji*

  1. I have had many such BAD experiences KK *headbang* *headbang* *headbang* but now i just say no to them firmly when i dont feel like buying a product *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance* i really hate such SAs *hunterwali* *hunterwali* very well reviewed *clap* *clap* *clap*

    1. *thankyou* Naaz for your kind words!

      Finding a good SA is such a breathe of fresh air. Ive had really bad experience with MAC and YSL in particular…its deplorable. It just turns you off the brand. I prefer to shop in MAC Chandigarh rather than here – I tell them to keep my product and ask a family member to pick up and courier or hand delivery to me as and when, rather than buying here – most of the girls are so snooty or pushing stuff on you. And if you are not well versed with the line or products (as was the case with me earlier) – your wallet is in trouble!

  2. i dont know somehow i have never been convinced with the way mac bronzer looked.. i mean the color is perfect. it should be grey tone donly but there was something that was not appealing to me. am glad you reviewed it . totally steering clear from this one. you look absolutely lovely!! 🙂

    1. *thankyou* Rati! I have to keep reminding myself to review the duds…its just that they are no fun to review!!

      There are some amazing bronzers in the market today…MAC’s should definitely be avoided!

  3. will stay away…..have heard that studio fix powder foundation in 2 shades darker than your skin tone works great as countouring powder…..

    1. I have heard that too Rashmita, – that a foundation (liquid or powder) 2 shades darker works great for contouring. But at that price point, I would say go for a dedicated bronzer itself.

      PLus, The bronzer has to have a bit of grey in it to cast the shadow of contours…which a foundation shade will not have.

  4. oh what a bummer for a brand like MAC!!. I am a huge MAC fan. In bronzers, I like the Body shop one. pretty neat. I have many many experiences with the SA selling me a dud shade/product. recent one was the Lotus TM but it since it was quite inexpensive I was ok. the other one was the 3 step Clinique skincare. It was amazing first 2 weeks but my skin started drying out but somehow that’s one brand I so badly want it to work for me that I am willing to go back and experiment some more 🙂 🙂

    1. Im surprised that a regular product is sub standard. I can understand a new collection product being bad – considering the number of products they dish out, some are bound to be duds. However, the regular ones should be un-reproachable!

      I have a similar thing with Clinique – I really want their products to work for me. But, apart from the Chubby Sticks Intense, nothing has. I’ve tried a few of their foundations hoping it would click…but no…either wrong texture or wrong shade match…Its sad.

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