As a makeup connoisseur and beauty writer, I have lot of opinions on makeup, skincare, hair care, and everything in between. I am ultra passionate about beauty — something you, dear reader, likely agree with, given that you’re… reading this article — and regular discussions of new launches and beloved products with my friends shows that what works for me may not work for them, and I love that for all of us. For years, Glossier has been one of the biggest “good for you, not for me” brands on the market — and for good reason. The Insta-girl brand has been handed their fair share of criticism for only working a certain type of complexion and not being made for anyone with more than one zit a week and not for anyone darker than Gabrielle Union. They’ve done their best to respond to the criticism by expanding their shade ranges and formulas, admittedly, but we digress. But the brand maintains they’re listening to requests and criticism from their fans, and today, they released their most-requested item, a cream bronzer called Solar Paint.
Glossier described Solar Paint as “a weightless, luminous bronzer crème for instant summer skin,” “designed to capture the warm glow you get from spending a day in the sunshine.” They call Solar Paint’s formula as a gel-crème, infused with a micro-emulsion of plant oils and extracts like Jojoba and Aloe Desert Milk™, as well as Ayursense™, a botanical known to boost the look of skin’s luminosity and give a lit-from-within glow, meaning it will perform and look as natural in daylight as it does in your makeup mirror. “Each community-tested shade has a touch of ultrafine, light-reflecting pearls that are fine-tuned to complement each range of skin tones,” the brand says in a statement.
Glossier breaks down the shades as such:
- Flare provides a neutral, balanced bronze to fair (formulated for fair-light skin tones)
- Ray provides subtle warm bronze to light (formulated for light-medium skin tones)
- Heat provides a balance of rich, warm bronze to tan (formulated for tan-deep skin tones)
- Volt provides warmth and brightness to deep (formulated for deep-rich skin tones)
I will admit, when I first heard about this launch, I was skeptical. My favorite Glossier products are the ones that don’t use color pigments — I am a Lash Slick / Boy Brow / Brow Flick / Futuredew stan — and didn’t love the Cloud Paint blushes as much as other people (and I’ve gone on record about my love for blush.) I was big into the fact that Solar Paint comes with a doe-foot applicator, and I love the idea of a “whipped” formula that comes in a tube, but as a Black woman with a nearly neutral undertone to her skin, I was like “Who is this product bronzing, because I don’t think it will bronze me!” Admittedly, bronzer and I have never been the closest of friends, given that my preferred type of glow is “wet”, not “bronze,” but I tried it out for y’all. It was the least I could do.
I started by swatching the four shades on my arm and quickly noped away from shades Flare and Ray. My best friend, Hillary, who makes Casper look tan, just sent over the big eyes emoji. We knew those shades, designed for light-to-medium skin tones, are not for me, something I was totally okay with. But even from the swatches alone, I was blown away by the formula, and how the bronzer looks matte out of the tube but dries down to a shimmer. If you like Glossier’s Lidstar, it’s similar to that texture, which makes this easier to work with and you don’t need to rush as much as you would with similar creme bronzers that seem to dry down within seconds.
Glossier’s instructions for the bronzer are as follows: “For a naturally-sun kissed glow, dot around the top of your forehead, onto the chin, apples of the cheeks and bridge of your nose. For a more sculpted look, also dot onto the hollows of your cheekbones, around the face, along the jawline, and blend.” I chose the former because it’s 2PM on a Wednesday and it’s raining, and I am not sitting in my apartment with a full sculpted face just watching reruns of Schitt’s Creek.
Here’s me with my concealer — a blend of Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer and Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, a product I’m pretty sure I’m using incorrectly but as you can see from this story, I don’t believe in rules or doing what the label tells me to — as well as MAKEUP BY MARIO’s Soft Sculpt Shaping Stick, before applying the bronzer in Heat, following Glossier’s instructions.
Here’s me after having blended it out:
I can’t see a huge difference, can you? Maybe it’s because I’m not used to wearing bronzer, but I don’t see a huge *dramatic* change. But then again, it’s Glossier — they’re not known for dramatic makeup or a massive payoff in terms of effect. But that wasn’t going to deter me, no ma’am, no Pam. In fact, these may not be what makes me addicted to bronzer, but it did, however, become my new go-to eyeshadow look. I applied the shades Volt and Ray on my eyelid and used my finger to blend them together, creating a beautiful clay-colored, shimmery-but-looks-like my skin, liquid eyeshadow. I applied Flare in the inner corner, as well as my highlight, and finished off the face with a spritz of Mac Fix and… well.
LOOK AT HOW GOOD THAT LOOKS. Who is she? She’s giving everything she needs to give, she is providing. My therapist is so lucky she gets to look at me for an hour, let me tell you.
Pros: Yas, the formula! Yaaaaaaas, we love a doe-foot applicator.
Cons: That shade range is a yikes. I hoped we’d moved past just launching with four shades.
Final Review: I don’t know if I’m best to critique this product because I don’t usually use bronzer, but it tried. It really did. But will I use these again as a liquid eyeshadow? Without question, and especially as a highlighter. That glow cannot be bottled, yet somehow, it has been.