Summer 2011 Bronzers: Chanel, Dior & Guerlain

April 25, 2011

Chanel, Dior and Guerlain have all designed stunning bronzers for this summer – the most beautiful I think I’ve ever seen. I splurged on five and featured Chanel Bronze Corail & Bronze Rosé here and Dior Aurora and Sunset here. I have not yet featured Guerlain but several have asked for comparisons asking which one is best. Others have asked if I could compare Chanel to other summer collections such as Lancome, Estee Lauder, MAC.

I have a sizeable bronzer stash (I always want to be tan) so this summer I decided to go for the ones that seemed the most unique – namely Chanel, Dior and Guerlain. I have not checked out the other brands this year and most likely won’t since I already splurged on five pricey ones all before May/June when the real summer season begins. I definitely could go the rest of my life without buying another bronzer (or another piece of makeup for that matter).

Here are all five lined up plus swatches and further down, my thoughts and comparisons on Chanel Bronze Rosé, Chanel Bronze Corail, Guerlain Terra Inca, Dior Aurora and Dior Sunset.

Chanel Bronze Rosé

Chanel Bronze Corail

Guerlain Terra Inca

Dior Aurora

Dior Sunset

Swatched in different lighting, all with a very heavy hand:

I’m currently working my way to a NC40/Chanel Beige but I’m not quite NC35 yet. I am back to a Chanel Shell Teint Innocence and my Vitalumiere Aqua B20 is now too light. My thoughts on bronzer is that I’m open to anything. Orangey, brown, gold, pink, peach – I’ll wear and try almost anything. Note that I don’t love ones that look orangey but I don’t hate them either. If you pushed me to pick just one of the new summer shades I would probably be very upset. I like options. But here is what I’ve observed on each. Do note these were swatched with a heavy hand and that what you see on the arm is definitely not what you would see on the face.

Chanel Bronze Rosé 537 ($50) & Chanel Bronze Corail 547 ($50) – These are luminous and glowy but not frosty. I’ve taken a soft powder brush and swiped these up and down to blend/mix and then apply on the apples of the cheeks. If you’re the type of person who is afraid of bronzer or find most are too dark/muddy on you – Chanel’s are the perfect hybrid between bronzer and blush. The fact that there are 4 stripes in each compact allow you to get something that shows dimension without looking like a true bronzed-bronzer. The texture is so soft and glows. Pigment is soft to medium but totally layerable. It’s the goof-proof bronzer. I don’t think you can overdo it. So easy to use, apply and coordinate with virtually any eye or lip look.

Guerlain Terra Inca ($70) – Gorgeous but oh so pricey. I found this to be more of a highlighter. It’s not as frosty as some previous Guerlain Limited Edition Bronzers. If you remember Orient Sun, Terra Inca is a lighter softer less frosty version of Orient Sun. It’s like a softer more luminous MAC MSF. It’s absolutely beautiful but after applying it on my face, I could tell it’s not for everyone – the shimmer factor might be a deal breaker. It’s not as frosty as Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks – but you can definitely see it on the skin. The compact is magnetic which I find different. The packaging and design are absolutely stunning but not the most easy to use and must be used with care.

Dior Aurora ($46) & Dior Sunset ($46) – These are the least shimmery but still very luminous on the face. I prefer these for the most beautiful design and functional packaging. They give the best bang for your buck and I love that the brush is stored in a separate pouch instead of being inside the compact (does anyone ever use those dinky brushes anyways?). I will say these are very warm-toned. Aurora doesn’t go on orangey but the warmth might not work on everyone. Will this work on NC40’s? I can’t say for sure, but my Dior sales rep is around NC40-45ish and she was wearing Aurora beautifully when I purchased mine. That being said, test it out yourself first to check. Sunset is swatched with a SUPER HEAVY hand and looks orangey on my arm but on the face it is not orangey unless you pack it on. I wore it yesterday for Sunday Brunch and it gave a healthy warm tanned glow.

So which one is best? That is a tough pick. You definitely don’t need all of these, but I’m obsessed with bronzer like I’m obsessed with peach blushes and taupe eyeshadow. If I could only pick 2 – it would be Chanel’s Bronze Rosé and Dior’s Aurora, although Sunset by Dior is gorgeous as well.

I hope this helps you see a side-by-side comparison. There is no substitute for trying these on in person. If you go to the counter, I highly recommend you try these on the face and not just on your arm or hand. A good brush makes all the difference (versus your fingers).

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  • Chanel<3

  • Anonymous

    What a timely post! With summer collections trickling in, there seems to be a bronzer mania lately – not that that is a bad thing. The comparison pics are a HUGE help, though. Since bronzers usually make me look dirty, the Chanel blush/bronzer would probably be my choice. Being a Chanel girl to begin with, that is not surprising. 🙂

    Hope you have a great week!


  • Thank you for such a fantastic post!

    Being very pale I have to be quite cautious with my bronzer shades, but I think Chanel Rose might just fit the bill. I'm absolutely smitten with Dior Aurora but I'm worried it might pull a bit too dark against my white and pink tones – I think a shopping trip is definitely called for!


  • Thank you for the comparisons! Your top 2 picks are the ones I have been wanting the most. They look like they will be the most flattering on my pale skin and possibly be nice even worn without blush.

  • THANK YOU!!! This has helped so much. You have confirmed that the Chanel Bronzer in Rose is the one for me. 🙂

  • Such a delightful post. Your pix are wonderfully helpful, but I agree that there is no substitute for applying any bronzer to your own facial skin. Color of eyes and hair are 2 more factors that affect the look of any bronzer (and blush).

    I have the BB Shimmerbricks in Pink and Pink Quartz and I find that using certain blushes with each cuts down the shimmer/frost. I keep wishing that MAC would come out with a stunning MSN bronzer. Of course, it would be LE, but they could offer a repromote of something.

  • Those are all such beautiful colors but the Guerlain bronzer is beyond gorgeous!


  • Great post Sabrina! I was just thinking about doing something similar for all the new bronzer releases. I have yet to try Dior 01 with a stippling brush. When I used a dense blush brush to apply on my face, it was still a bit orange for me.

  • S

    This was an incredibly helpful post. Thank you so much! I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the effort you've put into creating this and comparing the various bronzers out this season 🙂

    That said, you've totally awakened a lemming in me for Dior Aurora… ><

  • Great post! How do they compare to the Edward Bess bronzer?

  • Thanks for the comprehensive post Sabrina, very helpful! Well I must admit I am TOTALLY taken in my this Bronze revolution swirling around us!! 🙂 I love both Chanel bronzers and am expecting Aurora to arrive soon. Now if only I had the Guerlain one too… hmmmm! 😉
    I was a *little* sad when you said one doesn't need all!!
    Take care!

  • Do you prefer the Edward Beas bronzed or the Dior bronzer?

  • I can't tell you how useful a post this is to be able to see all the shades together and to hear your combined thoughts on them. I think it will be Chanel's Bronze Rosé for me 🙂

  • Thanks for this fantastic post, Sabrina! These are the EXACT bronzers I've been trying to decide amongst, and this post was invaluable!

  • I purchased Chanel Bronze Corail and I just LOVE it! I want to check out the new Guerlain as well but do I really need that many bronzers?

    Don't answer that!

  • Anonymous

    I just wanted to say thanks for the thorough description of the bronzers, but did want to point out the part where you said Dior's bronzers gave you more bang for the buck???

    Actually If you compared the sizes and prices…Dior is 0.35 and costs $46, while Chanel is .49 and costs $50 — besides Guerlain being clearly the most expensive…Chanel has the most bang for your buck considering the amount given and how much you pay for it!

  • Beth

    Great to see the pics! I did get the Guerlain, Aurora, and the Chanel Rose bronzer… Now, I want the other 2!!!

  • This was a very helpful comparison review, Lina!

    I think, I'm going for the Chanel Bronze Rosé and Dior Aurora, since I'm very fair and finding a bronzer that looks natural on me, is definitely always a challenge!

    Hopefully, I will be lucky with these two new releases!

  • Thank you for doing a comparison swatch. So many beautiful bronzers, especially for those of us who are shy of them, but it makes the choosing more difficult.

  • greaaat post! Much needed for sure!!

    i really wanna try Dior's Aurora.. it just looks stunning and not too shimmery which I prefer!!

    Thank you soo much for the swatches =)

  • heh. i could go through life without buying any more make up too… but this summer's bronzers are to die for. I got the chanel rose and guerlain terra inca and will be getting dior aurora come thursday. could only justify all three because they ARE different colors!

  • TM

    LOVE.THIS.POST! i wonder how the chanel and dior ones compare with the dior matte bronzer? is the quality better? thank you && much love:)

  • You are amazing. Thank you for comparing them. I love all of them, but think my pick would be either of the Diors.

    Your blog is one of my most favorites and for a reason 🙂 Information and oppinions are what I look for and provided with beautiful pictures is what makes this blog amazing. I dont even mind that half of the things dont launch here or I dont purchase them, I just love to follow what's going on in the beauty industry.

    love from Finland

  • Thank you for another excellent post. I always look forward to your comparisons and I appreciate the amount of thought and time you take for your readers. I have been lusting after Chanel Bronze Rosé, and I think I might have to take advantage of Chanel's free shipping before it ends Friday. Thanks again!

  • Thank you so much! I really like the Chanel Rose and the Guerlain.

  • Mar

    Great post. I love bronzers and I have fair skin so thanks for your help. I could no test any of them yet and I am waiting for their arrival here in Spain. Thank you.

  • Eileen

    Bravo, Sabrina! This was an outstanding post and obviously a very timely one judging from the flood of positive responses it generated. Your pictures and descriptions are, as always, clear, accurate, and informative. Thank you for the time and effort you put into bringing us such beautiful posts. You're a real sweetheart.

    It's interesting that so many of us have settled on the same two bronzer/blushes: Chanel's Bronze Rosé and Dior's Aurora. My complexion is quite fair so the Chanel has become my go-to choice for day because it is so effortless, so natural, so chic. For evening, though, I like something a bit deeper and that's when I turn to the Dior for it's softly burnished look.

    Lakshmi refered to the "Bronze revolution swirling around us," and truer words there couldn't be. Brand after brand has been releasing new formulations in lipsticks, eye shadows, and bronzers. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been pushing old favorites to the back of the stash to make room for all the new beauties being introduced. Even if I have duplicates color wise, they don't duplicate the way these new formulations blend on the skin, how they work with the light, or how they wear throughout the day. Cosmetic revolution? Indeed!

  • I love Guerlain shade! And Chanel (first one) looks adorable as well!

  • Jenn

    Thanks for the great review!
    I bought all 5 of them as well.
    I feel like this season has released some of the most beautiful bronzers to date!!!

  • this is probably a dumb question but i live in holland what does NC/40 mean?

  • Thanks for the comprehensive review!! I just got the Dior Aurora bronzer this weekend and I'm quite please. Chanel Rose Bronze should arrive any day and I can't wait! Thanks again for helping in my online shopping adventures!

  • Eileen summed up my thoughts exactly. Thanks for the post. I picked up Aurora based on it and might pick up Chanel's bronze rose as more of a blush/bronzer.

    I'm fair skinned and aurora works great on me.

  • Eileen

    Hi Nawi,

    The NC40 is a MAC foundation color. Probably because MAC is so ubiquitous in the US, many women describe their skin color using MAC's system–even if they don't actually wear MAC foundation! LOL. NC means neutral cool: the skin has yellow undertones and needs cooler tones to neutralize it. NW means neutral warm: the skin has pink undertones and needs warmer skin tones to neutralize it. The number refers to how light or dark the foundation is with 15 being the lightest and 55 being the darkest. If you take a look at MAC's website, you can get an idea of what someone means when they say their complexion is NC40. I hope this explanation helps a bit.

  • Anonymous

    no thats not silly at all, at first i couldnt understand all this too, NC40 is the code of the shade of foundations from M.A.C, NC stands for neutral-cool(there is also NW which is neutral-warm) and that number increases as the shade gets darker. hope it helps xx

  • A

    This was so helpful – thank you! I was trying to figure out which (if any) would be good for my pale, cool-toned skin, and this post was a huge help! I'm going to get the Chanel in Bronze Rose.


  • Great pictures and great review. I'm very pleased that you reviewed these all together. It makes my decision easier as I approach the counters. Pretty sure it will either be Chanel Rose or Dior Aurora…this side by side helps so very much!

    I just picked up Dior Aurora yesterday at Nordstrom. I never would have given it a second look if I hadn't seen your swatches.
    It's stunning on my fair skin – it's what I wanted EL Sea Star Bronzing blush to be – but that was too orange. Thank you!! 🙂

  • I am dying for Guerlain Terra Inca. SO pretty!!

  • Hello Sabrina,

    I have been reading your blog for a while and it has helped very much. So far I have done some shopping based mostly in your blog and in Cafe Makeup. I love neutrals and taupes too. I live outside the United States, and next month I am going to New York. I am thinking about buying a bronzer. I am really fair, probably NC15, and my skin is neutral with some yellow undertones. Regarding eyeshadows, I can use Chanel Safari and Kaska Beige quite well, but I found Chanel Trace and Le Bronze too warm for me. Please, could you give me some advice about which bronzer to choose, Edward Bess Daydream, Chanel Bronze Rose or Dior Aurora? I want a flawless skin with some glow and contouring but not really tan. Thank you!

  • I love your blog……I come everyday since 1 or 2 weeks…you are in my favorites…..

  • on the market for a new (my first) bronzer .. thank goodness for past post in the beauty look book!

  • I have Dior Aurora and it's beautiful. A bit pricey tho. It's a bronzer but has a touch of rose so I don't have to use a blush. And it adds a healthy glow to the skin so I don't use a highlighter. It just seems so natural. BTW I'm a brunette with very fair skin.