Meet the luxe blush and bronzer duo that got our editor back in her powder cheek product era

Flushed, sculpted skin never felt so silky

Editor / June 07 2024

Okay, confession: I’ve always been a bit scared of powder cheek products. As someone with dry skin, I figured they’d cling to any dehydrated patches (AKA, um, my whole face) in a way that says ‘too much makeup on’ rather than ‘freshly flushed’.

But as much as I love cream blush and bronzers, their staying powers haven’t quite caught up to their powder equivalents yet. Call it a combination of an obsession with Sabrina Carpenter’s blushed-to-the-nines signature makeup and rediscovering Napoleon Perdis’ Cheek to Chic range, but I recently decided it was time to give powder cheek products another whirl.

Here’s what happened when I put the Napoleon Perdis Bronze Icon Matte and Napoleon Perdis Blush Patrol Matte to the test…

The products

The Napoleon Perdis Cheek to Chic collection includes the Napoleon Perdis Bronze Icon Matte ($63 at Napoleon Perdis) (a velvet-matte bronzing powder in an array of shades that cater to light, medium and deep skin tones) and Napoleon Perdis Blush Patrol Matte ($65 at Napoleon Perdis) (a marbled velvet-matte blush powder in hues of Coral, Rose and Berry). Designed for all skin types (oily, normal, combination, and yes, even dry), these powders are all about delivering silky pigment that’s free of shimmer, but still enhances your glow.

Napoleon Perdis Bronze Icon Matte review

Considering my penchant for a faux glow, my face can look ‘muddy’ pretty quickly once bronzer gets involved. I have a history of picking a powder that’s too deep for my skin (a faux pas, always) and often confusing the heavy ‘contour’ technique with a proper bronzing one. Luckily, the Napoleon Perdis Bronze Icon Matte helped me right both wrongs.

I had the luck of having Napoleon Perdis Global Makeup Artist Nathan Kaké select the right shade for my skin tone, which was ‘Medium’, a rich, caramel-ly colour that flattered my neutral undertone nicely.

After having Kaké apply the product for me the first time (a real treat), I found it surprisingly easy to replicate the results at home, simply sweeping the product across the points of the face the sun naturally hits: think cheekbones, temples, jawline and the bridge of the nose. For me, the secret to success was starting slow and building up from there - though the effortlessly blendable nature of the bronzing powder made the product pretty much impossible to overdo.

Wearing the Bronze Icon Matte definitely reminded me of the power of bronzer when it comes to warming up the face (while also providing the subtle sculpt that full contour sometimes over-does). It created depth and dimension without any of the hard lines or ashy tones I’m usually left with.

I was also super impressed with the matte-but-not-lifeless look of the finish - ‘muddy’ simply isn’t in this bronzer’s vocabulary. So if you have any concerns about matte equalling muddy, let me put them at ease. The finish leaves skin with a golden radiance in general, but the velvet-matte finish keeps everything looking seamless and natural.

It also looked and felt velvety smooth on the skin - you can chalk that up (ironically, considering it’s also the furthest thing from chalky) to the formula’s inclusion of soothing, smoothing argan kernel oil and the beautifully finely milled feel of the powder. Suddenly I’m a big powder bronzer fan, and I’ve got this product to thank for that.

Napoleon Perdis Blush Patrol Matte review

Now, time for blush, which happens to be my personal favourite of the collection. Kaké helped me select my perfect shade in the Blush Patrol Matte, which was Coral, a gorgeous pinky-peach shade. I couldn’t have been happier with the colour - it was bright but believable, and added some much-appreciated ‘pep’ to my cheeks, even in the depths of autumn/winter. Coral also happens to be one of 2024’s trending blush shades, an added perk.

During my shade-match, Kaké taught me to always smile before applying blush, and place the pigment in the ‘apple’ of the cheek that forms - though he also let me in on the fact the colour works a treat as a subtle eyeshadow, too - which I definitely tried (and loved) later. The blush has a stunning marble-esque effect in the pan, so a good swirl of your blush brush will make sure you get the right mix of tones - just be sure to tap off the excess product before applying to keep things natural.

My favourite feature of the blush (besides the fact I looked like I was doing Sabrina Carpenter cosplay with the rosy finish it blessed me with) was the longevity. I applied a few days in a row at 7am before heading to the office, and my cheeks still looked freshly flushed upon arriving home. Now that’s staying power (and precisely what I was missing from my cream products).

As for the feel of the powder, I must say again: this stuff feels like silk on the skin. There’s no drying feel at all; instead it feels like you’re wearing nothing. You’ll only be reminded of the fact that you’re indeed experiencing the many benefits of blush when you catch a glimpse of your sunset-hued glow in the mirror, or a friend/colleague/random stranger on the street begs you to drop the blush name.

The verdict

If you’re after a blush and bronzer combo that’s easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and stunning on skin, you seriously needn’t look further. My personal tip would be to head to a Napoleon Perdis store or counter for a professional shade recommendation if you can (especially for the bronzer, as the right shade match is the difference between ‘beautifully bronzed’ and ‘seriously overdone’). But honestly, I’m keen on collecting every blush shade on offer, so you might find me switching to the moodier ‘Berry’ or ‘Rose’ as we head into the depths of winter. The good news is that the powder-that-doesn’t-feel-powdery factor stays true across the board - as does silky-smooth, radiant yet matte colour. What more could you want?

Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.