I'd been thinking about getting Soleil Tan de Chanel for so years and when Sephora 20% off offer coincided with hitting pan on Bourjois Bronzing Primer, which is supposed to be a dupe of the Chanel product, I thought the moment had come and grabbbed one.
Technically this is a bronzing make-up base, but I use it mostly as a cream bronzer. This is a cream product which comes in a huge, flat tub (not particularly space-saving) and looks like a kind of souflee at the first glance. However, the texture is quite surprising. It's not creamy, doesn't melt under your fingers, the brush doesn't dive in the product. It swatches and applies very sheer. The bronzer looks matte, but in fact there's subtle shimmer to it, which offers very discreet glow to the skin.
The shade seems very warm at first, but when its applied and blended, it looks incredibly natural. Even my cool-toned skin looks sun-kissed without being fake (I hope). With a product being so sheer, yet glow-giving, there's no product build-up, which affects the texture of my skin, accentuates or clogs my pores etc.
I've used both sparse, fluffy brushes and more dense, natural-bristled ones with it and all of them worked pretty well.
Now, the question is whether this is a dupe of Bourjois Bronzing Primer, as many reviewers have suggested. Well, the question is how you define a dupe. I understand a dupe as a product that is exactly the same as far as texture, shade and performance are concerned, except the packaging.
So let's start from the similarities:
- both come in tubs, though the size of these differs
- both are cream products, though consistencies are very different.
- both are warm-toned
- both are scented, though Bourjois is way more so and the artificial chocolate smell lingers on for hours
Apart from those superficial similarities, everything else is different.
Chanel is a thick, dense product, with a consistency of a putty. Bourjois is a silicony mousse, which has very soft texture. As a consequence the Bourjois swatches thicker and seems more pigmented, but it's easy to blend and sheers out without problems, but still the tan is darker. Once dry, the finish is satin to primer-like matte.
Chanel in its dry texture seems not to cling to the brush at all, but in fact it offers nice all over tan. It's so sheer that it doesn't add any texture to my skin and doesn't create product build-up. There's some shimmer to this bronzer, but this barely shows on the skin and translates as healthy glow.
I think you have already guessed which one I prefer. Bourjois isn't bad at all, after all I did use it up completely, but the method of application was more difficult as the brush picked clots of product, which I first tapped on the back of my hand to get rid of excess product and make it go more evenly.
And there's this scent. I loved it at first, but when I got Too Faced chocolate bronzers and eyeshadows I realized for fake it was. As time went by the scent didn't evaporate and remained as strong as the day I first opened the tub and lasted on my skin better than many perfumes do.
The only disadvantages of Soleil Tan de Chanel are the price and the shade which is a tad too warm for my complexion, but looks pretty decent when I self-tan.