Chanel Bronze Universal

It has come to my attention that I always rave about this cream bronzer, but I've never done a proper post about it. So here's my two cents...

Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base (which also goes by the moniker Chanel Bronze Universal) is one of those really hyped up products. Right up there with NARS Laguna and Benefit Hoola.

What makes the Bronze Universal different? Well, to start it's a unique consistency. In the pot, it looks like a mousse, but it's a solid cream and to the touch, it almost feels like soap. It applies beautifully and smoothly. It's very easy to work with and easy to control.

It's an orange-based bronzer. It can easily warm up the skin, but depending on your skin tone, you may have to play with it a bit to get the right payoff without looking like a spray-tan gone wrong. It does have a bit of shimmer to it, but when applied, it's more of a subtle sheen.

It's heavily scented, much like all Chanel products. I personally have no qualms with it, but it's something to note in case you have an aversion to fruity / floral scents.

When I bought this a year ago, the price was around $52 CDN. A little steep, but there's so much product, it will last you a long time. I've hardly put a dent in mine with a year's worth of use.

One thing that irks me about this bronzer is that the cream gets quite dirty. It traps brush hairs and particles of dust. I do try to sanitize it once a week, though.

One of the questions I frequently get asked about this bronzer is how do I use it? So, I'm going to show you three ways I like to use the Bronze Universal.

My main use for this bronzer (and most bronzers) is for contouring. This doesn't add a dramatic contour to the face, but it does provide natural definition to the cheekbones. I apply a little at a time, building up the colour and blending out the harsh lines with my Real Techniques Expert Face brush (synthetic brushes are ideal). It's easy to do and adds a subtle contrast to the face.

The next two uses are for that sunkissed glow.

This technique is for people who have medium-ish skin tones and can take direct application. My NC30ish skin tone is one of them. 

I lightly apply the bronzer all over the face, sweeping it in the classic E motion. It's important to blend and to evenly distribute the product. The good thing is that you don't have to worry about streaks. And don't forget your neck!

This method easily warms up your complexion with little fuss. Just be sure to apply in moderation by blotting excess bronzer on the back of your hand.  The key is to layer the bronzer so you don't look like an Oompa Loompa. Add as much colour as your skin tone can take.

The last method is for people who have lighter skin tones or are looking for a more subtle sunkissed glow

With this method, a heavy application of the bronzer is acceptable, but not mandatory. You're going to be topping it with a layer of your foundation or tinted moisturizer of choice, which will soften the look.

I am using the Becca Ultra-Sheer foundation, it's light, sheer, and easy to blend.

I've tried this method with many different foundations and tinted moisturizers, but it works best with creams and liquids with light-to-medium coverage. You want to use something that will allow the bronzer to shine through slightly.

If you want more chiseled cheeks with this look, just take another bronzer and layer it over the Bronze Universal. That's another great thing about this bronzer, it can be used alone or as a base.

What's your favourite cream bronzer? x


  1. i loved reading this post! thanks for showing the different uses! (:

  2. Hey Aleeza, how do you sanitize your cream products? Do you use alcohol?

    1. I typically just use alcohol. I'll spray some on a cotton pad and wipe the surface of the cream a couple of times :) x

    2. Was going to ask the same question.

      Do you find it hard to apply with your fingers (clean, of course)?

  3. Love this post, thanks so much! I have this and never use it as I couldn't find the right brush but I'm going to try it with this Real Techniques one :)

    1. I love the Expert Face brush to apply because of the shape.. you can use the narrow or the wide side for whatever look you want :) x

  4. Amazing tutorial! I only ever do the "chiselled" look but maybe it's time I tried something new! :)

  5. Great review/tutorial! It looks amazing on you :)

    Are there any other bronzers that are good for contouring that you recommend that are a little cheaper?? Preferably no more than $20? Is Benefit's Hoola good for contouring like this Chanel one or no?

    1. Benefit Hoola is a great bronzer for contouring! It's darker than the Chanel Bronze universal, but it's great for defining the hollows of the cheek.

      I also really like NYC Sunny bronzer (it's really inexpensive but is fantastic).

  6. Thanks for showing the various methods!

  7. This review is awesome, so well-written and you look absolutely gorgeous :)
    I just found your blog and i love love love it :D

  8. Love the last method! Your skin looks healthy and glowing! Xoxo

  9. Nice blog, I've found some great info here.

    Airbrush Tan in NYC