Chantecaille La Sirena Bronzer Highlighter Duo - review and swatches


You may remember that this was on my most recent makeup wishlist (see here), and I went ahead and bought it before my 2019 makeup no buy starts on 1 December this year.

Reason being, I've always wanted to try a powder product from Chantecaille because I've heard such great things about them. Unsurprisingly, though, I reckon this duo is overpriced.

Yes the packaging is gorgeous and has a reasonable amount of weight to it, and yes the powders perform well, but my Hourglass and Marc Jacobs powders give an airbrushed look to the skin - this one doesn't - and they're significantly cheaper to boot.

And before you ask, yes, I did buy this particular Chantecaille product at least in part due to the packaging. My heart lies in Italy, and although Positano isn't my favourite place in that country (I still can't go past Venice), I just had to have this particular compact because, you know, ITALY.

However the other reason I bit the bullet is because I know that I'll always be able to pan a decent bronzer and highlighter (unlike blushes, for example), so I know I can pan it eventually and get my money's worth - and it's always handy to have two products in one. Indeed, the two-for-one thing sealed the deal.

There it is again:

Chantecaille claims/product details:

  • Luxurious and dreamy, this soft and finely milled bronzer and highlighter duo will give your complexion a sun-drenched glow
  • Packaging up the Italian sunshine into a sleek palette featuring imagery of the Mediterranean coastline, this multitasking palette bronzes and highlights the face with a natural, radiant glow
  • The versatile shade suits all skintones, and can be built-up for the perfect personal level of glow
  • To use: swirl these finely milled powder shades together for the ultimate sun-kissed glow or use the warm bronze and gilded gold separately to create depth and radiance
  • RRP $114 AUD for 10g

I love the rippled stripes on the surface of this product and I understand that the design has been inspired by waves to remind you of the sea. Two thumbs up to that one.

There's the product in all its glory:

There's the pan, indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

Below are light and heavy swatches of the bronzer and highlighter, indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

And finally, light and heavy swatches of both shades mixed together, direct sunlight:


While this bronzer and highlighter duo is nice, it's certainly not something I would recommend spending this much money on. And although I don't regret buying it because I'll have the packaging as a display piece forever, I wouldn't have been happy with the purchase if it wasn't for that aspect.

It's a baked product and the powder is finely milled with an almost gel-like feel. In terms of texture, the bronzer is slightly denser, smoother and less powdery than the highlighter, which is softer and also a tiny bit gritty - although I suspect that's due to the tiny glitter flecks in the formula (which don't exist in the bronzer). The highlighter also has more pigment and is therefore more intense than the bronzer, which is what you'd expect.

Both products blend and apply well, and I'm pleased to say that they still blend and apply beautifully even when I haven't used my setting powder to remove the tacky finish left by my tinted moisturiser. Yes I still set my whole face very lightly to help with longevity, but I don't like using any more powder than that because I have dry skin so I hate products that don't blend unless you've powdered well. These ones do.

The bronzer is a nice warm brown that's neither too warm nor too orange, and I suspect it will suit those with fair, light and medium skintones. The highlighter is a flattering, pale warm gold that's not too pale or too gold so it should suit a broader range of skintones.

In terms of longevity, both powders last well on me. Do note that while the bronzer doesn't emphasise texture on my skin, the highlighter does if I try to build it. Thankfully I prefer a more natural highlight anyway so that's a non issue for me - but if pores and scars etc are a problem for you and you prefer an intense highlighter, this mightn't be for you.

Also worth noting is that I like how Chantecaille has given us two thirds bronzer and one third highlighter (that seems like the right ratio to me), and I also wanted to note that I've experienced little bits of hard-pan appearing in both shades - once when I was finger swatching and once when I was using a brush. Sure that's not a huge deal and you can remove the hard bits with sticky tape, but I wanted to mention it all the same.

Overall I think these are nice products but they don't give that ethereal look to my skin that I'd hoped for, given the price-tag. And as mentioned above, my Marc Jacobs and Hourglass powders airbrush the face and take years off my skin, but this one doesn't and the other products cost me a lot less!

Lovely, but not worth the price-tag.

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