Creamy Summer Bronzers: Soleil Tan de Chanel & Bourjois Bronzing Primer

by Joyce in


A few years back, I watched a Lisa Eldridge video where she created a perfect bronze look using the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, and then I was desperate to get my hands on it. At the time, stores were always sold out, though now it seems more readily available. 

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I've hardly used mine over the last two years or so, but last summer a lovely reader asked me how I was liking it after so much hype around the Bourjois Bronzing Primer being a dupe for the Chanel. Since I didn't have access to the Bourjois, she sent me a little sample pot! (I'm so sorry it has taken me THIS long to offer a proper comparison!) 

So, I'm sure you're wondering - is the Bourjois Bronzing Primer an affordable dupe for the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Base? Yes, and no. 

First off, the texture and feel of the two products is entirely different. The Bourjois Bronzing Primer is much creamier, and as a result, easier (for me) to blend. It is supposed to be chocolate scented, though to me it is just strong and artificial and somehow floral. Initially, I wasn't even sure I wanted to have it on my face because of the scent! However, the scent does dissipate after about a half hour, though on one occasion it somehow managed to meld with something else I wore and leave my face smelling like baby wipes... 

Color wise, I do agree that the shades can be reasonable dupes for one another. In my swatches, you can hardly see the difference (is there one?) but on my face I do feel that the Bourjois is slightly cooler and perhaps slightly less orange. 

[Click to Enlarge] Swatches in shade, top to bottom: Bourjois Bronzing Primer, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel

[Click to Enlarge] Swatches in direct sunlight, top to bottom: Bourjois Bronzing Primer, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel

On the other hand, the Chanel is much less scented, and the texture has more of a cream to powder feel to it though I wouldn't say it is actually cream to powder. It has a more solid texture than the Bourjois, and perhaps explains why some reviews out there find it hard to blend. In my opinion, it isn't hard to blend, though it does take a few seconds more to do so than with products that are creamier. (Which completely makes sense to me!) 

In the end, I don't know which is better. The Bourjois is now available for $19.05 for US shoppers on ASOS, so that does make it much more manageable than Chanel's $48. It does appear that the Bourjois has less product, though that doesn't matter to me. When it comes down to it, I think the scent may end up being a dealbreaker - though I don't seem to mind it now, I've noticed that I tend not to reach for products with scents I don't like. 

Have you tried either of these cream bronzers? Would you pick the Bourjois or the Chanel??