If there’s one person who can nail a complexion product, it’s Mario Dedivanovic—a.k.a. Makeup by Mario. He’s the man behind Kim Kardashian’s signature beat, and pretty much the reason contouring became a mainstream makeup practice outside of the drag world.
So when Dedivanovic launched his namesake line last summer, fans were surprised to find an emphasis on eye products (he later revealed he was launching products in the order he uses them, starting with the eyes and building out). A few months back, he finally blessed us with blushes, bronzers, and contour sticks, which as expected are all incredible. And today, May 25, he’s giving us his most innovative base products yet: The Makeup by Mario Skin Enhancer and The Skin Perfector.
The Skin Enhancer is described by the brand as an all-in-one “solid balm, skin tint, and creamy bronzer that instantly warms and tints to subtly even out skin tone,” while The Skin Perfector is a “bronzer, highlighter, and finishing powder that perfects, illuminates, and sets for a radiant glow.” Neither one really fits into a category we’ve ever seen before, giving the user tons of room to customize the products to their preferences. High-impact these products are not—think of them as your off-duty multitaskers.
The products are designed to be used together, but can also be used separately to add a kiss of color and radiance, and subtly sculpt the face. Mario recommends using a dense brush like his F1 brush to apply the Skin Enhancer around the perimeter of your face, and blend inwards. Then, use a fluffier brush to work the Skin Perfector over the cream. Then, take a little more powder, and sweep it all over your face to set and illuminate the rest of your complexion.
Since these products are customizable, we had five Glamour editors test them out before anyone else. Read on for our honest reviews.
Ariana Yaptangco, senior beauty editor
I’m declaring this the summer of Makeup by Mario. During warmer months, I like my makeup products to be as lightweight and skin-like as possible. The Skin Enhancer has the silkiest balm texture that blends beautifully on skin. I used it as a bronzer for the temples of my forehead and hollows of my cheeks, but I can see myself using this all over my face when I get a good summer tan going. Mario himself once told me that the trick to mask-proof makeup is using a cream formula and layering powder on top, so I topped off my bronzer with the Skin Perfector, which is so smooth and has a flattering blurring effecting. I’ve got a head start on my summer sun-kissed glow.
Talia Abbas, commerce editor
I have a really soft hand when I apply highlighter and bronzer, and the Skin Perfector has such great pigment, a light dusting along my cheekbones and across the forehead is all I did to take my minimal makeup look up a notch. The subtle shimmer wears beautifully in natural light, and the formula doesn’t crease on top of my moisturizer and SPF. Powder formulas rarely do it for me, but I’m hooked on this one.
Ru Wolle, associate editor
I like to use the Skin Enhancer as a bronzer, and love that you can build it up, or have just a sheer wash of color. And since I’ve never been one for a sparkly bronzer, I love the matte finish with just a hint of simmer. It’s also perfect for contouring— I decided to do a combo effect and start with a cream base, then overlay it with the powder bronzer to give it a soft finish with a touch of definition.
Bella Cacciatore, associate beauty editor
I have been searching for a product like the Skin Enhancer for years, and I was worried it simply didn’t exist. It’s lighter and sheerer than any cream bronzer I’ve ever used, so it gives me the prettiest sunny glow, without looking like I’m wearing a stitch of makeup. It has a glossy balmy texture that doesn’t feel sticky or overly shiny; it actually feels dewy and blurring at the same time. I love it dabbed across my cheeks, nose, and forehead with a stippling brush, though if I was a light coverage girlie I would feel good using this everywhere in place of foundation to blur pores and add a little color. I haven’t tried it as a contour yet, but because it’s so subtle I imagine it’s best used as a bronzer stand-in. The powder is also gorgeous. It’s finely milled and glides right on, locking in makeup and leaving behind a subtle glow. I’m so excited to have these in my summer makeup arsenal.
Ana Escalante, editorial assistant
If I could use one product for the rest of my life, it would be bronzer. Although my religion is Chanel’s Les Beiges, I’m always been on the hunt for the perfect shade, warmth, and consistency in bronzers. I’ll admit, the Makeup By Mario Skin Enhancer and corresponding trio-shade compact come close. The creamy bronzer glides on my face pretty easily when I dip into it using my makeup sponge, and settles on my face nicely, unlike other formulas that are prone to patchiness.
Bella Cacciatore is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.