Part of Estee Lauder's Topaz collection for the spring, Illuminating Powder Gelee in Topaz Chameleon is the hotly anticipated follow up to the cult favourite of the same name from last year's Modern Mercury collection. The Modern Mercury shade was a soft, pink-gold-bronze colour which was a buildable highlight and glow powder, and at first glance, Topaz Chameleon is more of the same.
The powder has the same highly detailed embossed surface, and a similar firm yet buttery soft texture to the original, although there's absolutely no bounce to this, where there definitely was a little bounce with the Modern Mercury shade. A key difference for me, though, is the pigmentation. This stuff is intense.
Not even a particularly heavy swatch
The high-shimmer bronze shade is incredibly pigmented and transfers to the skin with an intensely metallic finish, even when swatching softly. Trying to use the powder with a normal blush brush left me looking rather scarily like a cross between an orange-tanned stereotype and a futuristic robot. Used incredibly gently with a stipple brush, though, I managed to slowly build up a golden glow that was a lot more palatable.
Part of the problem is that this stuff is just too much for my pale skin. It took me a fair old while to build the colour up slowly enough to ensure I didn't go over the top, which makes it too much effort for a morning application for me - but I can well imagine that this shade would work much better on medium or dark skintones, particularly those with a warmer undertone.
Finally, I actually discovered from reading the product blurb that this is intended to be an all over glow product. I can't imagine anyone would use something this shimmery and coppery as an all over glow unless they wanted to look like a orange-tanned stereotypical robot. For me, this is definitely a bronzer - and a rather intense one to boot.
If you like the look of this product, you'll find it at Estee Lauder concessions and counters, and online, where it will cost you £28.
Disclosure: PR sample