I've never been that big on bronzers. I purchased my first bronzer a good while ago and ended up not using it because I didn't know the correct application method and ended up looking like a muddy mess. Highlighters on the other hand, are one of my favourite makeup items and I started using them when we came to Korea for the first time, back in 2008.
I've been watching tons of makeup tutorials on youtube and I keep seeing the incredible transformation bronzing brings about. It sculpts cheekbones beautifully and hides common issues like chubby cheeks, undefined cheekbones, a large forehead and can even create a more defined nose line for those ladies with cute button noses.
Seeing all this awesomeness, I decided it's time to try again and so I went to Etude House and got myself the Aloha V-line Slim Maker bronzer/highlighter combo compact in shade #1 Sun Gold/Wood Brown for KRW14 000 ($14). The compact has a mirror inside and comes with a brush which (surprisingly) isn't too bad for applying the product, but I wouldn't use it for blending though. The outcome of your bronzer is very much influenced not only by technique, but the quality of your brushes (and ofcourse using the correct brushes!) The actual powder is floral embossed- a nice little touch commonly found with Etude House products. The powder has a slight perfumed scent, but this hasn't affected my usually sensitive skin at all.
As far as the quality is concerned, I was less than pleased with the bronzer-half of the compact. It has very poor pigmentation and it doesn't apply well to my face. It's almost like the powder is too compact so I need to keep swooshing my brush in there to get enough colour on it. The result is also very....meh...to say the least. My face looked a little muddy, almost as though I took brown eye shadow and used it as bronzer. Perhaps it's just not the right shade for my skin tone. Perhaps shade #2 would have worked better, but I doubt it though. Compared to my Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (I use the shade 'Light Gold') this bronzer falls to the floor like a fast deflating balloon.
But, dear readers, every yin has its yang and in this case it's the amasing highlighter that manages to redeem this compact. I was amased at the gorgeous glow it gives my skin. I apply highlighter to the center of my forehead, above my brows, on top of my cheek bone (above the area I apply my blush), my nose, my Cupid's bow above my top lip and my chin. If you've never tried highlighting I highly recommend you do as it really looks so lovely. Highlighting the right areas on your face can hide a multitude of flaws as it casts light on just the right spots so the focus is drawn away from the not-so-great ones. Beware of going overboard though, or you might end up looking like a Twilight vampire.
Because the bronzer is so terrible, I highly doubt that I'll repurchase this compact again. The highlighter is really great, which is why i decided to give it a 3/5 rating for quality. But since Etude House, as well as all other makeup brands, usually have quite a variety of highlighters in their range, there's no reason for me to stick with this one.