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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Baked Bronzer in Light

I'm winding down here, with just two products to go in my Physicians Formula mini-series of reviews of some of the new-for-2013 products. Today I'd like to show you the Happy Booster Baked Blush in the shade Light.

By the way, all PF bronzers are BOGOFREE at Rite Aid this week (through April 6th). So I'm going to do my best to review the other bronzer I have (the one with the little hearts) before the week is through.

 Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Baked Bronzer in Light
(retail: $13.95, 0.33 oz)

The bottom level of this compact houses a brush:

The bristles looks like they would be rough, but they're not as rough as you might expect. Granted, it's not the best brush for the job (the bristles are too long and floppy, which doesn't allow for much control) but it'll work in a pinch.

Looking at the compact, the colors looks like they'd be ideal for my NC20 skintone. When swatched on my hand, the color looks pretty amazing:

However, this all changes when applied to the face. I applied this bronzer to the top of my cheekbones. AFTER I applied a BB cream, setting powder and a creme blush:

from far away


very close

What you can't see when looking at this bronzer in the pan is that there is a lot of chunky gold glitter in this formula. And I'm afraid that the color of this bronzer is so close to my skintone that all you can really see, when applied to my face, is the chunky gold glitter. And, unfortunately, the chunky gold glitter seems to seek out my large pores and set up camp there.

Texture and consistency: The powder itself is nice and smooth. I wouldn't say it's "finely milled" but it's also not super gritty. I really like the initial color when the outer shade and the shade of the heart are combined. I do experience a moderate amount of fallout while using this product, but the real culprit here is the glitter. The glitter particles are chunky and they tend to fly around my face during application. The glitter is present in both the outer shade and the inner shade, so it's unavoidable.

Ease of application: As mentioned above, there's a moderate amount of fallout during application and the glitter tends to fly all over the place (and all over my face) during application. The base color blends out nicely, but I'd say it blend out TOO nicely because I really can't see a lot of warmth on my skin after I've blended--I just see glitter.

Staying power: The base color is fleeting. The traces of color and warmth this bronzer adds to my skin are gone in about an hour. After that, all that reminds is the glitter.

Fragrance: At this point, most of you have probably experienced the Happy Booster scent. This bronzer has the same fragrance as the other Happy Booster products (to my nose it smells like violets and roses). I love the fragrance quite a bit and I would totally buy it if PF made this in a body mist. I know that the Happy Booster scent can be very strong for some of you, but for me it's medium strength (I'm not super sensitive to fragrance though, so your mileage may vary). I can definitely smell it during application and I also sometimes catch light whiffs of it throughout the day.

FINAL VERDICT: Unless you are very fair (below an NC or NW20), I would say this product would work best as a highlighter, not a bronzer. But even then, I don't find that the base color (which is what does the "bronzing") sticks around long enough to add any real warmth to the skin. What does stay around is the chunky gold glitter. So if you're looking for lots of glitter and a tiny bit of warmth and sheen, this could be a great match for you. Unfortunately, I usually love the exact opposite (lots of warmth and sheen with a tiny bit of glitter) so this is definitely not a love-match for me.

Do you own any Happy Booster products? If so, how do you like them? Do you have any favorites? I'd love to hear from you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. I'm not a huge fan of bronzer, especially not SHIMMERY bronzer (I'm a matte lover through and through). So even if this didn't have chunky glitter, it'd be a skip. What I would love it a matte, medium-light rosy brown.

  2. Yeah, I can see why you didn't like this...too much glitter! I wouldn't wear it either which is a shame because the color looks pretty and the packaging is cute.

  3. Yea, I bought this during a sale... It looked pretty and cute.

    I try to swipe my brush around the glittery gold heart to get less of the glitter and sometimes I'll tap the heart very slightly.

    My skintone is around NC15-20, I think. I try not to apply too much because it shows up a lot on me.

  4. Despite the negative things I've been hearing about this and the little-heart-pebbles bronzer, for those who are looking for them, I saw today that my Rite Aid had a display of these and the Sexy Booster bronzers that came with a free corresponding (Happy/Sexy Booster) blush (couldn't see which colors). I don't know if they're part of the BOGO sale, but the bronzer was for sure that "paid" item, and the blush was the "free" one, so I should think they would apply. So, if anyone wants to check it out, it might be an opportunity to get 4 products for the price of 1.

  5. I'm not a fan of PF's bronzers (or even eyeshadows) as they are *all* shimmery/glittery.

  6. i love that there are 0.33 oz of product, as opposed to the usual 0.1-0.15 oz, i think it makes the price tag even with other bronzers in the market. is there a darker shade of the bronzer that would make it a worthy purchase?

  7. I just purchased this PF Bronzer, so I have yet to use it. (I have used the other one you referenced, so I look forward to your thoughts.) Even when PF products do not work for me, I still like having them because of the cute packaging. Based on your review, I may not even open this one. Not a fan of glitter on my face except my eyes.

  8. It's interesting that you say this bronzer shade doesn't have a lot of staying power or impact (aside from the glitter). I purchased two of the Happy Booster blushers at full price because I'd seen so many raves about them (and they're cute as heck), and I was completely disappointed. I'm very fair, and I could hardly get the colors to show up on my cheeks, and what I managed to apply was gone in a few hours. I detected no scent at all and was super sad about that. I wanted my Happy.

  9. Maybe you can use it on your arms and decolletage in the summer, G?

  10. That's exactly what I thought about this bronzer and the bronzing veil (little hearts). They look adorable in the pan, but so so sooo glittery on the face. Dissapointment.

  11. I have the Happy Booster blush in Natural. It's not bad. It's a pretty color, but definitely a very natural look as far as color. It's not very pigmented, even on my fair skin. It does leave quite a bit of fine shimmer though. I like it overall. One weird thing-I notice absolutely no smell at all.

  12. I don't think I'd ever use this because of the glitter. I'm not a fan of glitter in much except a glitter line for fun. Bronzer should have a SUBTLE bit of shimmer if any at all. I was intrigued by the scent, but I'm glad I read your review before purchasing it to try myself!

  13. anyone else notice that in the beginning g said it was a blush...?
    sorry for nitpicking XD

  14. I have the same problem with this as a bronzer... it makes a nice sparkly cleavage-accenter though!

  15. Some of the PF bronzers at Target had BOGOF coupons attached to the front of them. I didn't peel any to double check, but PF lately has put specific products that the coupons can be used on.

  16. G,I never bought Physicians Formula before I started reading your blog. Although the name still puts me off, I have tried a few of your favorite products and liked some of them. Speaking of branching out,I never tried NYX and Milani.Now they are favorites!

  17. Glad I passed on this one yesterday. I bought an NYC Sun2Sun and aside from being powdery it's been lovely.

  18. BELIEVE IT OR NOT: At Rite Aid this week I got the Happy Booster in loose hearts in a value/bonus pack with a Happy Booster blush in Natural, and I got another two pack of the same blush/bronzer combo free for 13.99, so each blush/bronzer came out at 3.50. They were not on display with the other blushes and bronzers they were on a display with the other limited edition products from other brands. I wanted to get a value pack with the baked bronzer and one with the loose hearts but it wouldn't go through so I had to get two loose hearts, but I'm totally okay with that!

  19. Looking at the search this looks like it's work great as an eyeshadow. Especially wet. I often use bronzer ( a d blush) as eyeshadow. Especially if I want a quick " out the door" look I sweep a little bare Mineraks Warmth or Faux tan across my lid , up I to the crease. You'd be surprised what it actually does for your face- at least for me. Oh abd I finally found an item my Mom used yearssss ago- INDIAN EARTH' does anyone remember it?! Well they still sell it I just ordered it- great bronzer!!


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