Review: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer

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Review, photos, swatches: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer

Wow, what a mouthful to name a fairly basic product! The powder by Physicians Formula that I'm reviewing today might be just a simple bronzer, but hey, add references to Instagram and the ever popular BB-makeup-everything in the name of the product, and maybe people will actually buy it! Marketing nonsense at play here... Sorry for the rant, let's take a closer look at this product and see what it's worth, despite its absurd name.

So the Filter BB Bronzer was launched a few months ago by Physicians Formula together with a whole collection inspired by Instagram, hashtag in the name of each product included (there's also a BB cream, a Contour Trio Stick, and a Filter Trio powder). The powder itself is made to look like a camera shutter, with smaller sections of a slightly different color than the hexagonal center. Two of these sections are a yellow gold shade, two are a medium brown, and the last two together with the center are a medium beige with warm undertones. All the shades have very subtle micro-shimmer that makes them look very luminous, without visible sparkles. It also protects from the sun with an SPF 30 (not sure how much it helps since it's only used on a small area of the face, and I suppose it occurs naturally due to the pigments used in the formula).

Review, photos, swatches: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer

The Packaging

The packaging looks kind of cool with the reflective holographic print on the lid, but it's also much bulkier than necessary. The reason for this is that, like all Physicians Formula cheek products I've tried, this bronzer comes with a brush housed in the lower part of the compact. You can lift the pan containing the powder to uncover the brush and a good-sized mirror.

You'd think that an included brush is always a plus, especially for a cheek product that might require touchups during the day. In this case however, it ends up being a lot of lost space: this brush is a disgrace. This is one of the scratchiest brushes I've ever come across: it actually hurts my skin to use it. Not only that, but it looks like my friend's 2-year old was in charge of cutting it. It's completely irregular, with a sort of pointed tip that's not even in the middle... Straight to the trash!

Review: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer

The Texture

The powder is very finely milled, however it's also very firm and dry. It feels likes it's very hardly pressed, and it's difficult to pick up much color with a brush - or with fingers to make swatches. I have to use a rather firm brush and really swirl it in the compact, or jab the surface, to get any color on the bristles. Because of that, it's basically impossible to use the different shades separately. You could try a small synthetic eyeshadow brush to use the golden shade only, but I doubt you'd be able to get enough product on your brush to make a visible difference.

Review, photos, swatches: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer

The Result

On me the color when all sections of the powder are mixed together is a warm light-to-medium brown. The pigmentation is very sheer, and my swatch is a very heavy one. I didn't include any picture showing it on my face, because it just wouldn't show on photos. It has to be built quite a bit on my light skintone to be visible at all.

If I take the time to build it, though, it does give a nice touch of subtle bronzy warmth to my cheekbones. Because it's so finely milled it doesn't look powdery on the skin at all, in fact it appears completely weightless. The finish has a very natural, luminous sheen to it, without visible shimmer. With enough work, it does look quite pretty!

swatch: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer
Swatch of Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer


I've always been somewhat disappointed by Physicians Formula products, and unfortunately this Filter BB Bronzer is no exception. It does look nice on the cheeks, but the lack of pigmentation and hard texture require a lot of work. And I'm not even talking about the horrendous brush... If you're very fair, or if you are looking for a subtle bronzer and don't mind spending the time to build up the color, it might work for you. I wouldn't recommend buying it full price though, for me it's just not worth anything close to $15!

Have you ever tried anything by Physicians Formula? How do you feel about the brand in general?

Where to buy?

At your local drugstore, or see below for online retailers. Again, wait for sales!

The product featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

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