Drunk Elephant’s Illuminating Serum Beats Its Bronzing Drops, Hands Down

Photo: Courtesy of Drunk Elephant.
Achieving a bronze glow that looks natural is no easy feat. Sure, there are illuminating serums, dewy oils and highlighters which offer a glass-like shine. But many will have you looking like an Oscar award, while others are so bright, they give Ross from Friends after a spray-tan.
In other words, it’s difficult to find that sweet spot — a product that makes your skin gleam in all the right places, provides a blurring effect and lends skin warmth. Drunk Elephant has made achieving this goal a little easier for all of us, though. In 2018, the brand unveiled D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum Drops, a glow-enhancing bronzing serum rich in antioxidants and subtle bronzing pigments. Think of it as somewhere between a self-tan, brightening serum and a highlighter. The product made a resurgence on TikTok earlier this year thanks to countless beauty influencers like Alix Earle and Mireya Rios. It even sold out a handful of times and has since prompted various bronzing drop dupes
If you’re still watching the waiting list for them, I’ve got good news for you, as Drunk Elephant is adding yet another product to its glow-boosting portfolio. 
B-Goldi is an illuminating makeup product, but it doubles up as skincare thanks to the addition of 5% niacinamide (which boosts skin hydration and controls excess oil) as well as antioxidant diglucosyl gallic acid to protect against environmental aggressors, like pollution. Then there’s mulberry leaf to help minimize hyperpigmentation and dark spots over time. 
So what exactly makes B-Goldi different from D-Bronzi? “It's a brightening serum first, and a pop of golden color second,” says Tiffany Masterson, founder of Drunk Elephant. B-Goldi occupies a cozy space between D-Bronzi and an opalescent highlighter. Much like its viral counterpart, it lends the skin warmth, but it also imparts more of an illuminating glow thanks to a mix of white gold and silver pigments. The product has been a long time coming for Drunk Elephant fans and even Masterson herself. “Anytime I'm wanting a product for my own personal use that's not formulated [within] the Drunk Elephant philosophy — and we're getting customer requests for the same type of product — I know it's time to formulate one,” she told R29.
Ahead of B-Goldi's launch on August 2 on Drunk Elephant's website, Sephora, and Ulta, three of Refinery29’s beauty editors got the exclusive chance to try out the new drops — and we may have just found the ultimate glow-bronze combo.
Photo: Courtesy of Amanda Mitchell.

Amanda Mitchell, Senior Beauty Writer + Stories Creator

My thoughts: I’ve gone on the record about the fact I use three primers — one for hydration, one to actually prime, and one for glow. The B-Goldi drops arrived in my life at the perfect time — I just ran out of my absolute favorite glow primer, Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Glow Serum, and was missing the critical third glow step in my priming routine. I hadn’t tried any of the other products in the serum drops collection, but if it says “glow” on the bottle, I’m absolutely going to try to put it on my face. I actually really, really like these both on their own or mixed with some D-Bronzi and a hydrating primer like Youthforia’s Pregame Primer. When mixed with D-Bronzi, it kind of elevates my skin tone in a very natural bronz-y way, but on its own, it gives just enough skin enhancement that doesn’t look like I’ve tried to make it that way. For those with darker skin tones, however, I would advise treading lightly! These may not appear super pigmented, but a little goes a long way. I wasn’t paying attention during one application and looked like I had when I accidentally sneezed into my sifted powder highlighter.
Photo: Courtesy of Megan Decker.

Megan Decker, Beauty Editor

My thoughts: As one of the early fans of D-Bronzi (I found it circa 2018, well before the TikTok wave), I think these B-Goldi drops are an upgrade. I’ll tell you why: D-Bronzi Drops are dark brown and while I get that’s their appeal, it’s not the most inclusive product across skin tones. Sure, a drop makes fair skin look darker, more tan, but what will it do on deeper skin tones? Next to nothing. However, I feel that the B-Goldi is an easy, liquid highlighter for everybody. They’re the same texture as bronzer or blush drops — a sheer gel serum — but the color is a pearly golden tone that acts like a liquid illuminator, so it’s not so much adding color as it is a glow. 
Usually, I add a little to the palm of my hand, mix it with my morning moisturizer (I’m currently using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream) and apply it all over my face. Alternatively, I sometimes cocktail it with foundation to thin it out and add a boost of radiance in my makeup step. It could even be used over makeup, as a highlighter. For that, I would use my fingers and pat a little bit of the glow serum on my eyelids and the high parts of my cheeks. It feels like a gel, so it’s pretty light but not completely weightless as it doesn’t sink into my skin like a moisturizer does. I will say that when I add these drops to my routine in any of the aforementioned ways, my skin keeps a dewy sheen all day long, kind of like I just got a facial or Botox — though the humidity helps with that, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa.

Karina Hoshikawa, Senior Writer 

My thoughts: As someone with very oily skin, I fully expected B-Goldi to not work for me. My skin already possesses what I call a surplus of glow, and I usually opt for mattifying sheets, powders, and sprays in order to tamp down my shine. However, if any brand would make me a highlighter girlie, it would be Drunk Elephant. The drops themselves were the prettiest champagne gold, and I audibly “oooohed” upon swatching them on my hand. From there, came the true test: I added a few drops to a pump of Protini moisturizer (which yes, I coincidentally happened to be using at the time!) and marveled at how pretty the glow was. My skin had a subtle gleam that looked healthy, not makeup-y. (Ironically, during a recent bout of COVID, I reached for this stuff nonstop in an effort to feel and look less “blah”.)  Time will tell if the skincare ingredients in B-Goldi will actually make any sort of difference in my skin, but as for its ability to make me cuter? 11/10.
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