It was really hard for me to write this review because I approached the product with a bias, which means my opinion would be harsher than the product probably deserves. After enduring the horrible smell from my Bronze Sands palette, I wasn't very keen on putting something similar even nearer to my nostrils. Thankfully Estée Lauder Illuminating Gelée Powder in Shimmering Sands came without the horrid chemical smell. (In retrospect, I'm quite sure the Bronze Sands palette I received was defective.)
See, this is the problem, and why I hesitated for so long to publish this. There is nothing evidently wrong with this palette, but I don't like it. The texture is unique to Estée Lauder's gelée powder formula, where the closest description seems to be that it is "cream to powder" (it isn't actually cream but I guess that's the best word to describe the wet-but-not-actually-wet feeling you get when you touch the powder). It's smooth and bright and wonderfully metallic when swatched, but like the eye shadows lose its gleam when applied with a brush.
Shimmering Sands is a metallic copper at the back of my hand, but becomes an odd reddish brown when applied on my cheeks. I'm not entirely sure if it is meant to be a bronzer, blush, or a contour color, but it doesn't seem to suit my coloring. I think someone with a darker skin tone would enjoy Shimmering Sands better. On me it's neither here or there, which makes it difficult for me to use.
I find it funny how I struggled to write all this - I don't have to like every good product that's available in the market, right?