I am a total sun goddess. I would actually do a tribal-sun-worshiping dance if people didn’t already think that I am too much like Bridget Jones! Therefore, during the 48 weeks of the year when I don’t have that natural sun-kissed glow, I love the instant pick-me-up and colour a bronzer brings to the face. Anything that makes me feel like I could have been sunning myself on a beach in Italy gets my vote!
However the mistake a lot of women make is thinking that this is an additional face powder. It isn’t. Bronzers are for adding colour, contour and a subtle glow rather than oranging up the whole face! Think Penelope Cruz rather than the girls from Geordie Shore! Here are few recommendations as well as some application tips I have picked up.
I was once told by a make-up artist that when applying bronzer, it should be done in the shape of the number three, as this is where the sun’s rays would naturally hit the face if it were to be the real deal (please someone take me to a beach far, far away).
Take a nice, big powder brush and give it a good couple of swirls of bronzing powder. Tap the brush against the back of your hand to tap off any excess powder and avoid streaking. Starting at the centre of the forehead (the best place to correct any mistakes), brush in a figure of three, over the cheekbone, cheeks, and then over jawbone finishing at the chin. I also recommend that you make sure that you gently blend this into the neck to avoid a tide-line. Apply the same technique to the other side of the face, picking up more bronzer if necessary and finishing off with a very light dusting down the nose.
As before, always start with less and add more if necessary; it is easier to add than retract! Think sun-kissed and healthy rather than overall colour – that’s what your foundations should be for.
Benefit Cosmetics, Hoola (£23.50)
Claimed by many to be the queen of bronzers: it has no orange pigmentation or shimmer in it, so when applied correctly it can look so natural that people really could think you have just flown in from the Bahamas! This bronzer is very much a case of less if more as it is fairly dark.
Load up your brush nicely and give it a good, hard tap so the majority of the powder is taken off, before following the tips given above. Its natural dark colour also looks great mixed with a swirl of blush, such as Benefit’s Dandelion – an old-time favourite!
Chanel, Soleil Tan de Chanel (£30)
My skin naturally tans to the colour of fake tan (handy eh?) so I prefer a bronzer with peachy, orange tones. For a boost of colour try Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel in shade Terre Ambre. It has a subtle glow and it beautifully colours and contours the face. Its packaging is to die for; it comes in a luxurious velvet pouch, and includes a softer than soft mini brush. The bronzer itself has a touchable sandy texture and the casing has the iconic C’s engraved in gold – it sits proudly in my make up bag!
When initially purchased, this colour was quite intense (keep tapping off the excess ladies) and if applied in a hurry, it had a tendency to look too orange, (do have a look at other shades available if you are fairer skinned). However a year on, not only is this bronzer still going (value for money) but the colour has toned down to match my skin tone perfectly.
Guerlian, Terreacotta Sheer Bronzing Powder Range (£34)
This is a luxuriously packaged bronzer which instantly makes you shout ‘I WANT IT’. Sophisticated terracotta casing with that elaborate Gurelian calligraphy screams money and elegance. The product itself is as sumptuous and expertly crafted as the packaging. Designed to suit hair colouring rather than skin tone, they are composed of a beautiful collage of pearly colours. For example, fair-haired beauties who often struggle to find the perfect shade can opt for a range of soft pinks and warm browns that will subtly highlight, contour and warm the face.
Bronzing without the budget
Whilst I like to think I live in a world where I can casually spend £34 on a bronzer without batting an eyelid, my father argues that I can’t. Whilst we will always disagree on this point, in a bid to try and be frugal (I had to actually look that word up), I have tried and tested some cheaper alternatives.
George at Asda, Bronzer Duo for Blondes (£3)
I tend not to buy my make-up from Asda. However, in my attempts to do the above, I thought I would give it a try. The idea is that two soft shades of blonde and tan work to give a subtle yet youthful glow. Better suited to fairer skins, I had to give this one a real swoosh around with my brush in order to get enough powder and colour to match my own skin tone. However, when tested on a fairer friend, the colour was natural with lovely, light flecks of gold that brought out her blue eyes. As long as you have spent time and money on a good foundation then this is a nice finishing product. Definitely a winner for fair-haired beauties on a budget.
Rimmel, Natural Bronzer with Minerals in shade Sun Glow (£5.99)
This is a staple budget-buy. When I have run out of my Chanel, and funds don’t permit me to re-purchase until the beginning of the following month, this Rimmel bronzer ties me over nicely. Mimicking Chanel, it has a nice, intense colour, with a fun, novelty sun image engrained into the texture. The final finish is a good, bronzed glow, almost (and I say almost) as radiant as the more expensive brands. If it’s good enough for Kate Moss, it’s good enough for us!