Bronzed Ambition: Fake a Healthy Glow the Right Way
Warm, golden skin never goes out of style. Learn how to get the ultimate summer glow all year round without looking like an Oscar statue.
I am obsessed with bronzer. Something about its healthy-looking flush of color and ability to illuminate skin makes bronzer utterly addicting and a staple in my makeup pouch, regardless of the season. When I was first introduced to the product I fell madly in love with the sun-kissed luminosity it created, and doused loads of it all over my entire face. This is, until I saw a picture of myself looking more like a oompa loompa than the golden goddess I was envisioning in my head. After years of trial and error, I’ve now mastered the way to correct my past beauty mistake, and can apply bronzer in a way that makes it appear as if it’s radiating naturally from the contours my skin.
Putting on a fake glow properly is key to staying out of Loompa Land, but the task is easier said than done, especially when there are so many different types of bronzers to choose from. Here’s how to avoid common mistakes, and look naturally tanned without the risk of sun damage.
Mistake # 1 Wearing the Wrong Shade
Solution: You should select a shade that is at least one or two tones darker than your natural skin tone. Women with light complexions can illuminate their skin with bronzers in the honey and peach family. Rose and earth toned bronzers accentuate medium complexions beautifully. And, dark skin looks absolutely radiant with true golden bronze colors like cinnamon.
Mistake # 2 Too much Shimmer
Solution: As a general rule, use matte bronzer in the day time, and upgrade to shimmer at night. Matte bronzers work best for contouring, as it mimics natural shadows. Smashbox Bronze Lights Skin Perfecting Bronzer ($29) is a matte powder lauded by Kim Kardashian who uses bronzer to slim down her nose and sculpt her strong facial features. Shimmery bronzers, frequently seen on Jennifer Lopez, work best for highlighting, and can be used to enhance features such as the décolleté area.
Mistake # 3 Using the Wrong Tools
Solution: If you are using a powder, invest in a wide, fluffy brush to help pick up the perfect amount of color and buffer into the skin. Lightly swirl the brush into the product and tap off the excess before applying. Gel, cream and liquid bronzers can be applied with makeup sponges or blended with fingertips.
Mistake # 4 Bronzer Overload
Solution: Only highlight parts of the face where the sunlight would naturally hit: the temples, outer rim of the face, nose and hollows of cheeks. If you’re more of an expert, an all-over coating can also be used to fake an overall tan, but be sure to blend it down to your shoulders and collar-bone, so it doesn’t look artificial.
Bronzer can give any skin tone a youthful, healthy look. It can be a tricky product to use, but don’t let that deter you. Avoid the above mistakes and you will be able to enhance, define and glow as if your own personal sun beam is following you around all day.