Wednesday 27 July 2016

A touch of bronze, for summer and beyond

Holidays and summer are practically synonymous with bronzed skin. Of course it doesn't really have to be from a tan (natural or otherwise), makeup is here to lend its helping hand.

With so many different options available it can be tricky to settle down on just one bronzer, here are the guidelines I tend to follow to make my selection:

1.For the most natural look, bronzer needs to be 1-2 shades darker than your current skin tone, and it helps to think about what your skin looks like when it's actually tanned (is it more olive, gold, a little peachy or proper chocolate-brown?).

2.Matte formulas are best for sculpting and contouring.

3.Really large glitter particles tend to not look flattering, but a little pearl sheen can look great on cheek bones and on the bridge of the nose (however not really all over the face).

4. Powder tends to offer more control, cream formulations require a bit more know how but can be more flattering especially for those with drier skin types.

Buriti rms bronzer the peridot

Once you have found your favourite texture and colour that works the application process is really not as tricky as you might think, you just need to think back at how your skin looks like with a tan, and apply bronzer to those areas that will naturally be more exposed to the sun (cheek bones, bridge of the nose, higher points of the forehead). It is not about colouring your face in, but creating an illusion of sun-kissed skin.

Prepping the skin is always important before any makeup application, but especially so with bronzer. If it is not properly hydrated you will get those streaky lines that are almost impossible to get rid off. Light hydrating serums like ideal moisture from twelve beauty can be a great primer without needing to layer lots of products.

Personally I prefer to work with a completely matt bronzer like Alima pure in Mauna Loa when it comes to day to day. The powder is really fine and this particular colour is a really great match for my currently pale skin, It doesn't go towards peachy/orange as so many bronzers for fair skin do. I normally start with very little product on my brush and add more as needed. Layering and blending are your best friends when it comes to mineral powder bronzers, the pigment tends to be more dense the darker the colour looks in the pan and having too much on the brush creates an unflattering mask. Next I will apply a little highlighter to cheek bones and bridge of the nose, otherwise all that matt bronzer can make the face look a little flat. Manua Loa tends to be my go to bronzer all year round, not just during summer.

bronzers swatch the peridotFrom left to right: Alima pure Mauna Loa, W3ll People bio bronze, RMS Buriti bronzer, 100% Pure cocoa glow

When I have a little more colour, usually towards beginning of August, I like to switch to W3ll people bio bronzer. It has a very interesting formula, when you look at it in the pan there is some undeniable sparkle to it, but it doesn't seem to translate into shimmer on the skin, once applied it just looks like a tan. I find that I don't really need to use a highlighter with it at all, but of course buffing, layering, and a really light touch is still the theme of the day. It gives a lovely warm olive tan, but if you layer enough it could take you all the way to chocolate.

When it comes to travelling I really can not deal with loose powder, so my two options are RMS buriti bronzer and 100 Pure bronzer. To me buriti bronzer is more of bronzing highlight, it looks great on cheekbones, bridge of the nose, makes an amazing eyeshadow, but I wouldn't use it the same way as I do my powders. On the other hand it can double up as a blusher and eyeshadow, you can easily create a complete makeup look by just using this bronzer (providing you are happy to skip foundation), making it a great space saver in that holiday makeup bag. It gives a golden beige luminance to the skin, with a little blending it looks very natural and flattering. For darker skin tones I would try the contour bronze instead. Because it is so blendable, it works really great all year round, adding that well rested glow to your complexion even in the middle of winter.

The great thing about 100 Pure bronzer is that not only is it a pressed powder, but there is a pretty decent mirror in the lid making it handy for travel. Despite looking pretty dark in the pan, it does actually apply much lighter as long as you don't overload the brush. Since the pigment in this is from cocoa, coffee, tomato and berries it is not as dense as the mineral powders, it does have mica for that bit of shimmer so I personally would not use it for contouring. The colour, once applied to my skin, tends to go towards a peachy tan, meaning it is not my number one choice of bronzer overall but in my holiday makeup bag it holds a prominent position.

How do you approach buying bronzers? Any favourites?


  1. Gorgeous shades of bronze! Fall and winter especially require a touch of glow.