makeup Ewa Bilinska - Photo Cesar Ochoa, Dulcedo
Posted in The Look, The Magic

The California Glow

It might be a bit late in the season for bronzing, but fall is almost upon us, and soon, all golden tans will fade.  Here are my top 5 bronzers to keep a glowing goddess radiance going.

Photography  César Ochoa

In my three years as beauty editor I got to try out a loooooooooot of products. A looooot. Did I say a looooot? And one of the most hit-or-miss products out there are bronzers. I’ve seen so many off-looking colours that I can’t imagine how the average beauty lover doesn’t en up some shade of orange!

The bad news is that the best bronzers are expensive. Sorry! No scrimping on the glow! Save on foundation, eye pencils and lipsticks, even on blushes, at the drugstore, and invest in a good bronzer! You’ll see a difference, especially if you’re going for a natural glow–or the California girl look, as I like to call it.

Now, before we move on to the main event, I want to offer a little caveat. There are many interpretations of bronzing. It’s like that other makeup term: smoky eye. On one side you have the Kim K school of bronzing, which looks like makeup. And then you have the Gisele school of bronzing, which is the way I like to create a natural effect (i.e. the pictures in this blog post).

It’s hard to mimic the appearance of a tan. It’s a delicate mix of brown-y-grey that will darken the skin while tawny/peachy colours give it that sunkissed flush of colour. It’s a tightrope between browns and peach tones, between shimmer and matte. My ultimate test for any product is the camera; how will it read and how it looks on skin once it’s photographed. And, yes, there are plenty of other bronzers out there, but these are the ones I have in my kit, because they look good and natural in a picture.

For pale skin, I love the Lancôme Star Bronzer in Sunkissed. It’s got a nice, slightly peach-reddish tone, making for a believable vacation colour on the NW-NC 20-10 set. I like to also use it as a blush, because the application is so soft and it will just put some colour real estate on a patch of white, when blush might be too makeup-y.

Giorgio Armani Liquid Sun. This stuff…. H-Amazing! THIS IS bronzer! This is your skin on sun. I’m really impressed! Hats off the the Armani beauty laboratories, because it’s so realistic, so perfectly balanced in tones of brown, red and green. Because it’s a liquid, it melts into the skin and looks hyper-real. If you want to fake a tan in the middle of winter without using self-tanners, this is it! And, it comes in three shades.

Gisele is the face of the Chanel Les Beiges line, aimed at women who want to perfect their already beautiful skin. I love the Healthy Glow Stick in No.20. It’s the colour of sunkissed/slightly flushed olive or golden skin in a stick. It’s the I-spent-the-day-at-the-beach-and-just-got-back product. It’s great on top of your natural tan or over a bronzer that is on the brown side. It’s also great for cool skin tones as a bronzer.

makeup Ewa Bilinska - Photo Cesar Ochoa, Dulcedo

Laura Mercier Contour Palette. On my power test with Alexandra at Dulcedo Models, it’s the palette I used. Because her skin was already golden, I applied the countour shade no.1 form the palette in the hollow of the cheek and blended it upward onto the cheek, and then, out towards the center of the face. The shades of this palette are more of a cream bronzer than what would be considered actual contour colours, which tend to be more on the grey side of brown. But Laura, bless her heart, wanted to save her customers from the contour look. And I agree with her: it’s much better to glow, than to have cheeks that want to pretend to be chiseled (in real life, of course).