How I Keep My Summer Glow Year-Round, Even Though I'm Going to Be Frozen and Miserable

Global warming and I are both working hard to keep you hot.
Publish date:
December 21, 2015
bronzers, Kate Somerville, highlighter, primer, self-tanners, Josie Maran, Laura Mercier, body oil, VersaSpa

Have you guys heard about the climate crisis? I don't know who decided to entrust Earth to us doofus humans, but that was a big mistake. (Julia Roberts voice: Big mistake. Big! Huge!) I'm actually sort of looking forward to the day the sun engulfs us all in its fiery grip because then I won't have to finish paying off my credit card debt, but until that day, all the weird weather is really freaky.

On the bright side (bright, like the sun and said fiery death-grip), if you ignore all the animals dying, the destruction of our natural lands, the rise of global warfare, and the inevitable demise of this horrifying hellscape of a planet we've destroyed, summer all year round sounds rad! I love summer! It's like, if we're going to kill off all the polar bears and whisper a sorrowful "peace out" as our coastal cities slowly sink below the ocean's frothy crest, we might as well do it with a tan and some piña coladas!

(Serious side note: I am clearly joking. I am very pro-environment. I ride a bike and I always buy those really expensive chocolates from Whole Foods that promise to save endangered species.)

I recently bid adieu to my sultry, swampy life of frivolity in the Deep South in exchange for gainful employment in bitter, brainy New England. (Western Mass to be exact. Greetings from Northampton!) Trudging slowly North, I was anxious and excited. I'd lived in a very warm climate the past eight years. How do I winter?

I'm not a complete numbnut, so I've got all my essentials: gloves, a heated blanket, a heavy coat, some wool socks, another heated blanket, etc. I keep an ice scraper in my purse, right alongside my Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm. I knew what I was getting into when I moseyed on up here, and I'm as ready as I'm ever gonna be. (JK! New England winter, please be gentle. It's... it's my first time.)

While I've given up my year-round jorts lifestyle, I refuse to give up my summer "glow." To be clear, my skin is actually really shitty, so when I say glow I just mean tan. I don't mean "glow" like what all the ~cool~ beauty girls say when they're just talking about how they don't wear foundation because, "Ick!" No, I have acne and am very uncool.

We don't get a lot of sunlight up here in my new little tundra, so I rely on a bevy of products to keep me looking well-rested and sun-kissed year round, though lately I sleep terribly and no one kisses me. Let's go!

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance Bronze and Baked Blush Bronze Compact

My love affair with bronzer is the longest relationship in my life. We've had some tough times (see: the early years, when I just caked my face in a powder so orange I'm pretty sure it was just the flavor packet from Kraft mac 'n' cheese repackaged cutely), but I always return to it. I love the way my face looks with some dimension, and I honestly prefer bronzer to blush.

Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer is one of my long-time favorite products. I've written about it before, but I've recently switched from the "Radiance" formula to the "Radiance Bronze." It's a little darker, but it goes on sheer enough so as not to be too much. I like to mix it with my CC cream for a good bit of glow.

When the lovely folks at Laura Mercier sent me their Baked Blush Bronze Compact, I was a little wary. It's really quite dark. If I get even the slightest bit heavy-handed, I look less gently-kissed-by-the-sun and more just-smushed-Snooki. It works like a dream, though, if I simply swipe it softly across my cheekbones, under my jawline, and across the top of my fivehead.

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand

To balance the bronzer, I need a bit of highlight, too. If you have warm, tan, olive-toned or darker skin, you NEED this. It's literally a gift from the heavens above. Manufactured by super-hot cherubs, this stuff will make your face look seriously amazing. Your skin will glow, hot men and women will flock to you, and you will get a lower rate on car insurance than you ever thought possible. It will all happen. Buy this stuff.

Creamy and soft, it goes on smooth like butter and requires hardly any blending work. I just smear it around with my fingers. Argan oil and shea butter mean it's actually good for your skin, and the color is the perfect golden sheen. Its push-up design makes it perfect to keep in your purse or pocket.

Kate Somerville Somerville 360° Face' Self Tanning Pad

I've been a fan of Kate Somerville's tan towelettes for body for a long time, and these face pads are just as fantastic.

They come with a handy little pocket for easy grip while you apply to your clean face in small, circular motions. (As you know, everything good in life happens in small, circular motions.) They give me the perfect, natural tan. I use them at least once a week.

VersaSpa Luminous Legs Shimmering Oil

It's important not to neglect the rest of your body when faking a tan. Though nary a soul sees my bare legs come wintertime, I still like them to maintain a good, hardy tan. Bronzed legs just look better in my bed, my bath, and my beyond.

I've tried many a self-tanner over the years, but this goody from VersaSpa is my new favorite.

It's a liquid, so you have to handle it carefully, but it's easier to apply than a lot of foams or lotions on the market. The tan will start to develop four to eight hours after you splash it on. There's no scent, and it's made without parabens, gluten, or cruelty.

It's not a dramatic tan, but definitely adds some glow and the perfect amount of shimmer to legs. Wear it next time you're bare-legging it at some sexy event. Thank me later.

Mix all those products together (but not literally) and you can rock a lovely, happy glow all winter long, too. It might be the only thing that gets me through this season, my first real winter since growing up in Baltimore. (Which everyone here has made sure to point out doesn't count as REAL winter. OK, jeez, New Englanders.)

  • What are your favorite stay-tan methods?
  • Are you more of a summer or a winter? I'm a Summer.
  • How are YOU gonna fix global warming, huh?
  • Do you wanna sing Toto's "Africa" together?