It's gonna get sappy up in here.
Hi guys! How was your summer? Mine sucked.
I wont go into details about why it sucked because they’re boring and because I can’t exactly remember, but suffice it to say that summer was not worth the wait. Bring on fall! Or whatever. Worst thing is, I didn’t get any color! Are you kidding me? All that emotional turmoil and personal struggle and I don’t even have a nice tan to show for it? BYE!
I realized it last week when celebrating Labor Day. Everyone around me was sporting bronze, freckly shoulders and beautiful, sun-kissed faces, lazily drinking their margaritas and bragging about their fun in the sun. Cut to me, gleaming pearlescent white like the side of a damn salmon. I decided that this just will not do.
I want to ease myself into the colder months like the rest of you fools! I remember in college, I would have tan lines up until Thanksgiving! Now all I have is this attitude.
So I’m trying to wear a little bit more color to fake a beachy glow. I know you’ve been there too, don’t lie. Here’s what I’m using.
Start with your favorite foundation, right now, I’m using the Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation that we talked about last week because it’s flawless and it makes me look, well, flawless. I wouldn’t usually tell you to start with smearing foundation all over your face, but we’re going to be blending, ladies, and it’s easier for me if I have a base of foundation.
NOW FOR THE BRONZE.
This is a newer shade of the Too Faced beauty balms, and I’m using it as a crème bronzer. In terms of beauty balms, it’s on the denser side, so if you’re using it for a bronzing effect like I am, you’re going to get a lot of payoff with just a little bit of product. Since it’s a beauty balm, it’s still going to finish nicely on your skin, looking sheer and natural. If you find that you want to tone down the bronze a bit in the later months, you can do so by mixing two parts Too Faced with one part your favorite BB cream. That will make the shade more flattering on your skin without ruining the formula.
I recently mentioned that bronzers can be beauty witchcraft in all the right ways, as long as you know what you’re doing. Contouring is simple, if you understand that not everyone can contour in the same exact way. For me, contouring up into the hairline is easy because my forehead is the size of a movie screen so there’s just so much surface area that it’s impossible to mess up. Just blend away!
But I, personally, have to careful around the hollows of my cheeks, under my cheekbones, because even if I’m clean shaven, the stubble under the skin will make my cheeks and chin appear a little bit blue. Slapping bronze on top of that can be problematic. You lucky ladies probably won’t have that problem, but, I’m just pointing that out because one method of contouring won’t work for everyone. If you want to elongate your nose, the blend a little on either side. Want to make a round face look longer? Blend some on your jaw line and under your chin.
The key here, everyone, is BLENDING. You don’t want to be one of those girls whose face and neck are two different colors.
Oh, and for fuck’s sake, be aware of what LIGHT you’re applying bronzer in. Did y’all read that sick article over on Vain about how your makeup looks different in different lights? WELL, I first put on bronzer in my bathroom, which has the yellowest light on the planet. I walked out and caught a glimpse on my reflection in natural light. NOPE. I looked like a jack-o-lantern.
So I took my full length mirror into my living room so I could have natural light, and in turn, a naturally bronze face.
And I’m only wearing a backward hat to keep my bangs out of my face. That’s not like, my new thing. Don’t you dare.
Next, a product that I’ve been loving for a hot minute.
Moon Beam is an iridescent highlighter that is great for both spot highlighting or smoothing over your complexion to add a bit of shimmer. It is different from regular illuminators because it’s not a white or silvery illuminator that simply reflects light and brightens, but it’s not a bronzing highlighter either. It’s an apricot highlighter that is clear once on the skin, but reflects light the same way an opal would, one minute it’s shimmery pink, the next it’s peach, then rose gold. It’s very multidimensional, really, REALLY gorgeous, and great for people of all skin tones. I use it all the time, even when I’m not wearing anything else (like clothes) just for a little something *extra*.
You could always use an bronze illuminator like Laguna from NARS but I like Moon Beam for occasions like faking that you had a lovely summer globetrotting with your hot foreign summer fling because it reflects more than a typical highlighter, but it doesn’t reflect enough color to be distracting. It’s a subtle touch for a pretty, healthy glow.
Can we all just take a minute to agree that Benefit can basically do no wrong? Their products are so approachable and straightforward, they take the guessing game out of beauty, the packaging is cute, and most importantly, their products do what they say what they're going to do. OK, great.
Finally, for a bit of blush that stays where you put it, we have Stila's Convertible Color. This is a compact of color that works both as a lipstick and blush, and comes in nine gorgeous colors that can go from sheer to opaque in just a couple swipes. My favorite for a natural flush on a tan face are Petunia, a coral, or Sweet Pea, a deep pink.
I love products that are made to have more than one use, because ALL products can have more than one use! Who hasn’t used a lipstick as a blush before? Hell, Annie has used lip tar on her eyes! I look at makeup like I look at Taco Bell, it’s all the same stuff, it’s just sold to you differently. Right?
Right. Did you get any color this summer or do you, like me, look like a ghoul? Kidding! Pale is pretty, I’m just projecting my all of my summer beef onto lack of summer color. Wait, actually, I really like being pale! Why did I even write this article? Because it’s 2013 and we have a CHOICE, that’s why. Do you use any of these products? What’s your favorite bronzer? Do you do your makeup in the living room? Meet me in the comments section.
Wait. Here I am wearing the bronzer, highlighter, and a vacant expression. It's not exactly natural light because without flash, my bronze glow wasn't showing up. Also, how do cameras work?
Tynan is bronze on Twitter @TynanBuck