Beauty

Bronzer basics

Leda & St. Jacques Author: Elle Canada Credits: Leda & St. Jacques

Beauty

Bronzer basics

We are constantly slathering SPF on our face to keep damaging rays from penetrating our skin (we won’t be a slave to sun spots in the future!), but that doesn’t mean we still don’t want a healthy glow. Enter bronzers in all forms – powders, creams, gels and tints. They all give what a girl desires most come summer – bronzed skin that looks like it was just kissed by the sun (forget the orangey hues and uneven complexions). We turned to the pros for tips on getting a healthy faux-glow with their basic bronzer tips.

Bronzer do’s and don’ts
DO
try a Mineralize Skinfinish/Natural powder instead of the sparkly bronzer for the forehead, nose and chin. Save the sparkle for the cheeks!
– Melissa Gibson, M.A.C

DO choose a bronzer formulation that is custom-fit for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin or are acne-prone, you’re best not to select a cream bronzer. Instead, look for a less emollient formula that is oil-free and non-acnegenic. Or, if you have very sensitive skin, stick with bronzers that are 100% fragrance-free since fragrance is known to be a major source of irritation in makeup products.
– Sara Whittaker National Education Director, Clinique

DO wear blush over your bronzer in a soft pink or apricot, with a bit of luminescence to add a glow, and lightly apply bronzer and build up to a desired colour.
- Greg Wencel, COVERGIRL

DON'T choose colours that are too orange or apply the bronzer all over the face. Pick the spots where the sun would naturally hit such as the high planes of the face (forehead, nose, cheeks).
– Melissa Gibson, M.A.C

DON'T forget to wear sunscreen even if your bronzer includes an SPF. While the SPF in your bronzer is great for added protection, you should still be applying a daily dose of sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 before applying your makeup. Since you only apply bronzer to certain areas of your face, you won’t have adequate protection if you rely solely on the SPF in your bronzer.
– Sara Whittaker National Education Director, Clinique

DON'T
only bronze your face always do your neck and blend well. Also make sure to bronze your hairline for a more natural look.
- Greg Wencel, COVERGIRL

Need help picking the right bronzer? Our experts weigh in on the next page ...
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Picking the right bronzer


1. Cream is always the most natural as it gives off a texture of natural skin. If you must powder, use a mineral bronzer. Shimmers help product to blend (eye shadow, bronzer, lipstick), if you don’t mind a bit of glam, go shimmer.
– Melissa Gibson, M.A.C

2. There really isn’t one “best” type of bronzer for everyone. You really need to find one custom-fit for your particular skin type and tone. Powder bronzers can be great for oiler skin types, while creams are usually best suited for those with drier complexions. You also want to consider the formulation of your other makeup products as well (foundation, blush, etc.) to ensure that they each complement one another. For example, layering a powder foundation with a powder bronzer and powder blush would be too much; instead try a powder bronzer with a lightweight cream blush on the apples of your cheeks instead for a more flattering, natural look.
– Sara Whittaker National Education Director, Clinique

3. My fave way to bronze is to actually start with a sheer foundation, going up to three shades darker than your existing skin tone. Apply the foundation it in the areas you would naturally be kissed by the sun, like the forehead, bridge of the nose, temples, across the cheeks, on the chin and décolleté. If you want it to look more subtle, try mixing your bronzing shade in with your usual foundation shade. Then use a light dusting of a powder bronzer over top, to build colour.

The reason I prefer to build the majority of the tan with foundation is because it looks more natural, youthful and glowing when you use a cream or liquid. Too much powder will make you look dry, matte and prematurely age the look of your skin.
- Greg Wencel, COVERGIRL

Application tips on the next page ...

Check out our favourite bronzers here!
bronzer-basics.jpg

Picking the right bronzer

Best bronzer tips

1. Choose a lighter shade than you think you need. Minerals are easier to blend and look very natural.
– Melissa Gibson, M.A.C

2. The most important thing you can do to make your bronzer look its best is to prep your skin beforehand by exfoliating and moisturizing. Ideally, you should be gently exfoliating your skin every day which will make a huge difference in how any makeup product will look on your skin. Gentle exfoliation rids your skin of the buildup of dead skin cells leaving you with a healthier, flake-free, cleaner and more even-textured complexion on which to apply your favourite bronzer.
– Sara Whittaker National Education Director, Clinique

3.
Remember, you are trying to mimic the way you naturally look when you are tanned, so be strategic as to where you place your bronzer – don’t apply to your entire face.
- Greg Wencel, COVERGIRL

Read more:
8 amazing bronzers
Bronzed beauty: The best bronzer picks

Bad beauty habits you need to break now
How to get flawless foundation
Eye do: Say goodbye to tired eyes
Beauty flash: Double duty foundation

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Beauty

Bronzer basics