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With some tips and pro advice from two of the industry’s leading makeup pros you’ll be ready to get your glow on and make bronzed skin your summer beauty staple.
1. Start with your best skin
The best way to ensure your skin looks glowing and healthy this summer, whether you’re sporting bronzer or not? Make sure your skin is flawless and clear. It's the key to any summer beauty look this season. “Address whatever it is your skin needs, because that’s what is going to make you look healthy,” explains Elizabeth Arden Global Makeup Artist Rebecca Restrepo. “Healthy begins from the inside and it really shows on your skin.”
2. Know your shade
Just like choosing the wrong shade of foundation or the wrong hue of pink for your blush, picking the wrong bronzer depth can leave you looking more like a summer beauty disaster than a healthy beach babe. We don’t even want to think about what the outcome would be if the wrong shades are picked in all three categories (Halloween, anyone?). “Bronzers are often available in 2 or 3 depths (fair/moderately fair or medium/deep), and either with a peach/reddish undertone or a golden undertone,” explains Sara Whittaker, National Education Director for Clinique Canada. “Ideally, the goal would be to match both skin tone and depth. If your skin has red or pink undertones you can offset it with a golden hue; however, it is important to choose a shade that is the right depth – too dark will look muddy and unnatural.” Your best bet? Hit up a makeup counter and have an expert help you pick the right depth and shade.
More summer beauty tips for your best bronzer application on the next page ... 3. Cream, powder or tint?
Another tricky bronzer tactic to maneuver is the choice of cream, powder or tint. Like what you would do when selecting a foundation or blush, let your skin type guide you. “Creams may work well on drier skins, whereas powder can absorb surface oil if your skin is oilier,” advises Whittaker. “‘Smart’ bronzers like Clinique Superbalanced Bronzer can work for all skin types, as the technology enables the powder to absorb oil where needed while delivering moisture to drier areas of the skin at the same time.” For those looking for a tint, be sure you have a flawless complexion. Tints are so sheer that they will showcase and highlight any imperfections such as blemishes, dry patches, scars or wrinkles – and no one wants to highlight those!
4. Where the sun shines
It’s so easy to get overzealous when it comes to applying bronzer. You start on your cheeks, your nose, and next thing you know you’re washing your face in an entire layer of bronze. “A lot of women take the bronzer and then just do a windshield wiper all across the face. Don’t do that!” says Restrepo. Instead, go very, very light with the product and add touches of colour just where the sun would naturally hit your face. “The first place you want to do it is along the temples and the cheeks in a C formation. And then do a little bit along the neck. A lot of women forget to do the neck, so it’s really bronzy on the face and white, white neck!” A little dusting of powder along the center of your neck will also help with an all-over glow. “Then take whatever is left over and dust it along the cheek, a little on the eyelid. Never work straight and hit the center of your face. It just doesn’t look right. You’ll look sunburned. You want to look sunkissed, not sunburned or sun-obsessed.” Try Elizabeth Arden’s Sun Goddess Bronzing Powder or Elizabeth Arden Bronzing Powder Duo.
5. Blending is key
Despite what you may have seen on the spring/summer 2012 runways (the full-out bronze at MaxMara, or the apples of the cheeks-only at Roksanda Ilincic), the best way to sport your bronzer is a light dusting only where the sun would naturally hit. Then, blend like you’ve never blended before. “Use a specific bronzer brush, which is a larger, fuller makeup brush than a blush brush. This allows the bronzer to blend with a more natural finish without any harsh lines,” explains Whittaker.
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