I went for many, many years – until I was 27 to be precise – without ever using bronzer on my face. I am naturally quite pale (an English Rose, if you will), and had been thoroughly put off using bronzer thanks to the bright-orange faces that were ubiquitous on television in the early Noughties and are now perpetuated by the cast of Strictly Come Dancing and television presenters of a certain vintage. Also, as with many make-up trends, I didn’t really have a clue about how and when to use it.
Like most of my beauty ‘discoveries’ (I know these are just everyday essentials to many of you…), the bronzer revelation came via my sister who, despite being younger than me, has way more hair and make-up skills than I do – how she got so good at grooming is a source of constant wonder to me and my mother. When nosing through her cosmetics bag one day, I was surprised to notice a couple of bronzers – and even more so when she told me she used them every day. I had no idea – she wasn’t in the slightest bit tangerine, and there were no give-away tide marks. I decided I just had to have some.
I consulted the oracle that is Sali Hughes and settled on a NARS bronzer (shade: ‘Laguna’). It works so well for me that I haven’t changed brand or colour since. If it ain’t broke and all that… However, one week, uncomfortably close to pay day, my trusty Laguna ran out and I wasn’t feeling flush enough for a re-purchase. I’d seen Soap & Glory’s Solar Powder recommended on a few beauty blogs and so went for that – and I must say it’s a pretty good dupe. The sixteen quid saving doesn’t hurt either. Rachel, meanwhile, swears by the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder.
I use my bronzer in a pretty standard way: a light dusting in the cheek hollows, then a little on the forehead, plus a touch under my jaw line if I’m feeling time-rich or it’s a special occasion (see this on A Beautiful Mess for a great step-by-step on application). It adds some definition to my cheekbones and jawline, something that I appreciate more and more as time moves on. Also, the colour warms my skin up a bit and softens that slightly stark ‘strawberries and cream’ appearance that using just a base and blush can produce. In short, bronzer does what all good make-up does: it makes me look like me, just a little bit better (see picture below).
Do you use bronzer? Which brands do you recommend?