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 â€˜discoveriesâ€™ (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 wasnâ€™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: â€˜Lagunaâ€™). Â It works so well for me that I havenâ€™t changed brand or colour since. If it ainâ€™t broke and all thatâ€¦ However, one week, uncomfortably close to pay day, my trusty Laguna ran out and I wasnâ€™t feeling flush enough for a re-purchase. Iâ€™d seen Soap & Gloryâ€™s Solar Powder recommended on a few beauty blogs and so went for that – and I must say itâ€™s a pretty good dupe. The sixteen quid saving doesnâ€™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 Iâ€™m feeling time-rich or itâ€™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 â€˜strawberries and creamâ€™ 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?