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Bronzers are one of those sneaky beauty buys that you think you can just dust on all over your face with the fattest brush you can find, but actually there’s an art to it.
As Mr. Sunshine is a temperamental fellow (and has deserted us completely this week) we’ve enlisted celebrity make-up artist and UK Ambassador for Max Factor Caroline Barnes to give her top 6 tips for the most convincingly natural glow. Take it away Barnes…
1. Face facts – your clavicle needs love too (that’s collar bone, FYI)
“The worst mistake you can make is to just bronze your face. This will result in a glowing, tanned face juxtaposed against a pale body - not cool. Instead, apply bronzer where the sun naturally hits you. These are the highest points on the face and body; across the shoulders, chest, and clavicle.”
2. Brush up on your tools
If like us you just use your foundation brush, then stop! “The right brush will ensure that the powder is dispersed evenly. Using a brush that’s not right will just leave high densities of bronzer in one place, and it will give that dirty, muddy look. Instead, opt for a big, fluffy brush, which will give a soft rather than stripy effect. The ‘V’ below your chin on your neck is a place that never gets hit by the sun so a big brush allows for a gentle sweep across the area creating a naturally uniform look.”
3. Get the right shade girls!
“Get the tone that’s right for you. This is usually two or three shades darker than your actual skin tone. Avoid reds and oranges – caramels are a more flattering option - and don’t be tempted to go too dark in a bid to fake a fortnight in the sun, sadly it’s just not going to work. Fake tan is a much better alternative if this is what you’re aiming for as it will give you a darker base that you can build up further with the bronzer. If you’re a foundation addict don’t be tempted to go a shade darker though – the paler colour will help to give a softly sculpted look.” You get all that?
4. Apply like the pro we know you are (or can be)
“Bronzer should be applied all around the hairline, and just underneath the jaw to create a subtle contour, as well as below the cheekbones and across the brow. Take your time to build up the colour – there’s no need to pile it all onto your brush at once – as it makes it much easier to see how it’s looking and also to know when to stop. (It’s always easier to reapply than to remove).”
5. Know your textures
“If you’re after a more contoured look, shimmer is a major no no. Matte and a smaller brush works best. In fact, be cautious of over-shimmering full stop – we usually wear bronzer at a time of year when we’re exposed more to the sun anyway so too much shimmer can result in you looking a bit oily and hot.”
6. Don’t go nuts!
“Don’t overdo it with the rest of your make-up. Bronzed eyes and lips on a bronzed face is a bit overkill and can make you look too statuesque but do make sure they still work within the same warm-toned colour family. Adding a bit of pink to the high point of the cheekbones stops your face looking flat.”
It’s a lot to take, we know, but even one tip will make a difference. Time to swot up on bronzer studies…