Beauty - The Panel: Get sunkissed in...The Bronze Age
Contour like Kim Kardashian or simply get safely sun-kissed, says Sarah Caden, with these five favourite bronzers.
We Irish are good at getting summery in a matter of seconds. The cold rarely goes away for long, and we don’t exactly put our warm jumpers away, but we have T-shirts at the ready at all times, too. It’s the same in our make-up bags, where bronzer should be added to the mix at the first hint of sun and not returned to mothballs until September is past.
How you choose your bronzer is up to you. The internet is full of tutorials on how to employ bronzer as a contouring tool, a la Kim Kardashian, if that multi-tone, slightly waxy look is what you’re after. Otherwise, bronzer is an easy way to get a little bit sun-kissed fast, and it’s definitely a more foolproof option in a hurry than self-tan, which requires prep, polishing and accurate application.
The key with bronzer, however, is to resist the urge to apply it all over. Keep it to those points that catch the sun naturally: the cheeks, forehead, the bridge of the nose, the decolletage. And choose a shade that suits you. If you’re fair, keep it golden — not orange.
If you’re dark, go deep brown to counter yellowness, or seek out light-reflecting particles to counter ashiness.
Lancome Star Bronzer Face & Body in Golden Riviera, €45, Lancome counters nationwide
Part of the charm of this limited-edition bronzer is the giant compact in which it’s contained — the size of which feels luxurious and even a bit decadent. What’s within is pretty lovely, too.
The heart of the product is pure gold, which turns, by degrees, into a shimmery bronze at the edge of the compact. So, you can either use the gold as a highlighter, or blend it with the bronze to create a shimmering tan. We’d suggest that you keep the full metallic effect for shoulders or collarbones, but trust your judgment. “This product makes great use of a big, fluffy brush, with which you can go all golden and glowing in seconds,” said a panellist.
Revlon Highlighting Palette in Bronze Glow, €13.20, available nationwide
Yes, this looks very like a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, though we reckon that this is better suited to younger skin, as it has a more glittery shimmer that can be harsh on older skin. That said, it’s a nice product at a good price, with five stripes of colour to create a bronzy, glowy, highlighted effect. It’s available in three varieties. “This is nice for holidays, when you can use individual colours as
eye shadow, or use all five for a glowing complexion,” one panellist said.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer Bronzer in No 1, €48, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
If you like the oil-and-water light Maestro foundation, with its ability to make your face feel naked, but look polished, then you’ll love this limited-edition bronzer. It’s a very thin liquid that is extremely pigment-rich, which means a tiny bit goes a long way, and it blends well into foundation, as well as working brilliantly as a contouring product. “Ooh — instant cheekbones when I do it one way, instant tan when I do it another,” said a panellist. “I love the texture, and enjoy the versatility.”
Best Subtle Sun
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour in No 1, €52, Chanel counters nationwide
Chanel has followed the success of last year’s Les Beiges powders by adding two multi-colour compacts and an almost-foundation fluid to the range. This is the lighter of the compacts and is perfect for porcelain princesses who want a little seasonal lift. Three strips of powder pigment work side by side as bronzer, blush and highlighter, offering tint without tan. “Makes me look as if I just walked the beach,” one panellist said. “But use your own brush, as the one provided is too subtle.”
Clinique Self Sun Face Bronzing Gel Tint, €24, Clinique counters nationwide
Be warned that this stuff is terrifyingly dark when it comes out of the tube. Obviously, a little goes a long way, but the darkness is also a positive indicator that this has blessed little orange in it. Instead, the transparent gel bestows a matt tan wherever it touches and it also blends beautifully into foundation.
“I put dabs everywhere,” said one panellist. “Face, shin bones, collarbones, the works. And it washes off!”