As a longtime fan of Rodial skincare products (those Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks are sleep-deprived eye saviors), I was ecstatic to learn of their color line launch. Rodial makeup is simple: You won’t find crazy colors or products that don’t really seem to make sense but sound super cool. This is a wearable line of basics – from bronzers and concealers to a few key blush and lip shades – that make you look like you, but a better version. Oh, and that packaging? Yes, it’s gorgeous – a bit heavy, but in the best possible, I-won’t-break-regardless-of-if-you-drop-me way.
If you’re looking for a natural bronzer to add a hint of golden hue to your face, Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Bronzing Powder ($57) is it (and legit). The formula adds the perfect sun-kissed shade to all skin tones. I’m medium-toned and this stuff really gives a natural boost of color. I also use it in place of contour powder because the matte hue serves well to define cheekbones. LOVE.
Season after season, dewy skin has been the go-to. But as the weather warms and T-zone shine goes on overdrive, Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Translucent Powder ($57) comes to the rescue. It looks white in the compact, but it applies totally translucent, so it’s ideal for all skin tones. It’s mattifying and a bit blurring so it’ll soak up that shine while also acting as a primer, smoothing enlarged pores and imperfections. I’m not a big powder girl, but I absolutely love this stuff (especially under eyes to keep mascara from marking the skin).
Nothing wakes up the skin like a little flush. While Rodial only makes two blush shades so far – South Beach, a matte, pale pink that injects pale and light skin tones with a rosy flush, and Copacabana, a matte coral that looks heavenly on medium to dark skin tones – Rodial Blusher ($35) is both pretty and practical. These are the colors you’ll live in all summer, the wearable shades that’ll give your skin a pop. I’ve been living in Copacabana, and it mixes beautifully with the bronzer.
In my teen years, I was a serious tannaholic. I grew up in Los Angeles where the sun shines 364 days a year. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I became aware of the negative effects of UV rays. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was in a dermatologist office and there was a pamphlet about sun damage. At 20, I thought myself invincible, so damaging my complexion wasn’t of serious concern (me? skin cancer? yeah, right.). What bothered me about this specific pamphlet, however, was the photos it presented. Brigitte Bardot in her prime – a bronzed goddess, the epitome of sexy – and Bardot now – wrinkled and haggard, an effect of premature aging caused by the sun. If this isn’t the perfect PSA for sunscreen, I don’t know what is…
Ever since that sunny day in 2000, I have diligently applied sunscreen to my face – most of the time coupling the SPF with a large hat and sunglasses. I drive like this. I hike like this. I tan like this. And most of my friends think I’m overreacting. I’m sure Brigitte would say otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong – I still yearn for that gorgeous golden shade, but I’ve learned that you can fake that coveted glow and forgo the negative effects of the sun – spots, damage, wrinkles and even cancer. Bronzers – powder, cream and everything in between – give good sun while saving your skin.
Here, my favorite bronzers for summer:
Laura Mericer Matte Radiance Baked Powder ($36) – This season, I’m all about a matte bronzer. Shimmer seams so 5 years ago. Laura Mercier’s Matte Baked Powder provides the perfect natural hue with a formula that is safe for even the most sensitive of skin types (and ideal for problem skin).
Urban Decay Naked Sun Bronzing Beauty Balm ($34) – A 5-in-1 liquid, foundation-like bronzer that doubles as a BB cream to minimize pores and uneven skin tone while adding a tint of sun kissed color to the entire face.
Hourglass Superficial Waterproof Bronzer ($45) – Another matte formula, although this one is waterproof as well so it stays in place, despite swim and sweat. Superficial is free of oils, parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and fragrances but rich with golden pigment.
Nars Matte Multiple Lip & Cheek Color in Vientiane ($39) – I wrote an entire post about my love for this specific product (and color), and while I’m not entirely sure it is meant as a traditional bronzer, this would be my cream bronzer of choice. I love the coppery shade, the creamy formula and the “matteness”. But all of this pales in comparison to the way it livens up a complexion, adding a dewy, healthy glow to the skin.
Becca Bronzing Skin Perfector ($36) – I discovered this product a few summers ago and I’m still a fan. What I like most is the gel consistency. It stays on for hours, giving a sheer and even summer bronze to your complexion. You can wear it alone or mix it in with your foundation for an all-over glow.
Michael Kors Sporty Bronze Powder ($50) – For a gorgeous, deep golden hue, Sporty is the bronzer to own. Karlie Kloss (pictured) is wearing the shade at the Michael Kors S/S 2014 runway show. The pigment is a rich gold that gives the skin that coveted sun kissed glow, sans sun.
How To Apply Your Bronzer: In an interview I did with Josie Maran (read here), she offered up the best trick for applying bronzer to achieve natural, sun-kissed color. “Make the number 3 from your temple down to your chin. So with your bronzer brush, start at your forehead, curve into your cheekbone as if you were writing the number 3 and then curve under your chin. Apply on both sides, so a backwards 3 and a regular 3, on each side of your face,” explained Josie. I use this technique every time I apply my bronzer.
Sure, it’s summer but if you’ve been listening to me then you shouldn’t have a serious tan on your face. If you’ve been wearing your SPF, hat and sunnies religiously, then your complexion is bound to be a bit lighter than the rest of your body – I know mine is. So how do we get that nice, even glow without the sun? Bronzers! Here are some favorites – powder, cream and gel – that will keep you looking healthy right into fall:
1. The Balm Bahama Mama ($20) – This matte bronzer is also ideal for contouring. It gives off the perfect warm, glowing tanned shade without the shimmer or orangeness of so many other bronzers.
2. Suntegrity “5 In 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen ($45) – Give the best natural “tanned” color and has 20% zinc to fight off UVA and UVB rays. Oh yeah, it also makes your complexion appear flawless and even. I am seriously devoted to this product.
3. DiorSkin Nude Tan Nude Glow Sun Powder in Honey ($52) – Makeup artist Fiona Stiles chose this product as one of her top ten spring must-haves. As Stiles points out, there’s “no sparkle in it, so it looks real.” Also great to use as a contouring shade. Honey is the lightest of the bunch so it will give you the most natural golden glow.
4. Becca Bronzing Skin Perfector ($36) – I discovered this product at the beginning of summer and have already raved about it. What I like most is the gel consistency. It stays on for hours, giving a natural and even summer bronze to your complexion. You can wear it alone or mix it in with foundation for an all-over glow.
5 – Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna ($36) – A bit of shimmer, a bit of matte, a whole lot of sunkissed color. It doesn’t streak or wear off and the shade looks great on just about everyone.
6 – Josie Maran Argan Brightening Bronzer ($32) – In an interview I did with Josie Maran of Josie Maran Cosmetics, she said: “I’m obsessed with [the Argan Brightening Bronzer]. I think bronzer helps you look healthier.” I couldn’t agree more. This bronzer contains argan oil to aid in repairing sun damaged skin. “A great trick when applying bronzer, is to make the number 3 from your temple down to your chin,” explains Josie. “So with your bronzer brush, start at your forehead/temple, curve into your cheekbone as if you were writing the number 3 and then curve under your chin. Apply on both sides, so a backwards 3 and a regular 3, on each side of your face.” Psst… This is how I apply my bronzer too!
7. Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate ($40) – I’ve been a fan of this “liquid sun” for years now. You can wear alone or add a bit in with your favorite moisturizer for a natural bronzed glow. It’s ideal for sensitive and acne-prone complexions as well as pregnant women as the ingredients are 100 percent natural!
It’s just about that time of year when my skin starts looking dull, lifeless and lackluster. The summer tan fades (a nice golden hue without the sun damage thanks to my SPF, naturally) and the pre-winter paleness sets in.
That’s why I am such a fan of bronzers! I use a bronzer year-round but it’s even more crucial to my makeup routine come fall and winter. Let’s face it, we all look healthier with a bit of bronze.
These are a few of my favorite bronzers this fall:
1 – Clinique Face Bronzing Gel Tint – This isn’t a traditional powder bronzer, but it bronzes just the same. And I LOVE that you can mix it into your foundation or tinted moisturizer for one quick cover-up/ golden glow step. Plus, it doesn’t streak, offers up a fabulous sun-kissed hue that turns my skin from lifeless to vibrant. P.S. It washes off with soap and water! $26.98
2 – Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base – Again, not your traditional powder bronzer. This is an actual base that offers a hint of matte golden hue. It’s a creamy-gel that you can apply with your fingers. It goes on rather light (with a thin layer), so you can build to the color that you choose. I love how, again, this takes the place of a foundation (although you can add a bit of foundation over it for an even more flawless finish, as the gel somewhat stains your skin underneath). $48.00
3 – Dior Bronze Matt Sunshine SPF 20 – I love the totally matte consistency of this powder. It gives me color without the shine and glitter. And you can choose between 4 shades for your perfect sun-kissed hue. Ranges from a healthy matte (light) to a spicy matte (Island Getaway tan). Also, contains SPF – even in the sleet and snow, the sun can rear it’s wrinkled little head. Protect! $42.00
4 – MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Anyone who has used Skinfinish knows how velvety the powder feels and looks on the face. I love the range of colors (I’m using Give Me Sun! which is a medium sun-kissed shade (perhaps, a California tan). The powder is matte so the color is powerfully pigmented but still quite natural (no sparkles!). $27.00
5 – Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in Hotel Heiress – I cannot write a bronzer round-up without mentioning my longtime favorite. The color is literally the perfect shade of suntan and, for the sparkle obsessed, you’ll be happy to know that the powder contains a hint of shimmer (but it’s definitely not overboard – more of a glowy glisten). $29.00
Have a favorite bronzer?
Let us know in the comment section below!
Most of the year I stay out of the sun and don’t mind my pale complexion one bit. If Anne Hathaway can do it, why can’t I? And if I should feel paler than pale I use self tanner to give myself a bit of color. A few years ago, I was faced with a dilemma when I had a red carpet event to attend in rainy February and while I didn’t want to self tan, my legs needed something. Megan, my genius of a sister, handed me what looked like deodorant and said, “just try it.” Like I said, she’s a genius.
Michael Kors Leg Shine is really a clever concept. It isn’t a bronzer but instead a subtly tinted moisturizing bar that glides over legs, knees and ankles with ease (that deodorant shape makes application a breeze). My legs looked healthier, with a bit of shine that made them look longer and more toned. Thanks, Mae! The Leg Shine comes in three shades: Classic, Shimmer and Bronze, but none are actually bronzers. For that, I’d probably go with tarte’s Glam Gams or LORAC’s Tantalizer, which Sarah raved about here.
I’ve also found that in a pinch, it helps even out color if tanner streaks in a spot if you’re out the door. Personally, I’ve found that giving it a good 20 minutes to dry means no worry about stains on light colored fabrics or the car seat. It has great staying power but it washes off pretty easily. Overall, I am impressed.
The only potential downside is the scent. It is infused with Michael Kors signature fragrance MICHAEL, a heady note of tuberose blended with some spicier and muskier fragrances. Some love tuberose but it isn’t for everyone. Because I only wear it on my legs (some make it an arm and upper body shine, too), I find the scent dissipates pretty quickly. In a perfect world they’d have a fragrance free version. But for now the fact it’s it’s paraben free and not tested on animals makes me happy.
If you’re curious but not ready to commit, try the Sephora exclusive Michael Kors Leg Shine to Go, a small version of the Classic formula for $10. I keep one in my toiletry bag as it’s perfect for travel. xo a.
“I’m a girl who can’t tan, ever. I burn. I don’t ever have that golden, sunkissed look. How does someone like me apply bronzer without looking ridiculous? Or is there no way?”
Of course there is a way, Phyrra!
My first suggestion would be to apply a very light buildable color moisturizer for a base. Try . You get to control how dark or light the bronze is – apply a few times for a light sun kissed hue. Apply daily for a more golden color. This is a great product, very well-received, people love it (Allure even gave it their coveted Beauty Award). It’s NOT a self-tanner so it doesn’t streak or turn orange, but there is a bit of color built into the moisturizer.
Next, I would use a powder one shade DARKER than your skin tone. Again, this will create a base from which to build. This should not be a bronzer, just an everyday powder. Make sure to get in the hairline, ears and neck so that you don’t look two-toned!
Finally, find a bronzer made specifically for light skin. Physician’s Formula makes amazing, affordable, natural-looking bronzers. Try the Organic wear 100% Natural Origin Bronzer – it has 2 shades that you can blend together to create the perfect sun-kissed hue. It’s also buildable color, meant for fair skin so you will get a very natural, even bronze. **VERY IMPORTANT: Only use bronzer on areas that would actually catch the sun’s rays. A bronzer should NEVER be used everywhere on the face! A bit on the forehead, chin, cheeks, a couple dusts on the neck and chest, will give you that natural hue.**
It’s really all about trial and error. Go to Sephora and raid their bronzer section – try as many as you can get your hands on… just make sure to apply sparingly! And don’t EVER use a bronzer intended for darker skin tones. This will most definitely make you look “made-up.”
Hope that helps!