In the midst of my day dreaming for the (hopefully) upcoming summer days, I realised something. During my early YouTube fascination days, I got so obsessed with the idea of contouring that.. I never learnt how to bronze. I know, how does that even happen?
As I hastily attempted to catch up by watching Bobbi Brown and Pixi Beauty's video on bronzing, I realised that I'd never used bronzer in the way it was meant to be used, and always just used matte-ish ones as a contour. So I became curious and started some experimentation, and these are the products I've been trying my new found (but not very developed) techniques with, and tips I picked up from the two very talented and successful make-up artists who founded the above brands.
The Physician's Formula Bronze Booster is the bronzer I've been using to contour for a while now, but I found that the shade was a bit too cool to be using it all over my face. It has a nice semi-matte finish so it's quite natural, but being a warm-toned gal and wanting a bit more sheen on the cheeks, this was a no go for bronzing.
MAC's MSF in Comfort, on the other hand, is super warm. Unlike most other MSFs, Comfort is relatively semi-matte with a sliver of sheen and shimmer, so it's actually quite brilliant for bronzing. My only problem is my heavy hand.. it's easy to pick up a lot of product, so until I can ensure I don't look like an oompa loompa, this is for the 'big kids'.
Thirdly, is the Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder *breath in* in Aurora. This powder is a natural-sheen base with the subtlest shimmers, and in retrospect, is probably made for bronzing rather than contouring. Out of the four above, I think this one is the best made-for-purpose bronzer. It's quite light in colour, so not OTT and has two pink/peach sections on the N and the E so it's a great 2 in 1. It also gives a gooooorgeous natural glow, so I've been using this one the most!
I mentioned this on my Tips! on wrong shade base products, and this is the Liz Earle Natural Finish Pressed Powder in Sheer Almond. Because it's a face powder, it has a nice natural sheen with no shimmer to it at all and the colour is super natural - it's only around two shades darker than my skintone. I think face powders with a slight sheen are a great option for those who are just getting into it, or who want a subtle bronze look. Since bronzers don't come in that many shades, face powders are a great option to get your tailor-made bronzing shade.
In fact, Petra, the creator for Pixi Beauty, mentioned in the video that her bronzers aren't very dark precisely for this reason. I remembered I had the gorgeous Early Bird Palette (see link for swatches) from the winter collection so dug it out and had a look. She's right! I was using the top shade for blusher, but actually, it's a gorgeous peachy light bronze that would mimic the sun so well. These all have a sheen and a bit of a shimmer so it gives a really nice highlighting effect too, and I'm really quite excited to be using them in the way they are meant to be used!
Something else I picked up on my research was Bobbi Brown's tip on using a really bright blusher just on your apples to bring a bit of colour after you bronze. It's all well and good to look like you've been on holiday but sometimes, some colour looks more natural than just the bronze. One of the brightest blushers I own is this Down Boy Blusher from TheBalm, which is this gorgeous bright baby pink. I use it subtly on my inner cheeks and it's just enough to give a pop of colour and brighten my face.
What are your top tips for bronzing?
Do you bronze or contour?