STYLE Picks: The best of the bronzers

You can look healthier, slimmer and pass for a total beach babe — all with just a touch of face-contouring makeup. So why isn’t every woman using it?

Time To Warm Up
Time To Warm Up
30 Apr 2015

Time To Warm Up

As a girl who is devoted to her whitening skincare regimen, the existence of bronzers (and sister product, contouring powders) used to puzzle me to no end. Who would want to smear brown stuff on their face?

Face contouring may not be popular here, not since its heyday in the ’80s, but word has it that it’s about to come back in a big way this season. So one day while shopping, I asked a beauty consultant at a cosmetics counter to let me try some to see what the fuss is all about.

After that mini-makeover, which took all of five minutes, I walked away looking glowing and sun-kissed like I'd just come back from a glorious beach holiday, with killer cheekbones to match. Which led me to the conclusion that it’s high time that women, especially those in Singapore, got reacquainted with the highly misunderstood contouring palette.

Bronzer on Top
Bronzer on Top
30 Apr 2015

Bronzer on Top

(Above) L-R: Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in Carrie & Big, $48 and Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF15/PA++ No.40, $80.

The first myth to address is that most bronzers make you look like a baked lobster, or make your skin tone appear muddy or uneven.

If there’s a lesson to be learnt, it’s that bronzers aren’t like foundations. A bronzer works best as a spot makeup, used to highlight selected spots on the face; while contouring powders are used to create shadow to downplay or “shape” other facial features. Think of your face as a canvas, and your makeup as paints with which to create shadows and light.

You’ll need to start with a blank, perfectly even canvas, so apply your concealer and foundation as you normally would. Then, if you want to add blusher, pick a subtly coloured one.

After that, use a jumbo fluffy brush to blend the bronzer wherever the sun hits your face — on the cheekbones and across the hairline on your forehead. Always start with a light swipe of bronzer and blend well, then build up more colour as needed.

Apply sparingly along the bridge of your nose, on the chin, and also a dab on your eyelids if you’re not using any eyeshadow. 

The Right Touch
The Right Touch
30 Apr 2015

The Right Touch

(Above) L-R: Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer, $36 and Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Brush and Contour Duo, $55 each.

To pick the right texture for your bronzer, use your foundation finish as a gauge. If your complexion is dewy, go with a shimmery powder or a cream stick bronzer. For matte complexions, a finish that’s more matte would be suitable, although a hint of shimmer would add more dimension to the face. Don’t forget to dust any remaining bronzer left on your brush across your ears so that they don’t look mismatched, and along your jawline for a slimming effect.

Colour-wise, pick a shade that’s one or two tones deeper than your skin tone, the shade your skin would turn if you were to really bask in the sun.

Contouring palettes usually contain a blush and an accompanying shade of contour powder that should go in the hollows of your cheeks and just beneath your jawline to make your facial contours look sharper and more defined. We’re super-excited by the new contouring pencils launching this season, like Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer, which really makes facial contouring as idiot-proof as it gets. Simply use the creamy pencil to draw a line underneath your cheekbones and blend with a blending brush or your fingertips and voila! Instant cheekbones.
 

Final Touches
Final Touches
30 Apr 2015

Final Touches

(Above) L-R: Nars-issist Spring 2015 Cheek Palette, $65 and Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, $102.

Need more reasons to introduce a bronzer and contouring powder/pencil to your makeup routine? Bronzers are the secret to looking fabulous in photos, no Instagram filters needed. When applied correctly, they give the face dimension so it doesn’t look flat and pasty, and fake a sun-kissed, just-back-from-the-Maldives glow.

And spending just another minute to blend in a contouring powder or cream to create shadows under the cheekbones and jawline will make your face appear slimmer instantly — no surgery or diet needed! We’re so enamoured with the results that we’ve gone ahead and deleted our favourite Photoshopping app from our phones. We dare you to do the same, too.
 

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