The fine art of bronzer

With the new season’s bronzers starting to hit shelves (Guerlain’s latest offering Terracotta Mineral Flawless Bronzing Powder, £39.50, hit counters at the weekend), I couldn’t help but wonder what makes these one-pot wonders so very popular.

Following intense deliberations involving me, myself and I, I’ve reached the conclusion that bronzers are the LBD of make-up – comfortable, flattering and able to transform the way you look – and feel – in an easy instant.

At their best, bronzers blot out blemishes, even out your complexion and give sallow skin a lift, making it look healthy and fresh. But the flip side is they can go horribly wrong, looking murky and flat (like the LBD that no longer fits and has lost its sparkle), or just too fake. Have a quick flick through any weekly gossip mag and you’ll get the idea.
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Here are the experts’ do’s and don’ts that should allow you to get your spring/summer glow just right:

Don’t use a brush that’s too big. A medium-sized blusher brush will allow you to be more subtle and artful, and you’ll get a better result.

Do apply bronzer sparingly. It’s supposed to look natural so piling it on defeats the object. Shake any excess off the brush first and do a quick swipe on the back of your hand. Not enough colour on your face? Apply again, but very sparingly – layering is the most flattering way to build colour.

Don’t be afraid to use bronzers to add contours to your face. Just keep it subtle and follow this guide: if you have a long face, bring the bronzer all the way under your cheekbones, keeping the line quite horizontal; if your face is round, use bronzer under the outer edge of your cheek bones and sweep up to your temples in a more a triangular motion.

Do add bronzer on top of cheekbones, on the curve of your forehead, under your jaw line and down your nose. Some make-up artists I spoke to also suggested applying a little along your brow bone (just beneath your eyebrows) to give your face added lift.

Don’t choose bronzers that are too orange or frosted. Look out for brown tones with some red or pink in them and avoid over-shimmery formulations.

Do finish with a pop of pink or reddish blush on your apples for a really natural, flushed look.

Don’t go too dark. True bronzers are best when you’ve already got a bit of a tan while sheer, subtler palettes with hints of pink or beige (such as Givenchy Prismissime Matt & Glow in Sun Caramel, £30.82) are best when you’re trying to lift a pale complexion.

And finally- Do ignore these tips at your peril…

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