Knowing that this summer I'm not going to be able to jet off to a beach for a few weeks like I usually do due to starting a new job, I have stepped up the glow factor in my makeup. At every opportunity, I'm sat in the sunshine but with this dull weather, I've been adding a few drops of a self-tanner into my moisturiser & stepping up the bronzer.
I'm not that good when it comes to fake tanning my body as I'm just plain lazy and standing around for 30 minutes naked while I wait for it to dry is not what I want to be doing, I have a slight tan still from previous holidays so I'm good for a while. But when it comes to my face, I am all about the gradual tan boosters which you mix in with your evening moisturiser. I was first introduced to the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster around two years ago and this little bottle has lasted me ever since! Make sure you don't go overboard though as too many drops can make you look a little orange. A newer launch is the ESPA Naturally Radiant Gradual Tan Face Serum which is the same as the Clarins Glow Booster. I have been preferring the ESPA version due to its bottle as it's a pump bottle which is a lot easier to get the drops out once you have moisturiser on the other hand. The difference between the two products is that the Clarins Glow Booster is a runny liquid whereas the ESPA one is a true serum texture so it won't drip off your fingertips when mixing the gradual tan with your moisturiser.
Now when it comes to actual bronzer, there are so so many options that it can be very overwhelming. I always think about what I want to achieve in the final look, do I want to amp up the bronze for an evening (mostly when I'm doing my makeup whilst drinking wine - not a good mix) or do I want to look like I've been lightly kissed from the sun? But it also comes down to preference, some people prefer to use cream or liquid and some prefer to use a powder. Time is also a factor in the decision as powder takes seconds, whereas I need a few extra minutes to buff in a cream bronzer. Typically, I will always choose a cream product over a powder so here are my favourites. Both Benefit and Bare Minerals have released amazing liquid bronzers this year, the Benefit offering being permanent whereas the Bare Minerals product is part of their summer collection. If you're after a matte liquid bronzer, the Benefit Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer is the one for you. It's quite literally a liquid version of the cult Hoola bronzer, which happens to be my all time favourite bronzer. It's a thick cream texture which blends seamlessly both under and over the top of foundation. The Bare Minerals Bare Skin Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer is a super thin fluid with a slight shimmer which achieves a beautiful sun kissed look. Compared to Dew the Hoola, it's a very thin liquid which can be hard to work with at first, but a little goes a lot with it in terms of bronzing. If you're after a bronzer which is both makeup but also skincare, check out Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer, which is a very similar consistency to the Bare Minerals Serum Bronzer. The difference being it's a tiny 10ml compared to the Bare Minerals 30ml bottle.
If you're not wanting the hassle of a liquid bronzer but would prefer a cream bronzer which you can apply easily with your fingers, there are plenty of options too. My favourite is Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base, a warm solid cream bronzer which can be worked in with fingers or a buffing brush. With this you can very easily apply a little or a lot, creating the bronze you prefer. Another option is the Hourglass Illume Sheer Colour Trio in Sunset and although it's annoying to buy a whole palette for a bronzer, the other shades are amazing too. Starting with a very slippery cream formula, once it's on the skin you need to blend quickly as it does set to a powder finish. If you're looking for a light cream bronzer but which adds more highlight, look at the RMS Master Mixer which essentially can create a supermodel look on your face. For the NARS lovers, make sure you check out the Multiple in Maldives or South Beach too!
I use powder bronzer when I'm in a rush or just can't be bothered with my makeup but am looking a little pale. My all time bronzer will always be Benefit Hoola Bronzer, it was my first ever bronzer & my first high-end product and I still love it to this day. It's a perfect matte bronzer which can be applied lightly for a little colour or go full force and go all out. My other go-to bronzer is Soap & Glory Solar Powder, a bronzer with a light & darker option. Often I use a smaller bronzer, pick up the lighter shade only and contour a little or simply mix both together for all over colour. Hands down it's the best bronzer I've used from the drugstore, it's under £10 and I would happily pay more for it. I have to give Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow a special mention though as it's a palette I go back to all the time. It's such a beautiful shimmery bronzer, especially paired with the highlighter.