|Personal opinion, but I think this model looks much nicer (and, yes, younger) when she's pale|
I don't know about all of you, but it's that time of year when I start to think about BRONZER once again.
And yet again, I don't know why I bother. No matter how I try to get a realistic bronzed glow, which looks so good on everyone else, I don't care for the way the makeup looks on my skin. Sometimes—briefly—I'll convince myself it looks good, but then I'll catch my reflection in a mirror or window and think Who is that dirty hobo? I should think I'd learn from past mistakes, but that doesn't stop me from being enticed by the new entrants and trying again.
Here are my failures, my Wall of Shame if you will, which dates back circa 2000:
|Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in Sun Blondes 04|
I chose the darker of the "for blondes" shades only because the palette contained more pink than the others. It still turned yucky yellow on me.
|Physicians Formula Multi Colored Pressed Powder|
Isn't the Physician's Formula bronzer pretty in the pan? I don't remember what my problem was with it, but I must not have liked it or I'd still have it. In fact, I have almost no memory of wearing it, so it must have been one of those try-once-and-cringe things.
|Chanel Poudre Soleil Lumiéres Bronze Rosé|
I remember when this beautiful Chanel palette came out last year, and I started seeing it appear in blog reviews. It looked so subtle, perfect, and cool toned on everyone's swatches. I thought surely it might be The One, but it was an utter disappointment. It translated very warm and dark on my skin and looked sludgy. I have now banned striped products from my dressing table.
|Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream|
I really liked the Edward Bess bronzer at first, which I reviewed it here. In the end, I didn't even use it enough to obliterate the EDWARD BESS imprint; it was just too golden for me.
|Diorskin Nude Tan Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder in Sunlight|
Even though I really liked the packaging, formula, and finish of Dior's Healthy Glow powder, it was yet another too-warm failure.
|Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua|
Described as a light bronze pink, I saw only a dusty rose blusher—and a bad blush choice for me. I certainly didn't want to spread a whole bunch more of pink on my face. Next.
|Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Liquid As if it Were Summer Still|
Rouge Bunny Rouge's bronzer (reviewed here) wasn't too bad, but it was still too golden. Also, during the summer I prefer powder finishes, when my skin is more naturally oily. Putting cream-based anything on top is just begging for unwanted shine by 10AM.
|Ellis Faas S303|
Ellis Faas S303 (reviewed here) is marketed as blush, but its pigment is quite bronzed. It would be a lovely blush on deep, autumnal redheads, but it was too warm and dark on my pink skin.
|NARS Bronzing Powder in Irresistiblement|
I really like NARS products, but Irresistiblement (how could I pass on a "desert glow") was far too dark and too yellow. Laguna, which is lighter and highly celebrated by makeup lovers everywhere, was also a disappointment. Diffused brown is a good bet, but the golden shimmer made it a no go.
Also, I dislike shimmer in bronzer. If I were to tan naturally, the melanin in my skin would certainly not shimmer.
Benefit Dallas ... terracotta muck.
|Jane Iredale So Bronze Bronzing Powder|
Despite my love for many Jane Iredale products (reviewed here), her So Bronze Bronzing Powder was too warm and dark.
|Clarins Gelée Auto-Bronzante Express|
Here's a surprise: I used Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel in the 90s, and I actually liked how it settled into my skin, which was a nice rosy brown instead of the dreaded ...
|You knew this was coming, didn't you?|
My only issue with the Clarins self tanner was that I did not want to have a tanned face every day, but once I rubbed it in and the dye took hold, tanned I remained until it faded.
|Armani Beauty Sheer Bronzer|
Despite how dark Armani Bronzer in the color #1 looks in the pan, it is actually a sheer brown with rosy-mauve undertones. It should have worked, but there was also the unwanted shimmer, and that shimmer was a warm bronze.
All of these failures lead me to wonder if some of us, especially those of us with fair and purely cool-toned skins, aren't meant to bronze. If I spend time in the sun, I first burn. Any tanning that takes place is very slow and gradual, but always preceded by a burn. Though I wouldn't do it again, I liked the way my skin looked when my family lived on the beach, so my issue is not that a tan looks fake on me—it is in trying to mimic that sun-kissed glow from a pan. It almost never translates because I don't tan golden brown; I tan a light rosy brown.
I do realize, of course, that the sun is yellow. And that for many brands, "sun kissed" means lots of yellow in their bronzing product. But some of us just can't handle the warmth, and I remind myself that my entire makeup-wearing life I've managed to live without bronzing makeup, so I should probably avoid temptation this year—as pretty as all the new bronzers will look in their packaging ... but I have to admit I have been tempted by this too-cute Bronzing Powder by Too Faced:
|Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzing Powder|
How do you feel about bronzer? Friend or foe?
Photos all from their respective company web sites, and/or Barneys and/or Sephora.