Several years ago – after an attempt at a “sun-kissed glow,” via a bronzer I’d hesitantly just purchased – a male acquaintance leaned in and whispered to me, “Hey. I think you have a little dirt on your face.” It was a genuine, though oblivious, comment, but it made me swear off bronzer then and there. Many years, and many YouTube tutorial bingewatching sessions, would pass before I reached for a bronzer again.
Speaking to fellow proud members of the Pale Girls Club, I know that I’m not alone in my history of bronzer mishaps and general reluctance to apply. However, I’ve learned that with quality products, the right technique, and a little guidance from a pro, it’s entirely possible to pull off that lightly bronzed, “just spent a week in the Maldives,” radiance.
Celebrity makeup artist, Kyriaki Savrani, told us that the biggest no-nos when applying bronzer on fair skin is reaching for a product that’s way too dark, and using a brush that’s too big since it doesn’t give you much control. Savrani would know, too, as she’s worked on some of Hollywood’s fairest elite, including Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, and Uma Thurman. She also said you always want to avoid bronzers that lean orange, and that your bronzer should have a light, silky texture.
“The bronzer should feel very smooth when touching it with your fingers," she said, adding that powder bronzers are easier to work with compared to liquid or gel bronzers. "Also, I like a bronzer with a bit of shimmer for the summer, and a matte one for the winter."
For this tutorial, I'm using It Cosmetics Confidence in Your Glow in Nude Glow. As you can see, it offers a beautiful gradient ranging from a pale shimmer on the left all the way to a slightly pink hue in the center, and a true bronzer on the right. It's the perfect option for the ultra pale, and feels super silky!
The How To:
Once you’ve got your brush and bronzer figured out, you can move forward with application.
“The best way to apply it bronzer is to start from the hairline going inwards, blending really well with a soft and medium-size brush. Use the same technique for the cheekbones, starting from the hairline and going inward,” said Savrani. “This technique gives you more control, and will result in a natural effect versus a fake and heavy tan.”
“You can also apply the bronzer on the tip of your nose and chin,” said Savrani. “This gives a sunny-kissed face effect and chin.”
“If the skin is really pale I like to use a bit of bronzer on the neck too,” Savrani added.
Doing this helps create more uniformity in your complexion, and prevents that dreaded "face is one color, body is a different color" problem.
The finished look!
As parting advice, Savrani said to make sure you apply the bronzer close to a window, or at least in a very well lit room. This allows you to see better as you apply, and helps ensure that you don’t overdo it.
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