Beauty

By Maria Fernandez

I don’t know about you, but I find myself pouring through pages of fashion magazines asking myself how stars get those perfectly glowing complexions. You all know what I’m talking about, that glowing, sun-kissed look that makes others think they just stepped off a beach in Maui. In an era where women don’t want to compromise the state of their skin, obtaining that summer tan usually means getting it from a bottle, or compact. Whether it’s the middle of December or the middle of summer, without damaging your skin you can get that ” J’Lo glow”.

The first step is to determine your skin type so you can choose the right product. Bronzers come in gels, liquids, loose and pressed powders. For those with oily skin the best choice is to pick a powder bronzer with a matte finish. For dry skin use a liquid or gel bronzer. Make sure you choose a shade that compliments your natural skin tone and don’t over apply. Most importantly, with liquid or gel bronzers it’s recommended that you exfoliate before applying so that the color blends evenly into your skin.

What about shimmer you may ask? If the bronzer has a hint of shimmer it’s totally acceptable to wear during the day. The shimmer provides a highlighting effect and radiant glow. For bronzers packed with a lot of shimmer it’s best to save them for night time. But let’s say you’re going for a natural look. How do you navigate the cosmetics counter and find your perfect match?

When you squeeze the tube you might be a little alarmed at how dark this is, but Laura Mercier’s Bronzing Gel blends easily and evenly on your skin, leaving you with a perfect warm glow. Though it is considered a gel it doesn’t have your traditional gel feel that leaves your skin sticky after application. You can use it to give you a hint of color or to enhance the tan you already have. The best part about this product is that in a pinch you can use it on your legs or arms. Laura Mercier’s Bronzing Gel can be purchased on line at www.lauramercier.com.

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Bronze Shimmer Brick, by Bobbi Brown is perfect for achieving different shades of tan. The compact consists of a range of bronzers as well as a highlighter. Upon application the shimmery pearlized pigments create an instant sheen. You can run your brush over all shades or try applying one shade at a time depending on the depth of color that you’re trying to achieve. Bobbi Brown is my favorite accessory for a night out. Bronze Shimmer Brick can be found on line at www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.

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The name gives it all away with Biotherm’s Velvet Bronzer. After application your skin literally feels velvety soft and you’re left with a deep bronze hue. This product is the closest to getting a real beach tan. Biotherm’s Bronzing Pressed powder is perfect to use in conjunction with the Velvet Bronzer or alone. Packed with a hint of shimmer, your skin is left with a subtle tint after application. It’s perfect to highlight your cheeks and forehead where the sun would normally hit your face. Both Biotherm bronzers can be purchased on www.biotherm.com.

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Nars’ The Multiple in Palm Beach is just that, a multi-purpose stick. This rich bronze stick, with a little more shimmer than bronze, can be used selectively to highlight and counter. You can also apply all over for a sheer hint of color. The tube is the perfect size to throw in your bag with no worries of a powdery mess. Nars’ The Multiple can be purchased on line at www.narscosmetics.com or fine department stores such as Neiman Marcus.

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Feeling a little hot under the collar? Try Estee Lauder’s Amber Bronze Cool Bronze Loose Powder or Prescriptives Sunsheen Cooling Bronzer Powder. With their high water content each product dusts on and creates a cooling sensation. Amber Bronze offers a more natural tan effect while Cooling Bronze by Prescriptives has more shimmer and gives skin a more golden look. Each product has special light reflecting pigments that tend to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Amber Bronze can be purchased at www.esteelauder.com. You can buy Sunsheen Cooling Bronzer Powder at www.prescriptives.com.

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Borghese’s Milano Multi Bronzer is a compact built with multiple shades of bronzers. The combination of colors creates an amazing sun kissed look. Once applied your skin feels satiny soft. The Milano offers a matte look so it’s perfect for wearing during the day. You can pick up the multi bronzer at www.borghese.com

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Don’t worry about walking around like Casper the Friendly Ghost all summer. Dab a little or brush a little tan on to give yourself a glow. You’ll look healthy and feel it too and you won’t have to worry about the effects of the sun ravaging your skin!

Originally published June 2006
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