Beauty

By Erin Williams

Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of weeks on an island off the coast of Jamaica, soaking up sun and arriving home looking beautifully bronzed? Not orange or streaky, but perfectly sun-kissed?

Well, the rent’s due and mama’s got bills to pay, so a good city girl will take matters in hand and fake it! Instant tan is a lot cheaper than taking an exotic trip, and with the right tools, can look just as gorgeous. So, l went in search of the creme de la creme of bronzers. Depending on what effect you’re after, you can brush or blend on a fantastic summer hue.

For the purely natural, ‘I want to keep them guessing’ type of girl, there are a couple of lines with great options. For a very natural and fresh “l’ve been at the park this weekend” skin, Stila offers Pivotal Sun, which comes in two sheer cream shades in a stamp pad compact with a swivel lid. It’s surprisingly non-greasy for a cream and provides moisture as well as realistic color. Just make sure that your hands are clean and no double dipping! http://www.gloss.com.

For more intense color, Benefit’s Hoola is just perfect. This is a heavily pigmented matte powder that is perfect for oily skin, you can achieve a deep bronzing with a brown (not red or orange) undertone. A small brush is included for travel, but spend the extra bucks, get a really good, bigger brush like Bobbi Brown’s Bronzer Brush. http://www.benefitcosmetics.com, http://www.bobbibrown.com.

lf you’re a shimmer girl who isn’t quite ready to take the plunge into faking a savage tan, there are a couple of products with fresh, lovely coloring. With Hard Candy’s Bronze ‘n’ Brush you’ll get just enough color for medium skin tones, and can even be used as an all over face powder for women with deep coloring. It has the right amount of gold shimmer and is enriched with Vitamin E and nylon so it goes on smooth. http://www.sephora.com.

The lightest of the group is Laura Mercier’s Gold Shimmer Pressed Powder, which is luxuriously infused with hydrating silk proteins and silicones that allow for easy blending. This is a sheer golden tone, that l wouldn’t quite dub a “bronzer” but it has this delicate shimmer…and let’s face it, some of us in the city don’t see enough sun to go full on bronze goddess without someone scratching their head as we walk by. This one is an excellent choice for easing out of the matte powders we live on during the colder months. http://www.lauramercier.com.

Cargo appeals to the masses with their Powder Bronzers. The line carries three scintillating shades (Light, Medium and Dark), so finding the right one for you isn’t a hassle. They come in large tins without a brush, so l found them a bit impractical for on the go touchups. http://www.beauty.com.

Calling all “J-Lo girls” – Urban Decay’s Baked Bronzer is your gift from the faux-sun gods. This is not just shimmer, we have graduated into sheen. The product is literally baked on a terra cotta dish for 24 hours, resulting in a light formula powder that’s light on color, heavy on glow. You can use it dry or wet for more pigment and it looks great on medium skin tones. lt takes a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can have a lot of fun fooling everyone into thinking that sick day you just took was spent playing hooky at the shore! http://www.urbandecay.com.

So don’t be afraid to fake it…besides, every girl does now and then…don’t they?

Originally published June 2003
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