Friday, April 25, 2014

Bronzing and Contouring

English rose? Snow white? Pale? Whatever you call it, let's not soften the blow and just admit that I'm pasty. Obviously, I don't care enough to change it. Summer ballet programs mandate that I didn't even throw on a bathing suit once last summer. And that bottle of Jergens Natural Glow sitting in my bathroom cupboard? I'm not going to go down disaster road again, like I did last year. As a pale chick, bronzing and contouring is hard. Unfortunately, most shades are made for the more medium-toned among the population. Most of all, though, I think people need to learn how to embrace their natural skin tones. But we all want a little sculpting and glow here and there. And that's why I bronze and contour; it's not because I want to look orange.

Both bronzers and contour powders work for sculpting, but they both have specialized boosts. For an all over glow, the Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning is what I slap on. It's a primer that happens to smooth skin to baby-esque perfection and, although it looks awfully Oompa Loompa-y in the pot, it's sheer formula offers more glow than tan development. Over the course of the day, though, a slight, natural looking tan will develop, but still don't catch the orange-toned fear; you'll just look like you spent a few hours in the sun--with out the ramifications of that devil's talent. In a more concentrated form, the NARS Laguna Bronzer offers up bronzing with a hint of glow in the form of shimmer. (Trust me when I say it's not glittery in the slightest.) Using a fluffy brush to blend and mosh the pigment under the cheek bones, as well as on top, on the temples, nose bridge, and on the neck imparts a both intentions. Although, it looks so natural that you will probably be the only one who knows you're wearing bronzer.

A step down from bronzing is the contouring route. The ultimate, chiseling product is the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder: a majorly grey-toned powder that also peeks a bit of brown, with no orange or red in sight, to seriously perform like plastic surgery--or a model-quality evolution. I use the MAC 129 brush, a small, rounded, fluffy set of bristles, to inch this in the hollows of my cheeks, making sure not to go past the apples of my cheeks, but also on my temples, and under my chin. But, if you want a slight dose of both glow and sculpt (like me), because one is never enough, the RMS Buriti Bronzer* is your product. With the typical coconut oil laden formula of other RMS products, a healthy glow is part of the package. A slightly plum, yet brown undertone, sans orange, makes it perfect for either job. With my finger, I pat a bit of this under my cheekbones, as well as on top, and basically...everywhere, then blend in with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush for the complete package.

Although my research is largely geared towards the pale skinned control group, bronzing and contouring can suit all complexions. Here's the new rule: fake it until you make it.


  1. "..let's not soften the blow and just admit that I'm pasty." I have to admit, I laughed out loud at this! Bronzing and contouring can be so tricky when you're pale, this is a really lovely collection of products though - I especially like the sound of the NARS bronzer! xx

  2. Ha I feel you being a fair skined redhead I've had a few fake tan disasters myself ; )

    I love the guerlian bronzer is amazing for pale skin, I've written about it here: http://goo.gl/3sdDVM


  3. i am so pale as well which means like you i stuggle to find a good contour and bronzer shade as they are all so dark, will need to try some of your picks! xx


  4. I've just started getting into bronzing, I have no idea why I've never done it before as my skin is so pale. Contouring definitely isn't for me though, at least not on an everyday basis... I can't see how people can be bothered to do it regularly! x

  5. I love my "pasty" complexion. :)) I'm glad you like KA Sculpting Powder, I've picked it up today and can't wait to try it. x

  6. I have never really tried bronzing before because I'm afraid that I will mess it up and end up looking like an orangey mess. I'll definitely be looking into the products you mentioned here and see how it goes though. xx

    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  7. Ugh I really need to jump on the Nars Laguna bandwagon!


  8. I am really curious about the RMS bronzer! its very expensive but have read too many great review to ignore!

    I have been shopping! | http://theconsciencefund.com


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