face up to colour
the new bronzers deserve gold medals
I LOVE make-up, but bronzer has always left me cold. The walnut ty intensity of all those palettes. The weird, Disney fi ed blurrific at ion of the kardashians.
Then one morning, my 24-year-old daughter and I coincided in the kitchen. ‘You look tired,’ she observed. (unbiased, agenda-free honesty is the duty of all daughters.) ‘ You look like a Wall’ sVienn et ta,’ I responded( honesty deserves honesty ). I wasn’t wearing anything on my skin. She, a bronzer believer, had applied hers in haste with the blinds down.
We took ourselves to Covent Garden, which has become the command control centre for numerous cosmetic brands’ boutiques and copious free makeovers (Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Dior, Benefit…), and approached armani, on the basis that its products are unbeatable.
It also has champagne, which can help. I came away convinced that bronzing, or contouring as it must now be called, can significantly enhance any woman’ s face, regardless of age or skin tone. actually, con touring is a better name, since this is about enhancing structure, rather than ladling on fake colour.
Obviously, specificities vary from person to person. But assuming you’re going for a healthy finish and subtle accentuation of your eyes, cheekbones and jawline (all this and more can be achieved) rather than full drag, here’s what you need to know: 1 Bronzer can be applied over foundation, or directly on to bare, evenly moisturised, serum-ised, concealer-ised skin. armani’s prima Glow-on moisturizing Balm leaves skin dewy. This is not to be confused with its uv primer (part of the maestro range), which protects from pollution and can be applied over or under moisturiser, to boost the staying power of your bronzer or foundation, and add yet more sheen and SPF50. 2 Brushes are as important as the powders. a small f lat one for the darker hues under the cheekbones and jawline, a large, round one for highlighter and, depending on the size of your cheeks, a medium one for pops of blusher. Natural bristles are best for powder, synthetics for liquids. If you can run to it, get an even bigger, soft brush for blending once you’ve applied the individual shades. 3 powder bronzers, liquid bronzers, sparkly bronzers (again, more subtle than they sound), iridescent bronzers – the choice is befuddling, and that’s just at armani. It’s personal. Try them out. Seek counsel. 4 Those terrifying-looking barbecued pallets can rest in peace. If your complexion is mid-spectrum to pale, focus on light biscuit-y shades rather than terracotta. Even just one or two shades darker than your skin can achieve impressive definition. The aim is to accentuate bone structure, not fake a Barbie tan. The armani make-up artist applied a light powder from the brand’s new summer Sunrise palette under my cheekbones, in the dip below my mouth, at the sides of my nose to narrow it (who knew it was wide?) and anywhere the illusion of shadow might swivel attention on to what’s directly above or to the side (cleavage). Next, highlighter along the bridge of the nose, in the cleft above your lips and cheekbones, and beneath and above the eyebrow arch. Finally, a pop of cheek colour. Charlotte Tilbury’s contouring palettes include a blush and – genius – are numbered so you know precisely what to apply where. 5 actually, not f inally. Finally is t he blend i ng. Then more blend i ng. Br ush, sweep, br ush, sweep – wit h feathery strokes. You don’t want to wipe away all your work. It sounds laborious, but it’s over in less than eight minutes. I arrive 20 years late to this party, but I now contour ever y day: for t he end results – and because a quick flirtation with the powder brush is a delightful, affirmative way to begin the morning.