see the light
These days there are more finishes than ever to help you get your gold—or glitter—on. Plan to test out several before the big day, working within a shade or two of your skin tone (if you’re very fair, for instance, go no darker than light-medium). Start at the forehead and sweep a half-circle to the cheekbone and again to your chin; repeat on the other side (like you’re drawing an E and a 3).
Sparkly formulas “reflect light, giving skin a radiant glow,” says Stephi Maron, founder of New York City makeup boutique Blushington. Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic powder, $40, elizabetharden.com.
A riff on the cushion foundation fad—think a pillow soaked in bronzer that you dip a sponge into—delivers sheer and buildable color, so you have total control. Sephora I Cushion bronzer, $15, sephora.com.
Speckled formulas, with their hint of highlighter, are easy to blend (no obvious lines) and very forgiving— perfect for the bronzer newbie. COVERGIRL TRUBLEND bronzer, $9, covergirl.com.
peach and ivory shades keep bronzer from becoming too dark and overwhelming fair skin. “Anything can look overly vibrant against a pale complexion,” says makeup artist Fiona Stiles. La Mer Limited Edition bronzing powder, $85, cremedelamer.com.
For drier types, cream textures add a soft, dewy sheen to skin while giving a much-needed hit of hydration. Apply with fingertips or a synthetic-bristle brush. Laura Mercier Bronzed Butter Face & Body Veil, $50, lauramercier.com.
these glitter-free formulations warm the complexion in the most naturallooking way, a must-have for contouring or defining facial features. Laura Geller Baked Mediterranean bronzer, $35, qvc.com.
Zinc oxide–based powders are gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, with the added bonus of sun protection— in this case, SpF 15. Clarins Bronzing Duo, $37, clarinsusa.com.
Customize your color with this compact, which graduates from bronzer to blush to highlighter. Kevyn Aucoin Neo-Bronzer, $58, kevyn aucoin.com.
For tips on applying, go to marthastewart weddings.com/ bronzer.