Bronzers: The Blush Of Summer


About a month ago, I did something truly revolutionary: I switched out my translucent powder for bronzer. (OK, that's a bit of a lie—I wasn't really using a translucent powder regularly, but I was actively looking for one to add to my routine, so that counts for something.) I did this mainly because La Mer had to go and make themselves a bronzer and it is the most gorgeous thing I've ever laid eyes on, as you could imagine. That company does not make products you don't want.

Anyway, the learnings from this shift were as quick as they were face-changing. After a few days of dusting cheekbones, forehead, nose, and chin with a healthy swirl of my Smith 112 Bronzer Brush (my New Years Resolution to use makeup brushes finally coming in handy), not bronzing was simply no longer an option. Trying to leave the bathroom without some color just seemed silly. Simply put, I looked dead without it.

All of this is to say: Bronzer is an investment product. It's not just for summer or for when you get back from vacation or when you're trying to lie about the state of your library tan to your nearest and dearest. Bronzer can and should be an everyday essential that you select with careful consideration. The best options are below; browse and bronze at your leisure:

The Universalist: La Mer The Bronzing Powder
My current favorite by a long shot. There are four quadrants: two bronze, one pale nude, and one rosy blush. When swirled together, they result in the chicest shade of beige I've come across. But more importantly, the blush and nude can be used on their own depending on where they suit you. I tend to use the nude on my chin when things are creeping too far in the dewy direction.

The Show-Off: Tom Ford Large Bronzing Powder in Terra
For when you want a bronzer that's the size of a dessert plate (and you want to pay $95 for it). OK, the price is a little hard to handle, but it's an investment, remember? I honestly have no idea how long it would take for anyone to use this entire thing. At least a year. Probably more like five.

The Blush: Burberry Earthy Blush in No. 07 Light Glow
For the past month and a half, all Tom and I can talk about is Cyndle Komarovski's approach to blush (as seen here in her #GRWM). It's more brown than it is pink. The same can be said for this Burberry shade. It's the '90s lipstick version of powder: brown, but with a pinky undertone. It works particularly well for pale skintones—people who tend to go pink in the sun instead of tan.

The Cream Alternative: Soleil Tan De Chanel
Another one that you probably can't use up in less than a year, mostly because this one best serves the face when used strategically to mimic a sunglasses tan. You know, bridge of the nose and just inside the apples of the cheeks, sort of below the inner corners of the eyes. Adjust these areas depending on what shades you actually wear. Also works like gangbusters for a bronze eye look.

The Crowd Pleaser: Benefit Hoola
Travel-friendly, comes with its own brush, and no mica particles in sight. Plus it won't break the bank. If it ain't broke, don't change your bronzer.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Blush can also be the blush of summer. See: that time we took a model to the beach and tried six different cheek colors on her.