The idea of bronzing the skin in Asia seemed so farfetched just a few years ago. In a culture that (generally) celebrated fairness and idealised a porcelain complexion, bronzers simply were not selling at the makeup counters, as many women did not want to look tanned or any darker than they already were. But in the past five years, the prominence of the Kardashians and especially younger sister Kylie Jenner, has made bronzing — and its sister, contouring —all anyone is talking about.
But bronzing does not have to be heavy, nor many shades darker than your actual skin colour. Look at how these three celebrities, who each have a different skin tone, approach bronzing. The modern and wearable way to do bronzing is to add overall warmth and colour to your complexion rather than trying to significantly alter your 'base' colour. Also remember to keep the rest of your makeup light — so tone down the brights on your eyes and lips — or you will risk looking too heavily-painted.
If you have a naturally fair complexion like Gwyneth Paltrow, try not to go too dark with your bronzer. Pick a colour that is just one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone and apply your bronzer in the place of blusher, as well as wherever the sun would naturally hit your face — like your forehead and the bridge of the nose. The idea is to add a hint of warmth and colour to your face without veering too far from your natural skin tone.
Jennifer Lopez is hands down the queen of bronzer in our opinion. But did you know that her natural skin tone is actually pretty fair? Nonetheless, if you have a medium complexion like her, play up bronzer not just on your face, but on your décolletage, arms and legs for a more complete look. A simple way is to add a bronzing lotion or shimmering oil to your body cream and apply it on any exposed skin, so that the colour is more natural and evenly-distributed. When your skin is not super-fair, you have more leeway to play with bronzer. Here Lopez's makeup artist has added colour to the forehead and used a darker pink-brown hue to sculpt her cheekbones.
If you have tanned, caramel or olive skin, bronzer is not necessarily about darkening the skin, but adding warmth and a glow. To achieve model Jourdan Dunn's subtle sheen, try adding a liquid bronzer to your liquid foundation — mix them on the back of your hand before applying with a sponge or brush for a flawless effect. This is not a good trick for those with oilier complexions though, as it can make you look a tad too shiny. For darker-skinned women, you don't have to necessarily see the colour on your face — but the idea is that it should add subtle depth and dimension to your skin. Look for bronzers with orange or red undertones (that match your skin's own undertone), so that they can enhance your complexion. And always apply it with a light hand as you can add more later.
Here are Buro's recommendations for five great bronzing products: