The bronze edit

Those who read Haute Mess on the reg know that a healthy bronze glow is my go-to beauty look no matter the time of year. So, it only makes sense that a huge portion of my makeup collection consists of different glow-y, bronzing products. Whether it’s online or in-store, I have a very difficult time resisting any products that promise to turn me into a Grecian goddess.

Keeping track of which bronze powder/creme/mousse does what can be a little tricky, but over the years, I’ve gotten the hang of it–and I cannot wait to share my fav products and techniques for getting my glow on with everyone so that all my babes can glow, too!

As regular readers know, I strongly believe that beauty stars within, so I’m always trying my best to live a healthy lifestyle. So, when it comes to a bronze glow, that means I avoid tanning beds completely–I’ve never even been in one!

I allow myself plenty of time in the sun, but never without Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF+ on my face to protect it from damage. And, during the wintertime I don’t mind being a little paler than usual. The orange, cake-y, unnatural look just doesn’t work for anyone.

Bronzing Powder in Laguna by NARS: This cult-favorite powder bronzer is a must-have whether you’re new to beauty or a seasoned veteran. Depending on the brush you use, you can use this guy to sculpt, to bronze, or both!

Personally, I love using it on a multitasking contour brush in the hollows of my cheeks and along my hairline for a little definition without going through the full-on contouring process. A little really goes a long way with this powder, so I definitely recommend using a light hand when applying it.

Ultimate Glow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills (White Sand, Amber Gold and Hot Sand): I’ve always been a creme highlighter kind of gal. But, I got a good deal on this Glow Kit and picked it up on a whim after I’d been looking for a rose gold highlighter. I ended up really loving five out of the six shades, and three in particular (White Sand, Amber Gold and Hot Sand) quickly became my favorites.

To complete a glow-y makeup look, I “set” my creme highlighter with one of these powder shades then finish with a setting spray so it “melts” into my skin and looks as seamless as possible.

Haloscope in Topaz by Glossier: Giving myself a faux sunglasses tan with Haloscope in Topaz is one of my fav casual and/or daytime looks this time of year! This easy-to-use highlighter gives a golden glow with a dewy sheen in one or two swipes along the orbital bone near the eye area. It is a really quick way to warm up the face during the summertime.

(Side note: I love pairing Topaz on my orbital bones with Halscope in Moonstone down my nose and cupid’s bow for a sweaty-looking sheen. For a full Haloscope tutorial, visit Glossier’s website.)

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Seduce by Tarte: I’ll be the first to admit nude-y brown blushes are 100 percent underrated. Not only is it super versatile and flattering on a wide range of skin tones, it gives any look a sultry, more mature vibe than traditional pinky-pink blushes do.

Seduce is ideal for daytime because it isn’t overly intense, but it can definitely be built up for a more dramatic evening look. It even works great in place of bronzer in the hollows of the cheeks for some light definition; otherwise, it’s the perfect complement to your normal contour.

Rockateaur Box o’ Powder Blush by Benefit: Now *this* is a nighttime blush! (And when it comes to blushes, it was definitely my first love, too.)

This rosy blush with golden shimmers feels ultra-feminine and luxe, but still maintains that rockstar-worthy edge. And because the golden flecks pair so well with the dusty rose base, it instantly lifts and illuminates the entire face when swiped onto the cheekbones. The brush that comes with it makes application easy and flawless every time.

Cloud Paint in Dusk by Glossier: The gel-creme formula of this user-friendly blush is slightly addicting, and although the tube seems tiny, its pigment packs a ton of punch. Patting a tiny dab onto each cheek is all it takes for a natural-looking luminous flush of warm nude-y brown.

I also love using Dusk in the hollows of my cheeks for a quick-and-easy, never cake-y, contour-like effect. Like most of Glossier’s products, Cloud Paint is build-able, so if I want my cheeks to be the focus of my look, I can pile it on for more dramatic color.

Eyeshadow in Gimme Gorgeous by Buxom: I’ve never been one to use bronzer as eyeshadow, even though that’s a pretty big technique throughout the beauty community. Instead, I opt for an eyeshadow with a creamier formula.

Buxom’s matte neutral shade is perfect both in the crease and/or all over the lid when I’m aiming for a monochromatic makeup look. Or, it works as the perfect base shade when I’m going for something more a little less natural.

Super Shock Shadow in Wattles by Colourpop: Wattles is my go-to shadow when I don’t feel like doing a complete eye look; it is the perfect glow-y all-over lid color. This eyeshadow brightens the eyes by adding a soft, glittery effect that’s still appropriate for daytime.

Generation G in Leo by Glossier: For a full bronze face, there is no better lip color than this one–day or night. All of Glossier’s Gen G lippies are build-able: 1-2 swipes for a sheer look, or 3-4 swipes for bolder color payoff.

I love how Leo, a warm cocoa brown, plumps up my natural pout, completing any effortless makeup look. It’s such a nice change of pace from typical nudes that tend to wash me out.

Sugar Plum lipgloss by Kylie Cosmetics (from In Love With The Koko): This nude gloss with golden flecks is so, so beautiful–both on its own and over the matte lip colors in the collection. When in doubt, I toss this beauty in my purse and head out the door.

Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse by St. Tropez: Like I mentioned earlier: in the dead of winter, I’ve never been one to use tanning beds. Instead, I prefer self-tanners like the ones from St. Tropez. This dark formula gives me a healthy glow, which lasts for days, in the comfort of my own home.

To make the most of it, I keep my skin moisturized and exfoliate my entire body 12-24 hours beforehand. So my tan doesn’t look splotchy, I go in with a little mousse at a time and make sure to spread it as for as it will go before going in with more. St. Tropez’s tanning mitt really helps spread the color out evenly. And, drying only takes about 30 minutes!

Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion by St. Tropez: For a quick bronze without makeup, I love using St. Tropez’s Face Lotion because it doesn’t break me out. Its build-able color is a quick fix for me in both the summertime and winter.

When I hit the beach or pool, I am super careful to protect my face from the sun’s rays with SPF and a hat. So when I need my face to match the rest of my skin, I’ll go in with this guy as the last step in my evening skincare routine. (That way, it has plenty of time to dry down before I apply makeup the next morning.)

St. Tropez Bronzing Face Lotion also saves me during the winter months when I use the brand’s mousse from the neck down for an all-over bronze glow.

BB Cream SPF 15 in Natural by Bali Body: I’ve never, ever been a foundation user. Ever. But when Bali Body debuted their BB cream last year, it looked too good to pass up (especially because I am a huge fan of their tanning oils). I ended up absolutely loving it!

Not only does it give me the light, dewy coverage I’m always after, it also has SPF 15 and is enriched with skin-loving ingredients like green tea, ginseng, hyaluronic acid and marine collagen. It can’t be beat!


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