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!

Follow:

Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF+ debuted a few months ago, and although I’ve been using it regularly since then, I haven’t mentioned it much here on Haute Mess. But, now that I have had ample time to test this one-of-a-kind product, it is definitely time for an (overdue!) review.

Full disclosure: I am a Glossier Rep, but I purchased this product myself, and this post is not sponsored in any way. You can, however, shop through my Rep link to save 20 percent on your first purchase, plus enjoy free shipping every time you choose two or more items!

Before Invisible Shield, I was never a huge sunscreen person by any means. I always wore it on my face during the summertime, especially on the beach or by the pool, and my bb cream does contain some SPF, but that’s about the extent of it. I wasn’t (and I’m still not) a fan of the thick white cast that other brands, even those as reputable as Clinique, leave behind. It just feels greasy and messy because it never fully dries.

Glossier changed all that earlier this year. This revolutionary water-gel formula (think: a serum-like consistency) soaks into the skin almost instantly, leaving behind no white cast or sticky, greasy feeling whatsoever. And although the bottle is small (perfect for traveling or storing in your medicine cabinet–or both!), the formula is so lightweight that a little really does go such a long way. Which is great, because in addition to my face, I love dragging a little onto my neck and décolettage, and there is definitely enough to go around.

In addition to the SPF 35, Invisible Shield also contains vitamin E, vitamin P, broccoli and aloe leaf extracts–a powerful antioxidant blend that neutralizes free radicals, which can also cause damage to the skin. Similarly, fermented yeast and vegetal extract create an invisible, breathable barrier that prevents pollution from getting into the skin.

Cigarette smoke, car exhaust, smog, dirt and dust (among others) increase the levels of free radicals produced by the body, according to A Woman’s Health.

“Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack human cells and damage DNA. They lead to aging, tissue damage and possible disease.”

The sun’s UV rays aren’t the only factor that causes the skin long-term damage on an everyday basis; free radical damage also takes a hefty toll on our bodies’ largest organ.

“Pollution is one of the main sources of damage to the skin. Free radicals interfere with the skin’s ability to produce collagen, which keeps it firm and healthy. When contaminants come into contact with your skin, they can interfere with the skin’s ability to regulate moisture, leaving the skin dry, splotchy, wrinkled and clogged,” A Woman’s Health continues.

“Think about the dirty film that builds up on your car between washes. That same film is building up on your skin—you just don’t see it.”

Follow:

Even though I have already discussed most of these products in various recent (and not-so-recent) posts, I decided to round up all the beauty essentials I’ve been reaching for regularly this summer. I noticed that I’ve been gravitating towards antioxidant-rich products to keep my skin healthy despite being exposed to more environmental stressors than usual, given that I spend a ton of time outside this time of year.

No one should go through summer without a trustworthy facial sunscreen. After a couple years of religiously applying Clinique’s to the high points of my face, I switched to Glossier’s Invisible Shield after it debuted a couple months ago.

Two years in the making, this first-of-its-kind daily sunscreen+ has SPF 35, which protects the skin from sun damage. The “+” means that it also protects against pollution and free radical damage. And the best part? As the name suggests, it wears completely invisible, leaving no white cast whatsoever. It doesn’t clog pores or disturb makeup, either.

A good facial spray is essential during the summer months to refresh and revive skin. On a given day, I found myself spritzing Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea quite a few times. And, I’ve already ordered a backup bottle of it.

Speaking of green tea…

Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser, in its unique stick form, is ideal for traveling. But, even when I am not on the go, this cleanser is amazing!

Matcha green tea is packed with antioxidants that do the body good; turns out, those same antioxidants also detoxify and purify skin. With the help of algae extract, skin’s natural defenses get a boost–and instant hydration!

Like any good cleanser, this one also gently exfoliates, while the matcha and lavender essential water soothe skin and calm redness.

During the summer months especially, I need to be able to leave the house with just sunscreen on my face; I cannot stand the feeling of makeup on a sweltering day unless it is absolutely necessary. That being said, I am not immune to breakouts–especially when summer days leave my face dirty, sweaty and sunscreen-y. So, I need all the help I can get when it comes to fighting problem pimples.

At the first sign of a breakout, I’ll treat my skin with Glossier’s Super Pure serum as the third step in my beauty routine. This niacinamide/zinc combo instantly reduces redness, helps even out texture and prevents breakouts from worsening. Three to four drops of this bottled magic are all it takes to dramatically shorten a breakout’s lifespan. (I’ve also been treating my skin with Super Glow 2-3 times a week because it contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.)

When it comes to whiteheads, I’ve tried just about every spot treatment there is–and I’ve finally found the one! Though Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is pricier than most, it makes all my whiteheads disappear overnight. As soon as I put this product on after moisturizing, I can feel it working. And when I wake up in the morning, almost all of it has soaked into my skin, drying out the pimples and leaving them virtually invisible.

There are few skincare dilemmas witch hazel (available at drugstores) can’t solve; for my normal-to-oily and super sensitive skin, it is a must-have at all times.

When my complexion isn’t at its best, I’ll add witch hazel to my routine after cleansing and before toning. After 2-3 days of doing so, my skin looks–and feels–better than before!

I can’t resist a good face mask, but I always find myself coming back to Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack throughout the summertime. Because it contains avocado oil and aloe, it is definitely gentle enough to use twice a week–which is a major plus this time of year because hot and humid climates leave my skin feeling super grime-y. Still, it contains kaolin clay to draw out oil and buildup from the pores, as well as bitter orange peel to exfoliate the skin and balance its oils.

Leafy greens like parsley, spinach and cress sprout, with the help of eight different super-fruit extracts (including acai, aronia and bilberry), protect the skin from environmental pollutants that cause skin damage.

Kat Von D’s Lock-It Blotting Powder is new to my beauty collection, but it didn’t take long to become one of my skin saviors. I was in the market for a new powder when I noticed YouTuber Kathleen Fuentes (aka KathleenLights) raving about this one, so I decided to give it a try, and I am so happy I did!

Like Fuentes mentioned, this powder leaves me virtually pore-less. And because it’s a blotting powder, it does a great job of controlling oil and keeping my makeup in place. With a good setting spray, this finely milled powder has a natural–never cake-y–finish.

Glossier’s cult favorite skin salve is a necessity no matter what the season, but Balm Dotcom in Mint is perfect for the hotter months because it has an amazing cooling effect. Just like all the other BDCs, a little Mint goes a long way, and it lasts for hours on end. It’s my go-to, do-it-all lip balm that quickly replaced all the others in my collection.

Lastly, it just isn’t summer without a yummy tanning oil! My fav is the SPF 6 watermelon scent from Bali Body. All of BB’s tanning and body oils leave skin silky smooth and glowing–never sticky.

Watermelon seed oil, packed with minerals and antioxidants, naturally hydrates and nourishes the skin. It also stimulates the body’s melanin production, resulting in an unbeatable bronze.

Follow:

I gave in and ordered Urban Decay’s new Naked Heat palette as a li’l birthday present to myself earlier this month. As soon as I saw via Instagram that UD was launching this beauty, I knew I’d eventually be getting my hands on it; I just can’t resist all the fire-y warm tones that mimic natural hues like cinnamon, paprika and terra cotta. It is the perfect complement to UD’s Naked Smoky palette, which has been a part of my collection for years now.

Flames have been everywhere this season in both fashion and beauty; so many (including me!) are happy to trade uninviting cool tones for warm ones like copper and rust. And although they may at first seem difficult to pull off–especially during the daytime–I actually find them to be much easier to work with than their cooler counterparts.

What can I say? I’m a changed woman. We can thank Kylie Jenner’s burgundy palette for that.

For this tutorial I decided on a semi-casual look; later on, I’d love to do a more intense nighttime one involving the deep matte tones. My favorite thing about UD’s Naked palettes is that, unlike Kylie’s, each one has everything needed for a complete eye look: base shades, crease shades, lid shades, highlight shades…

Although this was my first time playing around with this palette, I can say that so far, I really love it–maybe even a little more than I love my Naked Smoky palette!

With the shimmer shades, there is very little fallout. And with the matte shades, there is absolutely none. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover this because I’m definitely not the neatest or most patient person when it comes to makeup application.

Products I used…

(*I received this product as a part of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program during my birthday month.)

Base

Step 1: Apply a generous coat of primer, focusing on the t-zone in an outward motion.

Step 2: Using the same technique, apply 1-2 coats of BB cream.

Step 3: With the attached wand, apply a light coat of Stretch concealer under the eyes and blend with the fingers using a tapping motion. Build up the coverage if necessary.

Step 4: Using the fingers, apply Stretch Concealer to any redness or blemishes.

Step 5: Set BB cream and concealer with Lock-It blotting powder, focusing on the t-zone and the under-eye area.

Step 6: To “melt” makeup into the skin, use a generous amount of setting spray, then pat it into the skin.

Naked Heat

Step 7: Using the fingers, apply a small amount of eyeshadow primer to the entire eyelid.

Step 8: With the fluffy end of the brush, apply Chaser to the entire eyelid, crease and brow bone.

Step 9: Continuing with the fluffy end of the brush, apply Cayenne to the crease.

Step 10: Apply Dirty Talk over the entire eyelid. Be sure to clean the brush between colors.

Step 11: In the outer corner apply En Fuego in an upward and outward motion the create a long, cat-like effect.

Step 12: Using the denser, angled end of the brush, apply Cayenne to the lower lash line, concentrating on the outer corners. Connect the lower lash line with the upper lash line to complete the cat-like shape.

Step 13: Continuing with the angled end of the brush, layer Dirty Talk over Cayenne on the lower lash line, again, concentrating the most pigment on the outer corners.

Step 14: Making sure the brush is completely clean, use the fluffy end to apply 1-2 layers of Ounce to the brow bone and innermost corner of the eye.

Step 15: Top with two coats of mascara on both the upper and lower lashes.

Finishing touches

Step 16: With a fluffy blush brush, apply blush to the hollows of the cheeks, focusing closest to the hairline and sweep towards the center of the face, in addition to the apples of the cheeks.

Step 17: On the orbital bone around the eye, as well as the cupid’s bow, apply White Sand with a clean setting brush.

Step 18: Using an upward brushing motion, apply Boy Brow to the eyebrows, concentrating on the center portion of each brow, working outwards to the inner and outer corners.

Step 19: Finish with another generous coat of setting spray.

Step 20: On top of a little Balm Dotcom, apply an even coat of Lip Paint, focusing on the center of the lip, allowing the color to spread outwards.

 

I am so impressed with this year’s birthday gift from Sephora! Because I already own Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush in Seduce, I knew I was going to looove Paaarty! The formula is amazing, and Paaarty is such a great color–it’s slightly lighter and pinker than Seduce. So, I am super happy to now have it in my collection. On the other hand, I had never tried Tarte’s Lip Paint before, and I’m not the biggest fan of liquid lipsticks in general. But, this one isn’t so bad! The color is girly and versatile, and the formula isn’t overly drying or flakey. Plus, it’s definitely long-wearing.

Follow:

I booked a spur-of-the-moment flight to visit one of my closest friends in Los Angeles this week, and I am so excited to be back on the West Coast! For this trip I decided to pack light–meaning no checked bags, only a carry-on.

Thankfully, I have a ton of Glossier‘s TSA-approved pink pouches on hand; they’re resealable and waterproof, so they’re perfect for holding toiletries and makeup in a carry-on bag. One of these convenient quart-sized beauties comes free with every Glossier purchase.

To show readers just how much can fit in Glossier’s signature pouches, I decided to spill the contents of mine for a week-long trip one of my favorite cities.

Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF 35: The sun in LA is strong–even when you’re not on the beach–so sunscreen is a must all day, every day. Glossier’s Invisible Shield has SPF 35. It doesn’t clog pores, and it also protects the skin from pollution and free radicals (which are abundant all over LA). The best part? As the names states, it sinks into skin without a trace; it’s non-greasy, and it doesn’t disturb makeup. A must-have. $34, Glossier

Bali Body tanning oil: I love the beach, and you really can’t beat LA’s–views of the mountains are amazing, and shoreside spots like Venice and Santa Monica offer great local vendors and cuisine within walking distance (hard to come by in an Uber-obsessed city like this one). So, you can bet I will be spending a ton of time in the sand and surf this trip.

No matter which coast I’m on, I just cannot hit the beach without some of Bali Body’s all-natural tanning oil. Unlike other tanning oils I’ve tried, Bali Body’s never feels goopy or sticky. Instead, it leaves skin soft and glowing from head to toe. For the deepest tan, my fav is the watermelon scent, which also helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. $23.95, Bali Body

Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer: A trustworthy pore refining primer is key during the sultry summer months to keep makeup looking fresh. By blurring pores and fine lines, smoothing texture and minimizing shine, this primer creates the perfect base for makeup.

Much like Glossier’s Invisible Shield, Dr. Brandt’s Pore Refiner Primer is undetectable on the skin. And like any good primer, it creates a hidden barrier that prevents makeup from clogging pores. Prices vary, Sephora

Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser: A quick and easy cleanser is the best friend any girl-on-the-go could have. Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser is in stick form, making it super convenient for throwing in a carry-on bag. Just rub it onto damp skin for the detoxifying and purifying power of antioxidant-rich matcha green tea.

This skin savior also gently exfoliates and soothes, while added algae extract boosts skin’s natural defenses and provides instant hydration, according to MILK. $26, Sephora

Micellar Water: There’s nothing better for removing dirt and makeup (even stubborn mascara!) from the skin than micellar water. Not only is it powerful and effective, micellar water doesn’t require any rinsing. And it gets the job done without any alcohol or oil, so skin never feels stripped or greasy. For me (and anyone with sensitive skin), Simple’s micellar water is necessary both on the road and at home. $1.99, Target

Makeup Essentials: Leave it to Glossier to have nearly all the products I need for a cross-country trip! This time around, I decided to pack Boy Brow in Brown, Stretch Concealer in Medium, Haloscope in Moonstone, Cloud Paint in Haze and Balm Dotcom.

I also picked up my favorite high-end mascara in a travel size, which is considerably less expensive than the full-size version. Benefit’s Roller Lash works like a push-up bra for lashes; it gives them an instant curl, a West Coast-worthy lift and dramatic length! Plus, the tiny bristles are perfect for targeting lower lashes.

Last but certainly not least, no night-out look is complete without a fun lipstick–especially on vacation! I packed MAC’s Candy Yum-Yum, a universally flattering neon pink, as well as an orange tinted balm from Missha for that just-ate-a-popsicle pout. For good measure I also brought along Glossier’s Lip Gloss 😉

Follow: