Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Battle of the Bronzers

Yesterday, I wrote about my crusade against boring, sad fingertips. In my quest to punch out a perfect 10, I popped into my favourite store on earth, Sephora. Now as many of you know, I live in Toronto, a city where winter hides in the summer just long enough to wear skin-exposing outfits, but not necessarily long enough to goldify the pasty whiteness of that skin.

Enter woman's other best friend: the bronzer. As overwhelmed and panic-stricken I was to make a colour selection at the nail spa, making the wrong choice when it comes to a bronzer can be a costly mistake - and I don't just mean in dollars. One false move and you can go from the walking dead to Adam-Lambert-meets-Oompa-Loompa. (Orange and glitter make for an evil concoction)

The key that I have found to a great overall natural bronzed look is a combination of textures and colours. Over the years I've tried various products ranging in price and functionality. Here are three that I will keep in my stable of summer staples:

BEST FOR FACE: Revlon ColourStay Mineral Bronzer
This product actually does what it supposed to: Stays all day. It has a nice soft matte finish with very subtle shimmer. No big sparkles, sorry Avril. Great for an all-over, nicely blended sun-kissed look. And priced under $15, it's a fantastic deal for the quality and quantity.

BEST FOR BODY: Sephora Tinted Self-Tanning Body Mist
I just bought this yesterday and I think I'm in love. Fine, I'm not in love per se but my legs might be. This is a body mist that is tinted in a nice shade of bronze that is simple to apply and (so far) has lasted more than 7 hours without wearing off. Unlike other body sprays end up so matte you look like you are wearing very ugly flesh-coloured pants (nothing subtle about that), this formula is moisturizing and has just a hint of sheen while giving a gorgeous natural-looking tan. Its scent is slightly overpowering at first but luckily it wears off quickly and you're left with colour that would have 1970's era Bo Derek awarding you a 10. Also priced right, Canadian girls can pick up a bottle for around $17 at their local Sephora.

BEST FOR AU NATURAL: NARS Illuminator in Laguna
I love NARS products. Always have. Always will. I fell in love more than 10 years ago when I was interning at FLARE Magazine. I had just wrapped up my eight-month stint as a copy editing intern and my farewell gift was a raid of the beauty closet. This is where I first decided it was okay to work for make up instead of money. This is also where I first met NARS - it was a foundation. It was for very dark skin. I used it as a bronzer. Now, I'm grown up and so is NARS. The Illuminator product line comes in four light-reflecting shades. Designed as a highlighter, it has a little more shimmer than the two products above, but is gorgeously light that you can wear it on its own for a super-fresh glow or dab a little in strategic spots above your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, on your decolletage, even down the front of your legs. To add an extra oomph (not oompa!), apply Laguna and highlight with Copacabana - this is the secret weapon that makes Jennifer Lopez look so radiant. Priced around $38.


  1. Great timing! I need to pick up some bronzer this weekend! My recommendation for a face/powder is "Dallas" by Benefit. Only thing that doesn't make me look like Magda from There's Something About Mary...


  2. perfect timing. i was in shoppers a couple days ago and almost bought sally hanson's spray tan in a can...... glad i held off.