For Summer – Bronzing Tips
Hot from ELLE MAGAZINEand Sam Fine’s New Book and DVD
“the Basics of Beauty”
To discover secrets to achieving an enviable, sun-kissed sheen, we interviewed celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine, whose new instructional DVD, Fine: The Basics of Beauty, launches on his website June 1.
What type of bronzer do you recommend for a natural look?
All bronzers aren’t created equal—some of them have more shimmer than others. If you want the most subtle bronzed effect then look for one that resembles your pressed powder. CoverGirl Queen Collection has a great bronzer. It looks like pressed powder but has a slight sheen. Save the stronger, glittery pigment for nighttime.
So pressed powder bronzers are better than loose powders?
Loose powder is always going to be harder to manipulate—the placement can be more tricky. If you go with loose pigment make sure to always tap your brush or rub it in the palm of your hand before touching it to your face, in order to get rid of excess powder.
When applying bronzer, what type of brush do you suggest?
A full powder brush is going to help the product to go on more evenly and appear more blended—there won’t be any streaking or harsh lines. If you use a smaller brush you’re going to be using smaller strokes and it’s not going to cover as much of the face.
What are the ideal places to apply face bronzer?
You don’t want a lot of shine in the center of the face where you’re usually more porous and apt to have fine lines because it will increase texture. Instead, put bronzer on the area that is most consistent with color and texture—on the outer perimeter of the face along the hairline and forehead, the crest of the cheekbones—places that have natural movement so that shine comes in a very unexpected way.
How do you find the right shade of bronzer for your skin tone?
It’s not an exact science, but normally you want to choose one in a shade darker than your complexion. I love Cargo bronzers—they come in light, medium, and dark so it’s very easy to figure out your shade. Iman’s are wonderful as well—she has more of a variety, which is great because it satisfies a wider range of women—but it’s a little trickier to find your shade.
Are there any exceptions to the “one shade darker” rule?
If you’re a woman of color or you’re a Caucasian who’s tan during the summer months, you can choose a color two shades darker for more of a glow. You can also get away with bronzers that are redder and more golden— Guerlain bronzers have a lot of red in them and are perfect for enhancing a tan.
Reddish-gold bronzers aren’t good for faking a tan though—for that you want to use a self-tanner. Clarins and Neutrogena self-tanners are my all-time favorites. Apply them on the face and body to add a softer glow to the skin and get a bit of color, then layer the bronzer on top. The bronzer is just there to complement that color—it’s not there to make you an entirely different shade.