The Best Bronzers for Pale Skin

This post was meant to go up last Thursday, but I didn't get around to writing it. But this works out nicely because I feel like it's a good followup to my review of the Glossier Invisible Shield from yesterday - they just did a post about bronze-y looks yesterday on Into the Gloss, too.

If you've met me/seen a picture of me, you'll probably know that I'm super pale and also quite pink-toned (those Irish genes though). If I don't put some kind of color on my face, I tend to look sick/dead, so I always make sure to use a blush or bronzer or both when I'm wearing makeup. I feel like it's been easier to find flattering shades of blush (especially when I've got my favorite Glossier Cloud Paints to play with), but bronzer is a different story - it's too dark, too orange, too yellow, too muddy. I've finally found a few that I love and that mimic the look of catching a little bit of a tan without even needing to go out into the sun.

The Warm Ones

I have to be careful with warm tones - if I go too far, it's really easy for me to go into Oompa-Loompa territory. A super blendable formula that's not too deep is perfect here, because you need the ability to add just a touch of warmth without going overboard. I've loved the Guerlain Terracotta 'Joli Teint' Bronzing Powder in 00 since I got it last fall. It's a nice shade that adds just a touch of color to the cheeks, and I love swirling the blush shade into it, too, to add a bit of a flush. A stunning and spendy option I couldn't resist was La Mer The Bronzing Powder - it's quite a bit warmer than I was expecting, but it doesn't cross the line into unwearable for me. This is one of the most stunningly blendable powders I've ever tried. I love that there's different sections to mix together - sometimes I avoid mixing in a lot of the second shade to tone down the warmth. If you've been wanting to treat yourself, this is a must for sure. Do be aware though that both of these options are quite fragranced, in case your skin is sensitive to that.

The Neutral Ones

Because of my cool tones, neutral bronzers are the easiest for me to wear. They still add warmth in comparison to my skin, but it never verges on orange. I'm always drawn to cream products, so the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked is one of my favorite bronzers. It melts into the skin and blends out super easily with fingers or a brush, so it's perfect on the go. A new addition is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Nude Bronze Light - this is their new shade meant for fair/light skintones. It adds such a lovely luminous look to the skin, so it's the one I always reach for in a rush. It really eliminates the need for extra blush and bronzer, and it just makes the skin look "done" in one swipe. A foolproof option is the Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion - they're quite sheer, so it's virtually impossible to go overboard. They have so many shade options, too, so it should be easy to find a good match. I have the shade 15I, which is the lightest luminous one, and they have matte choices as well (they have an M in the shade name).

The Red Ones

Hear me out - you'd probably think you'd want to steer clear of red tones, but if you're pale like me, you might tend to go a little red rather than tan. So a bronzer with more of a red tone is really the most natural-looking option. I've been singing the praises of the Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sunkissed since I got it last summer - not only is the compact beautiful, but the product inside is as well. This is the one that turned me on to red-toned bronzers. It gives my skin the most beautiful, just-got-back-from-the-beach flush. My favorite of them all, I think, is the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder. Again, there's many shades in the line, but I have Elvis Duran. This is also specifically formulated with red tones to emulate the most natural tan. Again, it's actually super flattering on my skin and leaves me looking sunkissed rather than sunburned. The formula is beautiful, pigmented, and blendable as well.

What are your favorite bronzers? What kinds of shades are you normally drawn to?


The Twenty-Fifth Birthday Splurge

One of my goals for the year was to spend less money on new beauty products. And so far, I'm failing miserably. I had been good (well, better than usual) for a couple weeks, and since 25 is kind of a big birthday, I decided to treat myself to a few things using some of my birthday money. I'm hoping this will be my "last hurrah" of sorts, especially because we set a date for our wedding (!!) so saving money for that feels a whole lot more real now.

La Mer The Bronzing PowderI tried to resist this one, I really did. I certainly didn't need another bronzer, let alone one this expensive. But it's just so beautiful. I can see myself using this for years to come, and it makes me feel so happy to take it out and use it. It's such a lovely shade when all four sections are mixed together - not too orange, not too gray, with just a hint of glowy-ness. It's super smooth and pigmented and blends over the skin effortlessly. It does have a bit of perfume to it, so that's something to keep in mind if your skin is sensitive to that.

Givenchy Le Prisme Blush, 'Vintage Pink' | I found this beauty while perusing Sephora's website and decided the shade Vintage Pink had to be mine - I've been into brighter blushes lately. The formula of this is insane, so much softer and smoother than I was expecting! It kicks up a little bit of powder, but that's not something that ever annoys me about a product. I convinced my sister she needed the peach shade, and she vouches for how gorgeous it is, too.

By Terry Rouge Expert Click Stick, 'Bare Me' | I had heard nothing but rave reviews about these lipsticks, and being a fan of the few By Terry products I've tried, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try one out for myself. I of course chose one of the nudes, Bare Me, and it's a beautiful color - not too beige, not too pink, just right. The formula is lovely as well. It glides onto the lips so comfortably and smoothly, and yet it's quite matte. It doesn't feel dry at all, though - this may be a dangerous new find.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration GelDespite knowing this wouldn't be hydrating enough for my skin type on its own (gels never are), I wanted to try this to layer underneath more hydrating creams as more of a serum step. I had tried it on my hand recently in Sephora and was amazed at how smooth my skin instantly felt. So far it's been love, as is everything else I've tried from Drunk Elephant.

Dior Addict Lip Glow PomadeThis just looked too chic to ignore. I'm a huge fan of the original Dior Lip Glow balm, so I needed to try its new(ish) gloss counterpart. It doesn't really give my lips a color like the original does, but it's super comfortable and a beautiful gloss nonetheless. It feels quite nourishing on the lips and not sticky whatsoever - it's one of those "cushion-y" glosses.

Milk Makeup Eye Vinyl, 'Bridge' | I'm suddenly VERY into the glossy eyelid look (more on that soon), so I wanted to try one of the Eye Vinyls from Milk Makeup. I like that it's in a convenient click-pen so I can use it on the go without my fingers getting sticky. The color bridge is a sheer nude color that pretty much looks like a clear gloss - just what I wanted. I use a thin layer, but it doesn't feel sticky or goopy at all and gives me that editorial look I've been wanting.

Kevyn Aucoin The Exotique Diamond Eye GlossEven though I got the Milk Makeup product, I just couldn't resist this one. I had been adding it and removing it from my cart since it came out, so I finally decided to bite the bullet. This one is GORGEOUS, and if you just want to find the best of the best for eye gloss, this is it. It has tiny shimmer particles suspended in it, but this only adds to the glossy look once on the eyes - it doesn't look glittery in the slightest. This feels a little tackier than the Milk option, but it just means it sticks around longer. It's not going to keep your eyes glued open, A Clockwork Orange-style, or anything.

Have you gotten any fun new beauty products lately? And let me know if you're an April baby, too!