Makeup Before and After: Bronzy Bridesmaid

Another day, another makeup transformation. I took these over the weekend at a wedding I worked at the Brown Palace here in Denver. It’s the brides sister (and maid of honor), who requested a punched up version of her usual look with some bronzy highlights that would photograph well. Here’s the before and after along with a few things that made the look possible.

My Hero Products for the Look:

Estée Lauder: Bronze Goddess Soft Duo Bronzer

Finding a bronzer that looks good in the office is one thing, but finding one that photographs well and lasts all day is another. Lauder has gotten good at bronzing and their one-shade-works-for-most duo is a go-to for a lot of makeup artists because of its instant tanning affect that’s perfect in any light. Keep in mind that bronzer isn’t meant to be used all over the face, just the top of the forehead, chin, and under the cheek bones gives a dynamic look. A little bit of brozner is pretty and youthful, bronzer all over is Jersey Shore.

Tarte: emphasEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Black

emphasEYES is as good as any gel liner out there (better than Bobbi for precision because it isn’t as slippery) but with mineral-derived pigments and a natural formula.I used it on her upper lash line with the pointy side of the brush (shown below), then I did a smudgy application under her lower lash line with the diffusing side of the brush. I’ve seen girls literally cry over this liner without it moving. Liner is important to a look and this is one I trust.

L’Oreal: Double Extend Eye Illuminator in Black Quartz

I’m still using Double Extend in my kit – I’ve never had a problem with smudging or moving and these are brides and bridesmaids who are basically sweating and crying all day long. Double Extend Eye Illuminator offers the same great formula on one side in black, but replaces the primer side with a shimmering formula and a round tipped brush meant to highlight the lashes. I don’t know how much the glimmer actually brings a highlight to the lash, but I love the shape of the brush to work mascara into the outer part of the lashes where they’re the longest and need some extra bulk.

KohGenDo: Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in Shades 2 and 3 blended together

I’ve blogged about KohGenDo Foundation before, it’s a well-loved pick for Makeup Artists who forgo airbrushing for a more controlled (and safer) application. It enhances skin and gives a good amount of coverage without making it look like you’re wearing a mask. You can see in these pics that some of her freckles are still showing (I outright refuse to cover freckles beyond what the foundation does because I think they’re so cute), but the bulk of her discoloration is gone and her skin is still showing through and glowing. No need to powder over top either, the formula itself contains 10% powder so it’s self-setting.

Makeup Before and After: Camille

Another great before and after with Camille, a bride I met recently for her makeup trial-run before her big day in October. She has huge blue eyes with a ton of lid space and a perfect crease- most women need surgery for lids like this. Her fair skin just needed a little bronzing, some pink lips, and taupe lids to get the perfect amount of pop. With fair skin, keep in mind that color is amplified so it’s easy to go overboard without realizing it. Sheer formulas and a light bronzer are your friends.


Beautiful Before..


…And Beautiful After

My Hero Products For the Look:

Estée Lauder: Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée from their limited Fall 11′ Modern Mercury Collection

Lighter in color and weight than most bronzers, this illuminating gel-powder gives the skin natural warmth without deepening the tone too much. I used it to frame her face, extending down her neck for a seamless transition. There’s no need for a spray tan on your wedding day, bronzer gives an even (and predictable!) application every time.

Alima Pure: Press Pass Limited Edition Shadow from their Fall Runway Collection

Alima’s Press Pass is a sheer, smokey taupe to punch up her blues without a heavy or smokey look – it’s a wedding not a night club. When looking for shadows to suit your skin, keep in mind the weight of the formula and not the actual color; fair skin is flattered by sheer shades and deeper skin tones can wear more saturated ones. Measure the shadow’s weight by applying swatches of the color on the back of your hand, if you can’t see any skin showing through from behind the shadow it’s not a sheer formula. The more skin that shows through, the more sheer it is.

Tarte: LipSurgence in Frisky

Camille, like me, isn’t a big lipstick wearer, but a lip color is essential when photographs are involved. I LOVE (and wear) Tarte’s Lipsurgence lip tints. They’re a sort of tinted gel balm that give enough sheer color   to avoid looking washed out. I have a more neutral one I wear daily, then a punched up version (like Frisky) that I wear for TV appearances.

Heavy vs Sheer. Keeping weight in mind when choosing color will open up new doors for fair-skinned ladies looking to keep it feminine without overdoing it.

Beauty Essentials You Don’t Already Have

You think you have beauty product known to (wo)man you’ll ever need. You’re the Macgyver of beauty, the one your friends go to when they need something to grow their brows, plump their lips, and make their skin glow. Would it surprise you to find out that you’re missing a few things? These uniquely cool offerings will add value to your beauty arsenal and sharpen your routine not to mention hold firm your reputation as your friends’ resident beauty know-it-all.

You Don’t Have: An Eyeliner This Color

Aside from the fact that the wear time of this liner is limitless, the color is nothing short of incredible. Every woman should own Estée Lauder’s Silver Zinc liner, a somewhat smokey grey with a touch of warmth. I’ve been using it to line under the eyes while still using black on top. It breaks up the look and adds a softness where black might be overpowering especially during the day. It’s a totally eye catching look that works on all ages and skin tones. FYI- it’s a limited edition color, grab one while they’re still available, I predict they’ll sell out soon.

You Don’t Have: A Shower in a Bottle

Admit it, there are days when laziness wins and the daily shower gets pushed aside. Instead of piling on a fragrance, you can spray on a shower-fresh scent like Lush’s Dirty Body Spray (nice name btw.) It’s meant to neutralize a not so fresh scent with their own yummy blend to successfully fake out the noses around you into smelling a much cleaner you.

You Don’t Have: Professional-Grade Vegan Brushes

Makeup Artist Samantha Champan knows what makes a good brush and her brush line reflects just that. They’re made with synthetic taklon brushes, so they’re vegan and 100% cruelty free. They’re ultra plush, high performing, and designed to take up minimal room- each one stands up on its end. Grab them at Ulta where you’ll find sets of 3 or 4 brushes being offered for less than you’d normally pay for just one in a department store.

You Don’t Have: A Waterproof Bronzer

Cargo is known for their legendary cheek colors and bronzers. This huge tin of perfectly balanced Water Resistant Bronzer is in my kit so I can bronze brides who have a good amount of dancing (and sweating) to do. It doesn’t move or change color even in the most humid conditions making it a go-to for the Makeup Artists on Dancing With the Stars.

You Don’t Have: Gluten Free Skincare

Brittanie’s Thyme is one of the better USDA certified organic lines out there with solid gluten-free options. This kit includes one of my favs from the line, their Organic Everyday Moisturizer that uses a base of Aloe and Coconut Oil to gently moisturize and nourish even the most delicate skin.

You Don’t Have: Razor Burn Relief

Res-Q from Satin Smooth delivers quick rescue for ingrown hairs, razor burn, bumps, and skin irritation after waxing, shaving, or threading. It’s one of those really useful things to have around in case of emergencies or to use daily if you’re prone to skin irritation from shaving.

You Don’t Have: A Cleanser That Smells This Good

My beloved Sanitas has this Lemon Cream Cleanser that I swear smells like a really decadent dessert. Sure it removes makeup and acts as a gentle, all-around great cleanser with hydrators and vitamins, but it’s the scent that makes using it an addiction.

Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzer Concentrate

Even though I didn’t pony up the $40 for Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Bronzing Concentrate the other day at Whole Foods, I’ll probably grab it once my other liquid bronzer is gone. I use a liquid bronzer mixed with a moisturizer on my neck since it’s naturally several shades lighter than my face. I also use it mixed in with a body lotion or oil and apply it to my arms, legs, and chest when I want a little more color in a pinch.

I liked this deep shade which gave my arms a nice bronzy glow that wasn’t too dark. Because it’s concentrated, it’s meant to be used as a mix-in so you’ll get more use from this smaller bottle than you’d expect. Though it’s a little higher in price than the one I’m currently using, its clean ingredients and good brand reputation will push this to be my next beauty purchase.

Best Natural Bronzer/ Skin Enhancer: Melvita Carrot Oil

Wouldn’t you just know it, I happened upon one of only 3 Melvita stores in the entire country. It’s located dangerously close at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island and it drew me in last week with its clean, organic chic aesthetic. I picked up a few things including 2 of their signature oils, this Carrot Oil being one of them. More to come on the line a little later.

For now I think I found the holy grail as far as toning up your skin in a natural way (natural in ingredients and appearance alike). Its naturally orangey color looks like it would stain the skin with some crazy bright hue, but that’s not the case at all. Smoothing this quick absorbing oil onto the skin gives it a naturally bronzy radiant look with light hydration that doesn’t feel greasy or heavy.

Check it-

Don’t worry, it doesn’t look this orange once it’s on.
I used a small amount for just a touch of color. Looks scary at first right?
A weird angle of my arms, but a clear look at how the color looks on the left arm. 

I’ve also experimented using it on my cheek bones over makeup and it gives a little extra glow and radiance without any shimmer. For light bronzing, it’s perfect so it’s odd that is isn’t something you typically hear about. Give it a whirl, I bet you’ll love it too.

Melvita Carrot Oil $19

Bronzers for Every Budget

How to you plead to the felony count of not applying enough color to your face? Guilty as charged. Even I sometimes neglect to add this all-important bronzed finish that peps skin up and gives it a glow. If you don’t have one, you should – it’s worth the investment and the few extra seconds it takes to apply

Wet N Wild Mega Glo in Starlight Bronze $4

This seemingly simple bronzer beat out a few others with a much larger price tag because of its balanced gleam-to-color ratio. It’s soft but builds easily without an orangey look even in daylight.

NYX Cosmetics Bronzer Powder $15

Even if this bronzer weren’t fantastic (which it is) I’d buy it just for the cute picture on the face of the powder. It offers a delicate glow making skin (on the face or body) look fresh and alive.

Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer $28

Too Faced does bronzing well. They have a whole category of bronzers for the skin that give an easy golden look without any orange or streaks. I like this one because of the two different intensities, the lighter I use for framing my face, and the darker I use on the center of my face, neck, and arms.