How to avoid the orange Irish woman look

The paler you are, the more difficult those bronzing products are to navigate

Clockwise from top left: Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting Kit; Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow; Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base; Armani Fluid Sheer; Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder.

Clockwise from top left: Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting Kit; Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow; Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base; Armani Fluid Sheer; Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder.

 

Bronzer is tricky business and most Irish women will have a couple of traumatic experiences related to bronzing stored in their mental bank.

These experiences will usually involve a department store make-up artist or female relative launching themselves at you with a grimy orange brush and muttering something about “warming you up”, like a Tupperware box full of yesterday’s lunch. The end result usually being that your skin and face has been transformed into several shades of orange. Among all of the diverse and lovely skin tones that human beings come in, orange is definitely not one them. There is no one orange under the sun.

 I believe heartily in investing in a good bronzing product and doing it right, that is if you want to do it at all – we are better now at embracing pale skin than ever, and there is much to be said for doing so.

The paler you are, the more difficult bronzing products are to navigate. Most will look mucky and smeared on, like a dog business freshly skidded into. Texture is key – creams should never be applied over powder products.

The best place to start is underneath your make-up, with a liquid, cream or gel product which is easy to apply and can be managed more easily than a powder applied over the top of a full face of slightly damp make-up.

Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow (¤40 from Brown Thomas).
Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow (€40 from Brown Thomas).

This is the most brilliant warming-up product I have tried and works wonders on men and women. Apply it sparingly underneath your make-up, and then proceed as normal. It looks like skin turned very subtly golden in the sun.

 Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base (¤40 from Arnotts).
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base (€40 from Arnotts).

This product does similarly sterling work, but is best applied after foundation and under blush. It isn’t a contour product – you don’t wear it to structure the face, but a little bit buffed where the sun naturally hits the face creates a supremely healthy, shine-free glow. You can apply it underneath foundation for an even more natural finish.

Armani Fluid Sheer 

Armani Fluid Sheer (¤46 from Brown Thomas).
Armani Fluid Sheer (¤46 from Brown Thomas).

Sometimes the best bronzing product is not a bronzing cosmetic. This comes in many shades and is a miracle worker. If you are paler, look for a bronze shade with a reddish undertone – this won’t make the skin look red, but will mimic the soft russet tone that pale skin naturally turns in the sun. It should be applied in thin, sheer layers and looks absolutely sensational when done correctly. It also makes a beautiful blush.

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (€37 from Debenhams).
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (€37 from Debenhams).

If you prefer a bronzing powder opt for something that isn’t sparkly and does not veer orange. This is a classic safe bet and comes in cooler undertones for a natural look on paler skins. Apply it in thin layers and build up – it is far easier to apply more of a powder product than to remove it.

Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting Kit

Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting €17.55 from asos.co.uk).
Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting €17.55 from asos.co.uk).

 This is lovely for custom-blending your own shade of bronzer, and works especially well for deeper skins, from asos.co.uk.

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