August, at last. Even those of us not heading off on holiday will want to pull off some sort of sun-struck switch-up: strategic tweaks to summer-up our look.
The old policy of covering oneself in muddy bronzing powder is looking exactly that — old. It’s a knee-jerk reaction that tends to flatten, deaden and age the complexions we spend the rest of the year striving to get to glow.
If you must change colour, then create a more contemporary feel with Tan-Luxe’s award-winning magic drops, sprinkled into your skincare to concoct a customised gleam. There’s the original day version: Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops (£36, tan-luxe. com); an overnight Sleep Oil (£36); plus a multitasking hyaluronic serum/gradual tan/SPF 30 in the form of the brand’s Super Glow Serum SPF (£40).
At the same time, not all bronzers are created equal and everyone bows down before Nars Bronzing Powder in the top-selling shade, Laguna (£31, minis £17, narscosmetics.co.uk), and has done for over two decades. Described as a ‘diffused brown with a golden shimmer’, it is greater than the sum of its parts — being finely milled, softly pigmented, only slightly shimmery and beautifully buildable; powder, yes, but in application, almost fluid. A couple of weeks ago, the company upped the blendable ante by launching a Laguna Bronzing Cream (£32.50).
The old policy of covering oneself in muddy bronzing powder is looking exactly that — old. It’s a knee-jerk reaction that tends to flatten, deaden and age the complexions we spend the rest of the year striving to get to glow, says Hannah Betts
Still, I say resist the banal bronze and work with the skin colour Mother Nature gave you. I’m talking about celebrating the skin you find yourself in rather than hiding it; deploying clever creams, tropical blusher, and glistening highlighter to achieve an ageless summer sensuality.
I love to massage in an oil, but even I admit they feel cloying come August. Step forward Skin Proud Frozen Over (£16.95, iamproud.com). It’s an addictively cooling gel-moisturiser that manages to remain pretty chill when applied from the unrefrigerated pot, but is also freezable for up to three hours for full, ice-baby depuffing.
It’s packed with anti-inflammatory aloe vera to calm, hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate, and lemon extract to brighten. Let this sink soothingly in before applying one of the dewier SPFs, namely Saltee’s City Serum SPF+ (£38, saltee.co.uk), which, unlike lesser shields, really brings fresh-faced radiance.
Next, a super-sheer base such as Shiseido’s Synchro Skin SelfRefreshing Tint (£35, shiseido.co.uk), or simply a spot of concealer a la Nars’s Soft Matte Complete Concealer (£24).
Supremely natural-looking, it blurs dark spots, under-eye circles, redness and breakouts with a matte, soft-focus veil. Take your usual blush – on the blue-pink spectrum if you’re cooltoned, coralorange should you be warmer — and dust up along the cheekbones to lend colour and structure. The key for the fetchingly OTT summer flush is to now take a second, more brightly pigmented, cream-stick rouge, smile, then blend liberally on to the apples for a sexpot-smouldering-in-the sun guise.
My great passion here is Bobbi Brown’s fabulously flattering Jones Road Lip and Cheek Sticks (£35.30, jonesroadbeauty.com), applied with the brand’s stupendous Blush Brush (£32.50). My favourite is Royal Plum, a ravishing purplish pink, yours might be Bright Coral, a succulent sheer satsuma. Or dig out last winter’s dramatic lipstick for a budget take, worked in with a brush.
Hannah (pictured) says you should create a contemporary glow if you change colour. She says resist bronze and work with natural colour
Highlighter-wise, the highimpact option is Pat McGrath’s latest addition to her Skin Fetish range: the Xtreme Cyber Orchid Highlighter and Balm Duo (£55, patmcgrath.com), a wild, opalescent shimmer to add to her excellent, less out-there Nude, Golden and Bronze (£47).
For an excellent, durable bargain option you could try OPV Beauty Glitter Gloss (£10, opvbeauty.com). Create small ‘C’ shapes of highlighter running from the outer eyebrow to the top of the cheekbone, sitting aloft your blush.
Then blend all elements so that they’re seamless: the aim is glinting contrast rather than lunatic juxtaposition. Dab a little rouge on your lips and the look will be beauteously blooming beauty.
RACE YOU TO IT
Trinny London T-Brushes (from £20, or £59 for a set of three, trinnylondon.com). Trinny Woodall’s lunatic energy is such that every product excels. The latest sees the queen of finger application bowing to pressure with three fluffy, but flexible, dome-shaped brushes that blur the boundary between slap and skin.
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Kylie Minogue, 54, (pictured) describes her beauty routine as ‘terrible’. She says she grabs whatever is there
The 54-year-old, who returned to Ramsay Street as Charlene to say farewell to Neighbours in the final episode, describes her beauty routine as ‘terrible’. ‘I grab whatever’s there. A serum. A dab of moisturiser. Maybe a cream blush, mascara and lip gloss.’ Try Kylie Lip Gloss (£12, store.kylie.com). She takes spirulina, vitamin D and silica for her hair and nails.
FIVE CURLY HAIR HEROES
Post-wash balm packed with nourishers to cut frizz and define coils.
A quick, multi-tasking, leave-in conditioning serum known to transform straw into silk.
An afro hair hero for taming flyaways. Use a pea-sized amount on kinks, curls and waves.
The top-selling, non-crunchy, natural-oil-based perfector that also revives curls between washes.
The best depuffer for parched hair of all varieties. Every home should have some.
SLMD the Salicylic Acid Spot Corrector (£18, SLMDSkincare.co.uk) is a miracle for pimpleprone skin.
You may be aware of dermatologist Sandra Lee under the alias Dr Pimple Popper, pop culture’s favourite spot splurger.
Her SLMD Skincare line launched here last year and its new hit is a spot zapper, housed in a convenient rollerball. As the good doctor explains: ‘It’s formulated with maximum-strength salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates and unclogs pores.’
If you’re rolling your eyes at such gimmickry, then stop right now.
It’s brilliant, not least on midlife summer skin, always threatening to go bump in the night. Bravo, Dr Pimple Popper.