‘Tis the season tanaholics long for—the time to show off their bronze goddess supremacy. Snooki and JWoww are not alone when it comes to the abuse of bronzers, self tanners, and spray tans. But orange streaks and sparkly cheeks are not a forgone conclusion for gals in search of some safe summer color without nuking their skin.
There are some tricks to knowing how and also how much bronzer to apply without crossing the fab to fake line. Choose a shade that is not too dark for you—about one shade deeper than your natural skin tone—and go lightly. Avoid coming to a complete stop at your jawline and leaving a visible line of demarcation. Apply bronzer where you would naturally tan (forehead, bridge of the nose, cheekbones, chest) and blend evenly, including the neck and decollete. P.S. Watch your hairline too.
Here are the BITB team’s 6 BEST bronzers for this season – from luxe to less than you thought:
Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons Tailor-Made Bronzing Powder ($75) – Available in two palettes intended for brunettes or blondes, this bronzing powder quad has it all. Use the lighter tones for highlighting cheekbones and the deeper tones to contour.
Tom Ford Beauty Limited Edition Illuminating Cheek Blush ($58) – A perfect pearly stick of luminosity that adds a lovely soft afterglow; try Guilt for a subtle look and lighter skin types, or go bolder with Bronzed Amber. It’s like an upscale variation on the classic Nars Multiples.
Laura Mercier Baked Blush Bronze Compact ($36) – Pink pearly bits are mixed into this baked powder that adds a touch of sheen wherever you want it and goes on evenly.
Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning ($35 at clarins.com) – A light, creamy whipped formula that goes on smoothly and suits fair blondes to brunettes with a natural looking sunkissed glow. Less is more with this one.
Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator ($25) – We love this sheer liquid gold that comes in three great shades—Natural, Bronze and Blush—and is perfect for fair skin tones and anyone who wants a fresh hint of brightness.
L’Oreal Sublime Bronze™ Luminous Bronzer ($11) – This fast drying lotion with self-tanner and vitamin E gives your complexion an instant boost that lasts.
NOTE: None of these contain sun protection, so make sure you use an SPF30 daily.