From moisturizer to powder to gel, here's a rundown of get-the-glow goodies.
1. Tinted moisturizer
Tinted moisturizer offers no-commitment glow and moisture in one, plus SPF protection in most cases. Go a shade deeper than one you'd ordinarily use, such as medium if you have a fair complexion and so on. The super sheer quality will give you just a hint of colour.
Products to try: Dermalogica Sheer Moisture SPF 15 ($53, www.dermalogica.ca); DuWop Revolution Face SPF 15 ($30, www.sephora.com); or Cover Girl Advance Radiance Age-Defying Sheer Moisturizing Makeup SPF 15 ($12.99, drugstores).
2. Moisturizers with a bit of self-tanner
These popular hybrids are goof-proof routes to a natural-looking colour. The low DHA content (2 per cent or lower) as well as regular exfoliation make streaks pretty much impossible. Try Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer ($9.99), which comes in three shades, or Evian Affinity Holiday Skin Moisturiser ($25, www.evianaffinity.ca). For sun protection too, look for Olay Touch of Sun Daily UV Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 ($19.99).
Of course, if you want to make a safe colour commitment, self-tanner for the face is your answer. Try Yves Rocher Lift Effect Sunless Tanning Care ($12.50, Yves Rocher boutiques; www.yvesrocher.ca), which delivers an instant cooling effect as well as wrinkle smoothing, plus colour in an hour; Clarins Sheer Bronze Self Tanning Hydrating Gel for Face ($28, www.clarins.com) with antioxidants develops colour in under two hours; or Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Face SPF 15 ($12.99, drugstores), which lets you customize the intensity.
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The news with powder formats this season is matte, which is terrific for oily skin. Try N.Y.C. Matte Bronzer ($3.99, drugstores); Physician's Formula Baked Pyramid Matte Bronzer ($19.99, drugstores); or EstÃ©e Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer ($40, department stores).
5. Gel and liquid
Sheer gel formulas are good for dry skin. Try Stila Sun Gel ($24, Holt Renfrew; www.sephora.com), Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel ($30, Holt Renfrew; www.sephora.com) or Clinique True Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face ($18.50, department stores; www.sephora.com). Liquids also offer a really natural look because they sink into skin rather than sit on top. As well, you can mix in moisturizer or foundation to customize a shade. Try LancÃ´me Star Bronzer liquid highlighter ($31, department stores; www.sephora.com) or Origins Sunny Disposition Liquid Bronzer ($25, select Bay stores).
Good-to-glow application tips:
1. Make gentle exfoliation a regular part of your cleansing regimen to ensure even colour, whatever medium you choose.
2. Bronzer that is too dark makes skin look muddy. The lighter your skin, the lighter gold your shade should be. The darker your skin, the more copper your shade should be. Thankfully, finding the right hue is easier now because corresponding skin tones are often indicated on the packaging, as is the case with L'Oreal Paris Glam Bronze Pressed Powder ($13.95, drugstores), Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder ($44, Guerlain boutiques; select Bay stores) and YSL Poudre de Soleil SPF 10, ($58, Holt Renfrew).
3. Using a powder? Start with an all-over dusting of translucent powder so the bronzer goes on evenly. Dip a powder or blush brush into bronzer, tap bristle tips against a tissue or the back of your other hand, then sweep across the tops of cheeks, bridge of the nose, and on your temples, with the barest bit on the chin.
4. Going with a gel or liquid? Give your moisturizer time to sink into bare skin, then apply gel or liquid bronze sparingly with fingertips.
5. Bright pink or deep rose blush on the apples of cheeks over bronzer mimics the rosy just-out-of-the-sun glow. Try Benefit Dallas ($34, select Bay stores; www.sephora.com), a warm rose hue that looks good on a range of complexions; Benefit Benetint ($28) cheek stain before bronzer is also a great-for-everyone flush.
6. Using tinted moisturizer or moisturizer with self-tanner? Highlight smooth cheekbones with shimmery CARGO Beach Blush in Cable Beach or Echo Beach ($26, select Bay stores; www.sephora.com).
Now that you're a self-bronzing expert, feel free to continue after summer wanes -- a glowing, seemingly sunkissed complexion is always welcome, whatever the season.
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