Makeup Menu: Back to Basics


After recent dabblings in high-end bases (and a particularly long stint of loyalty to the Diorskin Nude BB Crème) I have regressed to some old favorites.



Body Shop Honey Bronzer


I had a Hoola Bronzer stage.  Then was the Nars Laguna obsession, followed quickly with the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer phase.  Now, I’ve landed on The Body Shop’s Honey Bronzer in 01.

My main problem with lots of bronzers is that they tend to be too dark or too orange for my fair skin or too shimmery to use as a contour.  All the others I mentioned are great bronzers, but they have been replaced by this Honey Bronzer–my new holy grail.

It is cool enough to use as a contour and somehow warm enough to brighten up the face and give a sun-kissed look.  01 is the lightest shade they offer and is perfect for my ultra pale complexion, but they have 3 more darker shades that will work for a variety of skin tones.  The lightest, however, is perfect for those of us who are often foiled by dark bronzers that look unnatural on fair skin.

I highly recommend this powder bronzer; it’s become a staple in my makeup bag.


Easy Go-To Makeup from Tanya Burr

This is an easy makeup look that I think anyone can achieve with items they probably already have in their makeup collection.

Using bronzer as eye shadow is one of my favorite beauty tricks.  You can even simplify Tanya’s look further by only using one foundation and one concealer and using the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze instead of the Chanel cream shadow.


Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer

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After seeing every British beauty blogger review this Bourjois chocolate bronzer and use it in tutorials I had been lusting after it for quite some time.  Finally, I got my hands on one and I couldn’t wait, I had to use it before I photographed it for my blog.

It was love at first sight.  I enjoy the book-like packaging and magnetic closure, but let’s talk about the scent.  This bronzer actually smells like chocolate.  It’s divine.

Mine is in shade 51, which is ideal since I am so fair, but there is also a darker 52 that I think any fair to medium skin tones could get away with using.  In the packaging it looks like there is some shimmer, but none of that transfers when you apply it so it can be used for contouring and bronzing.

I am a fan of this bronzer (although I think I still prefer my Hoola bronzer slightly more).  In Europe it is a drugstore product with drugstore prices, but ordering it and shipping it across the pond does make it more expensive.  It’s not a must-have if it is difficult or pricey to get your hands on, but if its available near you I’d definitely pick up for your daily bronzing needs.


Soleil Tan de Chanel


This is the ultimate in luxury when it comes to cream bronzer.  Coming from Chanel, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be opulent to use and after hearing several other bloggers rave about it I had to buy it.

When I first swatched it in the store, I was discouraged by how orange it appeared on my fair skin.  After blending it in it seemed to look better, but I wasn’t sold yet.  This is supposed to be a universal complexion bronzer and the girl working the counter reassured me that it would work with my skin tone.


I tried it first with my angled contour brush, which made it difficult to blend and distributed the product unevenly.  Worst of all it still looked orange!  Blending it more with my brush eventually rubbed all the cream off and definitely did not bronze my face.


After failing with this product various synthetic and duo-fiber brushes, I tried applying it with my trusty Beauty Blender.

And it was magical…as is applying most liquid/cream products with the Beauty Blender.

First, I apply my foundation and then I use the side of my Beauty Blender to stipple some of this bronzer on to my cheek bones, forehead and anywhere I would normally contour.  It looks radiant and super natural–like my skin, but better and more sun-kissed.

Now that I have perfected the technique for applying it, this is one of my favorite products. If you have dry skin I would definitely recommend this product because the creamy texture blends easily into skin and gives an almost dewy, luminous finish.  The price is a bit steep, but you get a lot of product and an incredibly beautiful finish if you learn to work with the product.


5 Summer Makeup Essentials


Bronzer– Bronzer is the classic makeup essential to give you that kissed-by-the-sun glow. Find one that suits your skin tone and has a slight shimmer to brighten up your complexion and give you a lit-from-within appearance.

SPF Foundation- Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation is my current favorite summer foundation.  With SPF 18 and a matte finish it is perfect for hotter weather.  Not to mention its blends flawlessly into skin. But, if you have any dry patches I’d recommend L’Oreal True Match Foundation instead since it doesn’t cling to dryness as much.

Bright Lip– Summer is the perfect time to play with bright lips. Everyone knows I am a huge fan of the Revlon Lip Butters and my new go-to shade is Sorbet. It gives a fun pop of hot pink and brightens everything up with some color.

Setting SprayNYX Matte Finish Setting Spray is my favorite product for summer. I wrote a rave review of it here. Essentially, it helps the pigments in your makeup last all day and prevents everything from melting away in the heat.

Blotting Papers– These are in my handbag at all times.  Instead of having to constantly cake on powder throughout the day to combat shine, these little blotting papers absorb oil and restore a matte finish to the face.  There isn’t one particular brand I prefer and you can find them at any drug store; I picked mine up at Ulta.