Starting Off: Bronzer

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I seem to be running a week behind on #theSOproject lately! Though I do have a good excuse this time as I was prepping for my surprise trip to London that was organised by my lovely boyfriend for my birthday present! I got the train down on Thursday and met him at St Pancras where he whisked me away to a lovely 4* hotel where we got upgraded to an executive room! Another part of my surprise was tickets to see Phantom of the Opera on Friday night, which was absolutely mind blowing! The rest of the time was spent sight seeing, shopping on Oxford St and generally wandering around taking in the atmosphere, it was a lovely trip and I can't believe he managed to keep it all a secret from me! Maybe I'll do a proper blog post on it with a few of my pictures.

Anyway, back to business! We have already covered Concealer and Foundation in previous weeks, which help to create an even canvas, Bronzer is then used to add shadow and contours to your face, as well as a lovely sun-kissed glow. As someone with dreadfully pale skin, I like to use bronzer to add some colour to my face and help to define my round completely undefined face! I do wish I had natural killer cheekbones, but at least with bronzer I can fake them a little!

Now you can get different types of bronzers, with different shades to suit different skin tones - also some are shimmery and some are matte. Now matte bronzers and shimmery bronzers are used to achieve different looks, so I'm going to go into what they are used for and how they are applied in a little more detail - each with an example of bronzers that I currently own.

Shimmery bronzer

Shimmery bronzers help to reflect the light in order to achieve a natural sun-kissed look and to get lovely glowing skin. This is a different look compared to when using matte bronzers, don't use a shimmery bronzer is you want to define and sculpt your face, purely use shimmery bronzers for a natural glow. Shimmery bronzers are applied to wherever the light hits your face - cheeks, forehead, chin and bridge of your nose, you can also add shimmery bronzer to your collar bones which is perfect for evening looks if you don't feel like using fake tan and just want to add a bit of a natural glow.

Apply shimmery bronzers with a large fluffy brush to avoid any harsh edges, the aim of a shimmery brush is to look naturally sun-kissed so you don't want any harsh, obvious lines across your face. Less is also more, so don't overload your brush with bronzer, it's a lot easier to build up a few layers if desired instead of going full throttle and overloading with the shimmer!

A shimmery bronzer I have in my collection is Bourjois' Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder (Sorry if my one looks a bit well used, I have had this one a while!) . This is one of my favourite shimmery bronzers to use, it has golden shimmery flecks that boosts the complexion of your skin and really does make your skin have a healthy glow, the gold tones look really natural and will not make you look orange. This particular bronzer also has a delectable chocolatey scent, with the chocolate bar themed shape as well who would be able to resist using this every day for their chocolate fix?! Another plus about this particular bronzer is that it lasts absolutely ages! Even though it takes a few applications to get a decent colour, this bronzer is everlasting and never seems to run out!

You can sort of see from this swatch the shimmery golden tones from this bronzer where the light hits it. The colour isn't harsh and brassy, it just looks really natural, so when applied correctly, it will give you a luscious glow like you've just come back from a short break away! But as I've mentioned before, do not use to sculpt and define your face, with all the shimmer you will end up looking like a glitter ball and it will not define your face as it will just reflect the light instead of creating shadow and definition.

Matte Bronzer

The flip-side of using bronzer is to create killer cheekbones that even models would be envious of! Even if you weren't blessed with a heart shaped face, you can fake it by using matte bronzers. Matte bronzers help to contour your face and add definition, I especially like to add matte bronzer to my round baby face to fake  it looking a little thinner and more defined!

Using both a matte bronzer and a highlighter in the right places really do shape your face as it tricks the way the light hits your face and adds shadow to shape certain areas of your face such as the hollows of your cheeks and temples and also adds extra light to highlight your natural bone structure. 

I've created this template to give you an indication of where to use matte bronzers and highlighters to really bring out your bone structure and create the perfect shape (Please remember I'm not a beauty expert, this is just what I've found from my own experiences). Rule of thumb is to use highlighter on places that the light naturally hits, this will help to reflect extra light and emphasize these areas - automatically shaping your face and making it look bright and healthy. These areas include your chin, brow bone, under eyes, bridge of your nose and T-zone. For the matte bronzer, use on areas you want to add extra shadow to such as the hollows of your cheeks, temples and the top of your forehead, This will automatically sculpt into your face making it look thinner and more shaped, The contrast between the matte bronzer and highlighter alters the look and shape of your face to emulate the look a a more defined bone structure!

To apply matte bronzer use a smaller tapered brush so you can really work your matte bronzer into the right places and create effective shadowing across your face. Also make sure you do blend the bronzer, even though you want definition, it's still got to look natural and not just strong lines of bronzer across your cheekbones and forehead, just gently blend out into your hairline. 

My latest matte bronzer is L'Oreal's Glam Bronze Duo Powder, Which contains a light matte bronze colour as well as a smaller shimmery powder which can be used as a highlighter, this can also be used as a shimmery bronzer if you would like to mix both powders together- so you can achieve two looks in one! As you can see from the swatch, this bronzer is a natural matte golden colour, you can buy this bronzer in a darker colour, but as I have such pale skin anyway, I didn't want to use a ridiculously dark bronzer. This product is very buildable, so you can use it to achieve the amount of definition you want, it is also easy to blend, so you can be assured that your defined cheekbones will look as natural as possible (I won't tell if you don't). This duo bronzer also comes with a flip compact mirror and bronzing brush, so this is handy to pop into your handbag for touch-ups throughout the day and night.

I hope you found this post helpful, I'm doing my best to catch up with all my blogging and my posts for #theSOproject, so hopefully you will see more from me and my blog! If you like to use bronzer which do you prefer, matte or shimmery? Please leave me a comment with products you like to use to achieve these different looks as I'll love to know what else is on the market!

Amie xx

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