"Glow Baby Glow!" How to: Bronzer & Highlighter (+ Video!)

When the weather is drab and the sun isn't shining, we still want gorgeous sun kissed skin! Flying away to Bali for the weekend sounds oh-so fabulous but unfortunately if you're a hard working, committed and a busy Demoiselle, you most likely wont have the time! Opting to go to a tanning salon can leave you with harmful skin damage and pre mature aging (no thanks!) so I am going to show you some ways to look like a bronzed California girl (even in minus degree weather). I have tested out ALL these products myself and they have received the "oh-my-gosh-you-must-try-this" VLD stamp of approval!

1) Bronzer 
Finding the perfect bronzer is like finding the perfect boyfriend - it will make you look warm, makes you glow and doesn't leave you feeling fake! And once you find a good one, hold on to it for life!
The most important thing about bronzers is making it look natural and not over done. Remember, the sun may shine on your entire face, but it will only really "bronze/darken" the high points of the face which are (cheek bones, forehead and nose). I also recommend bronzing (matt only) under your jawline (it will shave 10lbs off of anyone!)
My favorites!
1) MAC Bronzing Powder in "Matte Bronze" $23 - Hands down the best bronzer I've ever tried! I have gotten so many compliments when using this bronzer... Mr.MAC and I got married :)

2) ELF Cosmetics "Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder" $3 - This has small shimmers in it, perfect for dry & combination skinned ladies. A great alternative! I highly recommend this for the value and the quality. (DUPE for famous NARS's "Laguna" Bronzer)

Other highly recommend brands are Urban Decay's "Baked Bronzer" $24, Benefits "Hoola", $28 and Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, $47.

How to Apply:
  • Start by making a "fish face" to accentuate your cheek bones.
  • With a large fluffy brush apply bronzer in a "C" shape starting at the middle of your cheekbone, up onto the side of your face, and up until your hairline, "C" motion style
  • Apply to the sides of your nose
  • Apply in crease of eye in "window-wiper" motion
  • Apply all over jawline and onto top of neck (all of these steps will also contour your face - giving it more shape)
  • If you have a light skin tone, don't over do your bronzer so that your whole face is covered with it and we loose sight of your natural beauty.
  • If you have oily skin, find a matt bronzer (without shimmer) as adding shimmer to your face will only make you look more oily, a matt bronzer will compliment your skin beautifully (and remove excess shine!)
  • If you have a dark skin tone, instead of focusing too much on bronzer, focus more on highlighting the high points of your face (discussed in next section)
2) Highlighter
If you ever wondered how the models in the magazines got that "glow", that "little-extra-something" you can't put your finger on? Well, a makeup artists trick to make any face look glowing and awake is highlighter! This is a common step most ladies forget, but it can make the biggest difference to your face. First I will show you my favorite highlighters, then I will talk about application and tips.
My Favorites!
1) NARS "Albatross" Highlighter, $27 - This is worth the price! I have been using this for 2 years and it blends beautifully with my skin tone. A must have!

2) Benefit "High Beam Luminizer", $24 - An industry favorite, this highlighter is in a creamy form. Great for using on bare skin as blending is a breeze. 

3) Victoria's Secret "Love Me Wild" in "369 - White Hot", $16 - (Second one down) By far, the cutest and most adorable packing I have ever seen! Leopard print blushes and highlighters, I bought it for this reason alone! And I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it on. It has a lot of shimmer in it, so go easy.

How to Apply:
  • Apply on top of bronzer just underneath the eye
  • Apply on bridge & center down the nose
  • Apply on cupids bow (top of lip) - this adds the ultimate golden goddess touch!
  • Apply in the inner corner of eye and on brow bone
  • Always dust off your brush before applying product to face (fall out and stripes are not pretty)
  • Blend blend blend! After applying bronzer and highlighter (optional: blush) take a large brush and blend all together, so you are left with a beautiful gradient of tones
I recommend staying out of the sun as much as possible and to always wear a lotion or day cream with a minimum of SPF 15. Please don't bake yourself in a tanning bed, as this will leave heavy traces on your skin down the line.  This lotion listed below will give you a streak free, mess free, orange-free, smelly-free beautiful tan! :)
1) Hawaiian Tropic - Island Radiance™ Self Tanner – Medium & Dark Crème Lotion, $7

This is the best lotion and the only one deserved to be written about. It has received the the highest ratings and reviews across the board, for providing natural looking color and free of strong smells. (I once used the drugstore favorite, Jergens "Natural Glow" Self Tanner and the smell alone caused me to stay away from this product. I recommend saving your money on that one.)
Check out the video review!

These are my favorite products for getting smooched by the sun! Let me know if you have any questions regarding any products by commenting below