Summer always brings about talk of a “healthy glow” – skin that’s bright, flawless and, of course, bronzed. Unfortunately, getting that glow is often anything but healthy! We all know that soaking in the sun’s UV rays is a one-way ticket to damaged skin, but did you know that there are simple, safe steps to getting a glow that’s actually good for you? Get ready to put your best face forward with the safest tan ever.
Step 1: Prep skin using a face exfoliator.
Just like with any makeup look, from fresh-faced to bright and bold, starting with a smooth canvas is key. Our favorite way to get there is by adding a great exfoliator to our skin care routine. You might have heard that exfoliation is an important step for removing dead and dry skin, but its benefits extend far beyond that. Read on to learn how using a face exfoliator helps prep your skin for your perfect faux glow.
It evens out skin tone.
When exfoliants remove dead and dry skin, they can start to break down dark patches and rough spots, too. Over time, all of that turnover will help your skin tone appear more even in color and texture.
It unclogs pores.
Any surface debris that remains on your skin has the potential to cause all sorts of headaches, from whiteheads and blackheads to large pores. Dead skin can trap that debris in your pores but exfoliating helps to lift it away.
It helps other products do their job.
If your skin care routine features specialized serums and moisturizers, you want to make sure their powerful ingredients can actually penetrate into your skin. Exfoliating clears away the dead skin that might be acting as a barrier, allowing your other products to more effectively bright, smooth and refine!
Now that you know the benefits of using a face exfoliator, we can break down the different types and ingredients to determine which one is best for you. There are two main types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. Physical (or manual) exfoliants are pretty self-explanatory. These are the products you likely think of when you think exfoliators – those with grainy particles that physically scrub away the dead, dry layers of skin. Chemical exfoliants are made with a range of skin-friendly acids that break down and dissolve debris.
The kind you use is really up to personal preference and working both types into your routine can help you find the perfect balance for your skin! Those with sensitive skin should look for lower concentrations of acids and be mindful not to scrub too hard with physical exfoliants. Those with oily skin can likely tolerate stronger ingredients but should also start slow. The most important thing to remember with exfoliants is not to overdo it. We recommend trying a new product once a week, and then slowly working up to the recommended frequency.
Our Skin Polish is a hybrid physical exfoliant and face mask, featuring jojoba beads to roll away impurities and natural oils to restore and protect all skin types. Like we mentioned earlier, exfoliating helps other ingredients penetrate further into your skin, giving more dramatic results. This scrub is two steps in one, as the exfoliators clear the way for rich apricot oil, regenerative lemon peel oil and hydrating squalene to nourish your skin. Just massage onto your clean, damp face and then leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with a few splashes of warm water and a cool water splash and you’re ready to move onto the next step!
Step 2: Apply concealer to dark circles and blemishes.
Knowing how to apply concealer correctly is probably the fastest way to up your makeup game. When the look you’re going for is a natural, healthy glow, it’s even more important to keep all of your coverage looking natural! Our Complete Concealer is a high-coverage cream formula. Here are a few tips for using concealer to cover the most common imperfections.
How to apply concealer for dark circles:
Tip #1: Start with foundation. When you apply concealer first, you end up removing a lot of it when you put your foundation on! Start with a liquid or cream foundation, like our Perfect Foundation, and you’ll use way less concealer for a full-coverage finish.
Tip #2: Apply in a triangle shape. Resist the urge to apply concealer in the shape of your undereye circles. Instead, follow the shape of an upside-down triangle with the point toward your cheek. This tip – a favorite from our 10 Makeup Hacks to Enhance your Eyes – will help avoid the dreaded raccoon effect.
Tip #3: Set it with translucent powder. Using a small but fluffy powder brush like our Classified Tapered Powder Brush #01, sweep a light layer of translucent powder over the area you’ve just concealed. Our Perfect Translucent Powder is a great choice for all-day hold.
How to apply concealer for blemishes:
Tip #1: Choose a thicker, creamier formula. The more liquid a concealer is, the more likely it’ll just slip right off of your blemish or bump. Go for a drier consistency, almost like a putty, to keep it right where you want it. That’s why we made Complete Concealer wax-based but still blendable!
Tip #2: Use a specially designed concealer brush. Precision is key when covering a spot, especially one that’s got a whitehead on top and redness surrounding it. Choose a small, stiff brush like our Classified Concealer Brush #06 to deposit a tiny bit of concealer to the center of the spot and stipple it outward. Use a light dabbing motion to blend out past the edges.
Tip #3: Cancel out red with green. We’re going back to elementary school art class for this one! Since red and green are complementary, or opposite on the color wheel, they cancel each other out. If a spot is particularly red, dab on a bit of green color correcting concealer before topping it off with one that matches your skin tone.
Step 3: Apply bronzer for a warm glow
Now that your skin is prepped and perfected, it’s time to start the final step of your healthiest tan ever! If you aren’t familiar with how to use bronzer, you’re not alone! It’s possibly the most misunderstood member of your makeup bag. Thanks to the early 2000s, many of us picture bronzer with an orange tinge and a sparkly, unnatural finish. Thankfully, we’ve done A LOT to improve formulas and shade ranges since then!
Our Perfect Bronzer comes in seven shades for light to deep skin tones, in both matte and subtle shimmer formulations. We wanted to make sure it was warm but not glittery, with a natural look that appears like a true tan. It took us almost half a year and dozens of revisions to develop this formula, and it’s one of the products we’re most proud of!
Bronzer is the simplest way to get a summer glow with no sun damage. (It can also serve as the shadow shade in your contour kit – if that sharper, more polished look is what you’re going for, check out our post on contouring for any face shape!) With this tutorial, we’ll focus on using bronzer for a naturally sun-kissed look.
How to apply bronzer for a sunny glow:
Step 1: Choose the right bronzer tool. For an all-over dose of bronze, choose a brush that’s larger and fluffy, like our Classified Tapered Powder Brush #01 or even the Classified All Over Powder Brush #02. Instead of just swirling the brush around in the bronzer, try also rolling the sides across the products and then tapping off the excess. This will help avoid harsh lines and will make it easy to blend the bronzer all over.
Step 2: Highlight the areas the sun naturally touches. Sweep the bronzer-loaded brush along your cheekbones and across your forehead from one temple to the other. Make small concentric circles with the brush to gently diffuse any harsh lines.
Step 3: Do some light sculpting with your bronzer. Since our goal is a natural glow rather than a full-on chiseled face, make sure you’re still using a large, fluffy powder brush for this step. Swirl a bit of bronzer along the edge of your jawline, under your chin and down either side of your nose.
Step 4: Blend and blend some more! Just when you think you’ve blended enough, give it a few more swirls. Either continue with the fluffy powder brush, or grab a brush meant for blending, like our Classified Diffuser Brush #17. Continue making small circles, rather than a back-and-forth windshield wiper motion, for a seamless finish.
Bonus! Give your body a healthy bronze, too. Now that your face is featuring a fresh, warm glow, don’t forget about the rest of your skin. Our Perfect Glow Moisturizing Bronzing Lotion does double duty, hydrating your skin while adding a sun-kissed hint of shimmer. The soothing formula contains pearls to diffuse light and help blur textural flaws, and the three shades perfectly illuminate all skin tones. Massage a small amount all over your skin, concentrating on areas the sun would hit, like your collarbones and the center of your legs. The formula dries quickly, so if you’re looking for a slightly darker color, just apply another layer on top! Since it’s not a self-tanner, you can quickly and easily adjust your look with every application.
Now pop on your sunhat and prepare for jealous glances – you’ve got that just-back-from-St.-Tropez look about you, and without those pesky UV rays! We love a warm glow, and a safe one is even better. Let us know what you think in the comments!