Sun-kissed skin; it’s pretty much a prerequisite for summer beauty. That fresh, baked-bronze tone against which eyes shine and colours pop. And yet, when it comes to perking up a dull, depths-of-winter complexion that very same sweep of matte bronzer that imparted a flush of health earlier in the year, now looks a little over-worked, flat and fake.
Enter 3d Bronzing – the new beauty trend taking an altogether more modern and multi-dimensional approach to bronzing, by way of layered skincare and makeup in the sheerest second-skin textures and glossy, tan-toned shades.
So, for this season and beyond, eschew your classic bronzer compact and take your cue from the AW15 catwalk, where models at DSquared, Chloe and Moschino sported tawny, healthy and hyper-natural bronzed skin – the result of light layers of sheeny and subtle bronzing products.
To recreate the look, without contouring’s heavy shadows or the pearlescent sheen associated with strobing, start by choosing nourishing oils, sheer gels, lightweight veils and finely-milled bronzing formulas in skin-mimicking tones, and steer clear of anything too deep, dark or shimmery. Apply in the lightest of layers, blending and building as you go.
To warm up the skin and create a subtle bronzed base, apply a light-toned gradual tanner or a super natural fake tan such as St Tropez Luxe Facial Oil, before bed and allow to develop overnight.
Come morning, give skin a super glossy sheen and create a healthy, plumped-up base for bronzing, by massaging a feather-light facial oil onto clean skin (I’ve been using Antipodes Divine Face Oil for an instant hydration boost) and allow to fully absorb.
Next, take a soft, stippling brush and buff a sheer gel or liquid bronzer into skin to lift the tone. This Works’ Energy Bank Sun Flash delivers a soft-focus caramel shade for added glow, whilst supercharging and brightening the skin with caffeine and Vitamin C. At this point it’s best to apply any concealing base layers, but go easy on the coverage and apply only where needed in order to maintain a your-skin-but-better finish.
To add definition to the skin sweep a delicate multi-toned matte bronzer, such as Laura Geller’s Bronze n Brighten baked powder across the high points of the face, where the sun would fall, to create a flattering 3d effect.
And finally, gild the tops of cheekbones, down the centre of the nose and the inner corner of the eye using a gleaming bronze highlighter to elevate the tan tone and create a hyper-natural finish – we can’t get enough of the micro-fine and multi-faceted gold, bronze and silver pigments in Kevyn Aucoin’s The Celestial Bronzing Veil. Alternatively, plump for Morphe Brushes’ That Glow Bronzer Palette for a sun-kissed selection of matte and shimmer shades that will give you a perfect golden glow whatever the weather.