If we’re talking sun-kissed skin, the first thing that comes to mind is that golden summer glow.
Even though I do reach for a self-tanner during summer quite often, most of the time I like my summer glow to be a bit on the neutral side. A lot of those glow-inducing products tend to be way too warm and golden for my liking, even when combined with a fake tan. Unless I’m going somewhere where I know there’ll be a lot of picture-taking, I like to keep that summer glow more fair-skin friendly. And it’s all with the help of these guys.
It’s a primer, but not as far as I’m concerned. Becca Backlight Priming Filter is a beautiful product, but not one that will necessarily help you get a glowing finish if you use it under makeup. I actually use it on the days when I don’t wear any foundation, as it gives my skin the most beautiful glow- especially when the light hits it. It has a nice blurring, smoothing effect with a golden gleam finish, without any chunky bits of glitter. When used under makeup it still gives that smooth finish that helps to prep the skin for foundation application, but the glow that it gives gets completely covered by most base products. Yes, it does help that nice canvas for foundation, but I really don’t think that it helps my foundation stay in place any better, especially in the summer weather. As I said though, I don’t use this as a primer- it’s just my go-to on no-makeup days that helps my skin look healthy and glowing.
Becca Backlight Priming Filter (blended all over)
Another no-makeup favorite for summer is IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Anti-Aging Serum. It’s a bit similar to Becca’s Backlight Primer, although it gives a much more subtle glow. As soon as I apply this, my skin feels and looks smoother, softer, more healthy and radiant. This is also one of my favorite serums to use when my skin feels incredibly dry or irritated, which happens a lot during summer.
Years of testing countless face self-tanners, and I still can’t find one that works for me, so I’ve kind of just given up on the idea. This means that in the summer when I do use a self-tanner, I have to reach for darker foundation shades or other products that warm up my face at least a little bit. I’ve had days when I used a self-tanner and went makeup-free for the day, only to get to work and notice just how lighter my face looked from the rest of my body. D-Bronzi Sunshine Drops from Drunk Elephant* save the day. These drops/serum are very concentrated and I usually like mixing them with a moisturizer. It’s like a liquid bronzer with additional benefits of skincare and just a touch of highlighter-like glow. It can pull a little warm, so just one drop gets the job done. Since it’s so highly customizable, it’s perfect for getting that sun-kissed glow.
There was very little love for powder bronzers in my heart until I tried YSL’s Les Sahariennes Bronzing Stone in Sunstone a couple of years ago. It’s such a perfect shade for a lighter complexion that also has neutral undertones (as long as you use a light hand, that is, as it can look a bit too warm when too much is applied). Even with a fake tan, I still feel like most bronzers are just too intense for me, even during summer. Sunstone is always my bronzer of choice for getting that sun-kissed glow unless I really want to use something less natural-looking (which isn’t too often). You can see how it looks when applied on the face right here.
I also really like using blush for warming up the skin, rather than reaching for bronzers. Flesh & Fantasy Air Brush Soft Glow Duo from Marc Jacobs works really well for this purpose. These glow duos are great not only because of their lovely formula and finish, but also because you can customize the color you want to get. Flash and Fantasy is an ivory shimmer and bronze combination, so if I want the color to be more delicate, I just sweep my makeup brush through the lighter side of the compact.
Then, there’s my beloved cream + liquid illuminator duo: RMS Beauty Lumizer in Champagne Rosé and Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid. Champagne Rosé is a blush/champagne cream highlighter with a hint of pink/purple iridescence. Unlike a lot of powder highlighters, this gives a very natural look. Once applied it blends so well with the skin, you can’t tell when the glow begins and where it ends, it’s just that subtle. Tan de Chanel Fluid Illumizer is also on the understated side. It adds a little glow and color, but not too much and it never looks too bronzy or too warm on the skin.
Another highlight product without any shimmery glitter that I reach for ALL the time is Natasha Denona’s All Over Glow Face & Body Shimmer in Powder in the shade Light. This champagne-colored powder gives the most beautiful, natural-looking glow. It really does look beautiful all over- I like using it on my eyes, collarbone, shoulders, sometimes I even grab a bit on a body powder brush and apply a bit right in the center of my legs.
Last but not least, there’s The Multiple from Nars in Copacabana. Unlike the other three above, this is not subtle or delicate. It’s also quite glittery and not at all what I like in my face highlighters. I do love this pretty pearl color and use it all the time, just as an eyeshadow, rather than a highlighter. The cream to powder formula makes this perform pretty well, even on my oily eyelids.
Left to right: YSL Les Sahariennes Bronzing Stone in Sunstone, Marc Jacobs Flesh & Fantasy Air Blush Duo, Natasha Denona All Over Glow in Light, Jouer Lip Topper in Skinny Dip, NARS The Multiple in Copacabana, RMS Luminizer with Champagne Rosé, Tom Ford Young Adonis Cream & Powder Eye Color, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid.
What do you think of when you hear “sun-kissed” glow? Do you like your summer glow on the warm, golden side or do you prefer a more subtle look?