One Singular Sensation—Bronzer!
One Singular Sensation—Bronzer!
KJ at work

By Kevin James Bennett

With Memorial Day a memory and Labor Day around the corner, we’re smack-dab in the middle of summer! This means lots of warm-weather getaways may be filling your calendar. If you’re tired of carrying a steamer trunk full of cosmetic products everywhere you go, it’s time to rethink your summer-stunner game plan. You’ve got to keep that tote bag, beach bag, weekend bag, whatever bag lightweight and ready at all times. Nervous? Don't be. You can do it—I can help.

Editing down to just a few critical beauty products is important, and multi-purpose items will be your key to success. With that in mind, I have only one thing to say: bronzer. I know what you're thinking, “KJ, this is no a-ha moment. I always use bronzer in the summer.” Of course you do! But how many ways do you use it? Did you know that the right bronzer can become the ultimate one-stop cosmetic product for the entire summer?
First things first: Find a really good formula and color that will handle the multi-tasking ahead. Here are some of my faves: any of these fantastic formulas is totally safe to use on the cheeks, eyes and lips. (Yes, I said lips. We'll get to that in a minute.):

- Urban Decay Baked Bronzer for Face and Body
-  Cargo Cosmetics Bronzer
- NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder
- CoverFX Bronzed FX Sunkissed Bronzing Powder

Before we begin, slather some good lip conditioner all over that pretty pout of yours. We'll need those lips in prime condition for later. Now, are you ready to unleash the bronze goddess within?

Step 1: Using a large, fluffy brush, swirl the bronzer over the areas of your face where the sun naturally hits (forehead, tops of the cheeks, bridge of the nose, chin, etc). Be sure to blend the color down to your neck and don’t forget the tops of your ears if your hair isn't covering them. (Nothing looks stranger than a bronzed face with bright white ears.)

Step 2: Ready for a smoky summer eye in a flash? Line your upper and lower lash lines with a water-resistant eyeliner (a warm brown or rich bronze would be best) and smudge to a soft blur with a cotton swab or a defining brush. Now, instead of reaching for the eye shadow compact, use your bronzer the same way you would use your favorite brown or taupe eye shadow. Pop some in the crease and blend up to the brow to sculpt the eye or smudge it all around the liner you just applied to add depth and a smoky sizzle. Apply a coat or two of waterproof mascara to your upper and lower lashes. Your eyes will look fresh and sexy and will coordinate perfectly with your sun-kissed face.

Step 3: Time to blot off the lip conditioner that didn’t absorb. Using your finger or a lip brush, pat the bronzer on your lips and blend it in (I know, it's dry, but toughen up for a second). When you have the lips covered completely with color, slip a coat of clear or shimmering gloss over the top. This will activate the pigment in the bronzer, creating a gorgeous gloss that matches your sunny face and eyes.

Extra Credit:

Urban Decay Baked Bronzer for Face and Body can be used wet or dry and is perfect for filling in tan lines (strap marks, etc.) and adding a gorgeous bronze to your legs!

CoverFX Bronzed FX Sunkissed Bronzing Powder comes in five luscious colors, so you can really mix it up when you make your sun-kissed statement!

These two amazing liquid body highlighting products will stretch your transformation from head to toe:

- Gleam by Melanie Mills, created by Melanie Mills, the Emmy Award-winning make-up department head for Dancing with the Stars
- Red Carpet Kolour Body Glow, created by Joanna Schlip, one of the most in-demand celebrity make-up artists in Hollywood

Please send your questions for KJ to [email protected]