The Bronze Age

Nothing says summer quite like stripping your makeup routine of all the non-essentials and leaving the house with little more than a slather of sunscreen and a dusting of bronzer. Being fair-skinned and not overly fond of brown, I have a hard time finding bronzers that I like that don’t make me look as though I’ve been playing in the mud. This year, though, I’ve found a wonderfully easy to wear bronzer that has a little metallic shimmer and a lot of sun-in-a-compact appeal that has brightened my complexion on many a tired occasion.

As far as I’m concerned, Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten is the only thing a girl needs to look summery and fresh. I have it Honey Dipped, which is made up of  swirls of golden caramel shades. It goes on sheer, so I’m never left with streaks of war paint, but it lasts all day and is perfect for defining cheekbones and faking a sunny glow.

If only looking sun-kissed and effortlessly beautiful were this easy all year long!

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Me-ow!

I’m often too rushed in the morning to take time to really make myself up for the day, so I rely on products that are quick and easy and add a lot of oomph. Or, at least, enough oomph to keep me from looking like a corpse throughout the day.

Having an extremely fair complexion, I’ve discovered recently that failure to apply blush usually results in clients and coworkers asking if I’m feeling alright or commenting on my unusual paleness.

In an effort to look alive and feel pretty, I recently find myself reaching for a couple of feline-inspired products. The first, and most versatile, is Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzing Powder. Packaged in an adorable pink leopard-print box, the powder is made up of shimmery gold, soft pink and brown shades. Swirled together on a blush or powder brush, the bronzer leaves a subtle glow on cheeks that is easily layered to create the desired level of color. I also apply a little to my brow bones to give my face an all over glow. This shade is perfect for us pale things, as the pink offsets the brown and the color never gets too dark. However, there is a nice amount of shimmer in the powder that would accent darker skin tones nicely as well. Bonus: the inside of the package features a mirror that says “You look absolutely purrrfect!” Not a bad way to start the day.

The second product is one I’ve mentioned before: Stila Kitten Eye Shadow. This shimmery neutral shadow is flattering to virtually all eye colors, and it stays put throughout the day. Whenever I want to play up my eyes a bit, I swipe on Kitten, curl my lashes, and finish with mascara. It’s a really nice look.

Five Steps to Pretty

On America’s Next Top Model last week, the would-be models were given a makeup lesson. They were told that all they needed to enhance their natural beauty and finish with a pretty face were four essentials: concealer, bronzer, mascara, and gloss.

While I agree that these are all great tools in creating a pretty, natural look, I’d like to add something to the list, if I may.

Ladies, don’t forget your eyelash curler.

In college my very un-makeup-y roommate would watch in horror as I curled my lashes every day before class.

“That looks like a medieval torture device,” she’d say.

In all honesty, lash curlers do look a little intimidating, but they don’t hurt at all, and they make a world of difference. Even when I’m too lazy to put on anything other than moisturizer and lip balm, I still curl my lashes. It opens the eyes, and your mascara will pack a more powerful punch when applied to curled lashes.

My favorite trick for bright eyes/big lashes? After curling lashes and applying mascara, I blink my lashes against the side of the mascara tube. This not only gets rid of clumps, it helps reinforce your curl.

Eyelash curlers range in price from really cheap (I’ve seen 99 cent versions) to pretty pricey (my favorite, Shu Uemura’s lash curler, is between 19 and 24 dollars). In my experience the high-end ones are worth the money; they curl instead of crimp, and the curl tends to be longer lasting.

So ladies, conceal your blemishes, gloss your lips, bronze your cheeks, and do your lashes. You’ll look naturally pretty. I promise.