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Make-up for Olive Skin: Bronzers

Sunday, January 30, 2011


For many Olive skinned women the thought of using a bronzer seems laughable. In all honesty until very recently I felt the same way, I thought that women who needed to use bronzer were women with pale skin. Therefore, I never considered it as an option for a skin tone that already has some color to it, but recently I realized that is not the case.
During the winter time our skin type tends to lose its color, whether we like it or not, it's just something that happens unless you're one of those lucky few who can go on vacation to Hawaii for the winter. That being the case, I don't know if you know this, but when an Olive skinned woman loses color in her skin it's waaay more noticeable than when a pale skinned woman loses color. We begin to look a little sallow, grey and possibly even less healthy when that happens. This is why the use of a bronzer cannot be discounted for the olive skinned woman. Bronzer is an instant pick me up that adds a healthy and natural glow to skin if done correctly, think of it as giving your paler winter skin a little bit of help faking what you look like during those warmer months.

The biggest mistake someone can make when starting out with bronzer is by putting it all over the face. That is not a bronzer's purpose, while it is meant to give you a more color it also meant to mimic the effects of being in the sun. For this purpose you only want to apply it to the places in the face that would naturally get more sun: forehead, ridge of the nose, highest part of the check bones and a dab on the chin.

There are several types of bronzers available: powder, sticks and liquid/gels. To pick the best one for you consider your skin type. If you have dry skin steer clear of powder which will make you more dry and use the stick or liquid/gel. If you have normal-to-oily skin stick to the powder. There are also two types of bronzers those that have some shimmer to them and those that don't. Personally I prefer a bronzer that does not have shimmer as it tends to look more natural and blend more easily.  Also, when choosing a bronzer ensure that it is only a few shades darker than your natural skin tone, you don't want a dramatic difference or for it to look orange.

For this reason I like to use Hoola from Benefit. It's a great shade for medium  Olive skin, imparts a good color (no orange), and has no shimmer so remains completely natural if used sparingly. It also seems to get glowing reviews from most people. Hoola comes with a brush with which to apply it, however, I prefer to use Ecotools Recycled Retractable Kabuki instead as it gives a more consistent application, though any kabuki brush you have around will work just as great. Bronzer should be applied after foundation/concealer but before blush or setting powder. Once you've applied bronzer apply a small amount of blush over the bronzer on your cheeks to really get a nice healthy look. Just remember when putting on bronzer for the first time to use a small amount and build from there, it's easy to overdo it the first couple of times and ruin all the work you've done on your make-up. I practiced a lot before going out in public!

If you have dry skin then Hoola would not be the best option for you. Instead, the best bronzer out there for dry skin is Nars Multiple Bronzer, they have several shades some are blushes and some are bronzers, if you follow the link to the left the bronzers should be the last 6 options. What's great about these is that they are multi-purpose, they can be cheek color, lip color, eyeshadow and bronzer all in one.  Cap Vert seems to be a pretty good universal color for Olive skin, but you can also try these are your local Sephora in order to be sure

The same rules apply when applying a stick bronzer, except instead of applying with a brush you should use your fingers for a more even and natural look, first swipe a small amount where you'd like to apply it and blend with you finger tips, if necessary build from there for more color.

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