Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Bronzer Shade of Pale

A lush Kabuki brush.

My darling Marsi is back today examining and lauding what is one of the beauty world's most iconic products. . .

I'm of Swedish and Irish extraction, so suffice it to say, I'm pale. I've always protected my fair skin against the sun, but sometimes -- especially lately -- it feels like "pale" nudges up against "anemic" a bit too much, leaving me wishing that I'd actually look as vital and healthy as I feel.

About a month ago, I was reading Into the Gloss, my favorite beauty blog, and was terribly excited to find an interview (here) with Daphné Hezard, editor in chief at L'Officiel, about her beauty routine. When Daphné, a fellow fair face, mentioned her love of Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, something just clicked for me and I knew I had to try it. Tout de suite!

Just a kiss of color from the sun.

You know the saying: I came, I saw, I shopped.

A lovely compact from the classic
"Terracotta Bronzing Powder" range.

There are many Terracotta bronzing powder ranges from which to choose: some are matte, some have shimmer, some are deeply bronze, some are barely so. Some are even seasonal limited editions. Given my fair complexion and fear of shimmer, I loved the sheer, matte color from the Terracotta Bronzing Powder range, in shade 01.
Another option, from the "Terracotta Light" range:
a constellation of pearlescent colors. 

Guerlain tells us exactly how to use the Terracotta:

Using [a] Kabuki brush or a powder brush, apply your Terracotta powder by tracing a "3" on each side of the face: from the forehead to the cheeks and then to the chin, following the facial contours and moving down along the neck. Final touch: take a small amount of Terracotta powder with your brush and sweep it over the curved areas of the face, where the sun touches it most: the bridge of the nose, cheekbones and chin. 

I've used my bronzer powder daily for about six weeks now and will never again be without it. It truly is sheer, without shimmer, completely natural looking, and not the least bit orange-y or smudgy-dirty on the skin. It's a miracle product, and my only regret is that I waited so long to try it.

Don't miss the interview video (full post here), in which Daphné discloses about her beauty regime and gives a little tour of her sunny Paris apartment. Isn't it fun? Isn't she lovely?

P.S. For years, I've been nuts about the Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl for eyes that Daphné mentions. If you like to line your eyes right at the waterline, it can't be beat.

P.M.S. If you have a moment, why not scroll through the archives of Into the Gloss for fabulous interviews with Inès de la Fressange (oui!), Elodie Bouchez, Aurélie Bidermann, Linda Rodin, Léa Seydoux, Amanda Harlach, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Iris Apfel, and many, many others.


Jennings and Gates said...

Great post. I am always on the fence about whether to bronze or just embrace my pale. N.G.

déjà pseu said...

I'm a bit bronzer-phobic, having been on the receiving end of too many makeup salespeople's you-must-try-this orangey bronzers. But you've never steered me wrong yet, Marsi, so am willing to give it a go. And thanks for the Into the Gloss link, can tell I'll spend hours perusing that site later today.

O meu pensamento viaja said...

Great post!
I love your blog. Shall we be followers?
If so, leave your link in my comments box so that I can follow you back.

sisty said...

I've been bronzer-phobic, too, for the usual reasons -- too orange, or just plain dirty looking. I even gave away a By Terry bronzer compact once. But Guerlain is the master, so I'll give it a try next time I go by Saks.

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

Perfect timing for this fair lady, heading out to do some make-up shopping tomorrow so will add this to my stash. XO

Anonymous said...

Ladies, what I love about Guerlain's bronzers (and I've tried several from other brands, too, and have turned orange or looked unwashed) is that there's a HUGE range to choose from. No matter how fair your complexion, you WILL find something that works for you. And it's very, very sheer, so you just build up to whatever degree of color you'd like. I myself go super-sheer, and it's just enough to perk up my complexion. It gives just a hint of color, but not enough that anyone would say, "Wow, bronzer much, Marse?"

I've come to realize there's a reason this one is the classic. It really is the be-all and end-all of bronzer powders.


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Thank you for introducing me to that lovely Parisian woman she is the epitome of chic.
I have never tried bronzer...perhaps now is the time to give it try!

Lorrie said...

Pale is starting to look anemic on me, too. And I have bronzer fear - time to check out Guerlain. Thanks for this.

BigLittleWolf said...

That little "kiss" of sun compliments of a powder really is just the right amount.


Gracie O'Tripp said...

I am of Scottish and English ancestry but there must be some Roman or Latin in there somewhere because pale for me means slightly green, thus the term olive skin. I will be sure and try this product, sounds great.

Jill Ann said...

I am a white, white person (English and Dutch), and finally realized a few years ago that I should give up on trying to tan. Never worked all that well, and was bad for the skin. Now, at 55, I am in the middle of a horrendously expensive process of getting the sun damage lasered off my face, chest, and hands. Luckily I never tanned ALL that much, so I didn't look all that bad, but had a lot of age spots on my hands, especially.

So now, I have bought SPF 50 driving gloves, and recently fake-tanned my legs (it's already hot here.). So a lovely bronzer sounds like a logical next step for me!

The Silver Bunny said...

Thanks for the tip ; I have very pale complexion and I have always been disappointed with bronzing powders but I will try this one. Plus, I love a good pun in the title !

Carol said...

l've always avoided bronzers too for fear of the orange face.

This lovely bronzer from Guerlain looks like the perfect product to create gentle sunkissed skin !

Vicki Archer said...

I am not good with the bronzer... I always feel as if I have had a bad fake tan put on my face!! My girls love it and use it always.. especially the Guerlain... must be an age thing!... xv

M-T said...

You are so right, Tish. Bronzer on a fair-skinned woman can be very tricky. If the color is wrong and the application heavyhanded, the result can be more dirt smudge than sun kissed. For the fair woman, the purpose of bronzer should be to add warmth to her complexion. I often advise my clients to try using a face powder a few shades darker in a warm palette than their overall setting powder and apply like a bronzer. I also love the liquid bronzers, since you can control the amount and even mix in a touch of your cream blusher on the back of your hand to get the color absolutely perfect before applying. I will definitely take a look at the Guerlain products you recommended. Thanks for the tip.

Virginia said...

I could use that great tip. Merci!

dustjacket said...

Oh great post...I was always hesitant on using a bronzer..but will give it a go.

Pearl said...

This is THE bronzer recommended year after year in the IN STYLE roundup of best beauty products. I use Nuxe, which also incorporates an SPF. I am pale pale pale (Scottish/English/Frnch) and wear as sheer makeup as possible not to overwhelm my natural skin color. I do use a bronzer on my legs, SPF 20+ sunscreen and have tried bronzer. This encourages me to try the Guerlain right now.

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