CONFESSIONS OF A BEAUTY EDITOR: I DON’T LIKE BRONZER

Look, everyone’s got something to say about Christina Aguilera’s weight, and I’ve no desire to chime in on that. It’s her face I’m concerned with.

I mean, there’s contouring, and there’s self-tanning. There’s also that natural-but-not faux glow. That there below? Something else entirely.

To be fair, unless a wig in that shade that is placed on a supermodel, it’s almost certainly classifiable as the kind of thing that looks good only when met with a full face of makeup—a truth Christina’s glam squad, clearly, has duly noted. And as much as I love a full face of makeup, I just can’t get down with this.
Does this image not make you want to just … wash her face? Or is it just me?

Being a beauty editor and being someone who follows all the rules—you know, the body of conventional wisdom that urges us against using a brush on wet hair, shudders at the thought of pairing a red lip with heavy eye makeup (or heavy anything, really) and begs for reapplication upon reapplication of sunscreen, EVERY SINGLE DAY OR ELSE—aren’t always one and the same.

I didn’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it until now, but I—Liz, the beauty editor—definitely fail to follow certain rules. I ostensibly hate Christina’s makeup here more than you hate it because I have an aversion to bronzer. Even though the rules say I should, I don’t use it. Ever. And not even because I’m lazy. I just don’t like it.

In the grand scheme of things, my beef with bronzer doesn’t much matter. Of that, I’m well aware. But trust me, it garners nothing but astonishment—horror and disbelief, actually—from fellow industry types.

You should see the look I get when I inform a makeup artist I don’t desire the illusion of more chiseled cheekbones any more than I care to cop some sort of faux “sun-kissed” glow. (During the spring and summer months only, I DO have a love/hate relationship with spray tanning. Let’s save that for another post.)

I know I’m pale. I recognize the fact that, were I to abstain from sunscreen, certain areas of my face—my nose, my chin, the tops of my cheeks—would, over time, grow darker or more tan, which apparently (and ironically) is synonymous with healthier, to some. But I don’t wish to recreate such effects with makeup. Sorry, but I’m perfectly healthy, with or without burnt sienna-hued powder patted down the bridge of my nose, and I happen to think I look better sans.

I also understand that applying bronzer in the shape of a 3 on either side of my face will help define my bone structure, particularly when combined with a little bit of well-placed highlighter. And, believe me, I’m aware of all the facial bronzers on the market. There must be hundreds. But really, I’ll pass.

Although I’m firm in my anti-bronzer stance, I understand the incredulous reactions it elicits from makeup artists and other beauty professionals. I mean, I do consider beauty a passion of mine—but it’s not like I’m some kind of makeup artistry wizard; if I were, well, I suppose I’d have become a makeup artist. Right?

That said, I’ll boldly assert that I like my makeup better when I do it than when a professional does it at least 9 times out of 10. Probably because I know my own face and have spent years experimenting, figuring out exactly what it is that works best for me.

And I guess that’s really what this post is about. Bronzer doesn’t do it for me, and if Christina’s face in the above photo is any indication, it doesn’t always do it for everyone else, either. Hey, I don’t make the rules, but I’m not ashamed to break ‘em when I deem it necessary. Anything to avoid a brown nose, you know?

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One Response to “CONFESSIONS OF A BEAUTY EDITOR: I DON’T LIKE BRONZER”

  1. Sienna says:

    Like you say it’s not for everyone, especially when it is over-used but when applied in the right way it can be quite effective. The key is applying so that it looks natural but if you put on too much then you can end up looking like an oompa loompa. Nice article Liz.

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