Sun-kissed Skin

Nothing is more alluring right now than flashing a beachy glow. Conjure up yours with this easy mix of moves and sunset hues.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Nothing is more alluring right now than flashing a beachy glow. Conjure up yours with this easy mix of moves and sunset hues.
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To look as if you’ve spent all day playing under the sun – without the damage – you can’t just coat your face in bronzer. Strategy is involved in getting a natural glow, and luckily it’s easy to nail.

“Start with blush on the apples of your cheeks, dust bronzer everywhere the sun would hit, and then tap on a bit more blush,” says Troy Surratt, a makeup artist and the founder of Surratt Beauty. “This perfectly mimics the warm cheeks and radiant tan that the sun creates.” Master the technique with the tips on the following page.

Prep with moisturiser

Starting with smooth skin is the key to achieving a sexy bronze. “Blending makeup over dry skin is like wearing a silk top over a lumpy bra,” says Rebecca Restrepo, a global makeup artist for Elizabeth Arden. “The makeup catches on every flake, making skin look bumpy.” A tinted moisturiser will hydrate and even out your skin tone at the same time.

Now, about that blush

To look sun-kissed, not sun-burned, you want a warm, soft shade like rose (if you’re fair), peach (if you’re medium), coral (if you’re olive or medium dark) or pumpkin (if you’re dark). If you’re very dark, you can opt for highlighter instead of blush to create a gorgeous glow, Rebecca says.

Pick your favourite texture

Blush comes in creams, powders, gels and stains. “Choose what you like,” Troy says. It’s the way you apply your pick that’s important: A cream should go on with your fingers. “You’ll have a lot of control, and the result will look natural because your hand warms the formula, making it easy to blend,” Rebecca says. Powders obviously need a brush, but make sure you reach for a blush brush. “A giant face brush won’t let you be strategic in your placement,” Rebecca says. “And a kabuki deposits way too much,” Troy points out. Gels and stains will blend into skin most easily with a round sponge like the Beauty Blender ($32,

Pat, then blend

For the most natural-looking flush, place blush right smack in the middle of the apples of your cheeks, which, when you smile big, are the roundest, fleshiest parts, Troy says. Then sweep it up towards your temples.

Brush on your tan

Grab a powder bronzer that is two shades darker than your current skin colour. Now, grab that large, fluffy brush and dust the powder on the perimeter of your face, across the hairline and along the jawline. “This creates a contrast with the centre of your face, spotlighting your features,” Troy says. Next, draw a “W” across the centre of your face. Brush the bronzer from temple to cheek, up to the bridge of your nose, down the other cheek, and up to the other temple. “These are the spots the sun would tan,” Troy says.

Crank up the heat

After bronzing, tap a smidgen of pink or red blush onto the apples of your cheeks. “Also, blend just a tiny bit on the tip of your nose and the end of your chin,” Troy suggests. “It gives you that final pretty pop.”

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