1. What products do you need to create the perfect summer glow?
The perfect summer glow will always start with skin that is in healthy condition. So what can help you get this? My tips are supplements (Golden Glow Vitamin E, Fusion Health Skin Tonic), exfoliation (Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads, Kate Somerville Exfolikate, REN Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm) and a suitable skincare regime for both body and face are key (cleanser/body wash, serum, moisturiser and SPF).
Then it’s time to bronze up!
For the face I love:
- Soleil Tan de Chanel – a cream-gel bronzer that can be applied under or over foundation. It also works well on the collarbones/décolletage too! It has a velvet finish with minimal shimmer and is best buffed into the skin with a brush that offers good pressure and blending power. My favourite is a Mac 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush.
- Nars Laguna Bronzer – one of the few powder bronzers on the market that is truly olive based and not a bizarre shade of orange/red. You can apply subtle accents or build up the colour depending on the needs of your skin tone. The finish is illuminating but not shimmery. Buff into the skin with a small or large powder brush depending on the size of your face (the Nars Yachiyo brush will work for everyone!).
- Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Topaz” – a liquid bronzer that is as decadent to look at as it is on the face! Super pigmented and illuminating, there are a myriad of ways to use Becca’s standout product. You can mix it into your foundation (or body moisturiser!) for an all over glow or you can use a synthetic brush to sweep the perfector on the cheekbones. Blush optional.
For the body I can’t go past:
- Dry oils – these absorb straight into the skin to moisturise and give skin a beautiful bronze sheen. They also smell heavenly. Your leaders here are Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or, L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Shimmering Oil and This Works Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil.
Highlighters can also do wonders to lift complexion and bring radiance and light to the face/body. They create the illusion of healthy skin with a natural-looking dewy finish. Like bronzers they come in powder, liquid or cream/gel form. Each has varying amounts of illuminating particles or shimmer. In my kit I regularly use:
- Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in “Candlelight” – a beautiful powder texture that works on all skin tones. It creates a golden highlight with a touch of shimmer. Apply to the cheekbones, cupid’s bow or décolletage or even use as an eyeshadow.
- Mac Strobe Cream – A favourite of many make-up artists! A dollop of this pearly-white cream mixed into your foundation will make your skin glow. You can also use it as a primer underneath your base for a more subtle look.
- Laura Mercier Radiance Primer – This primer looks beautiful worn on its own for those summer beach days. But it is just as effective mixed into your tinted moisturiser or foundation if you want a lighter coverage with a glow.
- Don’t forget your lips! They actually go a long way to compliment glowing skin. Opt for lipstick formulas that use a hydrating base such as shea butter, fruit oils or beeswax. Use a pencil first to shade in the lips entirely if you want more staying power.
- Always always always use SPF. Everyday. No amount of product or clever make-up tips will be able to undo irreversible damage caused by the sun.
2. What should you not do with these products?
- Avoid over stimulating your skin through the use of excessively abrasive exfoliators and “scrubbing too hard”. This can cause microtears to your skin’s surface and trigger too much oil secretion. A light exfoliation 2-3 times per week is more than enough.
- Avoid using bronzers to contour your face. A contour should be replicating shadow on the face and shadows are not brown (or shimmery!) A light sweep of bronzer on the face to create warmth is fine but will never look natural if you are using it to contour.
- Never choose bronzers that are too red or orange in tone. The best place to test the colour of a bronzer is to swatch some of it on the inside of your forearm. You will be able to tell instantly if the colour is suitable or not.
- Try not to overdo the shimmer if your highlighter or bronzer has a high content of sparkle.
3. For the bride who chooses to do her own make up on the big day, what are your top tips for achieving a natural looking summer glow?
- If you have any skincare concerns, seek professional advice from a skin therapist and follow their recommendations. Invest in a good skincare routine as soon as you can because weddings can often be stressful and stress is the skin’s worst enemy. Skin supplements have proven to work wonders as all health starts from the inside out.
- Invest in a good base (tinted moisturiser or foundation depending on how much coverage you like) that suits your skin type before you invest in anything else. Be sure that it will sit nicely on top of your chosen moisturiser and/or primer. A perfect base is key to a beautiful look and it pays to spend the time looking for the best option. If you will be spray tanning, ensure that the colour matches the colour you will be with the tan.
- Use products that you have practiced with before and feel comfortable using.
- Ensure you have decent brushes. Trying to apply make-up without brushes is like trying to cook without a saucepan or utensils! When buying brushes, look for sizes and shapes that you can multi-task with. For example, a blush brush can be used for blush, bronzer, loose powder or powder highlighter. Simply tissue off the excess between applications. Be familiar with the difference between synthetic brushes and natural hair. Synthetic brushes are better for liquid and cream textures, while natural hair brushes suit powders.
- Do a “practice run” of the make-up look before the big day and have a friend photograph you. This will help you see how the make-up translates on camera. Maybe ask that friend to be on standby-by on the day in case nerves kick in!
- Always remember that less is more.
- Most importantly, have fun!
Sonia Allen is a make-up artist and hair stylist who trained and worked in London for five years before moving to Sydney. Her career highlights include shooting with a lion cub, leading shows for Fashion Week, filming on a navy ship & traveling to exotic wedding locations and seeing her work on film and in print. Find her on Facebook and for even more examples of work, follow her on Instagram.
Image 1 provided by Theo Albanis Photography.
Images 2 & 4 provided by Lucas Dawson Photography.
Image 5: Bambi from FiveTwenty Model Management, Dress: Corston Couture, Headpiece: Bride La Boheme, Hair & Make Up: Sonia Allen