How To Give Your Skin The Perfect Bronze Kiss For Fall And Winter


I just got back from teaching my Beauty 101 class at the Pinner’s Conference in Utah.
I flew out there in my role of Beauty Director for Luca Magazine 
(a title I am very proud to hold!) 

One of the things I spoke about in Salt Lake City on Friday was the use and abuse of one of the greatest makeup products ever created, bronzer. I’ve had so many messages from ladies in the audience asking me about the product that I was telling them about that I decided to write a post about it.

Bronzer isn’t designed to fix a bad foundation choice, or to contour your face. It is designed to make you look all glowy and warm, as though you were just out in the sun.

The makeup transition from summer to winter can be tricky. As you lose that summer glow a powder bronzer can look manic. The color sits up on top of the skin and can look anywhere from Trump-orange to bogus-tan, and if the particles are large it can create a mad flickering effect to your complexion.
So if you are feeling washed out, what’s a girl to do? Don’t worry, I have a plan for you.

This is my absolute favorite bronzer. 


 stila Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer, 1 fl. a bronzing gel from Stila Cosmetics.

I’ve been using it for ages on myself as well as in my pro makeup kit.

my makeup table at a recent Luca Magazine shoot

Stila- Aqua-Glow-Perfecting-Bronzer
close up – Aqua Glow

As we transition through fall I am still using it every day. I like to apply a small amount to my cheekbones and blend it into my skin for a soft glow. On days like today I wear it alone, on days where I’m wearing foundation or BB Cream, I wear it underneath. It gives you a hint of controlled color that stops you from looking pasty or washed out but doesn’t look like you’re trying to fake out a long weekend in the Bahamas. You can also add a tiny bit to your foundation if you need to warm the color up.

I love it because it looks natural and has a fresh glowy finish that makes your skin look alive. 

I used Aqua Glow Perfecting Gel Bronzer on Ford model Amberly Ray on a shoot for Luca Magazine.
Her skin looks sunkissed yet autumn/winter appropriate

It’s super concentrated so you only use a small amount, which makes it great value too! Stila’s Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer 

I can never find it in stores, so I always order it online.

Free standard shipping for when you spend $50 or more at Stila Cosmetics

I’m Crazy About These New Highlighters

So this was my Sunday morning. Finally a break from working incessantly, finally a Sunday off. 


An espresso, some pink roses, finally getting a chance to look through W magazine, and playing with these 2 new makeup products I got from Memebox with my most recent order.

As much as I obsess over their Korean skin care products I have never ventured into the other side of K-Beauty, the makeup products.


If I was to be completely honest I would tell you that I bought the panda bear thing as a gift for my friend’s daughter.

Because let’s face it, it looks like something a super young teen would like, right? And it cost $10.
It’s called the Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base.

So I decided to open it, then intrigued at the white, glowing product inside, I decided to try it because once again, let’s face it, how could a white, glowy product do anything functional on the face?

But guess what? It’s brilliant. As in seriously brilliant. Not “pretty good for $10”  kind of brilliant, but “are you kidding me???” kind of brilliant.

It is an under eye product designed to pop a fresh light out from the under eye area. It softens fine lines and wrinkles, depuffs and soothes the under eye area, somehow diminishes dark circles and bags under the eyes – it’s pretty amazing! I totally don’t get it – it is packaged for 12 year olds, costs nothing, and delivers a multi layered, hard core punch like you cannot even imagine! 
This is a product for women of all ages.

I have worn it every day this week in lieu of concealer. I could still do with a little color corrector if I felt so inclined, but realistically the way it lightens, brightens and awakens the under eye I just think why bother?

On a shoot I would lay a color corrector above or below it, but for everyday (and night) it is just fantastic! Touche Eclat style fantastic.

I have also been looking for a highlighting product that isn’t too shimmery or glittery. Most highlighters have particles that are too big and cause a mad flickering or shimmering on the skin that makes it look like you’ve highlighted and don’t have a clue what you’re doing.

I seem to universally hate 95% of them, especially the ones touted by Instagram stars.

Side Note

I teach a pro makeup artistry program and constantly get into battle with students who think that because a “makeup enthusiast” on IG has 2 million followers and endorses a highlighter or bronzer, they must be right.  No, they quite possibly know that product is junk, but they make huge dollars from affiliate marketing with that brand, so they will say whatever it takes to sell the products and make the commissions. That’s how they make money.

I have affiliate marketing on this blog, but only talk about products I actually use, which is why you see the same products talked about over and over. 
I talk about what I use. And Memebox has never sent me free product or tried to have me shill products for them.

Anyway, I decided to try the I’m Multi Stick ST01 Luster Light highlighter out – it’s only $15 so no big deal if I didn’t like it. And again this product too is fabulous!


It gives you a very controllable highlight that glows from within rather than sparkles from the surface. In fact it has no sparkles at all. With this product you don’t look like you’ve been at Sephora trying on highlighters, you just look like your skin glows, picks up the light and looks absolutely radiant. Even older skin. Again they are probably only marketing this to 20 somethings and younger, but this is fabulous for all skins, even mature skin.

I am ordering another for my pro kit as well as another of the panda bears (before they run out). I’m also going to try the I’m Multi Stick ST20 Luster Bronzer  with my next order too. 
Because it only costs $15 so there’s not exactly a lot to lose! And if it’s as good as everything else I’ve tried from Memebox its going to be another winner.


I’m obsessed with cream blushes, and I read recently on another blog that I’m Cream Blush is really good so I’m going to add that in as well.


If you want to try any of these products you can find the here on

Memebox offers free shipping over $35, so if you need to add a couple of dollars to your order to reach $35, try adding in a sheet mask or two. Just look up your skin concern – acne, blackheads, too much oil, dry skin – whatever it is, and find the mask they have for that concern. They are only ever a couple of dollars, are brilliant, and can put you into free shipping!


How To Brighten Winter Weary Faces Without Bronzer

 Beauty asked me what I thought about using bronzer to brighten winter skin.
I gave them an emphatic no! Bronzer is to make you look like you’ve been out and about in the sunshine, to give you a golden summery glow, but on a winter skin it can look orange and streaky.
There are some great alternatives to using bronzer in the article below, and lots of quotes from me.
Check it out:

How To Brighten Winter Weary Faces Without Bronzer


We all want to keep that summer glow, but once winter hits, it’s in with the cold and out with the glow! Bronzer is great, but it’s also incredibly over-used. Bronzer’s role is to mimic the look of a mid-summer’s sun-kissed complexion, something that will look kind of ridiculous in the snow against pale winter skin. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks to incorporate into your cold-weather beauty routine that will help brighten your skin without the use of bronzer. There are lots of other awesome options out there—here are a few to try today.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize:
Staying hydrated is super important. “Many don’t know this, but moisturizing keeps your tan sealed in much longer than if you don’t!” says Rosa Fasolo, owner and makeup artist at RF BEAUTY ARTISTRY. Once that tan is long gone, keeping up with a simple regimen is key. Exfoliating once a week to keep your skin bright, clear, and to leave dead skin behind is important. Moisturizing is even more important in order to keep that fresh face look. Using a tinted moisturizer is great as well to give you just the right amount of glow, says Fasolo.

Dab concealer all the way from the inner corner of the eye, downward on the trough line under the eyes. Then, blend the concealer with small dabs, all the way down into the cheek area. This technique will give better coverage than just applying concealer only directly under the eyes, says Marian Rothschild, AICI FLC, certified personal image consultant and author of Look Good Now and Always.

Stay away from crushed mineral foundations—they make skin look dead and dry. Instead, opt for a silicone-based foundation like Makeup Forever HD or Face Atelier Ultra Foundation. Both of these will make the skin glow and look alive, says makeup artist Corinna Cooke. Make sure you choose a shade that matches your winter color, not the shade you may use in the summer. A foundation that is too dark will make your skin look muddy.

MORE: How to Tell When Good Beauty Products Go Bad

Using a sheer highlighter will help light catch your skin in the winter months, literally brightening up your face. Adding a golden champagne highlighter from the temples to the tops of your cheekbones will give you a natural-looking glow for fair and medium skin, says Grace Mahoney, owner of Blushing Brides. For darker skin, use a pearlescent bronze shade for the same effect.

Swap out those bronze, gold, or orange tones from summer for rosy pink blushes. Apply blush to the apple of your cheeks to get a bit of sun-kissed color, says Fasolo.

Say No to Bronzer:
For those who think “bronzing” is the simple way to brighten, the look is often unnatural against winter skin and will actually detract from your glow if you don’t exfoliate, says Lyn Tackett of Genesis Studio Spa. Bronzing powder will collect on excess skin cells and make your skin look even drier.

Keep eyeshadow sheer and choose a shade opposite your eye color on the color wheel. This will brighten the eye and make your color spark. Pale eyes look great with pink and peachy tones, while every color looks great with a soft berry tone, explains Cooke. Add a little shimmer just on the eyelid itself, not all over the eye. Curl the lashes to wake the eye up and use several coats of a luscious, glossy mascara.

Lips:Use a bold, bright color on your lips, like a punchy fuchsia. Fuchsia is bright and fun and lights the face up. It also makes the teeth look whiter and will make pale eyes totally spark, bright, and alive, says Cooke.