Never look peaky again with this California sunset-inspired bronzer
Sunset is by far the kindest light; its golden pink softens the lines and shadows on the face and bestows a youthful glow; I’d live in it if I could.
My favourite story about this peachy hue was that it started the trend for women dining out in the 1890s - at the time deemed unseemly. In a bid to lure the opera diva Nellie Melba and her high society friends to the Savoy Hotel, the owner’s visionary wife (who doesn’t get a name check in the Savoy’s account, shameful!) changed every tablecloth in the River Restaurant to pink and when candlelight bounced off it, it imparted an extremely flattering rosy glow onto ladies’ cheeks. Word got around and women flocked there.
As soon as I heard the story, I stopped wearing black near my face (it picks out your lines and dark circles) and swapped for peach tones and whites regardless of fashion. I’ve come to rely on this trick increasingly as, like most people, I spend ever longer hours in strip-lit offices or with a consumptive green/blue glow reflected from my mobile.
We clearly need more lighting designers in the mould of Mrs Savoy, but until then, we have the next best thing, the Bronzing Brick £30, by Make. This brilliant sunset-glow-in-a-compact has just gone exclusively into Selfridges. When dusted all over face and collar bones with a large brush – no precision necessary - it puts you in your best light all day.
You can’t tell it’s a powder when it’s on, which may be down to how finely-milled it is and the inclusion of skin-conditioning vitamins C and E. You can dust it on whenever you need throughout the day to look a little less peaky and more in tune with the time of year, especially if you are a scrupulous non-tanner.
It's matte but has none of that deadening ‘muddy’ quality that you often find in a contour or a bronzer. It’s all about the light and was inspired by the sunsets and burnished landscapes of the American Southwest, which drew artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams, who settled in Taos, New Mexico. The place left a magical impression on Make’s creative director Ariana Mouyiaris, when she visited as a child. Now 30 years later, she’s captured the qualities of the earth and the light in three shades : Joshua Tree (the lightest of the trio, which I’m using), Taos which is slightly more terracotta and Marfa, a richer brown/red after the canyons of Texas.
The ethos behind this vegan brand is doing beauty your way, the artist’s way, rather than following the gridlines of a contouring tutorial, which would frankly look ridiculous on those of us over 40 anyway. It’s all about creating a natural 'second skin' base – the Glow Pot highlighters £21.50 and Face Gloss £24 are already beloved of beauty editors – but then having the option to up the intensity or be playful with a pop of lip or eye colour - as you like it not as fashion dictates.
Ariana’s favourite phrase is “go where it’s warm” and I love the fact that this talc-free formula was baked on a terracotta tile. I haven’t been to Southern California, but with my Bronzing Brick, I can do a pretty good impression.