Not everyone wants or even suits a mega tan. Make-up artist Kay Montano shows us how to look pretty if you’re pale this summer

Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

We’re all guilty of it, we beauty editors. We bang on about tanning and self tanning every summer; ‘How to get the faux glow’ or ‘How to be a bronzed beauty’ read our headlines.

However, what if you don’t want to cake yourself in creosote in the name of looking a nationality you are not? What if you think it’s weird to stain your skin a colour it’s not? What if actually you think a tan doesn’t suit you? Or you are just plain scared of putting anything faintly brown or even beige on your skin?

When I speak to friends and colleagues I know there are many tan-phobes out there, and so this make-up lesson by make-up maestro Kay Montano  is for you...

Step 1: First base

There is nothing more beautiful than pure, porcelain-looking skin. If you find you have discoloration under the eyes, use a bit of concealer on your ring finger and tap it into the skin. This tapping process will help you build up the concealer to the level you require while keeping it looking like part of your skin, rather than caked.

It’s really important to use a foundation that matches your skintone rather than va-vooming it up with a colour that belongs to a Brazilian lady. Please note, if you are very pale and want to tan your skin, use a self tanner - don’t try and bronze yourself up with foundation.

Kay used:

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer , £26, which she says is “Great for neutralising colour under the eyes.” She is also a big fan of Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer , £18.

Step 2: Fuzzy peach eyes

The prettiest colours to experiment with this summer are tones of peach and apricot, or as Kay puts it ‘peachy tan’. These shades are flattering on most complexions and can have the added effect of making the colour and whites of your eyes brighter.

Here Kay used a shimmering cream eyeshadow again using her fingertip and patted it all over the eyelid, fading it up towards the eyebrow, for a softly glowing effect. “If you apply shimmer with your fingertip you flatten and compact the particles which make the shadow really shine,” she says.

Kay used:

Melon Pigment from MAC cosmetics , £16.50 - or she says you can layer two products - a peachy cream and then add a separate sparkling shimmer on top.

Step 3: Lash out

There are now a million mascaras on the market that perform various different tricks. Here, to add to the pretty softness of the eyes, Kay has used a lengthening and separating mascara to define and separate the lashes and create a delicate, wide-eyed and slightly babydoll effect.

Kay hasn’t used eyeliner at the base of the lashes as this would move the look into a more glamorous rather than girly territory.

Kay used:

Lash Accelerator Mascara in Extreme Black  by Rimmel, £7.99, but also loves Diego Dalla Palma’s Transformista Mascara , £17.

Step 4: The rosy glow

A conventional make-up artist might say to use a peachy blush in a similar hue to your eyeshadow here. However for Kay, this could look a bit ordinary, so in order to keep it modern Kay has used a rose coloured, soft cream blush, and has applied it softly with a blusher brush firstly on the apple of the cheeks and then up towards the hairline.

She highly recommends using a brush even to apply cream blusher for the smoothest, most poreless looking finish.

Kay used:

Le Blush Creme de Chanel, £27 (not launched as of yet, stockist number - 020 7493 3836) and has applied it with an Hourglass Foundation and Blush Brush in No.2 , £45

Step 5: Lips

In order to bring this whole look together, Kay has used a lipstick that is a cross between the eyeshadow and the cheeks - a peachy pink. With no lip liner, it’s important that there are no hard lines.

Kay used:

Chanel’s Rouge Allure Lipstick in Indecise 125, £25 (not launched as of yet, stockist number - 020 7493 3836).


Make-up by Kay Montano at D&V management

Photographer Billie Scheepers

Styling by  Susannah Taylor

Hair by Ayo Laguda using 3 More Inches by Michael Van Clarke

Model Hetti from Premier

Scarf in the hair, Hermes (stylists’ own) and yellow vest from Calvin Klein