Why Bronzing Is Better Than Going Darker With Your Foundation (Featuring Nars Multiple)

Orange faces, tide lines and mismatched skin tones may be the stuff of nightmares, but so many of us are guilty of unwittingly participating in such makeup faux pas. For some time I believed a darker shade of base was the answer to injecting a more healthy tone into my face, contrasting the overwhelming whiteness a perfectly matched shade would provide. As someone with an ‘English Rose’ complexion, it’s so easy to wash away any resemblance of a living human and create a flawless base that also makes me look somewhat ill. Blush can add a bit more life into my cheeks and help to to create some contrast, but it’s the surprising addition of a delicate bronzer that really helps to create a healthy glow.

You may pack away the bronzers as soon as the summer is over, but they can actually be used all year round to add depth and definition to your complexion. Using a lighter shade with a creamy or light texture will ensure ease of application, as well as providing a buildable finish – the key with out-of-season bronzing is to build up gradually, rather than going in all guns blazing. I’m a fan of the Nars Multiple stick, as well as lightweight bronzing powders from The Body Shop and Bare Minerals; it’s really easy to blend with a brush or apply to specific areas using a finger, building up the colour until you have a natural glow.

Imagining two ‘3’ shapes on either side of your face will help direct the application and allow you to subtly brush or tap on the product. I would always start with a powder and use a creamier formula, such as the Nars Multiple, to focus on the cheekbones and apply along the bridge of the nose for definition. This can be built up in the evenings, especially if you’re sporting heavier eye makeup or a rich lip tone which both impact upon the perception of your base. Picking a shade of foundation that’s too dark for your natural skintone may add a bit more colour to your otherwise pasty cheeks initially, but the contrast will appear unnatural and fail to provide a glowing result. We often apply our base in the morning, under strained light, making it even worse when we step out into the sunlight at lunchtime and realise our neck is three shades lighter than our chin.

Your foundation or base should always be as closely matched to your natural skin tone as perfectly as possible, helping to conceal imperfections and create a universal tone on which to work. Adding blush, bronzer and highlighter to create depth and the illusion of health ensures a perfect finish. It’s also vital to change your foundation shades throughout the year; our skin naturally warms in the summer months when we’re exposed to sun or have the benefit of a week by the beach – the result is just as worse when our foundation is too light! Why not ditch the orange toned foundations and re-visit the delicate bronzers, giving your look a helping hand this spring?

Are you a fan of bronzer? Do you have a tendency to go a little dark with your base?




  1. effstarbeauty
    January 13, 2015 / 11:00 am

    I have such a pale face that no amount of bronzing works for me, I have to darken my base and bronze up! My family are part Greek so I have a strong golden/olive undertone to my skin….apart from my face!! In Mac terms I am an NW10 but wear an NW20, such an annoyance!! Francesca xo // EffStar Beauty

  2. Antonia
    January 13, 2015 / 11:20 am

    I use a foundation a tiny bit darker than my natural skin tone, but only a minimal amount darker – the shade before it is too pale. I prefer to use bronzer to give myself a bit of colour rather than go too dark with my foundation. I've been really wanting to try out the NARS Multiple!Antonia x | Fifi and the Diamonds

  3. Ting Yn
    January 13, 2015 / 11:24 am

    I LOVE bronzer. My favourites are the Korres (the Monoi Oil Bronzing Powder in 01 Sunlight) and the bronzer in the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. I find them both perfect for adding some colour without making me veer into tangoed territory!Ting | The Ting Thing

  4. KayPage
    January 13, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    Massive bronzer fan. I love Soap and Glory wonder bronze as it has the right amount of shimmer and colour. Might have to try this though.Kay, ohkay-dohkay.com

  5. Mary Bloomy
    January 25, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    I really like bronzer but never went dark with my base. I'm yet to try Nars and this product seems to be a great way to start! 🙂 xx Mary Bloomy

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