Now that summer is officially behind us, our hopes of obtaining a natural tan are dashed every time there’s snow in the forecast. We tend to miss having a sun-kissed glow, so we turn to our makeup products to help produce the same effect, particularly when using a bronzer. Bronzers are actually the toughest complexion product to get a handle on using, as the learning curve is steep and application can be easily overdone, especially on those with fair skin. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I don’t want to look like an Oompa Loompa after applying bronzer, which means I’m very selective about what color bronzer I choose to use on my pale skin.
Personally speaking, I don’t like using bronzer as a means of creating a natural tan. That’s because my primary use for it is contouring. I was lucky enough to end up at the MAC counter looking for contouring materials when one of their MUAs ended up showing me the Refined Golden Bronzing Powder. I always know to go into MAC bare-faced just on the off chance I’ll get a makeover when I visit, which is what happened the day I bought Refined Golden. The MUA applied this to the hollow under my cheekbones (I have those super annoying cheekbones that are obvious but need contouring to really be brought out) and I was sold.
Refined Golden is a fabulous bronzer, especially for fairer tones (and particularly those with red hair). Being ginger is great, yes, but if makeup has too much of a red tone in it, my entire face ends up looking ruddy. Definitely not the look I’m going for. I’m an NW13 (or NW15 depending on the season) and this never makes me look muddy, ruddy, or even worse, orange. Be aware that this does have a golden shimmer/glitter when in the compact, but it never shows up on my skin. Instead, what I see is a nice, natural looking, healthy, contoured glow. I use an angled brush (RealTechniques makes a great one) that’s on the flatter side. A little product goes a long way, and it’s much easier to build up than to tone it down after, even if you do use a finishing powder. A lot of people like to carry bronzer in their purse, but I find that I don’t because I really don’t feel it needs touch-ups, and a lot of times MAC compacts can be very fragile and totally crumble when accidentally dropped or handled too roughly. I also use this to contour other areas, like the hollows of my collar bones or the bridge of my nose when used with a highlighter.
I’ve actually been using Refined Golden for about 3 years now, and it is a daily staple in my makeup collection, alternated with another bronzer by Laura Geller. When I finally run out (which will probably be another 3 years from now) I will definitely repurchase. Anyone who’s looking for a naturally golden glow (or a great product for contouring) absolutely needs to try Refined Golden!