Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
Pinning down the perfect bronzer is no mean feat. Despite formulas and textures coming in leaps and bounds recently, queries such as "how to stop bronzer from looking muddy" and "how to tone down bronzer" are both common Google searches.
I've certainly had my fair share of patchy, streaky bronzer fails (which haven't gone unnoticed among my unfiltered friends), but what I struggle with the most is getting the shade right. Almost always, the bronzer I choose is just a tad too orange and ends up looking obvious on my skin, rather than providing the subtle, sun-kissed glow I'm after.
So when I came across makeup artist Rose Siard's viral TikTok video captioned "FIX YOUR BRONZER", I sat up and took notice. "Have you ever put on a bronzer only for it to betray you and turn orange?" asked Siard. If, like me, your answer is a resounding yes, Siard has the smartest trick. "What this is missing is red," instructs Siard, who reaches for a red cream blush. She applies this over her bronzer, and in an instant, the orange powder transforms into a much more desirable sunny shade.
@roseandben I reach for bronzers with red since that’s what the sun does to me naturally 😊☀️❤️#makeuphacks #makeuptips #viralmakeup ♬ original sound - Rose Siard
I hate to throw away quality makeup even if it's the wrong shade, so I reached for a bronzer I had shelved recently for being much too orange. I also find that some bronzers get progressively more tangerine as the day goes on. I don't have red blush or eyeshadow sitting around, but I do have a growing collection of red lipstick. I like to use products down to the very last ounce, so I reached for the same lipstick I used to create the 'dewy dumplings' cheek hack and 'cherry cola' lips recently: Valentino Beauty Rosso Valentino Satin Refillable Lipstick, £33.
At first, I hesitated. On the colour wheel, the opposite of orange is blue — decidedly not red. Would red lipstick really work to neutralise orange tones IRL, or was this all camera trickery and great lighting? But I had a spare red lipstick closer at hand than something blue, so I didn't have much to lose.
Following Siard's example, I dabbed the tiniest amount of red lipstick onto my makeup brush and then blended it onto the back of my hand to make sure all the bristles were coated evenly. I was a little too cautious to start, so I ended up adding a bit more red lipstick into the mix. Copying Siard to a tee, I daubed the lipstick-laden brush over my orange bronzer and watched as it cancelled out any apparent tangerine tones.
In all honesty, I thought it would look like I'd just applied blush on top. But the red pigment required is so minimal, it really does work to dial down the orange look — to my absolute surprise! Celebrity makeup artist Maria Asadi thinks there's method to this hack, too. She says that if you do have an orange-toned bronzer and a red makeup product (even a lipstick) to hand, then this is a great trick to try, particularly if you don't want to buy another bronzer.
"Putting red pigment into an orange-based bronzer will soften the orange payoff and make it look more suntan-like and toasty — like when we naturally tan and there is a slight redness to our skin," Asadi says. Be sure to use the tiniest amount of red, though, she adds, as too much can look off balance. Asadi continues, "This can work on all skin tones including dark skin, but for very fair skin, red could show up too much, giving the illusion of sunburn. For this reason, I would be mindful."
When buying a bronzer, Asadi says that the number-one mistake she sees is people opting for products that are much too dark for their skin tone. "It's best to select a bronzer that is two (maximum three) shades deeper than your own skin tone," says Asadi. But she has a smart backstage beauty hack for everyone. "I actually like to use a darker shade of face powder as a bronzer," says Asadi, which she explains bronzes the skin subtly, without lending an unrealistic orange tone typical of lots of bronzing products. She rates shade Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless Finish, £38, and often uses shades 3 and 4 on her clients.
Lastly, if you'd rather stick to a dedicated bronzer, Asadi recommends looking for a shade which is neutral or cool in tone. Fenty Beauty has a great selection, and you might also like the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, £14.99, if you have less to spend. Personally, though, nothing beats Jones Road's The Bronzer, £32, when it comes to a believable glow. My shade is Medium Tan, and dusting it onto my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin makes my light olive skin look alive.
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