I have just completed my twice-yearly wardrobe changeover, when linen shirts and gauzy skirts go on sabbatical to the loft, handing the baton to big coats and chunky knits until next spring.
What never goes into hibernation, though, is my bronzer. Bronzing powder or cream is used ostensibly to mimic the more desirable effects of summer sun exposure, by adding a slightly deeper glow to the cheeks and temples, but that’s not a look I believe has a seasonal deadline. I wear bronzer all year round because I always want what the French call bonne mine – that appealing, outdoorsy flush of good health that can be faked on all skin tones and ages. The trick is to simply dial down the colour and coverage for increased plausibility in the cooler months.
Glossier’s Solar Paint (13ml, £17) is an ideal choice for anyone fearful of autumn bronzing. I’m unexpectedly impressed by these compact, super easy wands of bronze in four shades, suiting skins from pale to deep. Shimmer’s not typically my bag (my most-used bronzer is Fenty’s sparkle-free Cheeks Out), but I’m enjoying the playful novelty of the very fine and restrained pearlescent finish to Glossier’s whipped gel cream, smeared quite carelessly on to the cheeks then smooshed in easily with fingertips or a brush. It gives the instant impression of dimension when one’s face looks a bit flat and lifeless, without ever becoming stripy and “made-up” looking.
Similar in effect (and without the shimmer) is Victoria Beckham Beauty’s beautiful new Cheeky Posh (5g, £36) in Playground, so named because the warm, sheer terracotta is an approximation of the lipstick Beckham’s mother would hurriedly smear into Victoria’s cheeks at school drop-off whenever she “looked a bit peaky”.
And I must direct those of you wedded to powder bronzers towards Dior Beauty, a brand that is, to give credit where it’s due, currently on quite the gold run. Dior Forever Natural Bronze (9g, £40) imparts as natural-looking a glow as is possible – light, smooth, non-chalky and non-shimmery and realistic for all skin tones. (There’s a shade for everyone, but if you are very, very pale and usually struggle with bronzer, be advised that shade 01 Fair Bronze is your holy grail.) Its effect is so natural that application is a breeze, but fingertips won’t do – swirl a fat, fluffy brush across the powder and stroke along cheeks, temples and nose after any foundation and before blusher.