Number 2 in my Secret Beauty Weapon Series has to be NARS Laguna Bronzer. I did have a little wobble when the formula changed ever so slightly from my first falling-in-love experience, but I still think it deserves the Number 2 spot on my list. Best natural looking sun-kissed bronzer... that doubles as a natural contouring tool.
I'll never forget working alongside the infamous Craig Beaglehole (Celebrity Makeup Artist @craigbeaglehole) many years ago. Amongst the chaos of getting dancers and models ready for an event, Craig shouted "who's got the Orgasm". Silence fell over the bustling backstage carnage and oh man I laughed so hard I cried ... as did everyone else in the jam-packed room. Thus began my induction to the magical world of NARS. NARS Orgasm is an amaze-balls shimmery pink blush, more about that product some other time. On Orgasm night, we also used a lot of NARS Laguna Bronzer. Thankyou Craig for the introduction to a product which has resided in my personal makeup bag for the past 12 years.
Before the diabolical trend of heavy contouring* - may this fad die a speedy, unnatural, death and disappear in 2017 - we artists used NARS Laguna to subtly "contour" the face and create that natural, gorgeous sun-kissed goddess look that Aussie girls crave (particularly us fair, freckly types). * A note on heavy contouring. Three things really bother me about this trend. 1. Who the bloody hell has time for all that? 2. Real women should be made to feel good about working with what they have. You're beautiful. Don't try to completely change how you look. 3. You will resemble an alien. There ain't nothing "natural" about this trend. That's my personal beef with it. It's not for the real woman. It's not for the vast majority of time-poor women who just want to feel better about themselves. And quickly.
Moving right along... NARS Laguna suits all skin tones. I think that is it's biggest strength. It's not too orange, not too matte. It's not too shimmery, it's well, just right. Matte bronzers can really "flatten" you and be a little Oompa Loompa like. Shimmery bronzers are best left for the under 30's crew.
When used correctly NARS Laguna is more than a bronzer, it can contour the face and add subtle shape to eyes. Deeper colours help to "shade" an area, creating the illusion of depth. So anything that you want to see recede, darken. For example, I like to see my massive forehead and double chin recede. So I contour and bronze them with NARS Laguna.
And of course, everyone looks better with a tan. So as an advocate for SPF 50 and slip slop slap, I learnt to fake it with NARS Laguna. http://mecca.com.au/nars/bronzing-powder/V-000778.html
So how to use this sun-kissed saviour? Firstly, get your hands on these 2 amazing brushes.
Rae Morris Brush 3 Ultimate Cheekbone for "cutting" in under the cheekbone and placing the bronzer. Yes it's outrageously expensive but feels like heaven on your skin, my god it's soft, and it fits the cheekbone perfectly. (I promise to track down a high-street version)
MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush for buffing and polishing the bronzer in to your face.
IN JUST 2 MINUTES, HERE'S HOW YOU CONTOUR YOUR FACE, FOR A NATURAL-LOOKING SUN-KISSED FINISH:
Using the Rae Morris contouring brush,
STEP 1. Sweep bronzer from your ear, downwards under the line of your cheekbones. Blend softly up into your blush. Hello, cheekbones!
STEP 2. Swoosh bronzer on your temples, from the outer corner of your eye, out towards your hairline
STEP 3. In windscreen-wiper motions blend bronzer around the top of your forehead, into your hairline. Bye bye massive forehead and hello sun-kissed gorgeousness!
STEP 4. Blend bronzer under your jawline (especially where you feel a little "jowly") and sweep down under your jaw on to your neck. This is my TOP TIP for discreetly disguising a double-chin. Not that I'm saying you have a double-chin but I certainly do! Try it. Works wonders.
STEP 5. brush a little across the bridge of your nose for a final, just been to the beach sun-kiss.
FINISHING STEP Use your MAC Microfibre brush and in gentle circular motions "buff" all over your face just to ensure there are no lines, everything is well blended and diffused.
And a final note, you shouldn't look like you're wearing foundation, bronzer or blush as such. Diffuse with the MAC Microfibre brush to create what appears to be f***ing flawless, amazing and beautiful skin.
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