"Makeup doesn’t really play by seasonal rules, but there are a handful of products we always think of come summer: broad-spectrum sunscreen, mascara that can withstand literally anything, and bronzer. And if there’s one thing these products have in common, it’s that you should totally consider wearing them on the daily.
For the first two, it makes total sense; UV damage is a possibility regardless of the weather (cue SPF) and you never know when your favorite artist or a cute animal pic will give you a case of the feels (cue waterproof mascara). But bronzer? We used to be skeptical of its place in an everyday beauty routine, but many of the beauty pros we’ve interviewed over the years love the subtle warmth and life it can bring to your complexion. “Bronzers create a healthy glow and make skin look particularly vital by creating some contrast,” explains celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt. “When applying, focus on areas of the face where the sun would naturally hit, such as the apples of the cheeks, up the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and the tip of the chin. You can also warm up the skin a bit around the hairline and temples.”
Sounds easy enough — plus, it’s currently summer, AKA the perfect time to start incorporating it into your look. Looking for something virtually impossible to mess up? Start with our bronzer BFF: the cream formula. It’s a lazy fave because all you need are some (clean!) fingers for application, which cuts down on time and saves you some brush-cleaning duties. The one you need to try this year is RMS Contour Bronze, a genius invention by green makeup pioneer Rose-Marie Swift. Here’s why it needs to be on your radar — and in your shopping cart — stat.
The finish and base are everything we’ve been dreaming of.
We get it: it’s sweltering outside, you’re sweating everything off, and you’re gravitating toward something matte. But consider a dewy finish that reflects your gently gleaming skin for a change — it’ll look more natural. “Powder is not in my world when it comes to bronzing,” says Rose-Marie. “I truly believe only a cream bronzer gives a realistic, tanned look. The refined shimmer makes the skin visually more appealing.” Add that light-catching glow to the perfect base (neutral, not too warm), and you have the formula for the perfect bronze.
You can use it to contour…or create a sultry lid wash.
Apply Contour Bronze as Troy recommends, or get creative. “Contour Bronze is darker, so it doesn’t have that reddish base that you see in bronzers,” explains Rose-Marie. “It doubles as a more realistic contour.” To define your cheekbones, draw a line from the edge of your face (near the center of your ear) down, tracing the underside of the bone until you hit a point beneath your pupil. Then, simply pat and blend with your fingers until the product melts into your skin. If you’re going the all-over route, note that this pot packs a ton of pigment, so a little bit will go a long way! “It makes a great, rich bronzer for darker skintones,” she adds — but we’ve found it will work across a wide range, as long as you apply sparingly. As a bonus, it’s also safe for use around the eyes, so sweep some across your lids to keep the bronzed theme going. “Depending on the oil content of the lid, it may smudge,” she notes. “A simple tap with the fingers will get rid of creases.”
The ingredients are winners.
As with all RMS products, you can count on the ingredients list to impress. “The real winner is the buriti oil,” says Rose-Marie. “It’s known for its naturally high levels of vitamin A and betacarotene, which are great for skin. It also is being studied in the industry as it has proven to act as a mild sunscreen. I use simple ingredients, and each one is chosen for its antioxidant, vitamin, and enzyme properties.”
It’s creamy and waterproof at the same time.
We’ve long been told that powders stay on, while creams slip and slide in warm weather. Not so, says Rose-Marie. “People do freak out and think that creams melt away, but in reality, they’re actually waterproof,” she says. “They only slide off if people wear a silicon or hyaluronic acid product underneath, causing a synthetic oil barrier between the products.” While this isn’t the most long-wearing bronzer in our stash, we have noticed that it never budges — no matter how much we sweat. Plus, the fade is subtle, and you can easily touch it up on the go. Getting your glow on has never been easier."