Here are some of my fave tried, tested & true products that i’ve used personally and on many of my makeup gigs to get that perfectly bronzed, glowing and shiny summer skin. There’s a bunch of options because sometimes you want a little bit of sheen and other times you want mega shine! Same with bronzers. Sometimes you just need a subtle glow and other occasions call for full dark bronzed up, golden sparkle!
Nothing beats a custom, hand applied spray tan or airbrush tan but…I know that’s not a realistic option for most people to have done on a regular basis. It can be costly to do weekly or semi-monthly but it’s my #1 recommendation for special ocassions and it looks the best granted you get it done by a knowledgeable and experience spray tan gun wielding pro like me! Other great options for a golden tan can come out of a bottle. I’ve tried tons of them and my favorite by far is St. Tropez mousse applied with their tanning mit. This is what I use when I need to quickly tan up my arms or legs. Sure I look like a panda but unless you’re in a bikini it doesn’t matter that just the visible limbs are tan, right? For between spray tans & full body self tanner applications, I love Jergen’s Natural Glow to extend my tan. I find I get an extra 3-5 days of color plus it kills two birds with one stone by moisturizing my skin (A must to get a natural fade) and keeping my tan darker longer.
Spray Tan, Hair & MakeUp by me for Fernanda Rocha last season on Real Housewives of OC. I always used the Stila dry oil shimmer spray on her too!
If you don’t have time to spray/self tan the three pictures on the right of the picture above are perfect to give you that bronze glow, shine and shimmer but without any committment! They wash off with your next shower. Sun by Sephora and Stila’s Dry Oil Shimmer Spray both come in pump spray bottles and offer a deep bronzer in an oil based product that also smells like Hawaii in a bottle. Both products have since been discontinued but don’t fret because I google searched it and they often pop up online at lots of different websites and i’ve stocked up because they have been staples in my makeup kit for years! The Stila product is what I used to give everyone that gorgeous glow on the ChaLean Extreme workout videos. There’s nothing like a little bit of UV-free tan, bronzer and sheen to really accentuate your muscle definition! The last product is Scott Barnes (one of the makeup artist’s I most look up to) Body Bling. This was one of the first body bronzing, shimmer lotions to hit the market years ago. He of course is best known as (now formerly) Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist. This lotion will give you the same JLo iconic bronzed glow. It also comes in a lighter version as the original is very bronze!
This next set of pictures is of my favorite powder shimmers and oils. Let’s talk about body oil. There are lots of different options and on a fitness or bikini shoot i’ll bring an arsenal of options as each one will give off various finishes, levels of sheen or shine. On the bottom left is an aersol spray cocoa butter dry oil from CVS. It also smells like Hawaii in a can and it’s my favorite “Goldilocks” product for just straight oil without any color/bronzer or shimmer/sparkle. It also leaves your skin very conditioned and moisturized. Under studio lights it’s not too shiny (greasy) looking and gives you the perfect muscle enhancing, limb elongating sheen. Nars oil is a luxurious option that smells like a spa vacation in a bottle. If you need higher shine that isn’t runny or too “wet”, baby oil Gel is my go-to product. Regular baby oil can be quite messy and especially on set it can run into wardrobe and totally ruin it by staining it. Baby oil gel gives you much more controlled application. Just make sure to fully rub it in as under studio lights you can see an uneven, streaky application. Another makeup artist secret for shine is olive oil spray. It gives you medium to high shine and the application goes on smoothly. Just make sure to put a towel down as it can make the floor very slippery!
The final two products pictured on top are a loose & pressed powder bronzer shimmer. The loose one on the left is from Bare Escentuals. It maybe hard to find but there are lots of mineral products out there like it. The benefit of a loose shimmer powder is that you can brush it on over your regular moisturizer just to hi-light a few areas of the body like collar bones, straight down the center of your legs which I learned years ago working runway shows and makes the legs look thinner and longer as it creates a hi-light. You can also create your own spray product by mixing it in a bottle with distilled water and even add essential oils. Just shake it up & voila, you made your own shimmer spray! The pressed bronzer on the right in that ginormous disc is from Laura Geller and it can be applied dry or wet to face or body and it’s also very water and sweat resistant! Not waterproof but very long wearing. It will give you instant bronzer/tan as well as a bit of shimmer. It’s gorgeous!
My stunningly gorg and amazing Fitness Celebrity client, Chalene Johnson. I used a combination of the baby oil gel with a bit of the spray dry oil on top for her Turbo Fire infomercial photoshoot.
Fitness models Jennifer England (left) and Michelle Pittman (right). This was a shot I took with my then, Droid phone backstage and not under set lights. I used just a little bit of Nars dry oil just to get subtle sheen.