But you can still use bronzer for ‘soft sculpting’, which is more about adding definition than changing the shape of the face. “For chiselling the features use a smaller brush or for a soft, less defined finish use a bigger fluffy brush and move the product closer to the face to blend,” advises Sir John. The rounded head of Charlotte Tilbury’s Bronzer & Blusher Brush is ideal for carving out cheekbones with no hard edges.
Remember, too, that using bronzer is a lot like salting food: you can always add more, but it’s hard to take it away. The golden rule is less is more, so take a light-handed approach and use only the sheerest layers. “Gradually build up the bronzer to go any deeper,” says Sir John.
For a realistic, sun-flushed effect, Beyonce’s makeup artist advises pairing bronzer with blusher placed “bright and high on face.”
We’re huge fans of the Tower 28 Beauty Beach Please Luminous Tinted Balm for the way it blends seamlessly to the skin with just a few pats of your ring finger.
Another do-not-do is to apply a sparkly highlighter anywhere other than at the side of your face. “My rule is to never apply shimmer from the outer corner of the eye inward, anywhere on the face,” says Sir John. “And I beg you, never add shimmer to the end of your nose. It’s not sexy, no matter what you see on You Tube.”
If your priority in a heatwave is to stop your makeup turning into a slippery mess, cherry-pick the right textures and apply them in the correct order. “My ‘Teflon Face’ trick is to apply creams first – foundation and cream blush – then set them with a powder blush or bronzer buffed over the top,” says Sir John. “This duality of cream then powder means products will stay longer,” he adds. “If your bronzer starts to move or patch, it’s a sign that your layers are too heavy and they’re not sitting close enough to skin.”
It doesn’t have to be summer to appreciate the many virtues of a good bronzer, either. Bronzer can also make dull, sallow winter skin sing. “Your foundation from summer can bronze you in winter,” says Sir John, as it’s a bit warmer and creates a softer finish. Who knew?