Best Bronzers, Blushers, Highlighters & Fake Tans 2018

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 main

Best Bronzers, Blushers, Highlighters &
Fake Tans 2018

Extending Your Summer Glow

by Rachel Howard

Summer 2018 is certainly proving to be a scorcher. Not since the famed ‘Summer of ’76’ have we seen such a continued period of hot, sunny weather in the UK.

For once, all that sunshine is giving us a healthy glow without the need to jet to warmer climes. But this brings about the question: “How do I extend my summer glow and tan?”

Well, the good news is that there are an array of products available to keep you bronzed and beautiful right through to the autumn.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to catch the sun and are feeling a little pale and pasty (or just like to play it safe and stick in the shade), the world of fake tan is here to help. There are hundreds of products available, in all price ranges, and the formulations are better than ever. With the correct preparations and application, streaking should be a thing of the past, and although most do still have that distinctive “biscuit” smell, it’s a small price to pay for the confidence boost that a bronzed body provides.

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 1

“Hint of sparkle”

One such product is from Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter. Available on the high street, this one-hour tan mousse (£7.99) comes in a variety of shades. I tried ‘Dark’ but a word of warning – if you really want a dark tan, you’d be better going for the Extra Dark or Ultra Dark. Personally, I didn’t find I got a particularly deep tan with one application, even leaving it on overnight. However, this is one of those rare products that genuinely doesn’t have a “biscuit” smell.

The brand’s signature Tahitian Gardenia scent is beautiful and lingers on the skin for some time. The finished result was a streak-free golden tan that can be built up with more applications. For holidays, or nights out, Cocoa Brown has also launched a limited edition Rose Gold Goddess shimmering dry body oil (£9.99), which provides the finishing touch to a tanned body. Again, the signature scent comes through beautifully and the shimmer is a classy hint of sparkle, not chunky glitter.

Keeping on the fake tan theme, St. Moriz has brought out their Tan Boosting Facial Serum (£9.99). This is a clever product that has been designed to be added to your existing daily moisturiser. A few drops of the serum mixed in with your moisturiser promises a “radiantly glowing tan without losing the benefits of your skincare”. This is a great idea for extending, or even creating, a sun-kissed glow – but caution is required! I found the recommended 3-6 drops more than enough, in fact I would start with a couple and build up. There’s a big difference between sun-kissed and tangerine!

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 too faced

“Blendable and buildable”

As well as fake tan, the make-up market has really jumped on the ‘glow’ bandwagon in recent years. To think, a few years ago no one had heard of ‘highlighter’ or ‘contouring’. Thanks to YouTube beauty bloggers and yes, the Kardashians, among others, we can all now bronze, highlight and contour our faces to within a millimetre of perfection.

Bronzers are the best way to fake it ’til you make it. Not as long-lasting as fake tan (and therefore less scary when dealing with your face!), they can give you a great tanned look. Matte bronzers are also perfect for contouring and bringing structure to the face. Too Faced are a brand that have excelled in bronzers over the years. Their Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer (£25) is a cult favourite. As well as beautiful packaging, including a decent sized mirror – great for on-the-go – the product is about as perfect as a matte bronzer can be, plus it smells like chocolate. What more could you want!

Not too dark, not too light, this bronzer can be easily used for contouring purposes, or simply for a sun-kissed glow around the temples, cheeks and nose. Blendable and buildable, this should be a must-have on dressing tables everywhere. In addition to the matte version, Two Faced also make the Sun Bunny Radiant Duo Tone Bronzer (£25). Two shimmering shades in one compact, this provides colour, glow and, as the shimmer is subtle, it can also be used as a contour. The super-soft texture is a joy to use on the face and body and can be used lightly for a gentle glow, or built up for more impact.

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 mineral english

“Warmth and shimmer”

The English Mineral Makeup Company (EMM) may not be as well known as some of the brands mentioned in this article, but that probably won’t be the case for long. They create products that are 100% natural, made of 100% mineral ingredients; plus, they are completely cruelty free and vegan friendly. This is makeup that really cares for your skin. But don’t be fooled, that doesn’t mean these products don’t pack a punch. Their Bronzer in the shade Golden (£25) gives a beautiful warmth and sheen to the skin.

Although this is quite a pricey product, it’s a real multitasker. It can also be used to enhance eyes and lips, be added to foundation for a glossy finish or used as illuminator to make the most of your tan. The same can be said of their blushers. Available in eight shades with a variety of finishes (matte, satin, and glow/glimmer), I tried the satin finish Apricot (£25). This is the perfect shade for tanned skin or for using alongside the aforementioned bronzer. It enhances a golden glow beautifully, adding a warmth and shimmer that can be built up depending on your preference. Being mineral makeup, EMM’s products are best applied using a kabuki brush. I used their Gold Kabuki (£22) and found it to be one of the softest brushes I had used. It blended the products out perfectly and gave a smooth finish. Plus, it’s gorgeous and would be an attractive addition to anyone’s vanity.

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 sleek


Keeping on the subject of blushers, many people are under the illusion that they are purely for giving a rosy, healthy tint to the apples of the cheeks. While this is true, with the right shade selection, they can also help to create and enhance a golden summer radiance. Peaches, bronzes and pearlised pinks all help to amp up the glow.

Sleek MakeUP have one of the best value range of blushers on the high street. At just £4.99 they are highly pigmented, easy to blend and very long lasting – very important in this hot and clammy weather. My favourites for the summer were Rose Gold – a peachy pink with gold undertones, and Flamingo – a vibrant pink that can be applied lightly for a hint of freshness or built up for a more dramatic look.

At the other end of the budget scale is Perricone MD’s No Blush Blush (£29). This luxury brand markets itself on being makeup infused skincare – this “one size fits all” product adapts to every individual skin tone and also contains SPF 30 – a necessity in the current climate. The liquid is applied via a doe foot applicator and blended out until the desired intensity is reached. The result? A peachy pink flush to the cheeks that will give you the appearance of two weeks on the Med…

“Add gleam”

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 joan collinsIf a more traditional version of blusher is what you’re looking for, look no further than Joan Collins Timeless Beauty’s Contour Velvet Blusher (£22). Contained within a very glamorous compact, these blushers are lightweight, beautifully pigmented and contain just the right amount of shimmer to illuminate all skin tones. I tested out Rose and found it to be the perfect summer pink. As Joan says “Blusher is the fastest makeup rejuvenator. A quick brush and voila! – instant glow and the look of 8 hours sleep.”

Although blusher has been around since the dawn of makeup, the same cannot be said for highlighter. A relatively new addition to the makeup stands, it was originally quite a niche product. In the last few years, brands from right across the spectrum – Makeup Revolution through to Tom Ford and everything in between – have introduced a variety of powder, liquid and cream highlighters to their ranges. They are designed to bring light to the high points of the face, create an ambient glow and work alongside contour to being structure to the face. During the summer months they come into their own as they can also be used on the body to add gleam to the shoulders, décolletage and legs.

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 unicorn

“Hint of sparkle”

Alongside their must-have bronzers, Too Faced have also launched themselves headlong into the world of highlighters. This summer’s range takes inspiration from the current trend of unicorns. Granted, the packaging may be a little childlike, but nothing can take away from the quality of the products. The Unicorn Highlighting Stick (£22) is available in Unicorn Tears (iridescent blue) and Unicorn Dreams (pearlescent pink). At first glance, Tears could look quite frightening with it’s blue colour. But a quick swatch and blend of the product reveals it be to be subtle, shimmery and more pinky purple. I found this to be better used on the body than the face – it gave a fabulous glow to my shoulders – and it would be a great addition to festival/party look.

Alongside this cream product is the Rainbow Strobe Highlighter (£25). This compact contains five different coloured powders. The pink, gold, yellow, blue and purple glitter-packed powders are designed to be applied to the face in a rainbow stripe along the cheekbones; or you can swirl the colours together for a prismatic effect. Either way, this isn’t for the faint hearted! It’s an intense shot of glitter that will really make you stand out from the crowd. I also found this to work brilliantly as eyeshadow and even over the top of lipgloss. If you’re packing light for a festival, holiday or wedding, this could be your one-stop shop for a sparkly and fun highlight.

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 laura geller

“Dramatic effect”

Laura Geller’s Baked Gelato Swirl highlighters (£21) have been out for some time, but they take some beating for luminosity and providing that “lit from within” glow. Peach Glow doesn’t have a chunky glittery consistency, it’s more of a smooth, velvety sheen that can be applied to the upper cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose for a sun kissed glow. The peach tones look perfect against a tan or bronzer and the universally flattering shade can be worn by all skin tones.

Perricone MD has once again hit the nail on the head with their No Highlighter Highlighter (£29). Another “one size fits all” product, this liquid highlight is one of the most subtle on the market. The soft pearlised-effect fluid should be applied sparingly to the high points of the face to add accent and create definition. It can applied more liberally for a more dramatic effect. This is perfect for those new to the highlighting world as it’s very difficult to go wrong with such a subtle product that is so easy to apply and blend.

Sleek MakeUP have brought out their Highlighting Palette (£9.99) incorporating four pans of product. Available in different shade ranges, I tried out Copperplate – rich coppers and duo-toned golds. These are the perfect accompaniment to a bronzed base and can be used on the cheekbones, eyes, brow bones and the body. For such a good price, the compact is sizeable with a great sized mirror. All skin tones can enjoy this product due to the vast shade range and the depth of pigment.

Best Bronzers Blushers Highlighters Fake Tans 2018 nudestix

“Beautifully subtle”

If you aren’t one for a lot of makeup, and you feel that highlighter might be a step too far, fear not. Nudestix have brought out Nudies All Over Face Colour Glow (£30). Available in three shades, this ingenious product is dual ended, with a block of colour at one end and a densely-bristled brush at the other. The iridescent balm is beautifully subtle and can be applied to the whole face, even bare skin, for a luminous summer glow. Application is made incredibly easy with the brush, or use the finger tips to add a flash of light to the inner corners of the eye or the brow bone.

With this many products available, both on the high street and more luxury brands, there really is no excuse not to feel and look luminous this summer, and for it to last right through to autumn.

Bear in mind good exfoliation, for both the face and the body, to aid thorough application and blending, and don’t be afraid to experiment! Go on, get your glow on!


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