10 April 2007

Spring Essentials (pt. IV): bronzer and round-toed flats

There are few beauty products on which I am willing to spend in excess of $20. In my world, clothes, shoes and Montesquieu are the top three budgetary appropriation priorities. $60 for foundation? $300 for facial moisturizer? $35 for mascara? $18.50 for eyeliner? $165 for under-eye dark-circle minimizer?


I recognize I'm fortunate to have been born with not-too-dry, not-too-oily, not-too-affected-by-inexpensive-products skin. I also recognize most women are reluctant to rely on a drugstore-cosmetic-only regiment for fear of breakouts, allergic reactions or just an overall poor beauty performance. The decision to allocate a larger portion of your income to expensive lotions, concealers, non-hypoallergenic brushes and cellulite-reduction creams is one I greatly respect and one I won't try to change. We each have our vices, and for me, makeup and toiletries are high on the list but far, far behind the aforementioned trifecta.

There is one shimmery exception to this rule, however, and that is my precious bronzer.

Bronzer, bronzer, bronzer -- what would I do without my portable, non-wrinkle-inducing, natural-looking suntan in a compact?

Bronzer, contrary to what you may think, is not a Spring/Summer-only cosmetic. Like your favorite vamp-it-up red lipstick or your feeling-sassy-today cobalt blue eyeliner, this bit of sunkissed goodness is only a swipe away *all year round.* As long as you do your homework, take a full day of test-drives at the makeup counter (I like the ladies at Nordstrom best for their honest opinions without the Saks attitude) and choose one that matches your skin-tone, you have the potential to look bronzed throughout all 12 calendar months.

This is not to say one of these items listed below will make you look July-brown in February - let's hope not, anyway - but they will definitely supplant your Winter pastiness with a pre-Spring contouring glow. And for that reason, I deem bronzer more than any other item in my at-home, travel or special-occasion makeup bags, worth the sorrow in channeling money away my shoe fund to pay an inflated department store price.

On a final note, I have yet to try a bronzing gel, so I can't authoritatively testify to their effectiveness or ineffectiveness, but according to several beauty outlets such as Allure, InStyle and my always perfectly made-up friend in London, gels like the Trish McEvoy one shown above, for their glossy sheen, their ease and quickness of placement and moisturizing benefits, are the bronzers of the future.

Recommend bronzers:
1. Bronzing powder by NARS ($28 at sephora.com)
2. Sun by Stila ($26 at sephora.com)
3. Brazilian bronzing sheen by BECCA ($26 at sephora.com)
4. Powder bronzer by Tarte ($28 at tartecosmetics.com)
5. Bronze shimmer brick compact by Bobbi Brown ($38 at nordstrom.com)
6. Bronzing gel by Laura Mercier ($30 at lauramercier.com)*
7. Poudre Sôleil by Lancôme ($34.50 at saks.com)
8. Highlights bronzer by Trish McEvoy ($32 at saks.com)
9. True bronze bronzing gel by Clinique ($18.50 at macys.com)
10. Hoola by Benefit ($26 at sephora.com)

*shown above right

Round-toed flats
I love my sense of style, but if there's one thing I love even more than writing about what I think looks good, it's communicating to you what I think you should give up forever (square-toed shoes), take a chance on (walking to work in skinny heels) and covet as much as I do (Monica Bellucci smoking on a rock).

That being said, If I'm feeling repetitive in writing about certain wardrobe components - cute flats is chief among these - you must be getting bored, too.

So instead of my blathering on about how dressy flats are the grown up flip-flop, how perfectly they complement a pair of skinny or straight-leg jeans, and how they are your safest and most effective tool for injecting into your ensemble that punch of bright color, click here and then here, and then check out my recommendations below.

Oh, one quick note: the only reason why I advocate the round-toe over any other style when it comes to flats is simply because flats are for feeling and looking a sophisticated brand of cute, not sexy, not powerful, not come-hither but cute. A pointy-toed flat, in addition to looking like a couple of Ferretti yachts, conjures up one of two things -- (1) a PTA-Mom who along with mascara and an identity has given up on heels or (2) a poor soul who broke both heels mid-way to work and had no choice but to scrape her way into the office as is.

Just stick to the ballerina style.

Recommended flats:
1. Plus by Steve Madden ($56 at lorisdesignershoes.com)
2. Social climber by Seychelles ($60 at lorisdesignershoes.com)
3. Reva ballerina flat by Tory Burch ($225 at toryburch.com)
4. Maddie by Luichiny ($75.95 at zappos.com)
5. Twillo by Steven ($99.95 at zappos.com)
6. London-7 flat by Dolce Vita ($109.95 at nordstrom.com)*
7. Carrie t-strap flat by Sam Edelman ($135 at bloomingdales.com)
8. Lagoon flats by Repetto ($168 at anthropologie.com)
9. Garter snake flats ($138 at anthropologie.com)
10. Papeete flats by Delman ($74.95 at anthropologie.com)

*shown above right


brown bear '02 said...

I wish I could use cheaper foundation, but every time I've tried, I've gotten some sort of discoloration or rash. You're lucky you don't have that. I'm up for a new bronzer in a couple of weeks (I currently use Guerlain's Terra Cotta), so thanks for the timely tip!

And I agree with you about pointy flats. Them is ugly.

i think you're brilliant said...

those blue/white polka dot flats with the bows are adorable! I'm totally getting them. Thanks!

can't wait until the next installment. I'm really enjoying these posts!

Anonymous said...

So while I think ahead to my near future days of boarding, I started to think that I may need a cute bag to go along with my experience (yes, another excuse to buy a bag).

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