This autumn is all about bronzers, which made me panic to begin with because I have never really understood them. I mean, are they blushers or highlighters or just meant to make you look like you've been on the beach at St Tropez for several months?
The answer, of course, is a little of all of the above - although maybe with less emphasis on the St Tropez tan.
Bronzers come in liquid, cream or powder. I have now tried all three and am unequivocally a powder girl. It is just so much easier to use and the opportunities to mess it up are a tad more limited than with the other two.
The new ones this season that I like the most are Terra Inca from Guerlain and Bobbi Brown's Dark Chocolate Bronzer. When you go to choose, opt for a bronzer that is no more than two shades darker than your skin. But how to apply them?
Well, the first thing you need is a big, round brush to create the smooth and even skin tones you are aiming for with bronzers. Dab a little of the colour onto the brush and then tap it to remove excess. Do not blow on the brush, because if you get any moisture on it you will end up with streaks across your face; not a good look.
Once you have the bronzer on the brush apply it to the areas the sun would naturally hit your face, such as your forehead, nose and upper cheeks, and a little on your chin or outer jaw. Use a light hand at all times; circle the apple of the cheeks, then sweep along the bone towards the temple. Circle the jaw lightly, then give your forehead a sweep.
Add a touch to your nose and chin, but literally a touch; too much bronzer and you start looking like a chimney sweep. If you have overdone it just take a layer off with a cotton wool pad.
The golden (pardon the pun) rule with bronzers is that less is more, and they are more effective without foundation, just some concealer where needed (see last week's Beauty Spy).
Include your neck and upper chest when applying the bronzer, and your shoulders too if you're going for a slinky strapless number.
Please remember to check the effect of your efforts in daylight before you go outside. A friend of mine told me she once applied her bronzer in a semi-darkened bathroom. She then went to Spinneys where she was asked by a friend if she had been the victim of a tanning booth malfunction and was given the name of a good lawyer.
3 of the best
Beauty treats that cost less than Dh50
AVALON ORGANICS BIOTIN B COMPLEX THICKENING SHAMPOO, DH49 Pump up the volume with this excellent pharmacy find. Fortified with biotin and wheat protein, this shampoo boosts body and volume plus helps restore thinning hair. For a mane to be proud of, a bargain.
MAX FACTOR LIPFINITY LASTING LIP TINT, DH48 Is it a pen or a lipstick? Well, both, thanks to Max Factor's latest launch. A lightweight, water-based formula, the dye melts into the lips, leaving a vibrant kiss-proof colour. Shaped like a felt-tip pen, it couldn't be easier to apply.
BATH & BODY WORKS INTO THE WILD BODY LOTION, DH45 Smooth like butter. That's what your skin will be if you slather it with this moisturiser. Packed with vitamin E and sporting a summery scent, this could be a new beauty obsession.
THE DEBUT OF COACH PERFUME
There seems to be no shortage of A-list (and B-list) celebrities launching perfumes, so we were thrilled to hear that a company with some style is joining in. Coach, beloved for its accessories and handbags, launches its first fragrance next month. Coach - clever name, that - is floral but with tangy overtones, with an overriding impression of jasmine and a sweet sub-plot.
Coach perfume, Dh350 for 50ml, available at Coach stores