Why you don’t need a Summer Foundation…


I know lots of people buy new foundation in Summer when their skin tone is a shade or two darker - I’ve often done it myself - but it’s expensive and really not necessary.  I thought I’d share a few tricks to help deepen your skin colour with products you might already have in your cupboard {purple links lead to my reviews of some products mentioned}.

Layer over self tan

Applying a layer of wear-off self tan will make the foundation you apply on top look slightly darker - and works well in early Summer when you just want a bit of a glow - or for your face to blend in with your self tanned body.  I’ve been using Karora gradual self tan for face & body and find it works really well and doesn’t clog pores or irritate my skin (a major feat for me).

Another alternative is to use a tinted moisturiser or light coverage foundation on top of a self tanned face, as the sheer finish will allow the colour to show through.  I find I need less foundation anyway when I’m wearing self tan as the extra colour makes imperfections less obvious.  A touch of Estee Lauder Daywear BB Crème and Double Wear concealer was all I needed in the recent fleeting spell of hot weather.

Mix with instant tan


Blend a drop of instant tanner (again I’ve been using Karora) with foundation in the palm of your hand before applying to your face. This will give you complete control over depth of colour - and as the colour on your body deepens, you can add a little more.  I do like my face to be slightly lighter than my body, but don’t want a golden body and fluro face.  A good gauge is to stay within the colour that your face naturally tans.  I’m assuming that you’re all being good girls and using spf on your faces these days! ;) I’m loving Natio.

You could also blend some instant tan over your foundation, but personally I find that a bit fiddly and prefer to mix them in advance. If you’re clever and light handed enough, this can be a great way to add contour (you could do the same thing with samples of darker foundation).

Bronze it Up

The third option is to add your colour with bronzing powder.  I’ve found that this can be done in a very subtle way by using a duo fibre brush - one with short thick hairs at the base and finer, wispy hairs towards the ends. (I’ve been using this one by Crown Brushes). A duo fibre allows you to pick up a small amount of product and ‘whisper’ it onto your skin… the tangoed look is a thing of the past.  I’ve been doing this with the Superbalanced Clinique Bronzer that I thought was too dark for this time of year - and honestly it looks perfect.  It really adds radiance too, which I just love, as so many bronzers either flatten the skin or make you look like a disco ball.

Obviously as the weather gets warmer and your tan deepens, you can add more colour to your face, but I still think less is more and light is always flattering to the face.  I always add a touch of blush on the apples of my cheeks as I don’t have naturally rosy cheeks and think a touch of blush looks really pretty on top of bronzer.  I’ve been wearing one (or two) by Illamasqua, which I’ll review soon.

Maybe everyone else on the planet does all of the above already, but in all honesty it really didn’t occur to me until last Summer, so I thought I’d share my thoughts in the hope that it might help someone else save a few quid!

Colour Adjusters

My final suggestion is a bit of a long term investment but an absolutely genius creation in my opinion: a product that is specifically designed to adjust the colour of your foundation by adding depth, warmth, or light.  Face Atelier is the only brand I know of that does this - I tried a little sample of it and it’s just incredible.

Available in Zero Minus (white), Zero Plus (dark brown), Zero Plus Plus (almost black) and Heat (brick red), just a tiny drop can alter your foundation colour dramatically.  Face Atelier is a US brand loved by many makeup artists (& stars including Fergie & Lady Gaga) and I’ve been so impressed by the little experience I’ve had with it - you can see the range on Cloud 10 Beauty {here} and samples are available for £1 each.


I hope this has been useful - have fun experimenting! :)

Nic x

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