In the Mirror

7 Sun-Sational Bronzers

By Charlotte on May 5, 2013 6:28 AM

A few weeks ago, the girls took me out to celebrate my 56th birthday. Wanting to wear something fun, I reached for my favorite maxi dress. It's a pretty, blue-and-white, sleeveless number from Macy's ... one of my best buys ever because it works everywhere from girl's night out to graduations!

2011-06 Charlotte and Bob.jpgHere's me in my favorite maxi a few years ago.

But I quickly changed my mind. There was no way I could pull off such a summery look without more of a tan. I could cover my pasty arms with a denim jacket (I'm always cold anyway) but what about my face? Talk about needing some color!

That's when I vowed to bring on the bronzers. The next day, I asked makeup maven Malley Roncal for help choosing a shade right for me. She steered me away from anything too intense, saying "Go one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone."

She also advised applying bronzer only where the sun naturally hits. "Concentrate on just the perimeter of your face--starting behind the ear, work bronzer down along the jawline, then go across the top of the forehead, along your hairline," Mally said. "You want to lightly sweep it across your forehead, the bridge of your nose, on your cheeks, and the tip of the chin."

Keeping her tips in mind, I played with bronzers from many different brands. But I kept coming back to these seven star performers. Great at warming up your color, there's one for every budget.


Avon Bronzing Powder Larger 250.jpg

Avon Glow Bronzing Powder

An affordable way to get glowing, this pretty pressed powder has a silky feel. It comes in five shades ranging from light Sun-Kissed Glow to Deep Tan.

Of the three I tried, Light Sands is my fav for brightening fairer skin like mine. When swept on with the Avon Glow Bronzing Brush, this bronzer blends easily and never looks too orangey. The brush, a must for your bag, works for everyday and travel. It's smaller than most and can be used with bronzer or blush. ($11 Bronzing Powder; $4.99 Bronzing Brush from Avon representatives or Avon.com)

The Avon Glow bronzer is a great, affordable option.



dual-bronzer 250.jpg

TIGI Dual Bronzer

Also a great value, TIGI's Dual Bronzer takes the guesswork out of choosing the right shade. Here you get two, sun-inspired colors in one handy compact: a matte, beach bronze and a pinker shade with a touch of shimmer. You can wear them individually or blend them together. Either way, they go on smooth and give your skin tone a gorgeous boost. ($17.50 at salons. Visit TIGIprofessional.com for locations.)

TIGI Dual Bronzer has 2 shades in one, handy compact.


Merle Normal Bronzing Powder (Pool Side) 250.jpgMerle Norman Bronzing Powder

Merle Norman's matte Bronzing Power makes it simple to get a healthy, natural-looking glow. You can choose from two summer-rific shades: Pool Side for lighter skin tones and Beach Side for darker complexions. Both go on easy so you can dust on a little, blend and build to more intense color as desired.

Got problem skin? No worries here. Besides being super hydrating, this stand-out choice is both oil and fragrance free. ($20 Merle Norman Studios. Visit MerleNorman.com for locations)

Merle Norman Bronzing Powder, shown in Pool Side, is super hydrating.


Lancome Star Bronzer

If you have sensitive skin, Lancome's Star Bronzer is another must try. This sheer, oil- and fragrance-free pressed powder contains Vitamin E , aloe and SPF 15. Plus, it's been allergy tested.

Besides being kind to your skin, the silky, smooth color goes on evenly and lasts. No need for touchups! I'm wild about Bronze Lumiere, a light brown with just a touch of shimmer, but with nine shades (three matte and six natural glow selections), there's something suited to every skin tone. ($35 at Lancome counters and Lancome-usa.com)

Lancome Star Bronzer comes in Bronze Lumiere and 8 other skin-kind shades.


Mally Beauty Believable Bronzer

Make-up artist Mally Roncal, my go-to for bronzer advice, created this three-step system so you can fool everyone into thinking you just got back from the beach.

She says using a bronzer alone can leave your skin looking muddy or dirty. That's why this sun-sational set includes three colors:

Don't you just love having a plan? Better yet, you can choose from two versions. Opt for the Tan set if you're like me and have little skin tone. Go for Bronze if you have more color. Both come in a shiny pink bag that's fun to tote. ($39.95 at MallyBeauty.com)

Malley Believable Bronzer, shown in Tan, includes bronzing powder, a shimmery highlighter and blush.

Believable Bronzer w. Pouch_Sexy Golden Tan Final.jpg 

Pacific Illusions Beauty Bronzers

You can Endless Summer 250.jpgget color worthy of a California girl with these two, Pacific Illustrations Beauty tantalizers:

Pressed Mineral Bronzer - A delightful pressed powder that comes in three, warm, matte shades: sandy Endless Summer (my pick), medium pink-hued Corona Del Mar and brown-lovers' Cocoa Beach.

Pacific Illusions Mineral Bronzer, shown in Endless Summer, comes in three, warm matte shades.


All-Over Mineral Bronzing Powder - Lovely, brush-on color for your face or body that comes in a clever applicator. Think ball-point pen with a brush and built-in bronzer. Pressing the button at the top of this tanning wand sends the powder onto the brush bristles. At first, you may have to give it a few clicks but afterwards a press or two delivers a shimmery shade perfect anywhere you need a touch of color.

Of the two tones, I adore South Beach because it gives my arms sheen so nice I'm not afraid to go sleeveless. You can also use it on your décolleté, legs, even your face if you like a lot of shimmer.

Both these good-for-you choices are hypoallergenic and fragrance free. (Pressed Mineral Bronzer $28; All-Over Bronzer $42 available at ArtisanGemsBoutique.com.}

The All-Over Mineral Bronzing Powder, shown in South Beach, delivers sexy shimmer anywhere you need a touch of color.

South Beach 250.jpg


We'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to the brands in this post for providing free samples for review and testing.


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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