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Question: How can I use makeup to complement my summer tan?

Answer: Now that it’s officially summer, relaxing poolside or planning barbecues, camping trips and beach getaways should definitely be on your to-do list. Regardless of what outdoor activity ends up on your agenda, a toasty complexion is sure to follow after a fun-filled day in the sun. And while we don’t recommend exposing yourself to harmful rays just to get a perfect glow for the summer (especially when there are safer and more natural ways to achieve a faux tan), sun-seekers are in luck. Because showing off that tan in the most flattering way is easier than ever, thanks to a few simple tweaks to your normal makeup routine. Whether you’re fair or dark-skinned, you can complement your fake and bake naturally.

Fair Skin

If you’re fair-skinned, you want to err on the minimal side when it comes to applying makeup. Think sun-kissed not dark. Don’t be a victim of the orange streak or looking too balmy. Starting with the face, choose bronzers with a hint of pink or peach undertones such as Smashbox’s Bronze Lights in Sunkissed Matte, and apply it lightly where the sun would naturally hit your face like your cheekbones, nose, chin and temples. Don’t forget to dust and blend some bronzer on your neck and decolletage as well, so things look even and balanced. And if your tan darkens even more, use a tinted moisturizer like Aveda’s Inner Light that provides enough SPF coverage and illuminates your face. Melon hues and rosy metallics are also really flattering.

Dark Skin

Dark-skinned beauties don’t have to use bronzer. It’s more about evening out the skin and choosing a foundation that closely matches your tan. Enhance your lips with corals or red shades, and brighten up your eyes and cheeks with gold-toned metallics. Vivid blushes look great against darker complexions.

Olive Skin

Olive-skinned ladies rejoice! Since your skin is already warm, you have the freedom to play around with bronzers and different shades that make your features stand out. To match your new summer tan, you can mix lighter foundation with darker shades–depending on how deep your tan is. Go full-on with blue or teal eye shadow along the lower lash line. Again, a coral lipstick injects a pop of color and looks flattering on everyone. Worried about the heaviness of lipstick during the summer? Don’t. Because a sheer gloss will give your pucker just the right amount of color and shine.

Medium Skin

If you have medium skin, you can be more bold with your makeup. The key is to enhance your already radiant complexion by using cream bronzers, highlighters or illuminators. Give your skin the ultimate shine boost by applying these products to the bridge of your nose, cupid’s bow, chin and below your eyebrow. Blues, pastel purples and mint shades provide an effective contrast against your tan.

*When all else fails, these tried-and-true colors will complement your tanned skin–no matter your skin tone:

  • Orange or Tangerine – Try a bright orange or bold tangerine lip paired with minimal or natural makeup. Not only will it complement your tan, but it’s also a popular and trendy shade for summer.
  • Red and Gold – Your golden skin will provide the perfect backdrop for red lips–day or night. Gold is almost like a neutral for summer, and just one swipe of gold eye shadow on your lids or cheeks will give you a beautiful glow and sparkle.
  • Teal – Teal is unexpected in a good way and totally reminiscent of the beach with its translucent blue waters. Look more ethereal and mermaid-esque than like a clown or ’80s video girl by wearing teal eye shadow on your lower lash line only with golden eye shadow on your upper eyelids.
  • Purple or Plum – It’s the summer version of fall’s black because it looks great on every skin tone and eye color.
  • White – Nothing is more classic for summer than white. If wearing white on the eyes isn’t your thing, try a stark white manicure for a modern approach. White eyeliner or eye shadow is an effortless way to make your peepers look bigger and brighter.

Sure, summer can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. But it can also be a great time to break out of your beauty rut with all the vibrant hues it has to offer. Get your glow on by adding a few of these products and colors to your beauty repertoire, and we promise you’ll spend less time in front of the bathroom mirror and more time outside flaunting your best, bronzed self.

What are some of your makeup tricks to complement a summer tan?