Posted on | September 28, 2013 | No Comments

Its official! Summer is over! Time to submit to the autumn pastiness that looms in October?  False

As an LA based makeup artist, I am more than aware of the ever-coveted glow that Scott Barnes bestowed upon J-Lo back in her “from the block” days.  Cornrows or not, we were all instantly jealous and have been striving for it ever since. On the off chance that you don’t have the expendable income  to hire Scott, let me loop you in to the drugstore gems that give a similar “lit from within,” or,  “I have a summer house in Barbados” glow.

LORAC TANtalizer Baked Bronzer $7loracBronzer

Starting with the obvious, a pressed powder bronzer is one of the easiest ways to immediately impart some beachy bronze color.  This product in particular is pretty pigmented, so tap the crap out of your brush, and sweep under cheekbones, on the sides of your forehead, over the upper bridge of your nose, and a little at the bottom perimeter of your chin.  The good news is that because this picks up so much pigment, you only need a little, and the mini size, (7 bucks!)  lasts forever.

E.L.F. Stipple Brush $3

ELF stipple brush

Brushes matter, friends.  Although we all love the MAC #187 dual fiber brush, it comes in at $42 and that just isn’t always in the budget.  This E.L.F. number does a pretty good job of imitating the dual synthetic/natural fiber combo, and let me tell you why this matters: The black bristles separate the white bristles, so that they are less densely concentrated at the head.  This way, less pigment is picked up, you have an easier time blending, and it doesn’t look like you’ve been punched by a muddy fist.  Also, $3!

E.L.F. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter $3

ELF highlighter

The less obvious but JUST as important factor in the glow game is highlighting.  It brings out your bone structure, gives you a dewy youthful look, and makes you look like you got 8 hours even if you stayed up all night watching Breaking Bad.  E.LF. has some nice surprises, this being one of them.  The concealer is pretty sheer and natural, just dot some in with your fingertip in the inner corners of your eyes.  You can also use it as an eyeshadow base if you apply a small amount blended evenly from lashline to brow.

As for the highlighter side, use the wand to deposit a blob on the back of your hand.  Using your fingertips or your clean E.L.F. stipple brush, blend this highlighter right on top of your cheekbones, on the bow of your upper lip, and on the top of your chin just under your lower lip.  Its glowy but not too glittery, and people will think you actually drink the recommended amount of water each day.

Revlon Colorstay Smoky Shadow Stick in Torch $8


This is a great, universally flattering shadow stick that is super easy to blend, and gives a really gentle highlight/shadow for a naturally smoky look.  The light side is a peachy highlight, (not a friggen stark white!)  which looks great in the inner corners of your eyes and under the brow.  You can use the bronze side on the outer corner of your lids and crease, or alllll over the lid for a smokier look.  You can leave as-is, or it works great underneath powder shadows if you want to create more depth.

NYX Cream Blush -$6.99


Don’t be scared!  Cream blush is a great alternative to powder to impart a dewy, natural flush. It can wear a lot longer as well. I wear this to the beach or gym when I want to look like i just have naturally healthy color.  This is of course a lie, but no one is the wiser.  Again, your E.L.F. stipple brush is going to come in handy so you just pick up a little pigment and blend away.  Smile, aim for the fleshiest part of the cheek and blend out and up.  Believe it or not a bright pink blush ends up looking the most natural for most skin tones, from dark to light.  It looks like a natural flush of color to the cheeks.

L’Oreal Infallible Lip Gloss- $9.99


This gloss has a great, buttery texture that provides a sheer, buildable color and a natural looking sheen.  If you have more of an olive undertone, go for a peachy hue.  If you’re on the rosier side,  pick up a rosy pink.  This way, we’re enhancing your natural lip color, and giving the impression of an inviting, natural glowy pout.

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 $9.99


This is a secret and totally unexpected star weapon in my makeup arsenal.  You can use this in a few ways:

1) All over your face, underneath your makeup for moisture and SPF. (duh)

2) AFTER you put on all of your makeup and bronzer, use this as a highlight.  Get a dime size amount on the back of your hand, and use a wedge sponge to dot this in the areas you want to highlight. It is colorless and glitterless, and gives the most dewy, almost shimmery natural glow.

3)  Also AFTER all makeup is applied, if you have used a lot of powder products, ( face powder, powder bronzer, powder blush etc.)  you can use this as an amazing setting lotion.  Rub a small amount between your palms until there is a very sheer amount on both hands.  Then gently press your palms and fingers all over your cheeks, forehead, nose, chin.  This sheer glowy spf sets the powder, making it look like a part of your skin rather than makeup sitting on top of your face, and you’re left with a natural, skin-like sheen.

Exfoliating gloves $2-$5


We want a glowing body in addition to a glowing face, right?  Slough off dead skin and improve circulation by showering with one of these little mitts.  Just squirt some of your favorite body wash into your palm and get going!  Start slowly because these can be pretty rough- its best to go with natural fiber gloves if you can find them. Make sure to get your shoulders, chest, elbows and legs.  You’ll leave the shower looking healthy and feeling ridiculously dolphin-smooth.  Don’t forget to moisturize.

Jergens Natural Glow- $10.99


You’ve probably heard about it.  If you haven’t tried it yet, go get a running start and jump right on the bandwagon.  It gives a natural hint of color, doesn’t streak, and doesn’t stink.  Its literally the perfect item to help you cling to that last bit of summer tan, and ease you into fall unafraid to bare some skin on the sunny days.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs $13

airbrush legs

Are you ready for this??? This. Product. Is. So. Cool.  Its not just a temporary tanner, it is makeup for your body.  Meaning: it blurs and covers imperfections as well as imparting color.  Big ugly bruise on your shin that came from nowhere?  Gone.  I use this allll over, not just on my legs.  It’s relatively easy to apply, and blends smoothly and well, as long as you don’t go too much darker than your natural skin color.   That being said, there are some items to note: spray about 6”-8” away from your body, then make sure to blend in with your hand. You’re probably going to get this all over the bathroom floor.  Lay down some towels.  Enlist a friend if you’re going for hard to reach places, like your back.  Also, walk over to a window as soon as you’re finished and look at yourself in natural sunlight to make sure there are no streaks.  If there are, gently blend again with your hand.  This product sets pretty well and shouldn’t transfer to your clothing, but use common sense and maybe steer away from wearing all-white. You won’t believe the flawless, naturally bronzed appearance of your skin.  Like you’re wearing a body stocking, but not creepy.  Also, this is water resistant but not water proof. Dont swim in it!

Hopefully this list of inexpensive bronzy beauty products will help stave of the end-of-summer blues, and will earn you envious stares from all of your pasty friends.

Please email marlaine.reiner@gmail.com with any of your makeup questions.


THANK YOU MARLAINE! Marlaine Reiner is an Los Angeles based makeup artist.  She has 10+ years in the industry, and has worked on everything from editorial high fashion, to SFX makeup for film and television.  MJRmakeup.com  She is an awesome make-up artist whom we had the pleasure working with on our Lady Obscura Lookbook shoot…… which you can view here!  And here is a Behind The Scenes photo of her talented makeup skills for our last shoot:




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