How I Fake a Natural Sun-Kissed Glow With Makeup

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To

Sunkissed Makeup Look How-To

Wanna know how I get this natural sun-kissed look? 🙂

Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow choose what we inherit from our parents?

Like, for instance, I would’ve been very happy to get my dad’s olive complexion instead of his shortish muscular legs.


BUT, oddly enough, I didn’t get a say in that, so I got my mom’s light complexion with an added Mediterranean twist that makes it pretty sallow and sickly. Throw my permanent dark circles into the mix and you get the perfect base for a zombie look.


Despite the fact that zombies are quite popular these days, unless it’s October 31, it’s not exactly the look I like to go for, you know.

So, over the years I’ve perfected a makeup routine to make sure no one thinks I have an appetite for their brain. 😉

Sunkissed Glow Makeup How-To

Here’s what I like to use!

A Bronzing Primer: Givenchy Mister Radiant ($43.50)

Givenchy Mister Radiant Sunkissed Makeup Look How-to

Apply your bronzing primer all over your face, neck, and décolletage. Oh, and don’t forget your ears!

Givenchy Mister Radiant Sunkissed Makeup Look How-to

Italy’s MADINA Milano makes a great affordable alternative to the Givenchy Mister Radiant called Exact Color Bronzer.

Whenever I want to achieve a natural sun-kissed look, I always start my makeup with a bronzing primer like the Givenchy Mister Radiant — a clear gel with brown and golden microbeads that melt onto the skin upon application to impart a natural healthy glow.

I like to apply it all over my face and neck to start warming up my skin before I go in with…

A Healthy Glow Foundation: Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation SPF 20 in Natural ($54)

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation Natural Sunkissed Makeup Look How-to

The Guerlain Terracotta Joli Tent Beautifying Foundation SPF 20 in Natural was my go-to foundation for the past two summers, and lately I’ve started using it again whenever I want to look like I’ve spent a weekend at the beach. It has a very skin-like, satin-matte finish that you’re gonna love if you have normal to moderately oily skin, and it gives a beautiful, believable warmth to the complexion (if you’re cool-toned, beware!).

A Cream Bronzer: YSL Les Sahariennes Sun-Kissed Blur Perfector in 6 Sienna ($55)

YSL Les Sahariennes Sun-Kissed Blur Perfector 6 Sienna Sunkissed Makeup Look How-to

Again, MADINA Milano has a great cream blurring bronzer called Crystal Glass Bronzer that I highly recommend.

I’ve mentioned before how I’m pretty partial to cream products these days, and bronzers are no exception. I feel like they look much more natural on my skin, and if they’re cream-to-powder formulas like my beloved YSL Les Sahariennes Sun-Kissed Blur Perfector, they last longer in the heat than powder products.

For a sun-kissed look, I like to use my Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush to apply the YSL cream bronzer on my forehead, across my nose (using the sun-stripping technique), on my cheeks, on my chin and down my neck. Applied this way, I think it perfectly mimics the look of a subtle tan.

The Radiant Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light ($45)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Dim Light Sunkissed Makeup Look How-to


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Dim Light Sunkissed Makeup Look How-to

To work with the glow I’ve achieved at this point, rather than against it, I usually finish off the look with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. Its slightly luminous, dimensional finish is the perfect complement to a sun-kissed complexion, and since it’s peach-toned it doesn’t leave a greyish cast on my faux tan.

And here it is, my natural sunkissed glow!

Sunkissed Glow Makeup How-To

I think my complexion looks pretty natural now, but as you can see from my hand, my skin tone is definitely lighter.

Sunkissed Glow Makeup How-To

In case you’re wondering, I’m wearing the YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats in 208 Fuchsia Fetiche on my lips, and the NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Isolde on my eyes. They’re two of my favorite products of all time!

And now to you, my friend…what are your favorite products for a natural sun-kissed glow? 🙂

Carolina Braina

Hey, ladies (and gents), it’s Carolina here, reporting live from Bologna, Italy, to bring you the latest and greatest in beauty from the good ol’ continent! For an extra dose of that timeless Italian glam with a touch of humor and self-irony (because, you know, laughter is the best makeup), come say hi at and Instagram.


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So far, 18 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Well, you’re not exactly pale to begin with… But your skin does look all radiant and summery here! 🙂
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Best of | Top 10 Sephora favorites

  2. Chris25 says:

    Why would you not want brains? They’re delicious! 😛

    I really like this look. It doesn’t look too orange or overdone.
    Chris25 recently posted … Pride Nails and Eyes for Orlando (And Really, For all Queer and Trans People)

  3. Eesha says:

    That YSL bronzer is on my wish list for a long time now… Your smile Braina is killer. Love <3
    Eesha recently posted … Summer Bronze Make-up Look – f/t New and Old Favourite Products

  4. Erin says:

    LOL I feel ya on the problems of being pale and yellow-y. My life.
    Erin recently posted … Big Lynnderella News and More Swatches!!

  5. Barbara says:

    You are stunning. I started reading your arthicles in English to improve my English. I’m a little bit rusty ehehe. The YSL Bronzer *_*

  6. Lulle says:

    It does look very natural, and not at all orange, which is what many bronzing products tend to look like! I have Mister Radiant, and while I like the way it looks on my skin I haven’t really found a good way to incorporate it into my routine. I need a pore blurring primer, and I also need foundation of some kind (I can’t get away with just Mister Radiant) so I feel like it doesn’t make much of a difference.
    Lulle recently posted … Review: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer

    • The MADINA Exact Color Bronzer would be perfect for you, because it combines the bronzing and pore-blurring effects… I don’t know if there are any other brands that have anything similar, though.

  7. anusha says:

    That lipstick looks sooo great on u!

  8. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzer (surprised much?)
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Seasonal Makeup Challenge – Summer 2016

  9. Erin says:

    Oh I should totally try that Hourglass powder as a bronzer. I seem to go through phases of not being able to get any color and actually getting a tan in my life. When I do get a little color, it’s a peachy pink undertone more than a true “tan”. I like using Chanel Les Beige for a more true tan looking vibe because it’s so sheer a whisper light layer looks believable if I do it all over my face, neck, and chest.
    Erin recently posted … Ponzi Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris

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