It’s the season of being bronzed and sun-kissed (through cosmetic products, of course, never through sunbathing, which compromises skin health).
But traditional bronzing powders aren’t for everyone – some simply don’t like the look of focused earthy tones on the cheeks.
‘Sun-kissed’ doesn’t have to mean tanned, either. It’s just about having a healthy glow, as thought you’ve spent the last week swimming in the sun, and not hunched over your laptop.
And this is where bronzing products can become more nuanced.
A classic compact powder will always be in most people’s makeup kits, but that won’t do the trick for those after the glow that skin seems to get in the summer months.
Enter Ciate’s latest bronzing collection: it features two serums (one shimmery), a lip oil, a liquid cheek tint, and a bronze stick balm.
Not a powder in sight.
Everything is about maximum glow, with a subtle bronzy toned wash.
Due to being dialled back in the pigment, the products will leave a flattering glow across most, if not all, skin tones when dabbed on cheekbones, lips and even eyelids.
Shade ranges are another way traditional bronzer launches can alienate customers of deeper skin tones, when the options simply don’t go deep enough – it can lead to the misconception that bronzer isn’t designed for dark skin.
Though brands are slowly improving, the lack of options is an issue that’s rooted in racism.
By flipping the idea of what it means to be bronzed on its head like this collection does, the emphasis falls on being radiant instead.
The exceptions in this collection are the bronzing drop serums, which, when used over the whole face as designed, deepen paler complexions.
Charlotte Knight, founder and CEO of the brand, said at a press launch that she wanted to play up the ‘glass skin trend’ – something she believes is going to keep being a preferred skin finish over matte for many.
She also shared one of the secrets in how brands develop new products.
Sometimes brands will take an idea to a lab to see if they can create it, but other times a lab will be the one to present new technology to trial – this is how the brand’s famous matte-to-glitter lipsticks came about, after they were shown this technology for eyeshadow and then asked for it to be adapted for lips.
Whether this happened for the bronzing collection or not, Charlotte kept quiet.
But we do know, however, this range is infused with cupuaçu extract, which can be found from tropical rainforest trees.
It helps to hydrate and soften skin, the effect of which is enhanced by hyaluronic acid.
Vitamin C is in the formulation too, boosting glow and fighting against free radical damage to skin.
Charlotte’s tip is to also take the products onto the body, either on the collarbone, shoulders or legs, to boost luminosity.
What’s most summery though is the scent of the six-piece limited edition range – it’s beachy and will do a good job of mentally taking you on holiday.
As for the wear of the products, with the exception of the serums, all stay slightly wet on the skin, which helps them reflect and catch the light.
The serums on the other hand do fully set down, if that’s your makeup preference, and they work mixed in with foundation, or worn on bare skin in need of warmth.
The clear-with-subtle-bronze-shimmer lip oil is particularly nourishing too (though don’t expect it to tint your lips, given this is the most subtle of the range).
As for the balm stick – which we predict will be a favourite – it’s a welcome addition to their existing clear option that’s already popular.
Having the gold pearl finish feels more fitting for these (somewhat) warmer months.