Bronze Boredom: Why Summer Beauty Sucks

Published on July 6, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

There is just something about the same old, same old predictable summer collections that give me the beauty blahs.  I get that it’s summer; especially in North Dakota, we cherish every moment of sun we can get before the snow comes around again.  But I swear, come June you can’t swing a dick without knocking over 7 displays of bronzers, self-tanner, and brown and coral lipsticks.  Sorry to be so crude, but the heat does something to me.  That, or the vodka.

0 Buxom Hot Escapes BronzerBut back to summer beauty.  I’ve never been a great fan of bronzer, though if it keeps people from fake-baking to the point of looking like a Snooki-flavored Cheeto I guess it’s doing the world a service.  I have always said that tanning is for white people who wish they were people of color…and they’ve decided that orange is as good a color as any.  But it’s pretty much always the same: every summer, companies roll out their summer collections and there is usually a couple of bronzers that are the same old pressed powder in lighter brown and darker brown (sometimes they go wild and also have a medium brown!) with a gold shimmer.  Sometimes there are gimmicks: this year I noticed that Buxom’s Hot Escapes Bronzers, Tahiti and Maldives, have what Sephora’s website describes as a “subtle island scent” and that I would describe as cheap tanning lotion coconut smell.  Interesting, but it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s still just the same old bronzer in a different compact with a different color name and a different smell.  I’m not saying they should vanish from the face of the planet, but do we really need a new bronzer collection from every cosmetics company every summer?

If it’s not powder bronzer, you can also find a wide variety of liquid bronzers.  So basically the same fake-bakey goodness but without having to strain yourself using a brush.  You can just slather it on and wait for the cabana boys to flock around you.  Except that they won’t, because these products are terrible.  They can be really streaky, especially in the heat.  Some of them have a fairly light consistency, but many of them are heavy and will make your face into a shimmery swamp if you have oily skin.  Heat + oily skin + goopy liquid bronzer is a special nightmare that no one should have to experience.

0 Bright LipsticksAnother staple that I notice in summer collections is the selection of lipsticks: there is almost always a deep brown and a coral.  The brown lipstick is just whatever; I guess if you’re already trying to create that “sun-kissed” fake tan look, it helps to be able to make your lips look as dried out and leathery as the rest of you.  But the coral lipstick is something else: it is evidence that there truly is evil in this world.  I’m not talking about a nice subtle coral or a peachy pink that complements a fair complexion; I mean that radioactive electric coral that seems to surface about this time every year.  Whoever tried to convince white women that they could wear coral lipstick is an evil, insidious skidmark of a human being.  The same goes for that really blue-tinged fuchsia lipstick.  Those colors are perfect for women with dark skin; black women look gorgeous in coral and fuchsia.  White women in those colors look like someone’s creepy grandma who tries to dry hump the Schwan man while he’s delivering her fish sticks and mini pizzas.  Don’t do it, ladies.  I don’t care that Cosmopolitan swears that coral is the new pink or that the girl at Sephora told you that you were totally pulling it off.  These people are lying to you.  They are not your friends.  Cosmo is basically just Vogue for Dummies with a dash of insecurity thrown in for good measure (“50 Ways To Make Your Man Happy”?  If the first three items on the list aren’t Beer, Blowjobs, and Letting Him Control the Remote, you need to ask for your money back.  Straight men are simple creatures!).

1 MAC Hey SailerAnother familiar trope that pops up from time to time in summer collections is the nautical theme.  One example of this collection was MAC’s “Hey Sailer!” collection from a year or two ago.  It usually consists of a couple of neutral products (in this case, tamed down versions of the same old bronzer and peach and tan lipsticks, all in specialty packaging designed to help you forget that you’ve seen all of this before) alongside lip and eye products in select shades of the three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow.  It’s a cute idea, a little kitschy all dressed up in its sailor suit, but not unforgivable.  The main problem with this kind of collection is that it’s always pretty much the same; further, it’s just a warm weather rehash of a holiday collection that gets rehashed way too often with fire engine red lips and a smoky gray/black/silver eye.  Replace the smoke with some navy blue and some yellow for flair, and you’ve got the same summer blahs you had a year or two ago the last time you saw this exact same collection.  You can dress up the packaging all you want and give the colors cute little names, but it all feels just a little familiar.  On top of that, these collection make women think that blue eyeshadow is acceptable across the board and that just isn’t the case.  Unless you are an enormous drag queen, blue needs to be handled with care or else the 1980s will be calling and letting you know that a woman named Donna driving a Trans Am wearing stone-washed jeans and a Whitesnake t-shirt with mall bangs would like her look back.  And this chick will totally kick your ass, then go back to watching Breakfast Club. 

1 Too-Faced-Pink-Leopard1 Too Faced Snow BunnyOccasionally, there are some bright lights in this dark time of bronze boredom.  Occasionally companies will get a little wild and celebrate summer with a collection of vivid neons and super saturated colors.  In 2008, MAC’s Pro line launched a series of 6 neon pigments; a couple of years before that they did a whole line of pressed shadows and liner pencils that celebrated these vivid shades.  Too Faced offers some of the traditional bronzers, but they also try to mix it up a bit with colors like Pink Leopard (a leopard-print pressed powder compact that has a strong pink tone alongside the bronze-y/gold element) and Snow Bunny (a compact featuring lines of bronze, gold, pink, and shimmery white).  This year MAC did a summer collection called “RiRi <3 MAC Summer” that had some interesting choices, though MAC’s limited runs on their special edition collections that sell out almost immediately are just another reason I’ve been turned off to that brand.  Sephora also just released two new palettes in their fabulous Sephora + Pantone Universe line that feature gorgeous pairings of duochrome shadows.  It’s nice to see that some companies are recognizing that just because someone doesn’t want to bathe themselves in brown or look like they’ve OD’ed at the local Mystic Tan doesn’t mean they want to take a vacation from cosmetics until the fall runs around.

So how do you feel about summer beauty?  Are you bronzed and ready, or are you sick of the same old, same old like I am?  Leave your comments, critiques, and favorite summer product discoveries in the comments section below.

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

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