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Complexion vs. colour, with Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons Bronzer

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£48
Guerlain
Terracotta 4 Seasons Bronzer in Nude 0

£37.76
Guerlain
Parure de Lumiere fluid foundation

£24.12
Guerlain
Rouge Shine Automatique Lipstick

£21
Guerlain
Clis D'Enfer Maxilash Mascara

£38
Guerlain
Kabuki Brush

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Wearing: Top & skirt – Zara. Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons bronzer. Terracotta Kabuki brush. Parure de Lumiere fluid foundation. Clis d’Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara. Rouge Shine Automatique Lipstick. Photos with help from Kit!

It’s hard to explain – especially how the sun is increasingly sexy (and it knows it) by day – that tanning is on the last of my beauty to-do list this summer. It seems ungrateful, doesn’t it, like declaring a water-diet while your mother pulls out a lasagna from the oven. I’m pretty sure you have/are that one friend from the Far East, who will walk in the shade and always carry a sun cream with SPF numbers appropriate for Count Dracula to play ball at the beach. And for those baffled few, it’s the Asian (oriental, to be precise) age-old understanding of beauty – the fairer your skin, the higher up the class you’re perceived to be, while tanned skin suggested a rice-paddy lifestyle. Think geisha, and clowns. Asian clowns are basically gods, yeah? My personal makeup resumée screams fairer: better ever since my first foundation purchase, and absolutely did not include bronzers until only recently. But as I get older I’m coming to understand, that while the whole theory is not all a load of bullpoop, it should be taught to people that it’s the complexion/glow of the skin that puts you on any sort of caste system. And if it doesn’t come out naturally (if you are what you eat), a good bronzer is the best tool to achieve this look. I tend to go with a palette that doesn’t look like it’s been in the oven for too long, always one with a slice of pink in the mix like the Guerlain Terracotta 4-seasons bronzer, which come in a six different intensities (I’m wearing Nude 00). For this little collaboration with Guerlain, we shot these photos with a general gold/brown/bronzy feel, to give the old Asian belief the finger, I suppose.

Special thanks to Alix for helping with the photos, Hôtel de la Trémoille, Paris for the location, and Guerlain and Ykone for the opportunity.

It’s only really been a recent development on my part, from considering water + shampoo to be the ultimate l’eau de toilette (no pun intended!) to weaving through the perfume counters at the ground floor, not just to get to the elevator that will take me to 1) the toilet or 2) the food court. I do remember specifically though, that it was triggered by my brother, who dragged me around Selfridges looking for a ‘character smell’ that wouldn’t repel girls, and we ended up riding the bus home, drunk on the adjective ‘musky’ and feeling like mosquito melting in repellent. Since then on I’ve been on an informal quest to find my own smell, first preference being Candy Floss, but I hear the Jelly Belly factory stopped producing perfume… about time to grow up, I guess. Guerlain had contacted with a proposal for a mini collaboration, wherein I was to interpret the Shalimar into a photoshoot, and what with my olfactory age being about…six, I went for innocent, delicate, sensual as the key vocab for the shoot and here are the results. Actually there’s a lot more where this came from – lots of bedsheets, legs that just won’t stay covered… and a lot of ‘I’m wearing a white dress looking sad but also want to pounce on you’ faces. Scent-wise, there is a note of sweetness, but then it’s weighed down by a stronger velvety tang, and I must be honest and say that the Shalimar will sit on a higher shelf until I grow up a little to be able to reach without a kiddy step stool.