Bronze Metals

Bronzer's come a long way since its inception, and we (for two) are elated by the latest innovations in product formula. No longer are we pigeonholed by a single "tan" shade or forced to truck with something that makes our skin look-for lack of a better word-dirty. Today we present some of the latest and greatest products for faking sun exposure on your face. We've included classics, reformulations, and breaking new bronzers that will give you that desired I-just-took-an-insanely-sunny-vacation look.

The granddaddy of bronzers is the prestigious French house of Guerlain. They're credited with creating the product with their Terracotta Powder in 1984. A recent study shows that since the beginning of this decade, sales of department store bronzers have more than doubled, to over $62 million.

This year, the trend in bronzers is the inclusion of a little bit of pink in the formulation for a healthy, ultra natural glow. Benefit's new highlighter/bronzer-aptly named 10, as it is perfect-is our favourite luxe version. For a less-expensive alternative, try Physicians Formula's Powder Palette Multi-Coloured Face Powder, Healthy Glow Bronzer. The mosaic of light and dark bronzers mixed with pink shades is foolproof.

Recently we've noticed intriguing technological advances as well. One of the most exciting developments is Guerlain's Terracottta Tan Booster. While it looks like just your usual bronzer, the formula stimulates your own natural production of melanin when you wear it in the sun. Consequently, your face not only looks tan when you're wearing the Booster, but also when you're bare-faced! Another nifty modification comes from the brilliant minds at Stila. They Have taken their best-selling bronzer and added sun protection to make Stila Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15-a fantastic multi-tasking product.

Finally there's one of the world's most-loved items-Nars Bronzing Powder. The lighter shade, Laguna, is shown here and works well even on the most fair-skinned of females. For those with darker skin, go with Kylie Minogue's choice and try the powder in Casino.

1. Guerlain Terracotta Tan Booster, $54,

2. Benefit 10, $26,

3. Stila Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15, $28,

4. Physicians Formula Powder Palette Healthy Glow Bronzer, $12.95,

5. Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna, $28,

Additional Products:
1. Cargo The Big Bronzer, $32, This new version of Cargo's ultra popular Medium Bronzer comes in a satisfyingly large compact.

2. M.A.C. Bronzing Powder, $20, It's one-stop bronzer shopping at M.A.C., as the company has five different shades with one sure to match any skin. Fair girls look great in Golden, while dark-skinned ladies will like Bronze or Refined Deeper Bronze. Just be sure to apply the bronzer over blush for the best luminosity.

3.Napoleon Perdis Blush Patrol, $50, Perdis, the Australian makeup guru, opened his first US flagship store in Los Angeles this month. His blush/bronze powder is baked and pressed making it perfect for applying wet (for natural look) or dry (for more intense colour).