All made up: step into the bronze age, but do it with style

Warm up your look – but not too much. Plus, ‘miracle water’ for your skin, and what to look out for this week

Two models with different skin tones, side by side, with bronzed cheeks, eyes, temples, and jaws
Buffed up: apply around areas that catch the sun. Photograph: Jane Doe

Like fake tans, bronzers will warm up lifeless skin. Misuse, however, is ubiquitous but preventable. Choose a bronzer no more than two shades darker than your own skin. Take a big fluffy brush – tap off any excess – apply around areas that catch the sun – temples, jaw, side of nose, high points of cheek – and buff. Drier skins: consider a liquid bronzer. Oily skins: go easy on the shimmer. And for every skin, remember the name is misleading; you should never actually look bronzed or, God forbid, radioactive à la Trump.

I can’t do without… The Japanese-inspired product your skin will thank you for

Warning: I am about to ask you to add another step to your skincare routine. I know, I know, it’s outrageous, like you don’t have enough to do. But an essence, I promise, will give you better skin. In beauty vernacular, an essence (aka ‘miracle water’) is a concentrated watery formula, a staple in Japanese and Korean skincare regimes. By increasing the hydration levels in your skin, it enables other products to be absorbed more effectively. Basically, it turns your skin into a sponge so your serums and moisturisers no longer loaf around unemployed on the surface. There are numerous variations: some have serum-like textures, others target specific concerns, such as hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores and, if I’m honest, there also exists a contingent that are just not worth bothering with. Fresh’s essence, however, is superb. It is a fast-absorbing water-meets-(non-greasy)-oil hybrid made from fermented sweet black tea. Weird but wonderful, it claims to enhance luminosity, refine the look of pores and fine lines, smooth skin texture and provide 24-hour moisture. And, lo and behold, it works – and on all skin tones. I pat it into my skin morning and night. So, seeing as my skin improved in days, I’d say the extra step is a no-brainer.

On my radar… gentler cleaners, vegan mascaras, perfect scents

Milky treat Need a cleanser for dry, sensitive skin? Aesop’s milky offering is infused with soothing, nourishing lavender, grapeseed oil and provitamin B5 for a non-stripping experience.

Lash out Kat Von D Go Big or Go Home vegan mascara replaces beeswax with nourishing plant-based waxes, and imparts an intense clump-free volume to quell your faux lash habit. Launches tomorrow.

Nostalgic nose Maya Njie’s London-made fragrances are inspired by her Swedish and West African heritage, musical influences – from Fela Kuti to Axelrod – and an old family photo album. The results? Dreamy scents.