We came, we saw, we contoured... then we strobed. Now, we're 'stripping' (but not in a naughty way)...

The best way to brighten a post-winter visage, 'sun stripping' is the perfect way to create a believable faux-glow. Just apply a broad 'strip' of matte bronzer - across your cheeks and the bridge of the nose - like an eye mask that's slipped down an inch.

A much more modern and authentic take on traditional bronzing, this mimics a natural tan - so you look healthy and outdoorsy (instead of a little bit grubby). People will ask 'Have you been on holiday?' and remark 'You look well' as you queue for the coffee machine. And who doesn't want compliments with their caffeine?

It's an easy look to recreate. Just equip yourself with a broad, flattened brush; the large end of Stila's {Custom Contour Brush} is perfect, or use ZOEVA's {Screen Queen Buffer Brush} to buff the pigment into skin.

You can use a powder or crème formula - but make sure it's shimmer-free. You want skin to look naturally tanned, not sparkly. Kevyn Aucoin's {The Matte Bronzing Veil} comes in two shades - 'Desert Days' and 'Desert Nights' - and is ideal for simulating that post-holiday glow. Or try Too Faced's smooth, buttery {Chocolate Soleil} shades, which lend a warm, olive-toned 'kiss' of soft colour.

Alternatively, Vita Liberata's innovative {Trystal Minerals} in 'Sunkissed' is sufficiently subtle for super fair skins, while the inclusion of the tanning agent DHA means that it tints your skin both instantly and in the longer-term. If you decide 'stripping's' your thing, then this could be the way to go...

For those who like a dewy look, Perricone MD's {No Bronzer Bronzer} can be used 'neat', or mixed with moisturiser to lessen the intensity - just dab across the apples of your cheeks and up, over the bridge of your nose, blurring with your fingertips to achieve a diffused, 'soft focus' effect.

Or, for the ultimate quick-fix, use Charlotte Tilbury's {Beach Stick} which has an ultra-creamy texture that can be applied straight from the bullet. Just draw a camouflage-style stripe then quickly soften any edges for a gorgeous, just-caught-the-sun radiance.

Finish the look with a light dusting of bronzer on the centre of your forehead and your chin (for balance), and nobody will know you haven't just come back from two glorious weeks in the Maldives. 

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