Funny thing, necks. We rarely give them much consideration. When you think about it, your neck is merely a pedestal for the work of art that is your face, isn’t it? Think again, girls.
Your neck is your face’s date to a ball. While you can arrive stag, wearing a scarlet gown that screams ‘look at me’, your appearance is more awe inspiring when you arrive with a gorgeous man who is wearing a matching scarlet hanky in his tuxedo jacket. It says to the crowd, ‘Bask in the divine happiness which stands before you. Admire our unity.’
Which is exactly what your neck should do for your face. It is the man in the fabulous tux with matching hanky. It UNIFIES the skin on your face with the skin on your decollete. It’s not just a patch of go-between skin, your neck. It is an isthmus of color.
I fear I’m losing you. Here’s what I want you to do. When you take your makeup off tonite, stand back and stare in the mirror with your robe open. (Not ALL the way, just the top bit) Now, look–really LOOK at the difference in the color of the skin on your face, your neck, and your chest. Sometimes you’ll see three different colors, sometimes just two. But it is RARE to see only one tone. There are reasons for this:
1. we use sunscreen on our face but not our neck or chest. Therefore, our chests carry the effects of sun damage: freckles, sunspots, age spots, and a general darkness, thanks to all those cleavage baring shirts we love.
2. even though we forget sunscreen on our necks, the sun rarely finds its way there. Therefore, our necks are nearly ALWAYS five shades lighter than our chests.
3. we’ve only recently begun to be vigilant about sunscreen on our faces, and truth be told, we often forget (especially in the winter) to apply it at all. Therefore, our faces are often THREE or FOUR shades darker than our neck.
So what’s a girl to do? Are we supposed to match the color on our necks, or the color on our faces? If you choose a lighter foundation to match your neck, your chest won’t match (unless you apply makeup down the front of your shirt) If your match the color on your face, your neck won’t match, and you’ll have that old telltale “Foundation Line”, even though you’ve actually taken the time to color match.
The solution? Match your tinted moisturizer or foundation to your face. Then, use BRONZER to warm up the color on your neck. Simple as that. Now, I go through bronzer love/hate phases. Sometimes I like a snow petal look: a porcelain face with rosebud cheeks, skip the sun kissed look. But if you’ve gone skiing, hiking, snowboarding, or have been just standing around outside admiring the winter, you’ve gotten kissed by the sun and your face is carrying a hint of red, if not an outright tan. Bronzer (lightly applied) across the forehead, down the nose, on the chin, and at the cheekbones will mediate that redness, and then you’ll sweep it UNDER your chin and down the sides of your neck to close the deal. And even if you’ve avoided the outdoors for the past few months, you’re likely not a porcelain doll. You’ve got years of built-in color that’s just dying to be spread around evenly.
If you’re wearing your hair in a ponytail, don’t forget to sweep a little bronzer on the back of your neck as well.
Avoid the line. A little powder bronzer is all it takes to even out the whole of your complexion. Remember, you’re more than just a pretty face. (You’re a pretty neck and chest, too)
Here are a few bronzers I particularly like:
100% Pure Cocoa (that’s right, chocolate) Pigmented Bronzers
Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Bronzers (the pressed versions only, available at Walgreen’s) My favorite is the neutral bronzer with pink bits in it. Never orangey.
Dr. Hauschka’s Bronzing Powder: super light and silky!
top photo courtesy of flickr’s Juicy Carolina