Pale Fire

With all the talk about sun protection, I thought I would address a related theme this week: embracing fair skin.

Before Coco Chanel made a tan chic—working classes couldn’t afford to travel to the Riviera to lie in the sun—pale skin was highly regarded as a sign of privilege and wealth. Many cultures from the Egyptians to the Court of Louis the XIV took great pains to make the complexion look as light and flawless as possible, even going to extremes such as applying a concoction of lead, horse manure, vinegar, and perfume on the skin. That certainly doesn’t make me pine for the “good old days!”

I believe there is beauty in embracing whatever skin tone you are gifted with, be it ebony or porcelain. The question is how to make the most of lighter complexions during the summer months, when “everyone else” seems to be sporting some color.

Here is my recipe to spark the pale fire:

Begin with a layer of protection that works well under foundation. My choice? Chanel UV essentiel SPF 50.

Why? This lightweight, moisturizing formula shelters skin from photoaging and, most importantly, hyperpigmentation.

Use a highlighter to even out skin tone and illuminate skin. I like YSL’s Touche Eclat.

Why? It comes in a wide range of light tones as well as being lightweight on the skin (Tip: stay away from too much shimmer all over the face.)

Try a brighter blush instead of a bronzer. Try Bobbi Brown Pale Pink or Sonia Kashuk Flamingo.

Why? Bronzers can read orange on a lighter skin tone.

Pump up your pout. This is where you can really let your color show. Nothing is more striking than a bright lip on fair skin, so go for it!

I absolutely love NARS Schiap (fuchsia), MAC All About Orange (tangerine), and a true classic red like Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour in Passion.

Nothing wrong with being the fairest of them all!