In the season of yacht parties and sunny beach weekends, ‘to tan or not to tan?’ is a perplexing question faced by all women and men. Asian women have had a history of avoiding the sun at all costs, utilising all sorts of accessories from parasols and wide-brimmed Sunday hats to more extreme tools like Darth Vadar-worthy visors and face masks to achieve the pale bai fu mei look – a symbol of wealth and beauty. But as times change and cultures evolve, more and more younger urbanites are aspiring to attain a bronze glow.
Fan of the tan
In the past, dark skin may have been associated with a labourer’s tan. But nowadays, a glossy, bronzed complexion is the best way to look like you’re part of the elite jet-set pack. Not only does tanned skin help make those hard-earned muscles pop on men and give a slimming effect on ladies, it also strikes a gorgeous contrast against the ubiquitous white dresses for the summer.
But don’t go throwing away your sunscreen quite yet. You’ll still need some SPF to keep you bronzed rather than burnt. Alternatively, rather than frying and damaging your skin, we suggest the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ approach: head to the salon for a sunless spray tan and stock up on illuminating bronzing powder instead.
Lighter and whiter
Alabaster beauties have been in vogue since the Renaissance, and in the age of au natural beauty, we believe that staying true to your original skin tone is better than hiding behind bronzer. Not only will staying out of the sun score you top marks in skincare, fair skin also exudes a sophisticated high fashion aura that trumps California cool in our eyes.
Take a cue from K-pop beauties and go for a dewy, luminous complexion rather than a ghostly, matte look. Use a light-reflecting foundation and highlighter on the high points of your face to accentuate your natural glow, and apply a vivid red lipstick to bring colour to your complexion. Fair skin is a glamorous statement in itself, with no fake-baking necessary.