I know, I know. I’m way behind on my Ask Afrobellas. I’m gonna try to be better. Ready? Here goes.

In response to my first Makeup for Dummies post, berrybrowne asks: ‘bella – i wear liner, mascara, cream blush and lip gloss EVERY DAY! but that’s all:-( i feel so sad and boring and i just turned 30, so i need to be fabulous. would you consider doing a makeup for dummies advanced version? still as simple, wonderful and affordable as the stuff on this post, but including eyeshadow and bronzer?

Hey berrybrowne! I’m knocking on 30’s door, so I know how you feel. All of a sudden it’s, whatever happened to my twenties? But you know what? I refuse to feel any less than fabulous as I get older. Now more than ever, I feel the need to take care of myself with diet, exercise, and fabulous at-home beauty indulgences. I’m taking care of my skin, hair, and teeth more ardently than before. And when it comes to makeup and beauty products, I won’t let myself settle for cheap n’ crappy quality anymore. Unfortunately, I’m not yet at baller status. That just means I need to look harder for the best beauty finds. So let me break down my latest and greatest finds for all of my bellas on a budget!

Eye shadow can be the most fun and the most daunting part of makeup application. It is where the artistry emerges, and it’s easy to look at a photo and mumble to yourself, “I can’t possibly recreate that.” I’m here to tell you that you can. When I recently got my makeup done at Macy’s, the artist blended turquoise with chocolate brown on my lids. I wish I had a photo, because it was just STUNNING. When I asked him how he got so good, he just said “Blend, blend, blend; practice, practice, practice.” Taking the time to experiment with colors and brushes goes a long way.

For me, eye shadow is a special-evening-out thing, or a weekend thing, simply because it takes me longer to figure out what’s going to blend perfectly. It’s like — what color do I use in the crease? How about the brow bone? And to make matters worse, I’m attracted to bright colors, so it’s easy for me to wind up inadvertently looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. That’s definitely happened to me in the past. Not so much anymore, since I discovered Vmerie’s videos on YouTube! She’s a stunningly beautiful afrobella who’s also got a great blog that offers step-by-step instructions videos on how to create each individual look. She mainly uses MAC and NYX cosmetics (which retail for under $6 at drugstore.com), and she is all about incredible eye drama. Seriously, check out her cranberry delight makeup tutorial for some warm and sexy flair. Those with bolder aspirations will love green mystery. And I’m totally doing her summer glow look tomorrow.

I used to be of the opinion that eye shadow is just one of those cosmetics you need to spend a little more on. Drugstore colors used to be so bland and underpigmented, not made to really pop on darker skin tones. Not anymore, thanks to L’Oreal HIP which costs $7 for a concentrated shadow duo, and Max Factor MAXeye shadows – a steal at $4.99. Recently I was lucky enough to try some outstanding shades of Cara Cosmetics eye shadow, and if you’ve got darker skin or special cosmetic needs, this could be the product line for you. The eye colors are lush, highly pigmented, and were originally made for surgery patients who needed to conceal discoloration. The small unicolors cost $15 a pop and come in a fab range of colors. Sevilla is a deep, rich purple, Thera is a great sheer silver for highlighting the brow bone or inner corner of your eye. Kenya is a lovely, deep burnt orange that really brings out the gold tones in my skin. The only issue with Cara is, their cosmetics can be hard to find in stores, and it’s mostly sold through spas and salons. Click here for a list of available retailers.

I can’t tell you how many Ask Afrobella e mails I’ve gotten about bronzer. It’s become an increasingly popular makeup product, I think thanks to the influence of celebrities like JLo and Beyonce and Rhianna. It’s all about the glow for summer, bellas! And I can help you get it.

A little bronzer on your cheeks, forehead and nose bridge creates a warm and subtle luminescence that’s undeniably gorgeous. It can also help to detract from any ongoing skin issues – bronzer can help to make your face look even and flawless. But you gotta wear it right!

Your face needs to be clean and oil free, first of all. Bronzer isn’t like powder, where you can just swoosh some on to cover up a blemish or reduce oil before you leave the house. Darker brown bellas should sweep a little bronzer on over the blush on the apples of their cheeks for a toned-down glow. A rose or coral blush looks amazing under my favorite bronzers. In case you haven’t been to your neighborhood drugstore recently, you might not realize — Physician’s Formula has the bronzer game on lock.

Their latest stash includes the Shimmer Strips, which can be used swooshed all together on your face for a pretty blushing bronze look, or individually as eye shadow. I adore a multi purpose product, and at $11.95, it’s a good deal. My current fave is — of course — Miami Strip, which features shimmery shades ranging from baby pink to the color of cocoa powder. When I’m feeling super luminous, I sweep on the Baked Bronzer. My shade is Baked Tan, and it’s a glittery gold that really brings out my yellow undertones. It can be used wet or dry, so when I want a dramatic eye look, I use a wet shadow brush and give my lids a little zing.

So I hear ya. “These sound great, but I don’t want to shell out twelve bucks just yet.” No worries! It’s my anniversary, but you just might get the present. It’s the Afrobella Physician’s Formula bronzer giveaway!

I’ve got these ten amazing bronzers to give away. I’ve got the Magic Mosaic , the Powder Palette, the Mineral Wear Bronzing Veil, and the questionably titled Jungle Fever bronzer, among others. Want one? Sure you do!

If you live in the continental USA, I can hook you up! Leave a comment that starts by saying “Bronze me!” and let me know which particular bronzer you’re the most interested in. Don’t be using a fake e mail address, either – that way, I can’t contact you if you’re a winner! I’ll close the comments on Tuesday August 21 at midnight, choose winners at random, and I plan to announce the ten winners by Thursday August 23.

Good luck and happy weekend, bellas!

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Angie says:
August 17, 2007, 7:13 am
BRONZE ME!!! Hey Bella! Happy anniversary to you and thanks so much for planning a giveaway to share with all your readers. I am really new to wearing makeup, my results are usually hit or miss, and I always thought that bronzer was a waste of time on darker skin. However, I keep seeing it everywhere and everyone seems to use it and I think I am ready to try it too. Not having ever tried it before, I wouldn't even know what to prefer, but I would really like to try one. Congrats again and good luck all!
Andy says:
August 17, 2007, 8:09 am
Bronze Me!I would love the powder palette. Thanks for the giveaway.
ceecee says:
August 17, 2007, 8:14 am
Bronze Me! Bronze Me!! Bronze Me!!!! *lol* Congratulaltions on your nomination :) Almost all of my nominees made it into the BWA that makes me super excited =) I'm the queen of eyeshadows, I never used to wear them cos I wear glasses and figured my eyes don't show behind my glasses anyway...WRONG! Eyeshadow and liner does wonders for my eyes, they make 'em pop even more! Darker skinned sistas be sure to use purpley eyeshadow. I've always stuck to darker hues of eyeshadows, but I just recently started experimenting with blending. And you know how you get eyeshadow with three/four different shades of brown? I never used the lightest shade and barely touched the middle lightes shade. But now what I do is use the lightest shade all over my eyelids all the way up to my eyebrows, then use the darkest shade on the 'half-moon' of my eyelids that cover my eye balls. And then use the middle shade to kind of warm things up and swoop it closer to my lids. It turns out pretty nice. Oh and finish it up with some eye liner.
Dee says:
August 17, 2007, 8:52 am
Thanks for this Afrobella! I've watched a few makeup videos on youtube, but had never seen these before. :)
nia says:
August 17, 2007, 9:07 am
bronze me!! i'm really feeling the strip bronzer in "Waikiki Strip/ Peachy Glow Bronzer" love love love your site!!
TheMrs says:
August 17, 2007, 9:26 am
Bronze Me! Happy Anniversary Bella! I would love to try the Bronze Gems Matte & Bright Bronzer. Highlighter & Eye Shadow.
Angela says:
August 17, 2007, 9:46 am
Bronze me! I would love to try the Mineral Wear Bronzing Veil or the Jungle Fever. Thanks for the contest and Happy Anniversary!
Niki says:
August 17, 2007, 9:58 am
BRONZE ME!!! I would like to try the Magic Mosaic or the Jungle Fever.
tiara says:
August 17, 2007, 10:22 am
bronze me thanks for the how to videos they will be helpful i plan to hit up my local drug store today and over the weekend try to find a makeup routine for work this will be my first time trying to apply makeup also for the first time i will not have to wear a uniform to work so maybe you could do a post about cute and appropriate clothes for work congrats on your nomination go bella
joli201 says:
August 17, 2007, 10:36 am
Bronze me! I want to try that strip bronzer. And congrats on the nominations!
nia says:
August 17, 2007, 10:44 am
BRONZE MEEEEEEEE! :) Magic Mosaic! Love your site, keep doing you!
ladybugfromthechi says:
August 17, 2007, 11:08 am
BRONZE ME BEAUTIFUL! I'd love to try the "Mineral Wearing Bronzing Veil". Bella, Congratulations to you! This has been a most fabulous year for you so far. I've got my fingers crossed for you....well my toes as well!......lol ;0). Have a wonderful weekend!
Brandi says:
August 17, 2007, 11:10 am
BRONZE ME!!! I have no clue which one I want since I am such a makeup virgin. Lip Gloss is about all I ever manage without my hand getting too shaky. Thank you and happy anniversary!
Camry says:
August 17, 2007, 12:25 pm
Bronze me, bella! I hate that this is the first comment I've left on your site; I've been a faithful reader for about 6 months now and I've enjoyed every post. Thank you so much for all that you do ^_^
Camry says:
August 17, 2007, 12:26 pm
Sorry, I forgot to mention which bronzer I'm interested in. I actually just tried bronzer for the first time yesterday (from Mary Kay, of all places), so whatever you've got would work for me. I'm a simple girl.
Teri says:
August 17, 2007, 12:33 pm
Bronze me Shimmer Strips from pink to cocoa!
Sunshine says:
August 17, 2007, 1:02 pm
BRONZE MEEEEEEEEEE!! Hi A.Bella!! I am super interested in the "Magic Mosaic" because my skin (like most bellas) is darker in the summer and lighter in the winter and this seems to cover all bases! "Jungle Fever" seems interesting due to the fact that I love leopard print! Last but not least "Bake bronzer" just looks kewl!
thecla says:
August 17, 2007, 2:16 pm
BRONZE ME!! Hi bella. first of all congratulation on ur nomination. wish you the best.i am from cameroon.i found this site while searching the internet some time ago.since then, i have been a daily reader.i love make up but not really confident when it comes to matching it with skin tone.i have always loved to try a bronzer but wasn't sure it will fit.i do not know which one to choose but i think you can help me get the right one.a beautician once told me i have a red undertone,that might give you a clue.love this site. bye
AppleDiva says:
August 17, 2007, 2:17 pm
Bella, I also recommend Ben Nye eye shadows. The brand is theatre make-up, which means excellent color payoff, yet the prices are quite inexpensive. The brand can be found online, local theatre shops, and some beauty supply stores, depending on the region of the US you live. I have not used BN's foundation, but the brand is highly recommended.
Ellie says:
August 17, 2007, 3:08 pm
Bronze Me!! I would like to enter for the mineral wear bronzine Veil. Love your site!!
tysha says:
August 17, 2007, 3:50 pm
Bronze me please! Congrats on the nominations! I have been eye'n the Mineral Wear Bronzer Veil at Walmart for some time, I would like to finally try it. This triple digit heat & Texas sun is baking me but I think that it would help protect me as well as SPF. I think the lightweight,airy coverage will be perfect. Have a terrific weekend.
Kristie says:
August 17, 2007, 3:58 pm
BRONZE ME! I would love to try the SPF 20 bronzer one. I would be happy with any though! Love the site!
August 17, 2007, 4:06 pm
I have ALWAYS wanted to try those little bronzing beads, but they have never actually fit into my budget. PLEASE send them my way. They look so fun and bronzy! I love your site. I have been an avid reader for the past year. I check in everyday as soon as I get to work, and several times throughout the day to see readers' feedback! Keep up the great work, girlfriend!!! Love, Greenstar
LBellatrix says:
August 17, 2007, 7:02 pm
Thank you for this!!! I'm pretty clueless when it comes to makeup. I have a request: I want to know if those lipsticks that claim to minimize lines in lips (as opposed to around lips) work. I only realized recently that although the rest of my face can pass for 28, my lips tell my true age (42). Would you consider doing a post/poll on this even though I suspect that most of your readership is too young to know what I'm talking about? Thanks so much. :)
beautyschooldropout says:
August 17, 2007, 7:05 pm
Bronze me! I would like to try the shimmer sticks. Love your site!
Mrs518 says:
August 17, 2007, 7:47 pm
BRONZE ME!!!! Magic Mosiac, and congrats on the nominations!
Pamela E. says:
August 17, 2007, 8:51 pm
Bronze Me !! I'm digging that jungle fever one.. I wanna look all bronzey, sunkissed, and glam!
Chrissentially says:
August 17, 2007, 9:30 pm
Bronze Me!! I'd soooo love the Mineral Wear Bronzing Veil- i think it'd be perfect for me.
xenanic says:
August 17, 2007, 10:46 pm
Bronze me! I've never tried a bronzing product, but always was intrigued. P.S. I can't wait to see the new layout.
xenanic says:
August 17, 2007, 10:51 pm
Bronze me! I forgot to mention I'm most interested in the Mineral Wear Bronzing Veil.
Karra says:
August 17, 2007, 11:42 pm
Bronze Me!!! Mineral Wear Bronzing Veil! BTW, I tried a bronzer after reading your post, but it was a cream and I'm sure i did it wrong. I looked streaky and muddy. Do you have any tips?
thecla says:
August 18, 2007, 3:55 pm
more clue to you bella.i am a little bit like cocoa shade.
Angelica says:
August 19, 2007, 9:45 am
Bronze Me!!! Either the Jungle Fever or the strip bronzer in “Waikiki Strip/ Peachy Glow Bronzer!
Shannon says:
August 19, 2007, 5:31 pm
Bronze me, Congratulations BELLA! I'd like to try the shimmer?
Danielle says:
August 20, 2007, 10:07 am
Bronze Me! I would like to try the Shimmer Strips or the Magic Mosaic!
Davina says:
August 20, 2007, 11:36 am
Bronze Me! I really like the Powder Palette, Multi-Colored Face Powder. I've heard it's really good and I want to try it but I don't know if I can part with $12 for it. Am I cheap? lol
Satin says:
August 20, 2007, 4:08 pm
Bronze Me. I am interested in the Magic Mosaic® Multi-Colored Custom Pressed Powder
Aliscia says:
August 20, 2007, 4:39 pm
Bronze Me!!!! Hello, I too am new to waring make-up. I am 22 and turning 23 years old. I would love to have a beatuiful and fresh face with the bronzer. I plan on going to LA and partying and the bronzer would be perfect for my big day.Thank you for the oppurtunity and hopefully the bronzer comes with an instruction manual(smile).
amber says:
August 20, 2007, 9:28 pm
Hey Afrobella, Bronze Me! I'll try the Mineral Veil or the Magic mosaic...i don't know though i've always swayed away from bronzer because i always thought dark-skinned people can't wear it I've been coming to your blog for a while and i must say that i really do enjoy your commentary from your views on makeup to akon and current events. Please keep up the good work!!!
jane says:
August 21, 2007, 12:02 am
I love your logo. Right on. Anyways Salon is irrelevant, Michelle Obama rocks!!! jane aka browne
calming corners says:
August 21, 2007, 8:03 am
This blog is awesome, I feel you on knocking on 30s door and taking care of yourself and just putting aside the bs that we put up with in our 20s.
Tamara says:
August 21, 2007, 3:47 pm
BRONZE ME!! Love your site! Just discovered it & added it to my favorites. Interested in the interestingly titled Jungle Fever. Never tried bronzer, but hopefully this will look very sunkissed!
berrybrowne says:
August 21, 2007, 9:01 pm
'bella! thank you so much for your response to my ask afrobella question - i am a bit behind after being out of town for the weekend. i read your blog and went and bought some HIP eyeshadow today! and some physician's formula bronzer. i can't wait to begin increasing the fabulousness:-)
berrybrowne says:
August 21, 2007, 9:12 pm
bronze me! i'd like to try the powder palette! oh - and do you recommend any oil control moisturizers? per a sephora specialist's recommendation i've been using the medi-matte oil control system from cosmedicine, but still feel i'd like even more oil control:-)
Jennifer Stavrou says:
August 21, 2007, 9:41 pm
Bronze me!! I'm not sure which one I want. I have some blemishes and oily skin. You choose, but not the jungle fever, it looks a little too dark. I love your site!