Bronzer can give you beautifully sun-kissed skin that glows all year round. But applied incorrectly, bronzer can make your face look dirty. Learn all about bronzer formulas and placement so you can look your best.
When applied with skill, bronzer can give you beautifully sun-kissed skin that glows all year round. You can also use bronzing products to lightly sculpt and define (NOT contour) your features. Applied incorrectly, bronzer can give you a muddy finish.
A bad bronzing job makes you look as though you’re wearing the wrong shade of foundation or simply have a dirty face. To create enviable warmth and radiance, you need to pick the right product for your complexion colour and skin type AND know exactly where to apply your bronzer.
Our tips will set you on your way to a successful bronzed look.
Choosing your bronzer shade, formula, and finish
Shade: Your bronzer should never be more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Any darker, and that tawniness will look unnatural. You should also pay attention to your skin’s cool, warm, or neutral undertones to choose a shade that matches your overall colouring.
Finish: It's also important to decide what kind of finish you want. A matte bronzer such as theBalm Bahama Mama gives a more natural finish and warms up your skin tone quietly whilst adding subtle definition. A shimmery bronzer such as Bobbi Brown Brightening Finish Powder in Bronze Glow works more like a highlight, adding a radiant finish to your skin.
Those with problem skin should opt for a matte finish, as shimmer can highlight uneven skin tone and texture. Those will dull skin should go for a shimmery bronzer to add life and light.
Formula: Bronzer comes in various formulas to suit your skin type and personal preference. Cream, liquid, and gel bronzers are easier to work with and suit dry skin types best.
A powder bronzer may suit those with oily skin types better but can be slightly more difficult to blend. Powder bronzers can also give a more natural skin-like finish, whereas the wet formulas give your skin a dewy look.
Where should bronzer be applied?
Bronzer should be applied to areas where your sun hits your skin the most and where you naturally tan the darkest. These tend to be the raised areas of your face such as the bridge of your nose, the temples, and your cheekbones.
One of the best ways to apply bronzer is to lightly dust the product in a figure ‘3’ along each side of your face. Starting at the temples, move through to the cheekbones, and then finish by sweeping the brush across your jaw towards your chin.
Be sure to thoroughly blend the product into your neck and hairline for a natural finish. If you're wearing your hair up, remember to bronze the back of your neck and behind the ears for seamless blending.
If you want to go for a full sun-kissed glow, lightly dust bronzer over the bridge of your nose and the chin. It’s easy to go overboard with this stage, so a very light hand is essential. Alternatively, you can use a contour product to go down the sides of the nose if you want definition.
The key to the perfect bronzed glow is subtle application. It’s always much better to start lightly and build up layers, as bronzer can be very hard to blend if there's already too much product on your face. Once you’ve practised the look, you can have a holiday-fresh look all year long.