Who doesn’t love looking like you just came back from vacation? For those of us who followed our derm’s advice and piled on the sunscreen, we could use some help to get that sun-kissed glow. For a little color without the harsh sun rays, adding a bronzer to your daily routine is easy and, when done right, transformative.
There are tons of bronzers on the market in various shades, textures, tones, and prices (see my product suggestions below). To keep it simple and versatile, choose a neutral matte bronzer. Not only will it add a tan, but it will also add some subtle contouring.
Olive and tanner skin tones can get away with warmer orange bronzers, while fairer skin tones should stick to neutral or pink-toned bronzers. Bronzers with shimmer or “glow” can be tricky to apply, and too much can create a muddy effect on the face. No one wants to look like a glittering flowerpot, right? Whatever you choose, pick a bronzer that is only a couple shades darker than your skin tone.
The right brush can make or break the bronzing process. A fluffy duo fibre brush is perfect for a natural-looking tan, whereas a denser, fuller brush (e.g., kabuki) will create a more intense color. To experiment with both, use the fibre brush for daytime and the kabuki for night when dim lights give you a little more leeway to play with deep color.
Starting with your face already powdered, map out where you’ll bronze. The general rule is to apply the bronzer in a three or backward three shape (depending on which side of the face you’re working on), hitting the forehead, cheek, and jawline. This is where the sun would naturally hit your face.
Using a large fluffy brush, begin applying the bronzer at your temples in small circular motions to help blend it with the rest of your makeup. Start with a light layer to slowly build up the tan.
Continue in the shape of a three by brushing over the tops of your cheeks, making sure to stop right below your pupil.
In a sweeping motion, move down the face to apply bronzer just below your jawline for some definition. This is an area of the face that many people don’t think of for bronzer, but it can really enhance the lines of your profile and add dimension.
Go back, and apply a little more product to build the tan slowly until you are satisfied. Make sure to blend out any harsh edges. For a fresh, sun-kissed glow, you can also add bronzer over the bridge of your nose.
Voilà! You should now have a natural bronze that took mere minutes to achieve. And no matter your budget, there’s a product for you. Here are some of my favorites:
- NYX Cosmetics Matte Bronzer, $9
- NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder, $4
- Eco Tools Bamboo Bronzer Brush, $12
- Eco Tools Recycled Aluminum Retractable Kabuki Brush, $11