Skincare Skills

by Lydia

Skincare blogger

March 17, 2022

how to apply bronzer

Gone are the simple days when the choice was made for us- that single bronzer in burnt Cheeto shade. Now, they come in zillions of options; in different textures, shades, and finishes. But like any makeup product, working with the right bronzer shade does wonders. Fortunately, you don't need to be a celebrity makeup artist to know how to apply bronzer to achieve that smoking hot look.

But, first, what's the real purpose of bronzer. A bronzer lets you add warmth for a natural-looking flush, not color. A bronzer helps make your skin look healthier, not for a fake tan— it's just you trying to warm it up a little. With this in mind, here are some bronzer tips that you won't get from YouTube tutorials, which range from everything your girl- yours truly- has learned from her mistakes, wearing way too much bronzer back in the day, to what I've picked from the pros.

What To Consider When Learning How To Apply Bronzer Picks?

a) Have You Chosen a Bronzer for Your Skin Type, Skin Tone And Face Shape?

Like any face makeup product, the first step involves you choosing the perfect bronzer for your skin tone, skin type and face shape. This helps you achieve a natural-looking glow for days! Most bronzers will come in light, medium, and dark shades with some variations in between.

Some brands have specialized in bronzers specifically for darker skin tones, while others also stock up for lighter skin tones. Always go for a shade that's not more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Additionally, bronzers come in undertones such as pink, yellow and peach. So you'll need to find a bronzer that also matches your undertone.

Pro tips:

  • For fair people who also sunburn easily, pink or peach bronzers work perfectly
  • Copper shades work well on olive skin tones, while the darker shades work perfectly for dark skin
  • Avoid matte bronzing powder in orange shades that look unnatural
  • A semi-matte bronzer in neutral shade works great on lighter complexions to help achieve more definition to the face
  • To create a natural all-over bronze look, dust some shimmer bronzer on your collarbone and jaw

b) What Formula: Powder, Cream, Or Gel Bronzer?

Generally, a powder bronzer is great for normal to oily skin types. This is best applied using a short, fluffy blush brush. Gel or cream-based bronzers will work best on dry skin. Then, using your fingers or sponge, try to blend it in your skin before you walk out of the house looking like a clown.

You can also mix a little bit of your bronzer into your moisturizer for a slight glow on your entire face. Alternatively, you can also put away your bronzer for winter and instead use some tinted sunscreen or tinted moisturizer. Particular formulas will help you achieve different finishes; a subtle glow, a perfect matte finish or a glorious sun-kissed dewy look.

i) Powder Bronzer

Generally, powder bronzers work for all skin types but are especially great for combination to oily skin types since they won’t slip or slide as you get shiny- because you will! In addition, this bronzer category is super easy to apply.

Just a simple swirl using a large bronzer brush into your bronzing powder, a sweep across your forehead, the apples of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose for that all-over glow. If you want to achieve a more precise shading powder formula, using a smaller brush, apply it to the same areas of your face. Remember to always use circular motions for seamless blending.

ii) Gel/Cream Bronzer

The gel or cream bronzer is best used on dry to normal skin types because then you can be sure that it won't settle on any of your dry patches or flakes. Cream bronzers that come in a compact require you to use a makeup sponge.

iii) Liquid Bronzer

The liquid bronzer formula is best for dry skin or anyone who wants to achieve that dewy, silky finish on the makeup look. It can be easily applied using a liquid foundation brush or a makeup sponge. Simply apply the liquid bronzer on your liquid foundation and blend it in circular motions for a healthy-looking tan.

c) Have You Prepped Your Skin?

It may sound obvious, but we should probably mention it; the bronzer is the final face product. So first apply foundation, concealer, then a little blush before the finishing touch, a brush of your bronzer. Additionally, you could also apply a light brush of face powder before applying bronzer. This helps prevent the bronzing powder or cream formula from sticking to the foundation, which may leave you looking a little blotchy.

d) Where Should You Apply Bronzer Pigments?

A bronzer is best lightly applied to all the spots where the sun naturally shines on you, which include your temples, nose, cheekbones, and chin. Some makeup artists go the extra mile and brush a little bit onto your eyelids, especially if your eye makeup is meant to be light.

Even though the neck is not a natural spot for the sun, applying bronzer on it helps prevent that weird white neck against a bronzed face look.

e) What Do You Want To Achieve; Fuller Lips, Defined Cheekbones, Or Angular Jawline?

Essentially, bronzers and blush are used in contouring to create definition on your face. The goal here is to create natural shadows that highlight the best parts of your face, such as the cheekbones, and downplay any of the parts that you're not particularly a huge fan of for a more defined look. Avoid a bronzer that's too shimmery or orange. Normally, brown bronzers work best since you also don't want to create any attention to the bronzer but instead create an illusion.

f) What Makeup Technique And Products Are You Using?

When used alone, the bronzer can appear a little dull. To achieve a dewy look, apply some cream blush to the apples of your cheeks. The bronzer and cream blush combo are absolutely gorgeous, so you can play with them to achieve the look you like.

Like every makeup artist will tell you, a bronzer looks most gorgeous on days when you're not planning to lightly apply foundation and plan to keep the rest of your makeup relatively light. A little mascara, a light eyeshadow sweep, and a hint of lip color.

How To Apply Bronzer Shades?

Step 1:

 Tap a little bronzer using your makeup brush, then sweep it along the cheekbones and around the perimeter of your face, on areas such as the temples, forehead, etc. Basically, places where the sun would naturally hit. Then, for a more a sculpted look, run the brush along the jawline.

After picking out a bronzer that matches your tone, use a blending brush to gently rub over the bronzer. Then, swirl it in small concentrated circular motions directly across your hairline, across each temple.

Step 2: Apply Using The 3-formation Application Formula

This is the most basic bronzer application, where you draw the number 3 starting from your forehead down the cheeks. Next, start the brush sweep from your hairline on your, follow your hairline down to the cheek. Then, bring that color pop to the apples of your cheeks swirl back again to spread the shade below your jawline.

Ideally, the bronzer should seem like a number 3 shape on the sides of your face. Just don't forget to blend it in to avoid odd harsh lines. Alternatively, sweep the bronzer along the sides and on the bridge of your nose for an extra dose of tan.

To achieve that natural flush effect, apply blush. You can apply blush right after applying bronzer, using the same brush at the center of your cheeks. Then, swirl a little blush to blend it into the bronzer for a cute little blush flush.

Step 3: Carve Your Cheeks

Contouring comes with many benefits and is a lot easier than you'd think. Just reload the bronzer on your brush, lightly swipe a line from each ear to the apple of your cheek. Then, gently blend out the application using tiny circular brush stroke motions rather than the regular back-and-forth swipe motion.

The key to a natural sleek bronze look is to blend it out well—and then blend it some more. Start by blending it in, in small smooth circles to diffuse out the harsh lines and then fade the product for that seamless finish.

Step 4: Define Your Nose

Powder bronzers are quite sheer in coverage. So don't worry, they won't leave you with that obvious odd-looking set of lines. Also, remember that, compared to highlighting powder, liquid highlighter is quite intense, buildable, and highly pigmented.

Lightly sweep your bronzer down each side of your nose. Make sure to first tap off any of the excess from your brush before doing this to achieve a subtle contour. Then, to avoid using too much bronzer, use whatever's left on your brush to add some warmth to your nose, neck and, chin.

How to Apply Bronzer According To Your Face Shape?

a) Do You Have An Oval-Shaped Face?

If you have an oval-shaped face, then it generally means that the length of your face is relatively longer than your face width. Typically, you also have a round jawline. To create a natural all-over bronze application is super easy for this face shape. Simply apply light bronzer dusting to the apples of your cheeks, then blend it into your hairline for that instant tan look.

B) Do You Have A Round Face Shape?

Typically, a round face shape has the cheekbones as the widest part of the face, and the width from your forehead to chin relatively narrower. Therefore, your face shape requires that you begin by applying light bronzer on the apples of your cheeks. After this, sweep lightly upward and out towards your temple, close to the hairline. This helps achieve a super natural-looking tan- you'll absolutely fall in love!

About the author 

Lydia

My name is Lydia Adams and I have been a skincare blogger in one way or another for many, many years.

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