We’re huge sunscreen advocates over here at Makeup.com. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like a little look-alive color on our faces. To get a subtle glow without all of the icky sun damage we turn to bronzer. And thank goodness, gone are the days when we just slapped some brownish-orange powder all over and called it a day (What. Were. We. Thinking?). Read on for the new way to apply bronzer for a truly natural look.
Find the right shade
The first step to acing bronzer application is to choose the right color. Look for one that’s two to three shades warmer than your skin and is more golden-hued than brown or orange. Maybelline Fit Me Bronzer in Light Bronze looks great on fair skin; Victoria’s Secret Baked Mineral Bronzing Powder in Goddess works well on medium and olive skin tones; and Giorgio Armani Beauty Sheer Bronzer in Golden Sand gives darker complexions a lit-from-within effect.
Go easy on the glitz
Makeup artists agree—you don’t want an over-the-top glittery bronzer (no matter how old you are). But at the same time, “Skin has an inherent brightness that you won’t get from a matte bronzer,” says celeb makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. For a balance, she uses bronzers with a slight shimmer that boost radiance without looking overly sparkly or utterly drab.
Pick a formula
“Powder bronzer is easier to control and blend, and it’s less likely to leave streaks,” says makeup artist Terri Apanasewicz. She recommends dusting a neutral or translucent face powder on first so that the bronzer goes on smoothly and doesn’t deposit too much color. A good base to try: the lightweight L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Powder.
Know where to glow
Bronzer isn’t meant to be used all over the face. “Focus your application where the sunlight naturally hits your face—the apples of the cheeks, center of the forehead, down the nose, the temples and jawline,” says Kashuk. For a delicate, natural application, use a big, fluffy brush like the Highlighting Brush by Sonia Kashuk.