January 20, 2016 Emily Oliver Face

How to Apply All Types of Bronzer

We love hearing from our panel of beauty pros about the latest and greatest beauty tricks. Today, we're lucky enough to hear from Los Angeles-based makeup pro Emily Oliver, who gives us the skinny on how to apply different types of bronzer.

How to Apply Bronzer

As a makeup artist, I’m constantly being asked to create a lovely “bronzed goddess” look on clients. And, now that we’re in the throes of winter, many people are particularly interested in giving their complexions a little bump to the warmer side.  Bronzers come in all shapes and types, so how does one navigate them all on their own? From powder to liquid to cream-based bronzers, allow me to guide you through using all these like a pro!


Powder Bronzer 

Powder bronzer is one of the more popular types of bronzers used by makeup lovers, and is traditionally  applied with an angled bronzer brush. When using a powder solution, make sure to tap off any excess product from the brush. Create a figure “3”, starting from the forehead (moving outward, toward the temple), then under the cheekbone, and along the jawline. 

To make noses appear smaller or straighter, use an eye shadow brush to trace bronzer along both sides of the nose -- this gives the illusion of symmetry and slimness. In terms of shades, I prefer a taupe bronzer versus a red or terra cotta one, as the latter tends to pull more orange tones when they settle on the skin, whereas a taupe shade looks more natural.

Product Recommendations: Giorgio Armani Sun Fabric Sheer Bronzer in 100, NYX Matte Bronzer, L’Oréal Paris Infallible® Pro-Matte Powder


Liquid Bronzer 

Liquid bronzers (like Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer Bronzer) are quite easy to work with once you get the hang of them. I use liquid bronzers on clients who want to have a naturally contoured appearance. Liquid bronzer is great in that it almost melts into the skin, is easily blended, and sits well on top of textured skin (acne, rosacea, eczema, etc.). Pro Tip: Squirt a little liquid bronzer into the palm of your hand.  Take a bronzer brush (or blush brush) and swirl the bronzer until the color is entirely in the brush. Then, apply your product as you would a powder bronzer.  It takes the intimidation factor right out of the application!

Cream Bronzer 

Cream-based bronzers (like Urban Decay Bronzing Beauty Balm) are fantastic for applying heavier coverage or creating a more sculpted contour on the skin. I also recommend cream bronzers for those with dry, mature or wrinkled skin. There’s something so beautiful about the way a cream bronzer glides over the skin.  Pro Tip: Apply a cream-based bronzer immediately after liquid foundation for a more natural finish. Dip a flat foundation brush into the cream bronzer, and create a line starting under the cheekbone and working upward toward the ear.  Use a wet beauty blender to blend it in. Apply the bronzer to the forehead, along the hairline (make sure to blend it right up to the hairline so there aren’t any visible lines or streaking) and jawline with the flat foundation brush, finishing on both sides of the nose with a concealer brush. Now, blend, blend, blend!




    About the Author: Emily Oliver is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist and L'Oréal educator whose work spans the stage, red carpet and film.