How to Apply Liquid, Cream and Powder Bronzers, According to a Makeup Artist

March 04, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
How to Apply Liquid, Cream and Powder Bronzers

As a makeup artist, Los Angeles-based pro Emily Oliver is constantly being asked to create a glowing “bronzed goddess” look on clients, and the trickiest part is choosing the right bronzer for each person. Bronzers come in all shades and types, from powder to liquid to cream, and Oliver guided us through using each one, ahead.


Powder Bronzer

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

And of course, powder bronzer is also great for contouring. “To make noses appear smaller or straighter, use an eyeshadow brush to trace bronzer along both sides of the nose — this gives the illusion of symmetry and slimness.” In terms of shades, Oliver prefers a taupe bronzer versus a red or terra cotta one, as the latter tend to pull more orange tones when they settle on the skin, whereas a taupe shade looks more natural. Try NYX Professional Makeup California Beamin' Face & Body Bronzer.


Liquid Bronzer 
Liquid bronzers, like the L’Oréal Paris Summer Belle Beach Bae Face & Body Liquid Luminizer, 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,” says Oliver. “And because liquid bronzer almost melts into the skin, it’s easy to blend and sits well on top of textured skin, like acne, rosacea and eczema.”

Cream Bronzer 
“Cream-based bronzers are fantastic for applying heavier coverage or creating a more sculpted contour on the skin,” notes Oliver. She also recommends 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, and applying a cream-based bronzer immediately after liquid foundation gives a more natural finish.”

Oliver recommends dipping a flat foundation brush into a cream bronzer, like the Nudestix Nudies Bronze, and creating a line starting under the cheekbone and working upward toward the ear. Then, use a wet beauty sponge 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. 

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