1. Choose the right shade. “Women often choose a bronzer that’s too dark for their skin and blend it all over their face, which looks muddy,” says makeup artist Mally Roncal. “Pick a shade that’s golden-not brown-on your skin, and wear it with a rosy blush for a more realistic finish.” When you test it, the bronzer should look tan on your skin, not muddy.
2. Think twice before using bronzer in winter. Spring, summer, and fall are great times to use bronzer, but as the pigment in your skin naturally fades in winter, be careful-bronzer has a greater chance of looking fake. Choose lighter shades and apply very lightly in the snowy months.
3. Apply foundation and concealer first. Bronzer should be the last thing you use (followed by blush). If you have oily skin or want to set your foundation, apply powder first-bronzer is last. Depending on the amount of bronzer you’re going to use, adjust your foundation. If you’re just going to dust a bit of powder bronzer, apply foundation as usual, but if you’re going for an all-over tanned look with a cream or liquid bronzer, go easy on the foundation, or use none at all.
4. Powder: use a fluffy, medium-sized brush. A brush that’s too big will give you little control, but too small and you may overdo it or create streaks. Go for a brush slightly larger than your regular blush brush, and make sure the hairs are fluffy, not too tightly woven.
5. Liquid or gel: If you’re using a liquid or gel bronzer, squirt a dab on a sponge, and apply in circular motions in the same way as described below. Use a small amount-you can always add more later.
6. Use circular motions. Dip your brush in the bronzer, tap off the excess, and using small, circular motions, dust your jawline and hairline. Dip again, then sweep onto cheekbones, bridge of nose, forehead and chin.
7. Go easy on the cheeks. Apparently most women apply most of the bronzer on their cheeks, which according to Mally, is a mistake. Start on the perimeter, and move in.
8. Don’t forget the ears. If you’re wearing your hair back, dust the tips of your ears and your neck.
9. Blend. Dust the remaining bronzer on your neck, then tap the brush clean and swirl the brush over your face to blend the color.
10. Mistakes. If you end up with too much, use a dry cotton pad to wipe some off, or dust your face with some loose powder.
11. Add blush. Many women like to go with just bronzer alone, but we recommend a bit of powder blush on the cheeks to keep the bronzer from looking flat.
12. Consider the rest of your makeup. If you’re wearing bronzer, don’t overdo it with orange eyeshadow and blush. Choose subtle, neutral colors for eyeshadow, and go for sheer colors on your lips, like corals, reds, or russets.
Have any tips for applying bronzer? Please share with us.
Photo courtesy of flurokitty via Flickr.com.