How To Get More From Your Bronzer
How To Get More From Your Bronzer

How To Get More From Your Bronzer

A good bronzer can do so much for your complexion – the trick is to find the right shade for you and apply it using the right tools. Here, two make-up artists explain how to get the most from it, as well as the best ones to try.
By Rebecca Hull

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Use It For More Than One Thing

“Bronzer is one of the most transformative items in any make-up bag, and it can do so much more than just bring out some colour in your complexion. You can use it to give yourself a sun-kissed glow, of course, but it can also add definition and sculpt your face. Just make sure the formula is matte, and preferably only one shade deeper than your natural skin tone – anything too dark will stand out too much. Start by taking the bronzer just into the hairline above your temple and gently work it down so it hugs the line of your cheekbone, until it touches the apple of your cheeks. This will add warmth while sculpting the hollows of your cheekbones. Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Matte Bronzing Brick is great – it has two shades so you can lightly sculpt with one and add depth with the other.” – Jessica Kell

Mimic Your Own Natural Tan

“When it comes to bronzing, the rules are the same for all skin tones. You want to mimic the colour your skin turns in the sun, so try to invest in this exact shade. There are now so many available it’s quite easy to find one that suits your skin, but both Charlotte Tilbury and NARS have a huge array of shades that work for everyone.” – Valeria Ferreira

“Make sure the colour you choose adds depth – especially if you have darker skin. Anything too pale will come off chalky or orange, so look for deeper bronzers to enhance your natural undertones. Likewise, if you have a lighter skin tone, avoid anything too orange, or any products that are more than one or two shades deeper than your natural complexion.” – Jessica 

Bronzer is one of the most TRANSFORMATIVE items in any make-up bag, and it can do SO MUCH MORE than just bring out some COLOUR in your COMPLEXION.

Try The Figure Of Three

“There are a few tips and tricks to help you get the application right. First, take a light-handed approach, especially if you’re applying a powder. Use a brush and let it hug your hairline – this way, any excess colour on your brush will be softened into your hairline rather than in the middle of your forehead or on top of your cheekbones. If you want all-over colour, try the figure of three. This involves taking your bronzer over the top of your forehead on one side, tucking it in under the cheekbone, then gliding it just under the jawline before repeating on the other side. You’ll get a subtle sculpt and uniform colour.” – Jessica 

Watch Where The Sun Hits Your Face

“Always watch where and how your face tans naturally. This should be your starting point when using bronzer. The bridge of the nose is a spot that’s often missed, yet it always catches the sun so apply some bronzer there, then use a concealer or lighter shade of powder on the sides of the nose to sculpt and contour in a very natural way. Once you’ve finished bronzing, try enhancing any freckles you may have with a liquid pen. Also, add a little bronzer to your eyelids. Just take a small shadow brush and blend it through your socket line. This will bring out your eye colour and give the area some warmth, while still looking entirely natural and sun kissed.” – Valeria

Invest In The Right Tools

“It’s best to apply bronzers with a brush to ensure they never go patchy. The right brush is essential, no matter what texture you decide to use. While a big, round brush is great for an all-over finish, I prefer to use these when buffing colour onto the body. For the face, I like a directional bronzing brush that hugs the contours of the face better. Daniel Sandler’s Waterbrush  sculpts the highpoints of your face, offering precise but seamless application of gels, creams and liquids. If you’re using powder, go for NARS’s #14 Bronzer Brush. It effortlessly buffs any powder into a smooth finish, hitting all the right places.” – Jessica 

If you want to get a DEWY, BRONZED GLOW, try MIXING and MATCHING your formulas.

Don’t Be Afraid To Mix & Match

“If you want to get a dewy, bronzed glow, try mixing and matching your formulas. One of my favourite bronzing products is Chantecaille’s Liquid Bronzer. You can mix it with your primer or moisturiser to instantly give you the kind of effortless and believable tan you can wash off at the end of the day. It’s great in winter, when your skin may be looking a little sallow. Just make sure the formulas are compatible with one another and don’t start piling when you mix them together. Test it by mixing them on your arm first.” – Valeria

Play With Liquid Formulas

“Though a powder or cream bronzer is always best applied on top of your foundation, there are some instances when you can apply your bronzer first. For instance, a liquid can be applied under or mixed into a base product to make it a bit darker. I am a big advocate of using a sheer liquid bronzer on its own or on top of a blurring primer – it’s the ultimate fuss-free look on holiday.” – Jessica 

Finally, Take Note Of Common Mistakes

“Mostly, people use bronzers that are the wrong shade and they end up looking too chalky or orange. Natural is always best, so look for colours that mimic your natural tan, and never go one or two shades deeper than your current skin tone. Another common mistake is applying bronzer haphazardly all over your face. If you want all over colour, go for a liquid and mix it with a tinted moisturiser before you apply it. Try to be more directional with powders and creams so you sculpt and don’t leave any streaks behind. Finally, avoid too much sparkle and glitter in your bronzer. If these kinds of formulas are applied all over, it can look OTT and enhance areas you may not want to. Instead, warm up your skin with a matte, cream bronzer, then tap highlighter on top. Finally, never forget to run bronzer down your neck – that needs a little attention to bring the whole look together.” – Jessica

Follow @JessicaKMakeUp & @ValeriaFerreiraMakeUp

Shop Our Edit Of The Best Bronzers Below...

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