How to Apply Bronzer For a Natural Glow

How to Apply Bronzer For a Natural Glow
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By Fiona McKim, Woman & Home

You've got your hardcore 'wake and bake' types who wear bronzer all over the face, all day, all year round. You've got the summer fling crew who dip in from May-September. If you'd asked 21-year-old me I'd have told you it was for painting thick sparkly stripes from chin to ear—what better easy makeup look for blurry Monday nights in sticky-floored clubs with names like Saints & Sinners?

But while there are many ways to wear bronzer, the desired outcome is fairly universal. "The purpose of a bronzer is to bring warmth and structure to the face," agrees Bobbi Brown Pro Makeup Artist, Zara Findlay. And mastering how to apply bronzer is a basic makeup skill, like choosing the best foundation, learning how to apply eyeliner, or finding the best red lipstick for your skin tone. So we've consulted expert makeup artists to bring you every tip you need to learn how to apply bronzer properly, once and for all.

Step 1: Find the perfect color

First things first. It's no good knowing how to apply bronzer if you've chosen entirely the wrong shade. "Choosing the best bronzer shade makes all the difference and will look more authentic and real rather than overly bronzed and made up," says Pro Makeup Artist Cher Webb. Here's how:

Know your undertone—"The best way to check your undertone is to look at the veins around your wrists," advises Webb. "If they appear blue you will have a cooler undertone, if they look green you are more likely to have a warm undertone. If you have a mix of both you're neutral."

Now pick a shade—sandy beige bronzers look great on lighter skin with cool undertones, while peach and rose undertones will work on cool or neutral medium skin. Gold-based bronzers work well for anyone with olive skin or more yellow undertones, while a shimmery deep bronze looks great on darker skin, gently evening out the tone and giving it a flattering sheen.

Test it properly—as with finding a perfect foundation match, Webb advises against simply checking your bronzer on the face, or back of the hand. "Always bring your bronzer down your neck and through to the décolletage, this is a good part of the body to test if the bronzer is the correct fit for you."

Step 2: Pick a texture

Knowing how to apply bronzer depends on the texture you are working with. There are several to choose from—powder, cream, loose watery liquids—each with their own benefits to consider:

Powder bronzer

When learning how to apply bronzer, a powder applied with a brush offers the most control and staying power. We hear about products like the best setting powders and bronzers being finely milled, which essentially means the pigment particles are smaller. This is great for smooth application as it will 'melt' into the skin and blend easily. Powders are also suited to oily or combination skin as they are more resilient.

Read More: How to determine the best eyebrow shape for you

Cream bronzer

Creams have grown in popularity in recent years and tend to be more hydrating therefore more flattering on dehydrated skin or textural irregularities. This makes them a good choice for anyone with crow's feet or wondering how to get rid of acne scars. Celebrity Makeup Artist Ruby Hammer suggests starting with cream if you're worried about harsh lines, "Cream bronzers are easier to blend. Just use your fingers to dot on the high points of your face and blend with a soft fluffy brush."

Liquid bronzer

Liquids suit bronzing larger areas, so if your plan is to use bronzer for an all-over glow rather than to strategically highlight this texture can suit. You will need a transparent, matte product to keep it looking natural. Liquid bronzers are pleasingly versatile and can double up as highlighters, which can be very flattering to enhance or replace the best self tan on legs and arms.

Step 3. Apply like a professional

"The most effective way how to apply bronzer is to be strategic with your placement, lightly sculpt the face and define the cheekbones and jawline," advises Webb. "Use a large brush, and start at the top of the forehead, this is where the sun would naturally hit the skin first, and make sure you keep the brush close to the hairline."

Hammer agrees, "By applying in a light veil to the areas of the face which are naturally hit by the sunlight (the forehead cheekbones, nose) you will get an instant healthy-looking glow. Sweep around to under the cheekbone and then sweep back and around to under the jawline, think of the number three as a guide and do the same on both sides. Take whatever is left on the brush and sweep across the cheeks and nose panel."

If you're applying liquid bronzer, make the most of the product's buildable texture, suggests make-up artist Emma Kotch, "For a super highlighted look, build liquid bronzer up on collarbones, shoulders, and shins—this is my favorite trick for my celebrity clients as it picks up so beautifully under flash photography."

See more at Woman & Home

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item United Kingdom: How to Apply Bronzer For a Natural Glow
How to Apply Bronzer For a Natural Glow
Your expert masterclass in how to apply bronzer like a pro—from picking a product to perfect placement. United Kingdom
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