How to Apply Bronzer: Your Complete Guide

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Ah – the art of applying bronzer. It’s a difficult technique to learn, and unfortunately for many of us, the result is an orange, muddy-complexioned, or overly shimmery face.

How do some girls manage to achieve that effortless, natural, sun-kissed summer glow?

There’s a technique to applying bronzer, and luckily for you, we’re here to dish out our top tips and our favorite method of application. Trust us, once you get the hang of it, bronzing your face is very simple.

Ready to get glowing? Keep reading to learn how to apply bronzer like a pro.

The Best Bronzing Tips and Tricks

The Best Bronzing Tips and Tricks
Before you start with your bronzing technique, here are our best tips and tricks to achieve the best glow possible.

Go Matte

Do you tend to reach for the shimmery bronzers? These are the bronzers that give your complexion that shiny, sparkly look. However, on oily skin, an overly shimmery glow looks anything but natural.

The same thing applies for normal skin that might sweat – which it’s likely to do, especially during the warm summer months.

Ditch the sparkles and opt for a powder that’s labeled matte or satin finish. This cruelty free makeup brand Arrive offers the perfect bronzer to achieve that glowing yet natural sun-kissed bronzed look.

If you can’t resist a dab of shimmer, why not use it to highlight your collarbone, shoulders, and décolletage?

Don’t Go Too Dark

Want to avoid the Oompa Loompa look? Then stay away from shades of bronzer that are too dark for your complexion!

While we all love to give off a glowing tanned look, a color that’s too dark for your skin complexion can appear muddy or orange instead of naturally sun-kissed.

Be sure to avoid a hue that’s more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone. To test this, hold the compact to your skin and compare in the mirror.

Use the Right Brush

For the best results, you’ll need to use the right tool to apply bronzer.

While kabuki brushes are a popular choice, makeup brushes with dense bristles like these can cause you to overapply the bronzer.

For the light application that you need, choose a fluffy brush or powder brush with more loosely packed bristles.

Even using one of these brushes, you’ll need to be careful not to overload the product. Instead of caking your brush with bronzer and swiping it straight onto your skin and hoping for the best, tap some of the product off your brush before applying.

You want to avoid using too much pigment in one area of the face to avoid that muddy-face look!

If you’re using liquid or cream bronzer, be sure to gradually layer the product carefully, building up until you achieve the pretty sun-kissed look we all desire. Treat it as you would with applying foundation and other base makeup products.

Strategy Is Key

A simple veil of bronzer applied across the face with a big, fluffy, loosely packed bristle brush can look fine if you’re light-handed, but again it’s easy to overdo application using this technique. Your face can easily end up looking a lot darker than your body!

Instead, strategize where to put bronzer. Stick to the spots that are naturally hit by the sunshine such as the forehead, top of the nose, along the cheekbones, and jawline for a natural look.

While you may expect to pile the bronzer onto your cheekbones to make your bone structure pop, we recommend avoiding this. The look can instead make you appear gaunt and jowly.

For that natural sculpted glow, gentle sweep blush onto your cheeks, then finish by dusting a bit of bronzer along the tops of your cheekbones.

Take Your Time

In a rush for a big party? Then it’s probably not the right time to experiment with applying bronzer. After all, if you’re too quick with your application, you could easily risk over-applying.

Remember, you can always add more bronzer later in the night when you have more time, but if you use too much it’s almost impossible to fix without washing it all off and ruining the rest of your makeup.

The Best Technique for Bronzing

The Best Technique for Bronzing
Armed with your new tips and tricks on how to apply bronzer, take a try at our easy method for the best bronzing results. You’ll have glowing skin within minutes!

Step 1

Once you’ve chosen a suitable bronzer that works well with your skin, start by rubbing your chosen brush over the bronzer. Tap off any excess product and swirl it in tiny concentric circles across your hairline reaching from one temple to the other.

Step 2

Now it’s time to carve those cheeks. Dip your brush back into your bronzer, remove excess product as usual, and swipe a line of bronzer from your ear to the apple of your cheek.

Blend out the product by using small circular brush strokes instead of a back-and-forth motion.

Step 3

Ready to chisel that jaw? Finish off the frame of your face by blending more bronzer along your jawline, swirling from your jaw to your chin.

Be sure to tend to the edge of your jawline rather than applying the bronzer to the side of your face. Then, continue to blend underneath your chin traveling down your neck.

Step 4

Let’s not forget the nose! Sweep a small bit of bronzer down each side of the nose, making sure to tap off the excess from your brush first.

You’ve Learned How to Apply Bronzer!

You’ve Learned How to Apply Bronzer
Congratulations – you’ve officially learned how to apply bronzer! Now it’s time to strike a pose and take plenty of selfies to show off that hard work.

Remember, practice makes perfect so if you don’t achieve the result you desire on your first attempt, don’t worry. It may be best to practice a couple of times at home before heading out, so you can show off that perfectly sun-kissed bronze look at the next big event.

For more make-up tips and advice, check out our makeup section at the top of the page.