How to Put on Bronzer

I figured since summer is close by, I would do a post on bronzer application.  I know some of you may be confused about bronzer and how to use it.  I hope this post helps.

Bronzer is one item that can really make or break your look.  It can make you look warm, glowy, and naturally enhanced or it can just make you look like an Oompa Loompa.  One time I saw a woman shopping and overheard her talking to a friend that she had not been feeling well.  I glanced over and noticed her face slathered with bronzer.  She would have looked better with just a touch of lipcolor than her awful bronzer application.

What went wrong here?  First, just because you haven't been feeling well, it doesn't mean bronzer should  be piled on with a shovel.  A tanned skin tone doesn't mean you will look healthy, people with tans can still get sick and look awful!  Second, if you are going to pile on the bronzer, don't forget the rest of you.  You aren't a floating pumpkin head.  Third, don't pick a color that is too dark.  I hate to see people become muddy and murky.  A good rule of thumb is to just choose a color two shades darker than your skin tone.  Any darker and you will be slinging mud on your face.

The importance of bronzer is to enhance your skin tone, not change it.  Think of bronzer as a stain.  If used on bare skin, the color should show your skin and just give a healthy warm glow.  Bronzers that provide coverage will look fake, flat, and muddy.  Sometimes, bronzers are used as contour powder.  That is fine unless you are in a theatrical setting then proper contour products should be used because of the different lighting conditions.  Shimmer or matte?  I prefer some shimmer for a glowing bronzed look.  I leave the sparkly bronzers for the body; nothing more irritating to see glitter all over the face.  (<---my opinion)  Satin mattes are good for men. 

Now, that you have picked your bronzer, how about application?  In this post I will show three different ways of application with three different brushes.  Yes, brushes can make a difference so if you have been having trouble with bronzer, it could have been the wrong brush type.  In the three application possibilities, you will see the different results which work well on everyone.  What you need to do is choose which method you will be comfortable with.

Again, Grace has allowed me to use her for this tutorial.  Her face has no bronzer on at all.  The bronzer I chose for her is one that goes with her skin tone and has a slight shimmer to it.


The first method is the Sunkissed look.  This look is applying the bronzer where the sun would hit.  In many cases people interpret this as the whole face which the sun does hit when one stands in full sunlight.  Basically, it just means applying to the parts that end up highlighted or where the sun would hit first on your face or usually just the front part of your face.  This would be the forehead, top of nose, the high points of the cheeks.  The brush used here is just a soft powder brush.  Just dip the brush in the bronzer and swipe a bit on a kleenex or the back of your hand.  It is always easier to add more than subtract and you also get a smooth or streak free application.

The area of application is outlined in red. You don't have to stay within the lines but stay within that area.  The powder brush which is soft and fluffy applying a sheer and blended application.  I applied just a touch on the browbone also.  The finished look should be just a soft sunkissed look.  Just add mascara and a lip tint.

Sunkissed Bronzer Application

Bronzed and Contoured

This method is good for both men and women.  The bronzer gives that tan touch but also gives some shape to the face.  A smaller brush should be used since the application is a bit more precise but not too precise.  A blush brush can be used or even a contour brush.

Bronzer application is marked in red.  Again no need to stay within the lines but stay within that general area.  I also included the side view.

Bronzed and Contoured Application

After the bronzer has been applied, add mascara, liptint, and a soft coral blush for a fresh summer look.

The 3 or the E

Depending on which way you look at it.  This one seems to be the most common, just applying the bronzer in a 3 pattern on both sides of the face.   You can close up the forehead and leave the chin open or vice versa.  Whatever you feel comfortable with.  For this one I use a flat top brush.  This brush will apply a bit more color than the powder brush but will also blend the areas easily without looking like you tried so desperately to apply a bronzer just right.

The 3 or E Bronzer Application

Add some blush, mascara, and liptint and you really have a complete look that is fresh and easy.

Bronzer is easy when used right and it can also cut down on makeup application dramatically since the feature of this product is your face as a whole.  What is important to go with this look is the comfort and confidence, start slow and practice.  Once you see yourself softly bronzed, you will see the full potential of it.  Keep it simple and you will be ok.

I hope I have offered some help in bronzer application.  And, I hope this summer you will use it without any fear.  Thanks for reading!

Special thanks to Grace!!! xoxo

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