That post-holiday glow. We all lust for it, try to make it last when we have it, and fake it when we don’t. A good bronzer can do just that – if you know how to apply bronzer properly.
A brilliant bronzer has multiple benefits, no matter what shade, shimmer or set you choose. From illuminating and warming your complexion to adding definition to your features and slimming your face – if you know how to apply bronzer like a pro the possibilities seem endless.
How to choose the right bronzer for skin tone
First things first. It’s no good knowing how to apply bronzer if you’ve chosen the wrong one for your skin tone.
While wonderful warm sandy beige bronzers will look lovely on people with a pale complexion, as will peachy hues and pink or pale rose palettes, those same shades can make those with medium skin tones look washed out.
Golden-based bronzers should be a go-to for anyone with an olive skin tone or more yellow undertones, while a shimmery bronze is the best for darker skin tones.
How to apply bronzer
The way you apply bronzer will depend on the type of product you are working with. With powder, cream, and liquid bronzers available, the choice is yours depending on personal preference.
For bronzer beginners or lovers of classic, tried and tested products, stick to a powder bronzer applied with a brush. Perfect for anyone who fears being left with an uneven colour after application, applying powder with a brush will help avoid any chance of a blotchy bronzer look – and you’ll avoid getting any product on your hands.
“Gently tap off any excess powder from the brush before starting,” advises beauty and tan guru Clara Anderson. “This will ensure an even coverage.”
For tanning pros who like to look a little darker than their natural skin tone (think ‘just home from holiday’ colour) try a liquid bronzer. “Opt for oil based formulas that give a gorgeous sheen” says James Read, leading tanning expert, industry trendsetter and go-to tanner for celebrities.
Or, try a creamy bronzer such as the Madame La La bronzing ball, £14 if you want to try last year’s biggest trend, contouring. Sweep the product easily onto the centre of your nose or just under your cheek bones and blend using a brush, sponge or your finger tips to add definition to your face.
The top tip to remember when figuring out where to apply bronzer? “Always focus colour on those areas where the sun would naturally hit the most: forehead, bridge of the nose and across the cheeks” says make-up artist Emma Kotch.
For something a little extra and to really add definition to your facial features, try naturally accentuating your cheekbones, “by sweeping an additional layer of powder on the hollow of your cheeks” as suggested by Clara Anderson.
If you’re applying a liquid bronzer, make-up artist Emma Kotch suggests, “for a super highlighted look, build it up on collarbones, shoulders and shins – this is my favourite trick for my celebrity clients as it picks up so beautifully under flash photography.”
What is the best bronzer to buy?
At the moment, according to Rank & Style, the number one selling bronzer on the internet is Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder, £30. Available in eight shades, it’s easy to emulate a natural looking glow with just a few sweeps of your brush. Plus, the matte finish means you can avoid the oily sheen which can be created by oil-based bronzers on a hot, sunny (and let’s face it, sweaty) summer’s day.
However, some of the best bronzers you can buy also happen to be some of the most affordable. Two of the best selling bronzers on online beauty store Fragrance Direct are Calvin Klein’s CK One Powder Bronzer Compact – a steal at £6.95, and W7’s Solar Glow Bronzer tin – a trio of two shimmering bronzers with a highlighter to help you achieve contour perfection for just £4.50.