Golden Rules of Bronzing - Makeup Lessons

Tips on using your bronzer for a natural glow

Although we all know too much sun is a bad thing, we still covet the golden glow of a summer tan. There’s just something undeniably appealing about skin that has a healthy hue. To keep your tan without sacrificing your skin, fake it with bronzing products that mimic the sun’s effects. Once you learn to use your bronzer correctly, it can become your best friend - and constant companion - this summer. Follow these easy bronzing guidelines to safely maintain your sun goddess status.

  • When choosing a bronzer, make sure it doesn’t appear too orange or frosted. A little shimmer goes a long way; too much shimmer can make skin look unnatural and harsh, especially mature skin. Never go more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone; bronzers are meant to warm your skin, not color it.
  • Keep your makeup simple. If you are using a bronzer, don’t apply a coppery eye shadow and lipstick. You don’t want your entire face awash in a sea of bronze. Instead opt for contrasts that enhance skin tone. Simplify eye makeup with a warm brown or black liner and a few coats of mascara. On your lips, use sheer, clear colors such as corals, reds or russets.
  • When using bronzers, apply little or no foundation. Keep color as natural as possible. Too much foundation can leave your bronzer looking “muddy” and artificial, ruining the effect. If you feel you need foundation, try a tinted moisturizer or sheer finish makeup instead.
  • Powder bronzers are best for oily complexions. If your skin is dry or you like a dewy finish, choose a cream, stick or gel to achieve your color.
  • When applying a powder bronzer, it’s important to have the right brush. A wide, fluffy powder brush is your best bet. To begin, dip the brush into the color and tap it on the back of your hand to remove any excess. Apply color to the areas of the face the sun would naturally hit: checks, forehead, chin and the bridge of the nose. Blend well. For lighter complexions, follow with a touch of pink or rose blush on the apples of the cheeks for a natural looking flush.
  • Cream, stick or liquid bronzers should be applied using your fingers. First apply the bronzer and rub fingers together to even the color. Then dab the bronzer onto the apples of your cheeks and blend using circular motions. Work the color back toward the hairline. Leftover color can be dabbed onto the bridge of the nose, forehead and brow bones to warm the rest of the face.
  • The best rule of thumb for bronzing is to start light and build color slowly. If you happen to accidentally over-bronze, either use a dry cotton pad to wipe some off or dust your face with a little loose powder to lighten the color.
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