How To…Use Bronzer and Not Look Orange

We’ve all seen the girl on the street who has overdone it with self tanner and piled on so much bronzer that it’s impossible to tell what her original skin tone was. The sad thing is that that girl will never know what she’s doing wrong because she doesn’t realize that it is wrong. It’s like when What Not To Wear was still running, and how my sister so badly wanted to be on it. However, she understood that because personal style was already important to her, it would never happen — she was conscious of her style choices, so she never would have been far enough gone to need Stacy and Clinton’s help.

Makeup is similar. You may be super aware of bronzer on other people, or on yourself, so you just don’t wear it, or, on the flip side, you already know how to do it. This post is for you readers in bronzer limbo. You like bronzer on other people, but you’ve also seen too many mistakes to really want to take the risk to wear it yourself. But I’ve got good news! Because it’s something you are concerned about doing properly, it puts you at higher risk…of actually doing it correctly.

We’ve all seen tutorials about doing the E/3 on the face, but do you put your middle stripe on the cheekbone? Under it? We’ve all seen bronzer brushes, but every brand has a different one. Some are fluffy for all-over bronzing, some are dense for contoured bronzing. We’ve all seen bronzers in the pan. But some are shimmery! Some are matte! Some are…both?

Let’s rewind.

Ask yourself:

Do I want to use bronzer to make my face look thinner [a contoured look], or do I want to use bronzer to make me look like I just spent the day outside?

If you answer that question, the other questions are already answered for you.

If you’re using it for a contour, you want a matte bronzer in a very neutral tone. This looks more like a natural shadow, and you’ll use a medium-dense brush to blend your bronzer underneath your cheekbones, along your jaw, into your hairline, and onto your neck. Don’t go to the fuss of creating a full contour pattern — we want this to look softer than a contour powder.

If you’re using it to look like you spent the day outside, you can choose either matte or shimmery, and you’ll use a fluffier brush to sweep your slightly warm-toned bronzer along the tops of your cheekbones, across the tip of your nose, the top of your forehead…anywhere the sun would naturally hit first. Think of your bronzer going over the first spots that would burn if you forgot your sunscreen.

Bronzing doesn’t have to be scary! Just like any other makeup routine, practice makes perfect, so keep playing around, and make sure to get a bronzer that goes with your skin tone.

 

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