How To Bronze…and How Not To Bronze

Proper bronzing and highlighting can make all the difference when trying to achieve a sun-kissed look during the sunnier months. However, done incorrectly it can make your face look like a muddy mess.

I often see women wearing too much bronzer. How much is too much, you ask? If it’s obvious you’re wearing bronzer…it’s too much. You really want to choose a shade that matches your skin when you tan. Often times women choose bronzers that are too orange or have too much shimmer. A little glimmer can be illuminating, but choose one with too much and it will read fake.

The best way to apply bronzer is to hit the temples with a dome shaped fluffy brush. Sweep the color along the temple to the hairline. Next hit the top middle of your forehead and sweep along the hairline. Next, take the brush to just under your cheek bones and sweep to the earlobes. Lastly, sweep the color underneath the jaw line.

A lot of artists tell you to make a backwards E starting at the temple, coming in under the cheekbone and finishing under the jaw. It’s a good place to start if you aren’t sure exactly where to place your brush.

Whenever you bronze, it’s a good idea to highlight a bit as well. Take the highlighter to the upper cheek bone. Sweep from the outer corner of your eye to the temple.

So now that you know how to apply it, how do you choose the right shade? You want to choose a shade that is only a few shades darker than your skin tone. It should be the color you would naturally tan to. I think the prettiest shades have a hint of shimmer in them.

Jouer makes it easy by creating duo bronzers. One side is matte and one side has a sheen, which allows you to customize the effect:


St. Tropez also has a lovely bronzer with a trio of colors…

…and finally Kevyn Aucoin’s new Neo-Bronzer in Sunlight has the perfect combination of matte and sheen in one compact.

If you’re unsure how to select the right shade, we can certainly select one for you and show you how to apply it in store. Even if you’re a porcelain goddess and avoid the sun at all costs, we can find a shade that will make you look like you been vacationing in Cairo. Goodness knows the sun has been an elusive and fickle friend here!


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!