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 • Makeup  • Makeup Tutorials  • How to Apply Your Bronzer Like a Pro for a Dewy, Golden Look Year-Round

How to Apply Your Bronzer Like a Pro for a Dewy, Golden Look Year-Round

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Main image – Live That Glow

What is it about applying a little warmth to your skin that makes you feel so much better?

Is it that bronzer makes you look like you’ve been basking in the sunshine? Is it because bronzer helps you to create an illusion of a slimmer and more contoured face? Or is it because a tan makes your skin look more even and healthier overall?

I’ll be honest, for me it’s all of the above. Which is why you’ll never see my skin without a generous helping of my trusty bronzer (Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream, shade 390 – you?). It just pulls my makeup together and makes things like the colour of my eyeshadow or my lipstick, pop!

There are a few different formulas of bronzer to choose from though – a powder is the most common and you can also get a bronzing cream, gel or liquid (although you might agree that liquids are notoriously hard to achieve a natural finish with).

But just in case you need a reminder of how to get the best out of yours and where to apply it, here is our simple guide. With expert tips from myself and founder of Kohl Kreatives, Trishna Daswaney, you’ll be a bronzed goddess in no time.

 


How to apply powder bronzer to your cheekbones

The danger of using a bronzing powder here is ending up with a ‘muddy’ finish, so you need to get your shade just right. Typically, you should go for one that’s two shades darker than your natural skin tone. 

That way, your cheeks won’t look unnaturally dark, they will just get a little bit of extra warmth. Everyone has a different skin undertone but try to always aim towards a warmer bronze, rather than a harsh, muddy, chocolatey one. 

 

Girl applying bronzer to cheekbones

Image – Live That Glow

 

Daswaney agrees. “In order to emphasise cheekbones, I always opt for a warmer bronzer, that makes for an effortless sun-kissed flush,” she says. “I will always opt for the tops of the cheekbones to be warmer – the warmer toned you go, the less muddy it’ll appear.”

To find your cheekbones, suck your cheeks in as if you’re doing a fish impression with your lips (no, seriously). You’ll see a hollow area on your cheek and just above it, you should be able to make out the shape of your cheekbone, going diagonally up towards your hairline and ear.

So, as Daswaney advises, apply a dusting of a warm-toned bronzing powder along the top section of your cheekbone to accentuate them and to bring out the contours of your face.

 


How to apply powder bronzer to your jawline

Applying bronzer to your jawline helps to create the illusion of a more chiselled face. The application goal here is to make it more of a dusting than a harsh line which is why powder is your better option.

“I usually take the biggest brush we have in our Flex Collection and I put a liberal dusting of this across my jawline and blend down my neck.”

 

Girl showing how to apply bronzer to jawline

Image – Live That Glow

 


How to apply powder bronzer to your neck

“Jawline and neck are all about the chisel, the tone of this bronzer is super important,” says Daswaney

Your neck is typically lighter in tone than the skin on your face. However you should still use the same shade of bronzing powder for your neck as you do on your face so that neither one makes the other look unnatural.

Using the same bronzing brush as you do on your face, apply a light dusting of bronzing powder in vertical strokes down your neck, taking the excess down to your decolletage to create a natural blend. Don’t use too much or your neck might look too brown next to your face, where you have likely only applied it in certain areas and not all over.

 


How to apply gel or cream bronzer to your cheekbones

The same placement rules apply here as they do with a powder (remember to suck in your cheeks to find your cheekbones!). However, with a gel or cream you have to be more careful with your quantity of bronzer. 

“Gel and cream bronzer are formulas I’m always very light-handed with,” Daswaney says. “We all have peach fuzz on our faces so less is more with this kind of product.”

Also, make sure your edges are properly blended. “The key with any cream or gel product is blending until you can blend no more,” says Daswaney

 

Girl wearing bronzer

Image – Live That Glow

 

To apply a bronzing gel on your cheekbones, you may find it easier to use your finger. Lightly follow the shape of each cheekbone with your ring finger. Then blend, blend blend!

With a cream, it’s easier to use a brush (I like a Kabuki brush as its short handle makes for better precision). Swish it around your cream bronzer gently – you don’t want to press too hard as this will get too much product on your brush. 

Then apply it in circular motions onto your cheekbones, going up to your hairline, and use a clean brush to lightly blend and blur the edges.

If you’re still struggling to get your shape symmetrical, Kohl Kreatives does Quickie Stickies Contouring Collection which are bronzing stencils. “It’s a fool proof method, works with both powder and cream products, and doesn’t disturb any layers of makeup you may have underneath,” explains Daswaney

 


How to apply gel or cream bronzer to your forehead

It’s best to use a brush for both gel and cream bronzer when applying it on your forehead. Place it where the sun would naturally hit which is usually at the top (or bridge) of your forehead.

Apply a little in a semi-circle, just underneath your hair line to give your forehead a two-dimensional finish. Rather than applying it too low (or all over), which can just look like you’re wearing the wrong shade of foundation. And don’t forget to blend so that the contrast between the bronzed bridge and the rest of your forehead isn’t too patchy.

 

Girl showing how to apply bronzer to her forehead

Image – Live That Glow

 


The takeaway

The rule of thumb for a natural bronzed finish is to choose a bronzer that is around two shades darker than your natural skin tone – no lighter, no darker. Get to know where your cheekbones are and where the sun would naturally hit your forehead and practise, practise, practise creating a natural bronzed look using the tips above.

And remember, the key to a natural bronzed finish is to properly blend the edges and to not go too heavy on the quantity of the product you’re using. 

 

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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University
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