Think of bronzer like perfume: it’s easy to apply too much and impossible to tone it down without a good shower. The best tool for applying bronzer is a large, soft and fluffy brush
. A brush with compact bristles will apply too much product and will leave you looking more dirty than dazzling.
A common mistake is dabbing the centre of the brush in your bronzer. This will result in too much product in one area and give you an unnatural finish. You should actually use the sides of the brush to dust on your bronzer, so rather gently roll your brush in your product. Tap the brush to get rid of any excess product then use a light, swiping motion to dust it on. Blending is crucial; you don’t want that dreaded tell-tale line of bronzer going across your cheek.
How to use bronzer for a warm, sun kissed glow
A lot of tutorials simply say to apply a bronzer ‘wherever the sun would naturally hit your face’, but that could be pretty much everywhere. The key is to focus on your temples, your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose. You only need the lightest of touches - you just want to subtly warm and brighten up your face to give you a healthy-looking glow.
The best technique is to lightly dust on the product in a figure 3 along each side of your face. Start at the temples, move down the side of your face to under the cheekbones, and then downwards from your ear about halfway across your jawline towards your chin. Finish off with a light sweep along the bridge of your nose and on your chin.
Your bronzer can look totally perfect in your room but muddy and orange in the light of day. Apply it in daylight if possible, and have a good look at yourself in a mirror (or your selfie camera) before you leave the house. Inspect your jawline and cheeks in particular for any unblended areas.
Finishing off with a light shimmery dusting on your décolletage, collar bones and shoulders looks amazing with little strappy summer tops or dresses. And if you’re wearing your hair short or up, bronzer can work well along the back of your neck too.
How to use your bronzer to contour
It’s easy to get bronzing and contouring confused but think of it this way: bronzing involves making your face look sun-kissed and healthy while contouring carves and sculpts your face by creating shadows.
use your bronzer to contour lightly; however, if you’re wanting a serious carved out look then you need to use a matte product specifically for contouring first, and apply your actual bronzer afterwards. A shimmery bronzer won’t work for a super contoured look as it adds light instead of doing what contouring is supposed to do (which is to add shadow).
To use bronzer to not only add warmth to your face but subtly contour as well, start at your hairline. Swirl your brush in small circles all along your upper forehead, from temple to temple. Next carve out your cheeks. Swipe a line of bronzer under your cheekbones from the apple of your cheeks towards your ear. Now buff out this line with small circular brush strokes instead of a wiping motion.
Now swirl your bronzing brush from the start of your jaw to your chin, all along your jawline. Make sure to blend down your neck too to keep it looking natural. Lastly, swipe a touch of bronzer down either side of your nose. This will add definition to your nose and warmth to the centre of your face.
Our product picks
for multipurpose contouring and highlighting palettes which also include bronzing shades: -
Maybelline Master Bronze Color and Highlighting Kit
Catrice Luminice Highlight & Bronze Glow Palette in Feel Gold
Palladio I'm Glowing Highlighting Palette
Physicians Formula Glo Bronze Booster Strobe And Contour Pallette Matt
Michelle Ori Compact Bronzer
in Radiance and Sunkissed