How-To: Bronzer 101!

  1. Don’t use bronzer to shape your face!
    I know I know, it’s all over the net: “how to shape your face with bronzer 101”. Right?
    Wrong!
    Shaper and bronzer are 2 different products for different purposes.
    A bronzer is used to warm your complexion and to simulate days spent in the sun. The sun hits your face on the highest parts of the face, bridge of the nose, apples of the cheeks, forehead, chin, cleavage. So that’s where you will want to place your bronzer.
    A shaper is used to give extra depth to areas that are natually hollow on your face (under cheekbones, jawline, temples, side of nose) and give the illusion of ie a sharper jaw line, higher cheekbones or a narrower nose.Whereas a bronzer usually has an orange or pink base, shapers have a brown/grey base. This makes perfect sense and to test this, just look at the shadow cast by an object. Any object at all in fact, will have a cool brown/grey undertone, never ever orange or pink.
    If you use your bronzer to shape your jawline for instance, you will end up with a muddy/dirty looking jawline instead of those enviable sharp contours you crave.
    In short: the placement of bronzer is the exact opposite of the placement of shaper.

  2. Choose a bronzer that is not too warm/orange or too dark. This is the #2 mistake with bronzers. That and too much shimmer, but I’ll get to that.
  3. A warm tone is what you are looking for, but you definitely do NOT want to look like an orange, an Oompa Loompa or like you’ve gone overboard on the spray tan. A honey tone (whether dark or light, depending on your skin tone) or a pinkish undertone is almost always the more flattering.
  4. Steer clear of shimmery bronzers. PLEASE. You do not want to end up looking like a disco ball. What you want is to emulate a real suntan, like you’ve been on holiday. You want people to comment on how good you look, not on your eehh.. wow bronzer. If you must have something glowy on your face, place a teensy bit of highlight on the tops of your cheekbones, your cupids bow or mixed in with your lipgloss.
    Over 35 and crave shimmer? On your lips ONLY. Please. (well and on your shinbones if you have good legs, maybe) 😉
  5. Choose your texture. If you have oily skin you may want to try gel bronzers for better staying power and blendability. Powder bronzers tend to oxidize on oily skin during the day, making them appear more orange.
    For normal to skin, cream or powder bronzers are a good choice.
  6. Use the right tool for the job. A big fluffy powder brush, preferably of natural hair works best for powders. The fluffier the brush, the lighter the application, which gives you room to build the bronze glow where you want it. I actually prefer powder bronzers applied with a big brush as this gives me room to build and to blend to perfection.
    Cream and gel bronzers can be applied with either your fingers or a sponge.
  7. Do create a flawless canvas first. Even out your skin tone by using concealer and/or foundation/tinted moisturizer in the exact shade of your skin or one tone lighter to create a fresh looking base. Don’t make the mistake of knotching up your foundation a couple of shades, the glow will come from the next steps.
    When using powder bronzer, make sure you use a translucent (loose or pressed) face powder to set the foundation and enable seamless application and blending. Anyone who’s ever ended up with muddy brown streaks on their face will know what I mean.
  8. Pick up your powder bronzer with the fluffy brush in circular motions from the pan and tap the handle on the table while holding it upright. This will “load” the bronzer and distribute it evenly into the brush. Now repeat this process (STOP! do not put the brush on your face just yet!) with your regular pressed face powder and tap again. Specially if you’re a novice at bronzer, this will give you more control over the amount you’re applying. It’s easier to pick up some more and build it, than it is to undo an overload of bronzer.
  9. With the same circular motions, apply bronzer with the brush, NOT all over but only where the sun would naturally hit your face and blend, blend, blend. See #1 if I’ve lost you by now and you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. If you find the brush too big for certain areas like your nose, use a smaller/narrower brush or even a fan brush for these areas to get more control. Remember to load and tap!
  10. Include your cleavage while you apply, but don’t go overboard on the neck. Remember this part of your body is generaly in the shade because it’s under your chin so it will naturally tan lighter than the rest of you.
  11. Having trouble blending? Just pick up some translucent powder, load & tap the brush, and go over the troublesome areas to even them out.
  12. Finishing touch: BLUSHER! You probably didn’t think you needed blusher when using bronzer but I dare you to try it anyway and tell me if it doesn’t make a huge difference. This is the one trick that will give your face that believeable sunkissed look with a PRO touch.
    Use the same load & tap trick with a blush brush, apply your blusher to the apples of your cheeks, a teensy bit on your chin and even a swift sweep across your eyelids at the very end. At this stage, only a minimal amount of blush will be left on the brush so you will not look like you cried your eyes out, trust me.
    A warm shade of coral or pink will look best when used together with bronzer.

So there it is: your very believeable, flawless and gorgeous sunkissed face. Not a discoball or Oompa Loompa in sight!

Hope you enjoyed, leave comments or questions below!

Thanks for reading!

Monique

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4 thoughts on “How-To: Bronzer 101!

  1. Clear blog post!! Also I see a lot of people using shapers as bronzers :s, not good either. And you want stay away form shimmers indeed, specially if you have larges pores and some ‘lines’.

  2. Dank! bronzers met shimmer zijn mijn #1 pet peeve lol.
    Ja een shaper is een donkerder poeder. Goed voorbeeld hiervan is bijvoorbeeld de Yaby poeder foundation in kleur pf045. Lijkt erg donker maar je kunt heel licht aanbrengen en opbouwen en hij heeft precies de goede (koele) ondertoon.

  3. Goed geschreven!
    Ik heb zelf ook een hekel aan bronzers met shimmers – heb een matte, that’s it. Ik snap niet waarom de meeste merken shimmers in de bronzers stoppen.
    Anyway, een shaper is een ietwat donkere foundation of poeder?

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