The ultimate summer accessory, a little bit of bronzer is all it takes to give your skin a healthy glow. When applied correctly, it warms up your complexion and gives the illusion that you’ve spent a holiday on the beach. But what exactly is the “correct” way to apply it? We have some expert tips to help you get your bronze on.
Select your shade
Bronzer suits every skin colour EXCEPT for porcelain and alabaster skins – they end up looking dirty because the brown and bronze pigments don’t agree with the pink and peachy tones in porcelain skins. But if you’re not prepared to give up on your sun-kissed glow altogether, the key is to make sure that the undertones are more golden, not orange. Gold will soften the skin and give fresh colour instantly. If you’re very fair, rather wear a pearly highlighter to accentuate your features.
Bronzer looks best when the colour is close to your natural skin tone, so opt for one that is only one or two shades darker than your complexion. Light skins should wear beige bronzers while medium skin tones pull of brown-pink bronzers well. Deeper skin tones can wear brown bronzers containing either red, orange or a blue tone.
Our picks for fair skin tone: essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette (R76,95), The Body Shop Baked-To-Last Bronzer in Warm Glow (R270), M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder – which is technically not a bronzer, but can be used as one on fair skin, just choose the shade that works best for you (R420), Mii Cosmetics Celestial Skin Shimmer (R580).
Our picks for medium to olive skin tone: Catrice Sun Glow Matt Bronzing Powder in 030 (R79,95), NYX Matte Bronzer in Medium (R154,95), Clarins Bronzing Duo SPF 15 Mineral Powder Compact in 02 Medium (R425), Elizabeth Arden Mineral Bronzing Powder in Medium (R425).
Our picks for brown to dark brown skin tone: Avon Glow Bronzing Pearls in Deepest Bronze (R99,90), Avroy Shlain Coppélia Colour Bronzing Pearls in Shimmer Gold (R119), 3INA The Bronzer Powder 103 (R269,95), theBalm Bahama Mama Bronzing Powder (R299,95).
Choose your formulation
Bronzer is available in powder, liquid, cream and gel formulas. The powder version is the most popular, but it’s best to play around until you find the formulation you enjoy the most. Here’s a general guide by skin type:
Normal, oily, or combination skin – powder bronzers
Normal to dry skin – cream or fluid bronzers
Very oily or breakout-prone skin – powders, gels, or liquid bronzers. Stay away from the creamy options and overly sparkly options. A shiny finish just looks even oilier.
Apply it properly
If you’re new to applying make-up or just prefer quick and easy products, then a powder formulation is for you. Use a large flat brush to apply powder bronzer. Lightly dust it across the top of the product and gently sweep along the apples of your cheeks, the length of your nose, the point of your chin and the length of your neck. If you’re wearing a revealing top, brush some bronzer onto your shoulders and collarbone area for extra shimmer.
Skilled at applying make-up? Then why not try a gel bronzer? It is usually sheer and buildable but can be a little bit tricky to blend. Use your fingers for best results, and start by blending the gel onto the apples of your cheeks. Next, move on to your nose and chin. You may find you need to apply a little bit around your ear, lips and forehead areas to even out the colour. Remember to blend well!
If your end result looks like you got a bit carried away in the bronzing moment, take a small amount of foundation and a foundation brush and blend into the skin to tone down the colour a bit. This is a great way to fix streaks and give yourself a more natural look.
Now that your bronzer’s sorted, finish off your look with some lip gloss and a few coats of your favourite mascara. That beach babe glow will be yours in no time!