Get the Glow: How to do Bronzer the Right Way

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Bronzer isn't the hardest form of makeup to use, but it's not the easiest, either.

Whether you have fears about tanning, very pale skin, or want to learn how to contour your face, applying bronzer might be your solution. But beware – applying bronzer incorrectly can make your face look orange or dirty.

To learn how to properly put on bronzer (we used Rimmel London Natural Bronzer) follow these steps for easy and perfect bronzer application.

1. Choose a bronzer. Since the purpose of a bronzer is to darken the complexion subtly, the one you choose will depend on your skin tone as well as how dramatic a change you're looking for. Generally, it should only be two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Test a little on the clean skin of your face to make sure it "warms" your skin tone without making it look fake.

  • If you have fair skin, look for a honey-colored bronzer; for a medium complexion, choose a rose-bronze or gold flecked bronzer; dark skin is best enhanced with a tawny or amber bronzer.
  • Choose two separate bronzers for when you're at your palest in the winter, and for your tanned summer skin. This will keep your bronzer uniform year round.

2. Apply your foundation. Bronzer is added as a step after your concealer an foundation have been applied. Put these on in an even coat over the entirety of your face to smooth out your complexion and create a blank canvas for your contouring. Be sure to blend the foundation down your neck slightly for a more natural look.

3. Swirl the brush evenly in the bronzer. It is best to apply your bronzer in light, even coats to build up color rather than adding a single dark layer at once. Therefore, just lightly coat the end of your brush in the powder and tap off the excess onto the lid of the container.

4. Put on your bronzer. Apply bronzer to the areas of the face the sun would naturally hit. Using very light strokes, first apply the bronzer to the top of the forehead, the cheekbones, and down along your jawline. Done correctly, your bronzer application will be in a "3" shape on either side of your face. Highlighter goes on the cheekbone. If you put bronzer directly on the cheekbone, it will not slim your face the way it's supposed to. It will just make your skin look muddy.

5. Check the bronzer in daylight. Make sure your bronzer application is not too heavy and has an even appearance, watching for streaks. If too much bronzer is applied, blend the bronzer down evenly with a cotton pad or apply a little more base powder.