GET GLOWING: How To Do Believable Bronzer


About Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor is one of Australia’s leading freelance beauty, fashion and lifestyle writers. She has spent the last decade working in women’s lifestyle and fashion publishing, contributing to some of the top magazines and websites both locally and overseas.

Get Glowing

Bronzer is a beauty product of contradictions. While most of us would name it in our “Can’t Live Without” list, especially during summer, this buy can potentially do more harm than good if applied incorrectly. Think a muddy-looking pallor, orange doughnuts for cheeks, or accentuated fine lines and wrinkles. Done right, however, bronzer can lift your look and add healthy colour to your complexion.

Follow these simple steps to avoid a faux glow faux pas:

Choose the correct formula

This is key for achieving a believable result. If you normally use a creamy foundation or tinted moisturiser, you’ll need a liquid or cream-based bronzer to complement your look.

If, however, you always top your base with a dusting of translucent powder, similarly your chosen bronzer should take the form of a powder form.  This golden rule – cream on cream, powder on powder – will banish telltale lines and ensure blending is a breeze.

Be smart about texture

Remember that different finishes create different results. So, if you want to create a chiseled bone structure or add a sunkissed wash of colour to your complexion, a matt formula will work best.

If, however, you want to add a lit-from-within glow, you’ll need a bronzer with a shimmery finish for a radiance boost. A word of warning on high-shine textures, though: while super-flattering for skin, they do act like a highlighter pen. So just be sure to keep them away from any lines, crows feet or blemishes. Cheekbones and temples make the ideal position.

Blend, blend, blend

Taking the time to apply your bronzer correctly will ensure professional-looking results every time. But take note: never rely on the little applicators that can be found in some products. If you’re using a powder bronzer, invest in a large, fluffy brush to create a seamless finish. Swirl it over the compact, then tap gently on the back of your hand to dislodge any clumps of colour before using a light, circular motion to apply to your skin. Start at the apples of your cheeks and work upwards towards your temples, blending into your hairline for a traceless finish.

Using a liquid or cream? Apply a little to the back of your hand, then use a clean foundation brush to work the bronzer into your skin to create an airbrushed look. Alternatively, blend a touch of the product between your fingers and dab onto your cheeks, allowing the warmth of your fingers to help the colour melt into your complexion.

A note about blush…

While it may sound counterintuitive to use two cheek colour products at once, a bronzer’s best friend is, in fact, blush. After you’ve applied your chosen glow-getter, grab a blush in a rosy tone (just remember the golden rule above – cream on cream, powder on powder – it’s essential here, too). By adding just a dash of pink to the apples of your cheeks as a finishing touch, the results look so much more natural. Muddy pallor? Not any more!

Emily x