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Choosing the Right Bronzer for Your Skin Tone and Type


I don’t know what it is about bronzer, but for some reason, many women have a hard time mastering the use of it. One of the worst makeup crimes I often see committed, is when women use bronzer that’s several shades darker than their skin tone, resulting in dingy, muddy looking skin. Once you fully understand the purpose and process of using bronzer, you’ll have no problem achieving a warm, sun-kissed look all year long.


The Purpose of Bronzer

Although bronzer is meant to serve a few purposes, the main purpose is to give the illusion of tanned, bronze skin, without the risk of sun damage. Its other main purpose is for contouring the skin. When applied to certain areas like your cheekbones and jawline, bronzer adds dimension to your face and creates a more sculpted look. Bronzer can also be applied to your nose, chin, and forehead for a slimming effect, or to change slightly the shape of these areas.


Choosing the Right Bronzer

Two key factors must be considered when choosing a bronzer: your skin type and your skin tone. Although selecting bronzer is largely based on preference, certain types of bronzers work better depending on your skin type. For instance, people with oily or acne-prone skin should choose liquids, gels, or powders; while people with dry skin often benefit from cream-to-powder or cream formulas. If you have normal or combination skin, pressed powders are ideal for you. Since most bronzers are powder/pressed powder, people with dry or oily skin may need to experiment a little if you prefer those. Besides the formulation of your bronzer, you should also consider the finish. Many beauty experts suggest using shimmery bronzers to accentuate, and matte bronzers to contour. Whether you choose shimmery or matte, nearly all women tend to look more natural and radiant with a sheer finish.

Once you know what type of bronzer you prefer, it’s time to choose the right shade. Regardless of your complexion, a great rule of thumb is to select a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your normal skin tone. Choosing a shade that’s too light will make you look pale and pasty, while choosing a shade that’s too dark can make you look “dirty” and unnatural. If you have fair skin or yellow undertones, choose a warm tan, peach or rose-colored bronzer. If you have an olive or medium skin tone, or warm undertones, choose a golden-brown, tawny or copper bronzer. Women with darker skin tones should try bronzers with chocolate, amber or copper hues.


Applying Bronzer

Ideally, bronzer should be applied to any area of the face that the sun hits, and can also be applied to your neck. As with other makeup application, less is more. Applying a little bronzer and blending it thoroughly assures you’ll end up with a more natural look. Remember to build your colors gradually for greater definition instead of just slapping them on your face. You should also consider applying your bronzer with a separate brush. Many people use the same brush for applying bronzer and blush, which can result in uneven application. For best results when applying powder and cream bronzers, use a large or medium-sized fluffy brush that’s slightly firm. A flat or angled brush, a pointed makeup sponge, or even your finger, is ideal for applying cream, gel, and liquid bronzers. No matter which tool you use, make sure it’s clean. Finally, in case you’re wondering, bronzer should be applied after your foundation and concealer, and before your finishing powder and blush.


What are some of your favorite Bronzers? Share them below!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing