Makeup DON’T: Overdoing the Bronzer

{Brooke Shields image from}

Like a good tinted moisturizer or foundation, bronzer is a daily staple. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen bronzer go horribly wrong. Often times it’s a result of selecting the wrong shade for your skin tone, or the problem lies in the application. The whole point of bronzer is to warm up the skin, and add a touch of color to perk up your complexion. It’s also a great way to combat looking sallow in pictures. Every skin tone can benefit from a bronzer and there is a bronzer for everyone. For a natural sun-kissed look, reach for a matte bronzer or one with a slight shimmer. When the sun gives you a gorgeous glow it does not leave you looking glittery {unless you’re a vampire in Twilight} so skip any formulas containing glitter.

{Heidi Klum image from}

When applying bronzer its important first to absorb any oil or shine. If you don’t prep with a powder beforehand, the bronzer will go to these oily areas, oxidize and darken, and leave you looking streaky and striped. Using a big fluffy brush, apply bronzer to the bony prominences of the face, where the sun would hit you naturally. Do a “W” across your nose and cheeks, blending up to the temples and into your hairline, and do a “3” on the sides of your face from your forehead down to your cheekbone and chin. If your décolletage is exposed, warm up your neck and chest to blend together as well. You’re not trying to fake a tan, you’re going for warmth. If you desire a more tanned appearance reach for self tanner, not bronzer. Bronzer can be worn year round, and paired with a peachy or pink blush for the most natural effect. Remember to use a light hand when applying bronzer, you can always go back and add more if needed. If you feel that you’ve overdone it with the bronzer, try using a clean fluffy powder brush to blend and buff it away. If that doesn’t work reach for a cosmetic sponge and this will absorb excess product.

What’s your favorite bronzer?

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8 Responses to Makeup DON’T: Overdoing the Bronzer

  1. I love bronzer and I use it almost everyday :) My favorite one is the Max Factor Bronzing Powder. I have tried other ones but I always get back to this one. I’ve heard from you and other people that the Nars Casino are nice too, so maybe I’ll try this when mine are finished. Thanks for sharing this tips!

  2. Danielle says:

    I’m afraid of bronzer. I’ve been shown how to apply it by folks at Sephora, but whenever I do it, I look like an uneven tangerine. I’m going to try again and follow your step by step plan EXACTLY. Wish me luck. xo

  3. Kate says:

    I love bronzer, but I feel like I always look like Snooki in it (not in a good way) — how do fair skinned ladies wear bronzer and look sun-kissed and beautiful, rather than like umpa-lumpas? Is it just a question of shade? Are there certain brands you recommend for the fairest of us all? ;)

    xo kate

  4. Breanna says:

    @Kate It’s definitely a matter of shades and the brush you’re using. I use NARS Laguna {my Holy Grail bronzer} on all my clients, from fair to tan. If they’re especially fair skinned I use a larger fluffy brush, this helps diffuse the color making it even more natural looking. A powder brush like M.A.C.’s 134 or 150 works perfectly. NARS Laguna is a beautiful shade, and if you think you’re fair, it’s been used on Marcia Cross and Cynthia Nixon, and they’re both VERY fair. Hope this helps you!

  5. Breanna says:

    @Danielle I know you love Snooki but come on! haha why do you look tangerine? What’s the bronzer?

  6. Breanna says:

    @Marta I’ve never tried that bronzer, I’ll have to check it out, thank you! NARS Casino is great, but I’m too fair for that shade so I use Laguna. If you’re MAC NW35 or above you can wear Casino, I keep it in my kit for my clients. NARS bronzers are great for natural contouring as well. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Danielle says:

    Haha. I know. Its ridiculous. I look ridiculous. I honestly don’t even own one right now. I don’t even know where to start. I’m olive-y and dark so you’d think it wouldn’t be hard, but I’ve never found one that works. Maybe I should investigate Nars this weekend?

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