The number one guideline when it comes to choosing your best bronzer is to stay close to your skin tone. It can be hard not to get too ambitious when it comes to getting that pretty summer faux-glow, but a huge contrast between the color of your skin and the areas where you’ve applied bronzer won’t look natural at all.
Keep your undertones in mind, too. If you’ve got pink undertones, look for rosy bronzers or even look to blushes to find your perfect reddish-brown shade. If your undertones are yellow, select a golden bronzer.
If you’re new to bronzer, choose a matte one or one with minimal shimmer for the most natural effect. If your skin is very dry, a cream product may work best, but give yourself plenty of time to practice as creams can be more difficult to blend (you may want to use a makeup sponge instead of a brush). Most people can use powder bronzers regardless of skin type, with little to no practice.
To apply, imagine that there’s a number 3 on one side of your face and a cursive, capital E on the other side (so effectively, a backwards 3). That means you’ll apply the bronzer with a fluffy brushâ€”not a densely packed kabuki brush, but a large powder or blush brush–to your temples and outer upper portion of your forehead, cheekbones, and jaw (optional, but it can have a slimming effect).
Dust more lightly across the bridge of your nose and the tip of your chin to cover all the spots the sun would naturally bronze. Start with very little product in natural light and work your way up. It’s much easier to add more bronzer than to take it off. Once you’re done, add a peach or pink to your cheeks to finish the sun-kissed look.
Photo credit: sarahcstanley