How to Apply Bronzer So It Looks Like a Real Tan

February 2, 2009 by Kristie Leong MD  
Published in Skin

Tired of looking pale? Bronzer cosmetics can give you a healthy glow even in the middle of winter. Here’s how to apply bronzer so that it looks natural.

Nothing is more beautiful, or unhealthy, than a natural tan. Although a dark tan may be gratifying for the few weeks that it lasts, there’s a good chance you’ll pay for it later in the form of skin wrinkles, saggy skin, and, even worse, skin cancer. If you want the glow of the sun without the dangers, you can get it by using bronzer cosmetics. Even in the dead of winter, brushing a hint of bronzer onto the face can liven up your complexion and give you the glow of health and youth. Unfortunately, getting a bronzer to look natural can be a challenge for some people. Here are some tips on how to apply bronzer so it looks realistic.

Choose the Right Shade

This is where many people make a mistake. If you choose a shade that’s too dark, bronzer can be overpowering and make you look harsh, or even worse, like you have a dirty face. Choose a bronzer shade that’s one to two shades shade darker than your natural skin color if it’s the middle of winter. In the summer when your skin has a little sun exposure, you can go darker. Visit a cosmetic counter and try several shades on the back of your hand to see how well they complement your complexion before making your final choice. If possible, look at your hand under a natural light, not the lights at the cosmetic counter to get a more realistic idea of how the shade works with your skin.

Use the Right Tools

The best tool for applying bronzer is a large powder brush with soft bristles. This will allow you to achieve a more natural look than a smaller, more compact brush. Make sure you’re in front of a good mirror that’s adjacent to natural sunlight. You don’t want to be surprised when you step outside and discover you look overdone.

Apply Your Foundation and Powder First

Before applying bronzer, put on a very light layer of your usual foundation. Not applying foundation too heavy is the key. Next, use a large powder brush to apply a light layer of powder to even out skin texture and provide a good canvas for the bronzer. Mineral powder works well for this purpose. Check in the mirror to make sure everything is blended well and looks natural.

Apply the Bronzer

Using your large powder brush, tap on a small amount of bronzer and apply it to areas that normally receive the sun. Sweep bronzer lightly on your cheekbones, jawline, forehead, and along the sides of your nose. You’ll want to have some contrast, so avoid applying bronzer under your eyes. Use light, sweeping motions to avoid applying too much. You may want to apply a light layer to your neck to avoid a line of demarcation with your face.

Correct any Problems.

If your bronzer doesn’t appear to be blended well enough, use a clean powder brush to brush the bronzed areas to soften the lines. You can also lightly apply mineral powder to soften the look.

You’re ready to go! And you did it without damaging your skin.

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One Response to “How to Apply Bronzer So It Looks Like a Real Tan”
  1. rajeev bhargava Says:

    very informative and enjoyable to read. i liked it alot.


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