How To Apply Bronzer

Master the subtle art of bronzer application and grab the shine wherever you go.

Reviewed by Favour Akinjiyan, Makeup Artist Favour Akinjiyan Favour AkinjiyanMakeup Artist facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Esha Saxena MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Comparative Literature) Vaishali Sinha MA (Comparative Literature) Experience: 5 years
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Learning how to apply bronzer can help you elevate your facial structure and skin tone. It is probably the simplest approach to liven up your complexion. No, it is not meant for only certain skin tones. When used properly and with the right tools, this amazing product can give you a gorgeous glow all year. However, if you are a newbie, you probably have a million questions regarding its application, formulation, and the countless bronzers available on the market. Do you want to learn more? Keep reading to learn how to apply bronzer for the perfect tan and more!

protip_icon Keep In Mind
  • Remember “Number 3”: Remember “Number 3” Sweep your brush along first, the hairline, onto second, the apple of your cheeks, and third, down to your jawline.
  • Neck And Chest: Remember “Number 3” If you are sporting a tube top, apply the bronzer on your neck and chest for a natural finish.
  • Layering And Light Hand: Remember “Number 3” Start by applying a little product with a light hand and then build it up according to your makeup.
  • Own Different Shades: Remember “Number 3” Your skin tone may change with sun exposure or in different seasons, necessitating a different shade of bronzer accordingly. You should also use a lighter shade of bronzer for your nose.

Why Use A Bronzer Anyway?

To all the gals who are wondering what’s special about the art of bronzing, let me tell you – it’s a massive game changer. While contouring is about enhancing your facial features, bronzing is all about adding a little warmth and glow to your face. It’s about making your skin look healthier. Get it? Now it’s time to learn how to apply bronzer.

protip_icon Quick Tip

A bronzer is versatile. You can occasionally use it as a substitute contour, to make fake freckles, or a nude lip shade.


How To Apply Bronzer The Right Way

Things you need to apply bronzer
Image: Shutterstock

There are a whole bunch of factors that can help you nail the bronzing technique. No matter what your face shape, here’s a basic rule you should follow when applying bronzer – focus on the areas of your face where the sun would naturally touch, like your cheekbones, forehead, and the bridge of your nose, and those are the areas that will benefit most from a bronze tint.

It’s a good idea to pick a bronzer that is not more than one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Using a bronzer that is more than two shades darker than your skin tone or too sparkly will make it look unnatural.

Let’s begin with our tutorial on how to use bronzer now, shall we?

What You Need
  1. Foundation
  2. Concealer
  3. Powder
  4. Makeup brushes
  5. Bronzer
  6. Highlighter
  7. Blush

How To Apply Bronzer– Step-By-Step Tutorial With Pictures

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

  • Start off with a clean canvas by washing your face with a mild cleanser.
  • Follow up with a toner and a lightweight moisturizer.
  • Once the moisturizer gets absorbed into your skin, apply your favorite face primer.

Step 2: Do Your Base Makeup

Do your base makeup before applying bronzer
Image: YouTube @House of Fraser
  • Apply foundation using a brush or a damp beauty sponge.
  • Go in with some concealer if you need more coverage and if you want to cover any dark spots or blemishes.
  • Lightly brush a tiny bit of powder on your face (using a powder-based color product on your face prevents the bronzer from sticking to your skin and becoming patchy).

Pro Tip: If you are a beginner, it’s best to stick with a powder-based bronzer as it is easier to blend and work with. A matte finish bronzer or one with minimal glitter is ideal for a beautiful daytime look.

Step 3: Apply Bronzer

Apply bronzer to the high points of your face
Image: YouTube @House of Fraser
  • Use a bronzer brush to apply the product to the high points of your face (like your cheekbones, hairline, and temples).
  • Sweep the brush below your cheekbones and temple area in a C-shaped motion.
  • Add a little bit of contrast to the jawline for a more natural effect.

Pro Tip: If you want to apply bronzer on the bridge of your nose, do it extremely lightly as you don’t want the color to look too harsh.

Step 4: Add Some Highlighter And Blush

Add highlighter and blush after applying bronzer
Image: YouTube @House of Fraser
  • Highlighting your face will create dimension – but you don’t want to overdo it. Highlight only the top of your cheekbones with a product that has less shimmer to it.
  • For a finishing touch, apply some blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend the color in with the bronzer.

Here’s the final look!

Final look after applying bronzer
Image: YouTube @House of Fraser

This step-by-step guide explains where to put bronze or where to apply bronzerr to accentuate your features for a sun-kissed glow, and how to use bronzer in the right way to achieve a flawless look. Now that you have a fair picture of how to apply bronzer the right way, here are some tips and tricks that will come in handy.

Bronzer Tips And Tricks For The Best Sun-Kissed Effect

  • “Swirl, tap and apply!” That should be your motto for powder-based bronzer. Tapping the product prevents the excess product from getting on your face.
  • If you are using a cream or liquid formula, make sure you take it slow by applying the product in small amounts and gradually building it up.
  • Skip the shimmery formulas because they tend to look anything but natural when you start to sweat (no matter what your skin type).
  • Using the right brush will make a world of a difference. Choose a brush that is fluffy or an angled bronzer brush.
  • Do NOT, under any circumstances, apply bronzer all over your face. It will leave your face looking muddy and dirty.

Nina, a beauty and makeup vlogger, demonstrates the proper technique for applying bronzer. Unlike some people who like to use bronzer all over the face, she says, “I like to use my bronzer to help also sculpt the face a little bit because I feel like the color is a lot more flattering than using contour shades (i).”

  • When it comes to picking the right bronzer shade, it’s good to know what your skin’s undertone is. You can choose one with a more red-brown tone to it, or one with a more golden tone to it. However, never pick a bronzer that has an orange-y tinge as it looks unnatural on almost every skin tone.
  • If your skin is dry, using a liquid bronzer is a terrible idea as it will pick up on any dry patches or flakiness. It also gets difficult to blend the product out. Instead, exfoliate your skin before applying makeup, follow up with a hydrating moisturizer, and apply bronzer right away. Yes! Apply your bronzer before your foundation or tinted moisturizer. This works like a charm!
protip_icon Quick Tip

The ideal shade of bronzer for you is usually two shades darker than your natural shade. Additionally, if you have warm undertones, go for golden hues – and go for peachy hues for cool undertones.

But all these tips and tricks are useless if you fail to pick the right shade of bronzer for your skin. Let us find out how to do that.

How To Choose The Correct Bronzer Shade

A bronzer should look like a transition shade that seamlessly blends the highlights and contours of the face.

  • Invest in a bronzer two shades darker than your original skin tone. Too dark a bronzer would make your makeup look muddy, and a shade lighter than your original skin tone will give your makeup an ashy tone and highlight the imperfections.
  • If you have a fair skin tone, opt for a neutral-toned bronzer and avoid one with gray or orange tones.
  • People with a medium skin tone should go for bronzers with warm undertones.
  • For a dark skin tone, use a bronzer with a warm red undertone to add color to your face and get a sun-kissed radiance.

Infographic: 4 Steps To Apply A Bronzer Like A Pro

Many of us desire to have a sun-kissed golden glow that makes us look beach-tanned. The go-to makeup product for achieving this is a bronzer. It assists in sculpting the face, enhancing your cheekbones, and defining facial features. However, mastering the right technique of applying bronzer is key. Check out the infographic below for four simple steps to follow when applying a bronzer.

4 steps to apply a bronzer like a pro (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

A bronzer is a game-changer for your makeup look and a must-have for your makeup collection. The key to achieving the best look using a bronzer is picking the right shade and using the appropriate tools to apply the product. Apart from that, follow our tips mentioned above and there will be nothing that can take the shine away from you. So, without any further ado, learn how to apply bronzer from our article and get ready to look beyond perfect. However, do not forget to keep yourself hydrated for that natural glow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bronzer without foundation?

Yes. If you are happy with your skin condition and tone, you can skip the foundation. However, make sure to hydrate your skin with a moisturizer before going in with a bronzer.

Can I use bronzer as a blush?

No. Bronzer and blush serve two different purposes. However, combining the two is a great idea. Your blush adds a hint of natural flush to your cheeks, while your bronzer gives you a sun-kissed glow.

Do I apply bronzer before or after foundation?

The general rule is – foundation first, followed by bronzer, blush, and highlight.

What color bronzer is right for me?

If your skin has warm undertones, a golden brown shade will work like magic. For skin with cool or neutral undertones, use a bronzer that is not more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone. For yellow undertones, pick a warm peachy shade with a soft brown undertone.

Can you wear bronzer without foundation?

Yes, you can wear bronzer without foundation. However, dusting your face with a powder beforehand will act as a base for the bronzer and ensure a smoother finish.

Can you use bronzer as a contour?

You may use bronzer as a contour. However, you won’t get the desired sculpted effect. Bronzers can only add warmth to your face.

Is bronzer good for mature skin?

Yes, a liquid bronzer two shades darker than your skin tone will complement mature skin. Liquid formulas do not settle in the creases and accentuate the folds.

Key Takeaways

    • A bronzer not more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone is likely to give you a naturally contoured look.
    • Avoid shimmery bronzers. Instead, opt for powder or cream-based ones.
    • While applying a bronzer, focus on the high points on your face. Follow it up with a highlighter for better dimensions.


Learn how to apply your bronzer in two different ways in the video below! Get the perfect glow with this easy-to-follow makeup tutorial.

Personal Experience: Source

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Favour Akinjiyan

Favour AkinjiyanMakeup Artist

Favour is a certified makeup artist with 5 years of experience and a lover of all things science and beauty. She is also the founder of Favoured Beauty, a brand committed to creating an inclusive community in the beauty space and developing science-backed solutions for hyperpigmentation. Favor is currently in the last year of her PhD at Washington University in...read full bio

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