Bronzer can be one of the trickiest products to shop for: Shimmer or no shimmer? Powder or cream? Too dark or just the right shade? Healthspoke with Laramie, makeup artist and founder of Book Your Look, for her tips on finding theperfect bronzer for your skin type and tone. Read on to learn how toget your skin glowy and gorgeous for summer, sans sun damage.
Look for a bronzer thats one to two shades darker than your natural skin color. Then determine your skins undertone and look for the same tone in a bronzer. Heres how: Your perfect bronzer tone is the color your skin turns when [youve spent a long day in the sun], Laramie said. If your skin turns pinky-red post-tan, your go-to is a warm bronzer with a slight peachy (but not too orange) undertone. Are you more yellow-toned after a day at the beach? Stick to golden browns. If you dont sunburn or tan at all, most neutral browns will work.
If you have oily skin: A gel is your best bet because they have greater staying power than powders. A lot of times if Im on set and its going to be a long day, Ill use a gel bronzer to warm up the skin and a powder bronzer to touch up later in the day, Laramie noted. TryMake Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion ($36, sephora.com), a new gel-to-powder bronzer.
If you have dry skin: Opt for a cream or balm formulation for a dewiness thats normally tricky for this skin typeto achieve, likeRMSBeauty Buriti Bronzer ($28, rmsbeauty.com).
If you have combination skin: A powder formulation, like this Giorgio Armani Sun Fabric Sheer Bronzer ($54, sephora.com), is the way to go.
To achieve a believable tan, choose a bronzer that has a touch of shimmer in it. Shimmer is different from sparkle, Laramie notes. You dont necessarily want a sparkly bronzer, because youll be able to see the individual flecks on your face when youre out in the sun. Shimmer is more finely ground sparkle; thats whats going to give you a warm glow that looks healthy and sun-kissed.
For powdersSwirl a large fluffy brush into the bronzer, tap off excess, and sweep over just these key areas in big circles: your forehead, tip of the nose, highest point of the cheeks, and chin. Laramie also recommendssweeping a little bit along the jawline and around your ears.
For cream, gel, or liquids Pressa synthetic, flat-top kabuki brushinto bronzer. Gently brush off excess onto the back of the hand. In small circles, start in the center of the area you want to apply toas with powders, youre aiming for the forehead, tip of the nose, tops of the cheeks, and chinand buff out. Optional step: Use a damp beauty sponge to further blend out. While you can never over-blend, less is definitely more when it comes to the amountof bronzer you first pick up to apply.Its easier to add on thin layers thanattemptingto evenly blend out one thick, goopy layer.
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Bronzing and contouring are often used interchangeably, but contouring is very different from bronzing. For contouring, you need a matte (not shimmery) brown formula with cool, grey undertones since you want to create a true shadow and give your cheekbones a lift, not add an overall glow and highlight. If youre a beginner (or just not looking for adding that much drama to your routine, start out with this super-easy starter technique you can do with bronzer.