Bronzer 101 | How To Apply Bronzer (and Blush + Contour)

by Molly Gardner
how to apply bronzer

Bronzer can instantly give your skin a healthy, rested, just-got-back from a beach vacation look.  This application technique has given me the most natural results.  

In this post, I’ll go over the order in which (sounds so formal) I apply bronzer, contour, highlight, and blush. 

I use the same technique to apply liquid or powder bronzer.  

If you are looking for specific bronzer and shade recommendations, all my favorites are listed in {this post.}  I recommend choosing a bronzer shade only 1-2 shades deeper than your skin tone for the most flattering results. 

 

 

Brushes

I prefer a fluffy brush with a pointed tip.  These brushes work best for me because they allow me to place the powder precisely where I want it, but are fluffy enough to blend and diffuse the color, so that it looks natural and sheer.

My favorite bronzer brushes are:

1 | It Cosmetics Wand Brush.  The synthetic bristles pick up the perfect amount of powder and are incredibly soft.  This set is an insane deal, $20 for a bronzer and highlight brush!  I got this brush last month and have not stopped using it since.  It does all the “work” of applying and blending products for me.

2 | Moda Blush Brush – use code “GGG” (all capital letters) for a discount at checkout.  Even though this is labeled as a blush brush, it is the same size as my bronzer brushes and I use it for both blush and bronzer.  This brush line is super affordable, but with very high-end quality!  I have three of these brushes from various sets and keep one in my pro kit, one at home, and one in my travel bag!

Shop my Favorite Bronzer Brushes |

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Order of Application

Creams and liquids are always applied before a powder.  

Powder products are applied only once all your creams and liquids are on.  This will prevent your cream or liquid from skipping over areas that have been powdered.

I generally use powder bronzer just because it’s easy to step on as a last step and I don’t have to think about what I’ve already applied.

These examples show the order I apply my products, after all my complexion products are on (foundation, concealer, etc).

Example #1 | ALL Powder Formulas

  • 1 – highlight
  • 2 – contour
  • 3 – blush
  • 4 – bronzer
  • 5 – setting powder

Example #2 | My Normal Routine

  • 1 – cream highlight
  • 2 – cream contour
  • 3 – cream or powder blush
  • 4 – powder bronzer
  • 5 – setting powder in T-zone

You can see, I generally like to apply my:

1 | highlight and contour first

2 | then blush if possible

3 | finish my makeup with a sweep of bronzer and a little setting powder in my t-zone (the center of my face – where I tend to get shiny)

Related Post | The Best Bronzer Formulas + Shades for Fair to Light Skin

 

How to Apply Bronzer

1 | Starting at the temples (the outside, upper corners of your face), sweep bronzer in a straight motion back into your hairline. 

2 | Picking up more bronzer as needed, keep sweeping the bronzer back in towards your hairline, moving down your face in the shape of the letter “E” or number “3.”  Bronzer should hit at the high points of your face:

  • temples
  • the area of your cheekbone below highlighter, but right above blush (it can touch the top of blush a little)
  • the edge of your jawline

3 | I also always bronze my neck and sweep the brush over the top of my collarbones, to make the color on my body cohesive with my face.

4 | When all those main areas are done, I use the same brush, but don’t pick up any more bronzer.  I sweep the brush under my eyes and across my forehead and chin.  This ties together the look of my bronzer and face, without adding a significant amount of color.

5 | Bonus: using a fluffy crease brush, you can pick up one tap of bronzer and “wind shield” wiper the bronzer into the crease of your eye.  This is another nice way to make the face color cohesive.  You can also do this with your blush, but I would choose just one product to do this with: either bronzer or blush, not both.

Here is the video again, this might make the technique easier to follow along with!  It goes over both liquid and powder application, so you can see both formulas on my skin.

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Shop the Video |  

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Similar Posts |

and a friendly reminder, go wash your brushes 🙂 | The Easiest Technique for Washing Makeup Brushes 

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